So after taking 2 full weeks off from any form of exercise (unless walking our 15 year old dog counts) and eating whatever the hell I want… I started training. For the 508.. dun dun dun!!! (pretend scary music is playing).
Cycling is hard. And there is so much stuff going on all the time! Like shifting gears and big rings and little rings. They are confusing. Apparently I have been riding in my big ring the whole time when I was suppose to be riding in my little ring? But then I changed it and it made riding uphill a lot easier, but then I tried to change back into the big ring and then my chain fell off and I kind of had a meltdown. Running is so much simpler.. you just go!
Besides having a meltdown about bike chains, the week was fairly good and I got in some good rides. Today was the best though, even though I didn’t bike as much as I was suppose to. The plan was to try for 145. I woke up early and got in 45 on my own through Santiago Canyon and then my friend, Sara, met up with me back at my house and we were going to do another longer, but slightly easier loop. However, Mark decided he wanted to join and that he wanted to go back through the canyon and take me on this nice “lollipop” loop to get in some good hills. I have learned though that good hills to Mark means steepest hill possible. I was not very excited about this (because I am still a slightly nervous nellie on my bike) but I knew that if I want to survive the 508 and its 36,000 ft of climbing, I better get my ass use to some hills. We went up the hill, “Modjeska Grade,” when I was 61 miles into the ride, which also marked the farthest I have ever ridden. At first it wasn’t so bad, but then we went up and up and up and it got HARD! I had to even stop and catch my breath once, but I made it and may have enjoyed it slightly.
After the death hill, we finished riding through the canyon (for my 3rd time of the day!) and back home. I had another semi meltdown on the way home. I was tired (I know.. wah wah), and I was over riding for the day and knew that once I was home I wasn’t going to go back out for any more miles and I wasn’t even close to my goal mileage for the day. I tried to convince Sara that I just am not cut out for the 508, but she was a good friend and didn’t give into any of my bull shit.
When I got home, I was at 84 miles for the day and exhausted. I texted,Traci and Coach Lisa and told them the bad news that I only made it to 84 for the day. For some weird reason, I thought maybe they would side with my stupid negative thinking that maybe I’m not cut out for the 508, but of course they didn’t. Lisa just said.. lets try for 75 tomorrow and Traci reassured me that 84 miles is still a far ways to go and also still a distance PR for me. I had a pity party for about 2 more minutes after Lisa suggested doing another long ride tomorrow. I was still doubting my cycling abilities and riding again tomorrow didn’t sound like fun at that moment, but then of course I got over it, got on the phone with Sara, and we started mapping out a ride for tomorrow and another long ride for us next weekend.
I know a couple paragraphs up I said that today’s ride was the best.. but then I went into a rant, doubting my abilities of the 508, so it probably doesn’t sound like it was a good day at all, but it really was great, I promise. I got to ride with my boyfriend and one of my best friends. And it was a beautiful day out. I had a couple low points, but those things happen sometimes and I’m just glad that I have friends that can snap me out of them 🙂 Also, bonus points, I got some sexy tan lines!
So onwards with 508 training!
And final note… My twin sister who I was separated at birth with (Traci Phillips) and I started a blog called “Grits, Guts and Glory.” We will be sharing stories of our own endurance adventures and also of others who have motivational stories or unique stories of what really goes on in the endurance world. In addition will be having some cool interviews with athletes and other sports specialists. Check it out at gritsgutsandglory.wordpress.com.