Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Long and Winding Road...

No, I'm not referring to the old Beatles tune but to my first long outdoor ride of the year. Up until now I've spent a lot of time on the trainer, but now it was time to hit the road. And I was starting it on the Dam Loop...go big or go home!

I love this route. It is comfortable and familiar to me. I've been riding this loop for years. I started the morning off in a bit of a funk and I wasn't feeling very social so I decided to lay low and get my stuff on in a hurry so that I could get going before my group was to start. They were rolling out about 8:30 and by my watch it was 8:22, yikes!

There was a chill in the air but I knew it would be warming up, so a pair of toe covers and arm warmers and I was good to go. I quickly caught up with the first group and then I was on my own. I headed out Southwest Parkway and got my first taste of the hills and it felt great! I really like Reflector Hill, it just feels good. Once on Hwy 71, I crossed my fingers and held on tight until I got off of there. Scariest part over and life was good again.

As I was riding, I worked some things out in my head. Sometimes just being on the bike and on the road on a beautiful day is all it takes to make all the bad go away.

Periodically I came upon teammates sprinkled here and there and it was a good knowing that they were coming my way, in case I ran into trouble or needed help. I guess after about 30 or 35 miles, C caught up to me and I kind of thought I'd catch a little know, maybe catch a draft here or there, but nooooooo...he managed to stay just enough ahead of me on the hills that I didn't benefit and other times, I just rode alongside. I'm sure it's better for me in the long run. I did notice that the wind was picking up...and out of the south, just in time for us to head south back onto 360!!

Ok, that stupid hill at Bee Cave just never gets any easier, especially with a headwind...argh!!! Anyhow, I made it (yeah!!) and was happy to get back to Southwest Pkwy. After finally meandering our way back to the parking lot, we loaded up the bikes, threw on the running shoes, hooked up with Master T and headed out for our 30 minute run. That's right folks, first ride of the season was also the first brick of the season...go big or go home!! Naturally, the first bit was tough and I wasn't so sure about even going 20 minutes. And considering this is day 7 of my 21 day run block, the legs weren't so fresh. Anyhow, the more we ran, the better I felt. Master T turned back and C and I pressed on. 35 minutes later I was back at my car for a stretch, recovery drink and Yvonne's homemade cookies!!

In summary...I felt great! I'm not sure what that means but I didn't feel bad at all. I felt like my legs were a bit tired and sure, that's expected...but I really felt fine. I didn't even go home and pass out like I used to do!!

I guess I am a bit more fit than I thought...or just had a lucky day, cause I know what's yet to come!!

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