May 8, 2014

Posted by Jo W. in | 5/08/2014
Lately, I've been living by this philosophy:

I've never jumped off a cliff, but I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone to get faster on the bike. The local bike club has training rides every Tuesday and Thursday, and I have been trying to go whenever I can. The group is mainly men. Big men with huge muscles and nice bikes. And some of them race those bikes. The pace is fast, and sometimes the group splits up into two or three groups, when the fastest group splits off and the rest of us can't keep up. Needless to say, I was pretty nervous when I first joined this training ride. I also didn't know the route and didn't have a cell phone on me, so that was an extra incentive to keep up. Luckily, I stayed with a slower group and made it back just fine.

I am still a bit intimidated to ride with this group, but they are all friendly and willing to give me advice. Today, I went on a 29 miler and tried to stick with the fast group. I rode like a noob and blew myself up on the hills (there were a lot of hills) and couldn't keep up. I could also blame the heat and feeling dehydrated from the start, but I won't.

I got dropped at around mile 15 with one other guy, and we stuck together for about 5 miles. The route got hillier, and that's when I took off and dropped the other guy. I wasn't 100% sure of the route, but since I had ridden it before and I didn't want to wait for the guy, I was 80% confident that I could feel my way back. Besides, I had my phone on me to check the maps, so I decided to ride the 10ish miles back solo.

I ran out of fluids with about 8 miles to go, and it was kind of miserable. My legs weren't that fatigued, but I could feel my whole body had to exert more effort. My pace slowed way down, partly because of the thirst and partly because I was working alone. It's so much easier to ride in a group because you're not pushing the wind the whole time.

Luckily, I remembered the roads and made it back without getting lost. I went straight to the car and guzzled my other bottle of water. Next time, I will bring two on the bike. I am glad that I went on this ride, and next time, I will learn from my mistakes.

Speaking of comfort zones and such, I want to try my hand at my first road race which is coming up very fast on May 18th. I have little more than a week to train, and I am planning on doing the two training rides next Tuesday and Thursday, as well as a longer ride (hopefully) this weekend, though it might rain. To be honest, racing kind of scares the shit out of me and all the doubts start flooding in. It also exhilarates me, so I want to do this. Whether I'm ready or not.

What is one thing that you do that scares you?


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