With that decision made and no big running race on the horizon, though, all of my running motivation evaporated. Well, I wanted to run, but it was hard to drag myself out of bed before work when I didn't have to. How hard was it (TWSS)? So hard that it took me until Friday to actually get up and run...a measly 2 miles run that felt like I'd never run before. I was a little disappointed.
|At least I was able to appreciate the weather.|
J had a 10:15 soccer game, and the soccer fields are 4ish miles from my house. Between the fields and the house is the Big Woods, some of my very favorite trails. Instead of driving to the trails to run, I decided to run to the trails, run the trails, and then run over to the soccer fields in time for the game. That way we could all drive home together. I didn't get out of the house quite as early as planned, but that's ok because it meant I got a chance to run a mile or so with Mike.
|Heading down one of our local bike trails to the woods. The fog was burning off by now.|
|Tracks n Treads runners, this area is where the run portion of the race will be|
J's soccer game was pretty awesome. He's played with the same team for a few seasons now (spring and fall), and they're starting to play pretty well. He had several chances to score and finally kicked in the team's first goal of the season. His team ended up winning 3-1. (Even though they don't keep score, we do. :D It's funny...when N was in soccer, I can remember several games where his team got their butts kicked, but he remembered the score as quite different...which was fine with us.)
The day's temperature was in the low 80's, absolutely gorgeous, and I suggested it would be a great day for a hike. Jeff didn't agree, wanting to get some yard work done. Being as I spend an awful lot of time doing what I want to do, and knowing that if it wasn't for my husband our house would be falling down around us (it must be very difficult to be an ant married to a grasshopper), we did things his way. Turned out to be a good choice as we got hit by some major rain an hour or so into the yard work...right when we'd have been getting to the park to hike.
|N came out to help but spent more time playing with J, who apparently can't get enough soccer.|
I just made it. The women were all on bikes and listening to instructions as I pulled in. I pulled off my skirt (shorts underneath) and boots, threw on my bike shoes, switched my church shirt for a bike jersey, and got my bike out of the trunk and set up in time to run in, register, and get to the group before they left. There were three different ride options: 10 miles, 20 miles, and 30 miles.
I can ride 30 miles no problem, so I'd planned to go with that group, but when the guy explaining the options added that the 30 mile ride was probably going to ride at a 20 mph pace, I wavered. I can ride that fast, but I've never ridden that far at that pace. In addition, my bike is once again stuck in the big ring though I just had it at the bike shop because of that, so I wasn't sure how I'd do on any hills. I ended up deciding to stick with the 30 mile option, though, and I'm glad I did.
It was another beautiful day, sunny, and in the 80's. I knew quite a few ladies in the group from Team Revolution events and from races, so it was fun to visit with people I hadn't seen for a while as well as meet some new people. I felt great riding, and my torture chamber bike seat wasn't too bad. The route had some hills to it, and since I was stuck in a big gear I ended up standing in the pedals a lot to climb...which probably helped extend the time before I was saddle sore.
We were maybe halfway through the ride when I heard a pop from my front tire. A flat. I've been pretty spoiled, because I think I've only had one other flat during an organized ride, and that was back in 2009. Most of the women kept going, and one of the ride leaders stayed with me. Despite the fact that I never learned how to change a car tire, I have actually put some time into learning how to change a bike tire, so I wasn't totally at a loss. I'm slow, but I had everything finished but the airing up when Kube and Carrie came back to check on us. Carrie, who races professionally and can change a tire in no time, finished airing up and putting back on my tire while I put the levers and stuff away.
We pushed the pace a little to catch back up with the group, and I was still feeling good. The hills were tough, but hills are always tough, and I was making it up them. The roads were pretty smooth, and I'd gotten my flat tire dealt with without too much drama. And then another pop, again from the front tire. WTF...two flat tires in a row? And I'd felt all inside the tire the first time to make sure there was nothing still stuck in the tire. Either I missed something or just had bad luck, but my ride was finished because I'd only brought one spare tube. The ride leader was about to call for the SAG wagon when Carrie saved the day again.
She switched out our front wheels, sent me on my way, changed my tire, put the wheel onto her bike, and then caught up with us. How awesome is that?? She's a Team Revolution member (founder?), and this is so characteristic of the Team Rev ladies I've met. She's this amazing, fast cyclist, but when she comes out on a ride like this, she's much more about making it a good ride for other women than going out and hammering it and trying to show anybody up. Big thanks to her.
I'm pretty lucky, because that attitude is pretty typical of everybody I ride with on a regular basis. Out there, wanting to be the best they can be, but also invested in the people they're riding with. I've had the benefit of a lot of different peoples' patience and advice as I've spent more time on group runs and rides, and I really hope that's something I never forget. If more people got to ride with the kind of people I get to ride with, there would be a lot more cyclists because the ones I'm talking about are the best possible advertisements and ambassadors for the sport. And I want to be just like them when I grow up...or, more to the point, get better myself.