Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Just perfect.

Training is continuing along nicely. Actually, even though I have days were I am totally wasted (muscle wise) I am loving every aspect of how I am progressing. I have this new found strength in my legs which is evident on my flat rides. Even the hill which runs up the back of my house which I initially had trouble climbing I can now do so seated. I didn't think this to be so after the Cobbitty ride, however I guess the only way to judge how far you have come is to do something you once thought hard and see how much easier it feels.

So that is what I did today. I took off for my Tuesday special. Only this time I didn't have intervals and I still managed to ride the same distance as I did last week. I maintained a steady, even cadence for most of the ride and didn't feel as fatigued on the rollings hills that appeared before me as I usually do. It was the perfect morning for a ride - no breeze, atleast for the first 20mins and then there was a breeze and it always seemed to be a crosswind or headwind - rarely a tailwind, blue skies, myself and Aaliyah.

The more time I spend cycling Aaliyah, I feel as though I am understanding how to manage the gears better, efficiency in peddling, and all in all just understanding how to use her to my advantage. I guess it's the same in any sport really when you are new to it, you tend to stuff up religiously because you are constantly learning. The more mistakes you make the better you get. I did make one mistake today - I looked down at my leg. In and of itself it doesn't sound bad but there was not much of a curb and so when I looked up I had already committed to rolling off it into a mound of grass and dirt. It's amazing how when you get scared you forget the simplest of things - like the brake. Thought's came flooding into my mind like "Holy crap" "Brakes" "Unclip" "Don't fall" - which to do first???? I think all of it happened simultaneously and I managed to save myself gracefully (no falling) - without anyone seeing me, most importantly.

As I continued on my ride I rode up next to this gentleman who I had passed about an hour earlier in the ride. I don't know what possessed me to stop next to him and introduce myself other than I was having such a nice morning I thought "Why not". I found out his name was Alan and he had only recently gotten back into riding because he had spent the last year nursing his wife whilst she battled a horrible illness - unfortunately she passed away in September. He used to be a cyclist in his early days and you could see he must have been a great cyclist cause he had those cyclist legs - big quads and defined calf muscles.

I spent about 10-15 minutes cycling beside Alan just chit chatting and was so glad to have met him. A really nice guy just out enjoying the morning like I was. Not sure what he thought of some chick coming out of the blue and introducing herself but he didn't seem bothered by it - rather we were both enjoying the company during our journey. As I took off I said "nice chatting and hope to catch up again" and he smiled and said "likewise".

So I am pleased with my morning ride - my day was done and dusted by 1030am and I had 53km under my belt. Amazing, a year ago I would have scoffed at the thought of getting out of bed for a ride, now nothing can hold me back from it.

Your hard work will be rewarded.

"The path to a dream is paved with sacrifices and lined with determination. And though it has many stumbling blocks along the way, and may go in more than one direction, it is travelled by belief and courage and conquered with a willingness to face challenges and take chances" Barbara Cage