After getting home at midnight Friday night, I decided that hitting the road Saturday morning wasn't in the cards, so I moved my ride to Sunday morning. Sunday morning started like every other ride prep with waking up early (5:00a this time), and spending an hour getting gear, drink and food together. I hit the road at 6:00a with a 22.4 mile route planned out.
This was my first ride since Bike to Work Day on May 16th. That trip was a 22 mile round trip, so I didn't think matching that mileage would be a problem. What I didn't realize was how "not a problem" it was going to be.
My first test on this route was at 4.5 mile hill, aptly named because this is a very common route out to the Frederick countryside, and it hits me right about 4.5 miles into the ride. I knew this hill needed a name since it and I have quite the history. When I first started riding last year, I would end up with my heart rate pounding at 200+ bpm at the top. After learning how to properly climb hills, I was able to keep my HR under 200, and based on my fitness level, it continued to drop. Sundays result? 187 bpm and feeling like a champ. I didn't have my heart rate monitor when I rode this hill the week before BTWD, but I know I didn't feel as good as I did yesterday.
As I continued on, I found myself laughing, talking to myself (which then caused me to laugh more, mostly at myself), whistling, playing games with the squirrels in the road, and generally having a grand ol' time. I'm still astonished at how relaxed and mentally calm I was. I hope this is something that stays with me. This was a great time for this kind of thing to happen because I've been on the fence recently about whether or not I would make it to race day. With my swimming and cycling strong, I just need to push harder on running and I'll be golden. Easier said than done. But my cycling is strong.
One Month Done
6 years ago