Yesterday morning was overcast and cold, I procrastinated as long as I could, and when the temperature finally hit double digits I headed out for my ride. Originally, I was planning to do a 4.5hr out and back up and down the valley on the way to Wahnam. I thought I would get a couple of repeats of the 15km up, down and up again and then head home. Once I got up the first section of the hill the sun came out and it was warm enough to take off the leg warmers. Then down the other side and back up again. I was heading down the final bit when a HUGE hawk swooped down and scared the crap out of me. I was going 40km/hr since it was a downhill, so I guess it was fast enough to get away. Once my heart came down out of my throat, I realized that I would have to go back past the Hawk, but this time uphill (slow, with plenty of time to swoop and catch me). I have a phobia of big birds when I am on the bike. I have been swooped before and a couple of years ago I was terrorized by a pair of red hawks that I thought were going to pick me up and take me back to their nest. So, I decided NOT to face my fear, and instead continue on to Wahnam and then over to Rhcroft and home via Hwy 2. This 180km loop is TOUGH and the last time I did it I called D for a pickup 20km from home because I was bonking. I did want to conquer this loop, so I guess today would be the day. I was well stocked with fluid- 3 bottles and a camelback- and had enough food to get me to the service station in Rycroft. I did try stopping in Wahnam, but the one service station was closed...on a Monday? I stopped at the town office to ask if I could see a map, just to be sure of where I was going. They didn't have one, and when I told the woman where I was going, her response was "you're not going to make it there today!" she even suggested that I flag down a truck and hitchhike....what a brilliant idea in for a girl in the middle of no where.....egads.
Anyway, I carried on my way, another 20km to Rycroft. The wind was picking up and I was riding straight into it. A bit of a struggle but I knew it was only 20km until I could turn. I stopped for some food in Rycroft, stretched and headed onto the road that chewed me up and spit me out last time. It is a lot of uphill and last time it was into a head wind. This time I had a cross wind which was a lot more tolerable, although my upper body got tired from holding on so tight to stay out of the ditch.
Another 48km and I made it to the spot I bailed last time. I carried on feeling good, despite the wind that was now in my face, and made it the final 20km to my home.
I was so happy to see D's car in the garage- he was planning to be on the road all week, but came home for the night. He had dinner ready....what an Angel!
The 180km took me 6hrs44mins which is a bit depressing, but I did have a few slow patches over gravel roads (trying to find a shortcut) and my legs were not feeling totally fresh despite the rest I have had the last few days.
I am glad to have the last big ride behind me. I am now ready for some shorter, faster rides to get my speed back up.
Today I hit the pool, I was nothing short of delinquent last week, only getting there once! It was packed and half the pool was full of old people doing aquasize. I had 7 people with me in the lane at one point and it was a gong show. I managed to get my 3km swim done, using the obstacles as practice for IM :-)
Tonight will be an easy group run, tomorrow the long one.
TFTD: Monday Bike 180km 6hrs44
Tuesday: Swim: 3km 58mins
EZ run 60 mins