It ended up being a very surprisingly nice day Saturday. Rain and thundershowers were predicted. Instead: sunshine and blue skies AND warmth. I worked that morning in an effort to catch up from being out sick and actually had a very productive day. I got a call around noon from Don saying they were going to meet at the Musketawa Trail at 2. I had to work until 2 and still had to go home, get my bike, change, etc., but I said I would be there, just a little later. Man I hustled to get out of work asap, throwing things together and into my car to leave and speeding onto the highway. I felt like that Suzuki commercial where the girl changes in the elevator to go for a bike ride.
I wasn't sure who would be there, but figured it would be a fast group. I was still a little woozy from the antihistamines, not eating much, and general fatigue of not being able to breathe well yet, so I figured I'd just take it easy and bring up the rear, turning back when I felt like it.
Pulling in the driveway, I got the evil glares of the neighbors as they were fussing over their lawn, etc., while they KNEW I was not going to be working on the yard that day. They haven't spoken to us in over a year because of the yard thing, and today I was glad they weren't going to make any small talk. I tried to not feel guilty (yeah right!) as I loaded my bike up and quickly changed my clothes. I soon forgot about them as I headed down the highway to finally get out and ride.
It was warm but windy, and I was glad I had thrown in a jacket and gloves. Driving outside the city always takes the temps down a few degrees, and throw in the wind and you never know how cold the ride would be this early in the season. By the time I got there, the guys had already rode 12.5 and headed back to see if anyone else showed. No one else did but me, and I began to get a little nervous. Tom, Don, and Mike and me. Not a usual combination to ride together, but they said it was just an "easy" day. I knew regardless of how easy it would be for them that I would be riding at full speed. I still figured I'd hold on as long as possible. They had all run 18+ miles that day, so I was hoping for a little slack.
Going out it was extremely easy to keep an 18mph pace, but I soon began realizing the wind was behind us! Yikes. No way could I keep up this pace biking into the wind. I felt pretty good though so figured it couldn't be that bad. We hit the 7.5 mile mark and they decided they had had enough. I looked down and had hoped we would do 10 before turning, but I decided to turn back too. Good thing. Within one mile, I already was slowing to 14 mph and continued to go down to 12 mph. The wind was steady. My strength was not. With still 4 miles to go, we stopped at one point for traffic and I quick grabbed a drink and realized I was gasping! Tired? Don asked. Oh, no, just trying to catch my breath! (yeah right). By the last two miles, my legs were getting wobbly and I no longer cared if they were in sight. I just kept pushing the pedals, like I was going through sand. My legs were dead! I hadn't eaten much for breakfast or lunch and it now showed. I coasted into the parking lot probably a good 5 min. behind the guys, and I know they were going easy. Don could tell I was toasted and knew it was probably because I had been sick and said as much. They all said they were doing another group ride on Sunday on another trail so we would meet the next day.
The next day, however, my legs were jello and I bagged the ride after 5 miles. I needed another day to recover I guess.
I will spend this week just gradually catching up again with nutrition and strength. My indoor tri for next weekend was cancelled, so that's a relief of sorts. It would be great if we could get another weekend like this next week too! I mean, after all, it will be the last weekend of winter. Oh, yeah, measurable snow is forecast starting Thursday. Blah!