Oh, what a glorious night it was for a ride! By the time we were done riding, the fireflies were winking in the dusk. Two firsts: first day of summer and first sighting of fireflies.
Summer is my favorite season; it always has been. I remember as a kid playing hide and seek until dusk, until the street lights came on. I remember floating on an inner tube in Lake Michigan, watching the sun set, being lulled by the gentle lapping of the waves. I remember all the summer vacations with my parents, cousins, aunts, and uncles. Those were the days, and without becoming overly sentimental, those born after the mid 70s don't know what they have missed in life. It was a time that can never be matched.
Tonight, a small group of just 5 met at the trail for our Thursday night ice cream ride. I was really glad we were stopping for something to eat, since with all this increase in training has me hungry all the time! Now I know how those IM athletes feel during their training. The bonus though is a big change in body composition.
I know I have complained about lack of muscle tone, especially since my accident. But I was also lamenting about that over 50 look, you know, that look where parts jiggle more than not or where things just don't look as firm as they used to. I have been particularly sensitive to this lately, never having had a problem before. Yet, suddently, here I was, almost a typical 50+ woman, looking--dare I use the term--matronly. I may not act matronly, but the look was creeping up on me way too fast. Months of recovering left me not only physically but mentally changed.
Yet, just after one 50 mile ride, I am starting to see a whole change in my look, almost normal again. And my mental outlook is improving as well.
So tonight's ride started out leisurely, with me actually leading(!). Heh heh. I knew that was too good to be true, although I was revelling in the feeling in my legs even after Sunday's ride. They felt lighter; the pace seemed easier to achieve; and even when everyone did start picking up the pace, I was able to hang onto someone's wheel without a huge effort!
So progress is being made, slow but sure. I have been putting in as many laps in the pool as I can possibly stand, since the pool will be closed after tomorrow for a month. Just what I will do about that, I don't know. It will reopen in 4 weeks, but I have 2 triathlons in the meantime, and training for Steelhead as well. I guess somehow I will get by.
I have put in 3 runs this week as well, and am almost back to normal on mileage there. It will be a stretch, to be sure, to get comfortable around 12 miles, but somehow I have to find a way.
So the training goes on. I have come to terms with Steelhead, and will deal with it the best I can. I am joining a Steelhead bike course training group this weekend, so that should be--interesting. There are two choices of pace groups: 15-17 mph and 17-20. I think you can guess which group I will be joining.
I did weigh the pros and cons of staying home and training alone for 60 miles or joining a group for 56. The 56 group won out! I may be dragging in at the rear, but I am determined to get some familiarity with this course. I need all the advantage I can get!