Sunday, May 16, 2010

I did it I did it I did it!

That was the chant running through my head as I reached the top of Route 84 at Skyline Blvd on my DR team training ride yesterday.

Like I mentioned in my last post, the training rides on the Death Ride team were going to get a lot longer and a lot tougher.   This one was about 110 miles and somewhere between 10,000-11,000 ft of climbing.

I was *really* worried about this ride.

I had a crappy ride a couple of weeks ago on the Grizzly Peak century.   About  20 miles into the ride I simply Did Not Want To Be There.   It was so strange; I was riding with Maggie and Lori, two friends from the DR team, and I was really looking forward to this day.  But for some reason, my brain and my body were telling me they were just not up for this.  I started to get a pounding headache -- cause or effect, I do not know -- and after a miserable slog up McEwen Road I decided "screw this".   I told Maggie and Lori not to wait up for me anymore, I was out of there, and when I reached the turn for Pig Farm Hill and the Bears, I turned the opposite way and headed for Lafayette.   I took  BART and rode home (Lee was surprised to see me), laid down and conked out for three solid hours.  So, maybe I was coming down with something, who knows.

But my motivation for the DR took an absolute nosedive.   Coach Sarah, who gleaned so insightfully that I was having a crisis   (could have it been all my posts on facebook saying that I was miserable and thinking of quitting? :D), exchanged a few emails with me and then we had a long phone conversation.

She let me know that while she really believed I could do it, and she was hoping I wouldn’t give up on it, she’d understand if I wasn’t up for it this time around.   She told me if I wanted to continue but not train so hard I could scale back on the training and aim for only a few passes rather than all five.   She even sent me her ride report from her very first Death Ride, where she did only(!) four passes, but was eager to do all five the following year (which she did, no surprise there!).

That all helped a lot.   At the end of our conversation I told Sarah I’d stay with the team, and play it by ear regarding the scaled-back training.   Getting it through my thick skull that it really would be OK if I didn’t do all five passes, and having the option to scale back on the training if I wanted, took an awful lot of pressure off me -- pressure that I didn’t even know I was feeling until it was gone.

I kept up with my training, including commutes to work and good times with Evil Coach Troy. The following weekend I had a really fun ride with Maggie and another teammate Tricia; it wasn’t an official team ride, it was what we call a buddy ride. It wasn’t epic as our usual training rides, but it had a decent amount of climbing, and I felt great. It helped me remember why I love riding in the first place. And the fact that a bakery stop was involved didn’t hurt matters.

So, that’s the lead up to the Big-Ass Big Basin team ride we rode yesterday. More on that later. I’m heading out soon for a recovery ride along the Alameda Creek Trail & Coyote Hills Park.

Recovery ride? Heh, more like a victory lap. :D

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