If you are a triathlete, you know how hard it is to get good at this sport.
My nemesis has been cycling. Each year, it's a battle. I feel like I'm working so hard, but I make little progress. I don't see significant speed increases. Hills don't seem any easier.
THEN, today happened. To say I had a breakthrough day on the bike would be an understatement.
The funny thing is that the day really didn't have the makings of a good day. I woke up so sore....unbelievably sore. All I could think was "3 hours on the bike is going to be very painful and very hard."
That's what training is for, right? Push yourself and build strength then rest. All I had to do was get through 3 hours. Who was I kidding? I'm probably going to end the day crying like a little baby.
I started out very easy, going slower than I had two weeks ago (my last longer ride). I'm starting to know the bike course really well, but I hadn't done the full loop since last year. Still, I remember the harder climbs and some easier flats.
WELL---my legs were dead. They were sore. Yet somehow, I was maintaining a great speed! My heartrate stayed within zone 2-3, and I wasn't anywhere close to being as miserable as I was expecting.
I was trying to save any energy for the biggest climb which came at about 38 miles. When out of the blue, BAMPOP! I hit something in the road, must have been a rock and my tire just blew out.
Why does it always happen midway up a hill? I pulled out my cell to call Mike and let him know that I'd be late, but the NO SERVICE message flashed at me. I pulled over changed the tire and had a quick snack. When I got back on, I realized that short break really helped my legs which had been burning pretty good when my tire blew.
(Oh....almost forgot....while I was changing my tire, I got swarmed by bees. I'm not allergic nor afraid of bees, but they certainly didn't help my situation. Especially the one that flew into my helmet. very nice).
I hopped back on and checked my average speed. Still above expectations, but here comes the climb. No big deal. Take it slow.
Before I knew it, I was at the top. I felt really good. Maybe not REALLY good, but much better than I expected.
By the time I got to the meet up place (where Mike was going to pick me up), I was tired, but I had a smile plastered to my face.
Finally after the years of doing this, nutrition, hydration, training all came together.
Each week, I get nervous for my long rides. Each week, I'm getting stronger. My next long ride is 3.5 hours. I'm excited. I know it will be difficult, but I know that I'll be able to push through.
All I know is that I'm setting myself up for a very good race come September.