Sunday, April 06, 2008

Group Riding at its Finest!

After our freak 6 inch snow storm on Monday, the temps finally started moving in the right direction, and there was a great forecast for Saturday. I think the emails starting circulating as early as Tuesday to get something coordinated, and sure enough, we had 11 eager riders ready to hit the road on Saturday.

We stared rolling into Julie’s just after 9:30am. Enthusiasm was high, however there was much debate on the proper clothing required. That’s always a challenge during these first outdoor rides. I think it was 40ish degrees, but we all knew it would only get warmer throughout the day. Of course, I opted for 3 warm layers on top, and tights over my bike shorts-A tad on the overdressed side, but I love to be toasty.

Our plan was to head East from Farmington into Hastings, cross the river and then head into the Hills of Afton. There’s a great coffee shop in Afton, so that was our midpoint destination.

This ride was originally touted as “conversational pace” but of course, about 5 miles into it, the Boys decided they wanted to do 3x10min at strong pace…Humm, sure I thought that could be fun, but I think I only lasted a few minutes before I decided that it was too early in the 80 mile ride to come out of my small ring. It worked out great, as Marty and I had a chance to catch up. And I guess the 3x10 min turned into 30 min of torture. We all re-grouped across the River, before we made the anticipated turn onto the St, Croix trail and climbed our way towards Afton. Of course, we had to take a detour down to the base of Afton Alps Ski hill, just for the JOY of climbing our way out of there. Sorry I don’t have any stats, but it was a steep one. Short and Sweet I like to call those. Everyone climbed very well, and once at the top we knew the coffee shop was nearby…Just a few descents, one climb and it was break time!
I always have so much fun descending, but I get really nervous with 10 additional riders around me. I don’t know how those ‘Roadies’ do it.-Thankfully, when I really care about maximizing speed, there is usually plenty of room between all the riders. I’m happy to report there were no accidents today, and it was a splendid ride to the coffee shop. We sat outside in the glorious sunshine, but before too long we all started to get a little chill, and we knew it was time to head back. The chill didn’t last long, as we faced a steady climb out of Afton. Those climbs are my favorite! The fatigue factor started to kick in around mile 60, and the thought of all the yummy snacks at Julies was the motivation I needed to keep the pace moving. I was ready to get home- I was under fueled, with only about 400 cals for the entire 4+ hour ride. Not good planning on my part, but I more than made up for the deficit when I got back to Julies! Thanks Julie(s) for the great smoothies and snacks.

Thanks to all my training buddies for a great ride-I was so wonderful to see you all again and I can’t wait until next time.

I have a long run today, then its two days of ez recovery before we head to AZ for ‘YndeCamp’. Camp starts on Wednesday, and Coach Berg just sent the training plans for the week. Highlights include 800s on the track on Wednesday, and a ride up Mt Lemon in Tucson on Friday. It’s Ironman weekend in Phoenix, so we’ll be there for a few open water swim sessions, and of course, we’ll be part of the all important cheering squad on Sunday. Good luck to all you IMAZ bound athletes. Enjoy your final week of prep—The best part is almost here!!