Saturday, 17 September
Last Saturday, G and I took off to the Great White North -- Cartersville, GA. We joined a number of former TEAMmates (along with the IronTeam and Tucson Team) at the Beautiful Backroads Century. G knew that TNT and Six Gap alum J would be there, so they happily rode off together. I rode primarily with D (who, I swear, I've ridden this with before a number of times in training), and we eventually were able to keep up with L and C, as well. I say "we", but really it was me. I was dead the whole day. D was riding the full century, while the rest of us were doing the metric option (really, 68 miles). We got to the SAG stops as they were being closed, due to my pokiness and our starting late (but really, not THAT late, I thought).
My legs finally showed up at mile 60. That is 60 miles of good company and conversation mixed with guilt and frustration.
Maximum speed: 32.8 mph
Average speed: 14.4 mph
Distance: 67.13 mi
Clearly, NOT the PR I'd been hoping for. My one consolation is that it was faster than last year. I haven't heard from D since then -- I hope he didn't really end up in Florida, afterall.
Kirkwood Sunday Ride - Sunday, 25 September
Yesterday was the Six Gap Century Ride up in Dahlonega, GA. We didn't go. We had toyed with it earlier this season, and I had considered it even more recently. But, we didn't go. We did the KSR out to Stone Mountain with a small group of riders. When we got to the ride start and I saw four men, I immediately recognized that I would be riding alone, a small "B" group, if you will. (The beauty of riding alone is that, really, I could be whatever letter I feel like. The "M" group? Why not?! The "C" group? Sure thing!)
My legs felt like lead all weekend (I had done a swim/run brick Friday morning and ridden to/from school for the football game on Saturday), and were no better Sunday morning. We took off, and I resigned myself to riding my own, and not anyone else's, ride. I had the group in my sight for a while, but I kept telling myself not to push or struggle. I know the route, there are other people out along the roads, so there was really no need to try to keep up, besides pride. I think I was able to see them for as long as I did because of fortuitous timing of traffic lights and they were waiting for me to get in sight before taking off again. About 2 miles in (not far at all, really), I considered putting the hammer down, catching them, and begging off (I'd tweaked my back getting out of bed that morning, too, and turning my head made it hurt). But, I never could quite get that impetus or speed going to put in that sort of effort.
Around mile 4, at one of the turns, I saw that C had hung back to wait for me (which was very kind of him). I told him to go on, that I wasn't going to be close to a comfortable pace for him. He kept me company for a bit, anyway, until we got to College Ave, where G was waiting. He sent C on ahead and rode the rest of the way with me to the mountain, at my pathetic little pace.
Or was it? At the mountain, I had been averaging 14.9 mph, which isn't great, but is still decent for how I felt.
The way back, my back felt better but the legs were still heavy. G stayed with me the whole time. This was outwardly bearable for him, because he rode a metric the day before in PTC with the Tucson team while I was at the game. The rest of the group had already disbanded by the time we got back.
Maximum speed: 32.4 mph
Average speed: 14.4 mph
Distance: 29.73 mi
To think that, just a few years ago, I would have to talk myself up to do a thirty-mile ride. I just wish I were *faster*. Maybe I need a bye week, but I like riding to school.