What an awesome day for a ride!! I wasn't sure the weather was going to hold but it did - YAY!
I decided to ride the Horse Creek Road loop, which is about 44 km. I started out on Hwy 1A westbound, then turned right onto Grand Valley Blvd. The first little bit I took to warm up - and play chicken with a couple of prairie dogs. Okay, not really...those who know me know I brake for all small cute furry animals. I had to slow down a little bit because for some reason they didn't understand me yelling 'SHOO! SHOO little guys!!'. One dove back into his wee hole, but the other decided to double back on the road. Have no fear - there were no mishaps and all of us survived.
At first I was having troubles keeping my speed and cadence up, but after a little while I got into a groove. I lucked out as for most of the northbound portion of the ride there was little wind....which usually means as soon as I go south I'm in for it! haha. I tried to push it on the climbs and keep my speed up. I didn't do too badly, I think the mini lesson on gearing with Dale at the tri shop really helped! I was a lot more successful than I usually am.
The scenery was amazing - everything was super green because of all the rain we had. It highlighted all the red barns and brown cows around. Some of the homes along there are gorgeous too. After climbing a few hills I turned east. This section is pretty flat. I had some great speed and managed to get up to 41 km/h and hold it. I was really happy with that.
With about 20 km to go I turned right and headed south....and as predicted, there was the wind! At first it was a strong crosswind and I almost felt like I was leaning my bike into it. Then it shifted and became a headwind. I think the Wasa race taught me to be aggressive when I get into a headwind. It's a great challenge and I now find I like it rather than dread it. I managed to keep my speed up, although not as fast as the flats!
I really love this ride. There is little traffic and it's beautiful. The road for this section goes south, east, south, east. I had a wonderful surprise too as I neared the end....they paved a long section of it!! Typically there are potholes whose length typically equals the diameter of most bicycle tires. Yikes! But this was nice, beautiful, SMOOTH, blacktop!! Oh joy, oh rapture! Feel the speed!! Barely any friction!! And then it ended....haha. Ah well, it was great while it lasted. As I neared the end of my ride I once again had to yell 'SHOO!' to a prairie dog scooting near me. When I got back to my car I checked my time and it was 1:35!! I haven't done that ride in that time before. I was really happy with that as it shows I'm getting stronger and faster. YAY!
I went for a short run afterwards. I was supposed to do a couple intervals at my half ironman pace, but I think I was more at my 10km pace. Not that I know what my pace really was...I really just go by feel....and I felt great! I am really looking forward to the GWN 1/2 Ironman...just over a week away. Hopefully I will continue with the improvement that I've experienced this year.
PS Dad: finding time to write my blogs is all about PLANNING...and you know how I am when it comes to planning...tee hee.