So the entire week I was looking forward to today. I figured I'm recovered so I'm going to go do my beloved Lochend loop! It's going to be a nice day out and I can take my time if I need to and just enjoy being out there. I had planned on getting up reasonably early to get going.
However, I wake up this morning and I'm completely stuffed up. Not from a cold, but my dreaded allergies. My head is stuffed, my nose is stuffed, my ears are itchy - on the inside!, and my eyes look like two piss holes in the snow. Urgh. I didn't feel like getting up, so I lingered a while in bed.
When I finally did get up I really didn't have much energy. I hate when my allergies suck the life out of me. I thought, I need to get my gear together for my bike ride, but the motivation was severely lacking. I started to procrastinate as if I had to study for chemistry, my most loathed course! So instead of getting bike things done I tidied up, made my lunches for the week, read etc.
By 11:30 I still hadn't made the move to go outside. Now I was getting upset. Why, I have no idea, likely it was an allergy thing too. They sometimes really mess me up. The whole situation really seems silly now. It's not like I HAD to go out for a bike ride. For some reason though I felt disappointed that I wasn't gung ho about it and I really didn't think I wanted to do 110km today. Oh, did I mention I'm not training for anything?!
I went online to see if any of my tri buddies were there to chat with. Lo and behold Darryl was there. I was almost in tears telling him I had wanted to go out all week and now I couldn't get motivated and I really wanted to continue building on my fitness and I should be ready for a long ride and what was wrong with me?! Yes, I'm a dork. Thankfully, Darryl is totally aware of this fact and, in addition, he has a fiance so I think understands weird girl moments. I think. If he doesn't, he did a good job of helping me anyways!
He reassured me that I didn't have to go if I didn't want to, but that I could also consider a shorter ride. Or just pass. Either way was cool.
Well okay then! I guess that's what I needed to hear. I bid him adieu, then promptly went and got my gear on and headed out. Is it just me, or is it weird that we sometimes feel we need 'permission' not to do something?!
I decided to do the Horse Creek/Grand Valley loop with an optional Bottrell trip if I felt like it. There were some nasty looking clouds around the mountains so at one point I was wondering if I'd meet some rain or, yipes, hail. I tried to figure out which way the wind was blowing but it was a weird wind today and sometimes it was from the east, sometimes from the south. At the very least, I figured that the clouds weren't coming my way!
I did run into some mental challenges at the start of my bike ride. I was feeling sluggish and had to keep reminding myself that although I was likely recovered, I hadn't done a hilly ride for the last three weeks so not to have huge expectations of grandeur! I finally remembered to just work with what I had and from then on in had a much better ride.
The first 'big' climb I decided to go nuts with. I was up out of the saddle and pushing hard. My imagination had me racing in the Swiss Alps. This was a nod to my friend Katie who was racing in Ironman Switzerland today. Not that she was in the Swiss Alps, I don't think. Ah well, it was my fantasy and I was beating everyone in the hill climb! (I might add that Katie came in 5th in her age group!! YAY KATIE!) I was slowing down a bit at the top, but had a good pace going. My heart rate soared to 170 bpm though....whooops.
The rest of the ride went really well. My legs felt good and my heart rate settled into a more normal rythym around the half way point. I was really pleased with my pace and strength as I battled the still weird head/crosswind that was going on. At one point I was nearly knocked off my bike from it because it hit me in a few directions and I couldn't get my balance.
As I was on my way home I rode past a bunch of flags that were on both the north and south sides of the road. The flags on the north side were pointed north, indicating a south wind. However, the flag on the south side of the road was pointed west, indicating an east wind! No wonder I couldn't figure out the winds, Mother Nature couldn't figure out which direction to blow them in either!!
By the time I got home I was in a much better mood. For fun I checked my computer and as it turns out my pace was a training level pace. Well that's a nice surprise! I was so glad I got outside, even if the ride was shorter than originally planned. In fact, I think all that happened before the ride was the Universe's way of saying today was meant to be a short ride day as I was feeling sleepy when I got back. I seem to have forgotten the wise practice of listening to ones body and going with the flow! How soon one forgets after their race!! Todaywas a good reminder however.
Peace out my friends.