My good buddy and fellow Ironman triathlete, Julie arrived yesterday!! YAY!! I had been down at her place in the Pass a couple of weeks ago where she shared with me one of her favourite rides and now I'm able to do the same.
Actually, today's ride was one of our friend Keith's favourite ride - the Road to Nepal. As we had a long ride planned for Sunday, this was going to be a shorter ride, but by no means less challenging, as the name might hint.
We started out from Keith and Linda's house in South Calgary and made our way to 37 Street. The only icky part of this ride is crossing Highway 22X, but that's a really short part.
The ride is absolutely brilliant and I loved it! Brand new pavement and tons of hills. Climb up, ride down, climb up and up and up, ride down. That's pretty much how it goes. The view of the mountains is spectactular on some of the higher hills. The rest of the scenery is beautiful green trees and farm lands. Did I mention it was gorgeous??
As Julie is in her peak of fitness (she's gearing up for Ironman Canada later this month) and I'm just getting over my recovery, I did not bother to attempt to keep up with her on the climbs. For some reason though, I still tried to climb all the hills in the third gear down from grannie. Part of me wants to be back training again I think, although I am enjoying my schedule free life!
This 'harder gear' thing lasted until I had to turn around and go back. The legs just couldn't do it anymore. It was kind of weird out there because on the flats I had some pretty good speed, and even on some of the slighter climbs I did ok, but on the big ones my legs started to give on me a bit. I had to pull out the old 'I am strong, I am powerful' mantra. I guess I was surprised they didn't just give on the climbs and flats.
I had Julie in sight on the way out, and for the slightest moment on the way back. Then she was gone. I wasn't too worried, until I remembered her sense of direction...
I shall recall for everyone the fact that she went the wrong way on the Ironman Canada bike route when we were out there last May. Oh, did I mention Julie has ridden that route at least three times and still managed to miss a turn?! So when I couldn't see her at the road we were to turn north on I admit that I did become a wee bit concerned.
Did she know to turn here? Or did she keep going straight?? Okay, if she's not at the 22X stop sign I'm calling Keith to go look for her because there is sure as heck no WAY I can ride those hills again. Then my mind was preoccupied with the thought that perhaps she'd stopped to relieve herself and I zipped (ya right) past her. Maybe she figured she'd catch me but missed what road I turned on and really I've left her out there?!
Okay, time to just focus on what you know - get to the stop sign and see if she is there.
Finally I got there and there was Julie with her beautiful big smile waiting for me. She was SO proud that she found her way back. I was laughing and admitted I was worried for a while there. Julie fully ad,ots that she is directionally challenged so wasn't offended by that. In fact, she was ecstatic that she found her way back! Too funny.
We then headed back to Keith and Linda's to clean up and go out for dinner with them. Thanks to both of you for lending your home and showers to us!!! Then again, I'm sure you wouldn't have wanted to go out with the stinky twins.
A big thank you to Julie too. When we were driving home, and after the ride, I was a bit bummed that my fitness/strength wasn't where it had been before IMCDA. I mean, I'm recovered right?? It has been a few weeks. She had to tell me that after recovery comes starting all over again.
My thoughts on that? 'Seriously?? Well doesn't that just suck lemons!'
I didn't realize that as I didn't go through this experience last year because I was so ill that I didn't really get back into training until January. This year I feel great so want my body to go back to some sort of peak level. Uh, no. Although I should mention that you don't go back to square one exactly - you are just above that zone - but you do go back to the beginning and have to start slowly building again. RATS!
How the heck do people do an Ironman a few months apart is what I want to know?!
I am thankful for her telling me of that, reminding me that it's ok and also to stay positive. See, even some of us 'Little Ms. Positive's' have to be reminded!
I thought more on this later on and realized that I am grateful for my health and the fact that I can ride like this. It may have only been 52 km today, but it was a challenging ride. I did it though and there are many out there who can't. So thank you Universe for giving me this gift of good health! Without it life really wouldn't be as exciting.
Peace out my friends!