I hit Bragg in 1:04 hours - my fastest time by about 10 minutes. Too cool. Darryl mentioned something about a tail wind, to which I replied, 'Dude, do not burst my bubble about being fast today!' We had a good laugh over that and he said it was more a cross wind really. Indeed!
After a quick 'buy more water/pee break' we took off for Millarville, our turnaround desitination.
They also supply refreshments that could be very helpful for cyclists...Got Jack?
This was the turnaround point so we hopped back into the saddle and headed back west. As we did I mentally prepared myself for 'the hill'. Remember that wicked descent I mentioned, well, I had to get back up it. Not too intimidating...
Oh, and that's not the top of the hill you see over there in younder distance. Nope. That's just the first little blip. There's more after that! Definitely good Ironman training.
Once I got over that little hill I noticed a gal with her tire off her bike. I slowed down and asked if she had everything she needed. I got a not so convincing 'I think so....' Then I asked if she needed any assistance. I got an even less convincing 'Noooo'. So I asked if she was sure, another 'I think so...'. My gut feeling was that she didn't want to ask for help, but would have liked it so I mentioned that I'm really good at fixing flats and could help. Her tone perked up immediately and there was a very enthusiastic 'Okay!'
Of course it had to be the back tire. Do front tires ever flat out?? I rested my bike on a post then took over. I had it changed up in no time. Good thing too. Know what is really good motivation for fixing a flat in record time? MOSQUITOS! There were swarming us and as I fixed the tire I was swatting away the little beasts. I got a few bites, but I think I took out some of their tribe!
The really funny thing about this little situation was after we got the bike all back together I noticed she had Legend Coaching bottles. So I took a better look at her and realized it was Kelly who I met at the May training camp! Such is the triathlete world...so easy to see a friend!
The ride back was awesome. Although I was starting to feel some nigglies in my back and legs, I felt really strong. I also wasn't cross eyed as I normally part way through the ride. I realized my prescription sunglasses weren't meant for looking out the top part and likely were making my eyes hurt. Typcially by the end of the ride I'm riding with one eye shut so I can see straight. Always good for safety! Today I wore normal sunglasses and all was well. Good thing my sight isn't that bad!
In what seemed like no time, I was back home. I noticed my computer said 139.23 km. Hmmm, okay, I'm going to have to zip around the block so I can at least roll over 140 km! I was totally stoked when I saw my average speed - 27.7 km/h. I don't think I've ever had that for an average - and this isn't an easy route.
I was wondering what it was that helped me to achieve that. This week hasn't been stellar for training - I missed a bike day due to work, then had a shorter bike day then scheduled because of the weather. The other thing I wondered about though was my plan of seeking joy. There have been a lot of articles recently that I've found stating that when you are happy and enjoying what you do, you do it better. I guess that's not a shockingly new theory, but I realized today that it's a valuable one.
I went for a 20 minute brick run through the paths.
Finally it was time for a soak in the river. This river starts on a glacier somewhere, then flows by here. So it's not super cold, but cold enough when you are trying to sit in it you mumble explitives as you ever so gently lower yourself in. I love this spot because it's so peaceful. Just you and the sounds of the river flowing by....
It truly was a great, great day for riding. I had awesome company, beautiful scenery, kept my intentions and in the end had a great time.
Yes, there is joy to be found - if you are willing to seek it out. And I am!
Peace out my glorious friends!