Now entering into our fifth month of specific 70.3 training, Team Katie and Sarah (we need a better name) are feeling more confident than ever with our training. I'd like to mention a few epic moments in the past few weeks of training.
Katie and I met for our first ride together a few weeks ago at the downtown airport. We had been planning our family and work schedules around this ride and as the day approached, the forecast was looking downright dreadful. This was the perfect time to realize how TOUGH my training partner is because not only did we go out on a limb and do the ride anyway, we survived fierce periods of rain, wind, and even hail.
About a half mile into the bike, the rains came. By the end of the first loop, it was hailing. Luckily after toughing it out and not stopping, we hit a huge dry spot in the sky. Granted, the winds were blowing up to 40 mph and the temperature was a little chilly for my tank and shorts. After about 30 miles, I saw legitamate lightning and raced back toward the car. Once we arrived, we were SO close to hitting our 40 mile goal that we kept going and finished safely. I packed a little light for the aftermath of soaked clothes and shoes so I had to sit on a paper bag from Hen House on the way home. Nonetheless, I felt like we had accomplished a lot by not only hitting our mileage goal, but also from doing it in very tough conditions. Katie is a freakishly fast little cycler!
I hit 50 miles on the bike easily, riding on Easter weekend in Des Moines on the Great Western Trail. I hope people in Des Moines don't take their trails for granted because it is a MUCH more bike-friendly city.
I wanted to continue to do 50 miles each Sunday, so last weekend I did my loops around Leawood Country Club until the threatening clouds moved in. I headed back toward my place and started doing 4 mile loops on Tomahawk Creek Parkway and Mission Road. 40 miles down and 10 miles to go, I was entering a roundabout headed east and a huge gust of wind coming from the south literally blew me off of my bike. (I've been told this doesn't really happen….) I hit the grass pretty hard, obviously shocked that this happened so suddenly. I got up almost immediately to assess the damage. I came out with a few scrapes on my shoulder and elbow. My right handlebar is a little bent but I think it is fixable. The next day my shoulder and arm were sore and my left ankle was sore because it was forced to unclip as my bike fell. I really wish I could have seen it on camera. Of course, I laughed for a few minutes trying to decide if I should finish my ride. I decided to top it off with the last ten miles and I'm glad I did. I came upon a guy riding a little slower and as I approached, I noticed he was wearing a Coe College Kohawk bike jersey!!! I told him how cool his jersey was and that no one around here has ever heard of the college and that I was a 2007 graduate. I finished biking (slower) with him and finally got to retire after a rollercoaster of a ride.
Today, I just got back from our trip to Clinton State Park to preview the bike course we were up against in a month. I've had athletes who have done this 70.3 before and claim it's a very, very tough course. We cruised through 60 miles of course terrain and now we refuse to share the same sentiment. We got up and down the hills feeling great and without struggle! After a few additional miles we accidentally added on because we forgot where we parked (the sun fried our brains), our legs were still feeling fresh. I felt like I could ride 30 more!
The next obstacle will be open water swimming. If we can get comfortable with that, we will do well and leave this experience feeling motivated to do more… maybe even twice as much!?