Monday, May 26, 2008

My First Team Ride

My first team ride was this past Saturday. Since it was a holiday weekend, my training buddies, Heather and Jan, were off enjoying the great outdoors. We were to meet at 7:00am and be ready to ride by 7:30. I was a little hesitant going by myself and not knowing anyone. While I consider myself a friendly person for the most part I was already intimidated by other riders I had not even met. But after I got there, my hesitations were quickly put aside. Road Mom (coach) was there and she recognized me and quickly had me come over. There were also some new trainees there that I introduced myself to. Since it was the holiday weekend, not everyone was there. And, while I have to say I am out of shape, I felt better to know I am not the one who is out of shape the most. I met my mentor. She is the person who will be helping me with my fundraising (have you donated yet")?)

The ride was a great experience for me. There was a total of 15 riders. This included Clyde a coach who rode with us and was the leader and Road Mom (Debbie) who was bringing up the rear. A coach will always be the last person in the pack. No one gets left by themselves. I felt good about that. There was also no pressure as to how fast you were to go. We also had 3 mentors join us, Nick, Ed and Petra. They just joined anywhere in the pack. They would ride up to you every once in awhile and check to make sure you were okay.

You had a choice to ride 10 or 17 miles. I chose 10 because I am not in shape. When we got to the turning point for the 10 I was feeling good so I continued and did the 17. The most difficult part of the ride was when we got to Corrales road and had to go uphill. Since I am not good with the gears yet, I dropped my chain (new lingo). Not to fear, Nick was near and helped me on my way again. We rested at Giant and took off again. I rode with a guy named Dan for most of the ride back. He and his wife are training for the Honolulu ride. He had a reader clocking us at a steady 15 miles an hour. I did not think that was too bad.

We returned back to What-a-burger and hung out for a bit and left. I took me around 2 hours to complete ride and my butt did not hurt the way I had expected it to. Must be the cool shorts and gel seat. I felt good that I finished and was not the last person, but I have to say, the overall experience was a positive one. I am very impressed with the commitment the coaches and mentors have for us. Most are donating their time to help us be better. You can see their passion and love for what they are doing. I look forward to crossing the finish line giving them a big thank you hug for getting me there.

My training plan includes riding 30-45 minutes 3-4 times a week including the team rides. The spinn bike will be my friend for awhile along with getting used to my cool clip shoes. Until next time...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

May 22nd, 2008 The First Official Day of Training

Today is my first official day of training for "El Tour de Tucson" century ride. The ride is November 22nd, so I have 6 months to get ready. Since I have never really done anything with a bike besides short rides with my family on my mountain bike, I needed some stuff... say like a road bike. Frank found me this bike which is a GIANT. It has 27 speeds. The first time I took it out, I jacked up the gears and chains. I am also not used to clip peddles, but rather the cage peddles. So, I got got new shoes. Normally I am excited to get new shoes. Not this time. As you can tell from the picture, they have no tread. They have a small black hook in the middle. This hook attaches to the peddle of the bike so your feet can not come off the peddles when you going up hill, down, etc. The only way you unattach the shoe is to slide your heel so it becomes unattached. Frank put the clipless peddles on the spin bike so I can practice. Something else I learned from the clip shoes, do not walk on tile with them. Yes, I slipped and as I was going down, I slid down the corner of the wall as I was trying to catch myself. Woo Hoo, my first injury.
You will notice the lovely shorts next to the shoes. Somehow I am not feeling good in these shorts. They have padding in the butt so you don't hurt so much during your ride. When I wear them, I feel like I have a load in my pants. Frank says it will get better.
We have coaches starting to help us get motivated. So we did a heart rate monitor test. Heather and Jan met me there. I have to say, they did better than I did. Heather did really, really well. We rode stationary bikes for about 30 minutes and had to bump up our heart rates from 100 to 170. Yeah, I wasn't happy during this. But, I now have my max heart rate to train with. The picture is after the test. We are looking forward to our "after" picture when this ride is over. My arms look huge...UGH!

I have my first team ride on Saturday. We are going 10 miles through Corrales. I hope I can make it. I plan to do a 1 hour spin ride tonight. Grey's Anatomy is on. I will just distract myself with that.