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...

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