Monday, July 28, 2008

Week 9 ~ Half Century + 4

I did it... Well half of it anyway. We rode 54 miles on Saturday. We started along the bike path at Alameda and Rio Grande. The ride was beautiful all the way to Rio Bravo. Who knew the bike path went that far. As we went west on Rio Bravo the "big hill" loomed ahead. I found out after we climbed it that it is a grade 7. That didn't mean much to me until I found out the hill from San Isidro last week was a grade 5. I was very thankful that the clouds were following us everywhere we were so the heat was not too much of a factor.
The ride took us far... We started back on Universe road. Not familiar? Well it is a two lane road that passes the Double Eagle Airport. I would say all of the cars passing us were respectful and gave us lots of room when they were passing. The decent was from Ventana Ranch down through Paradise Blvd. We crossed Coors (scary) and jumped back on the bike path at Paseo.
All in all I think I did good phsically. I got a new saddle and that helped by behind tremendously. It's amazing what a good seat can do for your seat. I need to work mentally on being confident. When we got onto Paradise Blvd I freaked out a bid with the traffic. All I could see was myself splattered on the road again with people staring at me. I know it is a mental issue. When I am riding, I don't want anyone near me. I am happy to be at the back of the pack which I know is not always good. It is safer to be in numbers.
I have to give a extra special thank you to my best friend also known as my husband. He got off work early and helped SAG for a while. He was waiting for me at the top of the big hill, and, just kept not only encouraging me, but the whole team I was riding with. He stopped and took pictures and even came to look for me when I got a flat. (Ed changed it for me). Love you Frank.
I was happy to get back to the car and home. My girls had just returned from camp so thier kisses and hugs were extra special.
I will miss this Saturday's ride because we are going to Fort Collins as our last trip before school starts. Good Luck to all my fellow riders. I will be thinking of you.

Coach Ed. He is a wonderful motivator.

The "faster" group taking off at our rest stop at Albertons on Isleta.

View of the grade 7 hill we climbed. This is Rio Bravo. The airport is east, can you see it? Neither can I.

Our view at Lost Horizons. That is I-40.

CeCe and I resting at Lost Horizons. It is near Camping World.

The beautiful bike path by Tingly Beach.

Elizabeth and LeeAnn at Tingley.

Tom and Meghan at Tingley.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Week 8 47.2 miles

I couldn't sleep on Friday night in anticipation for the ride on Saturday. I think I ended up with about 4 hours. I was thinking that this was just too much for me and I should wait until next week. But, I went. I picked Jan up and knew there was no turning back. We started out at the Santa Ana Casino and warmed up our legs by going up the dam road (Tamaya road). I started to panic because my legs started feeling stiff and hurting right away. I kept thinking that there was no way I was going to make it to San Isidro.

But, I kept going. The beginning hills were not as bad as I anticipated. What freaked me out more than anything was the traffic zooming by at high speeds. The semi trucks made no attempt to go away from us. After the hills, it was easy going until we got to the gas station. We rested there for about 10 minutes and made our way back. I used the clip pedals and was a bit uncomfortable because I felt I did not have any control. The hills on the way back was 10 time worse than the beginning of the ride. Steep, steep, steep. We also had false flats. Thinking you are going straight when actually you are going up a steady incline. The hills didn't bother me to too much. What bothered me was coming down the hills. I think I rode the brake the entire time. I was not comfortable going super fast being clipped in. But, I backed away from everyone for my own comfort and I MADE IT... the whole 47.2 miles. Almost half a century.

I didn't get any pictures going to San Isidro, but I got a couple on the way back. The group picture is at the San Isidro gas station. I think the signs behind us told of what we wanted to do after the ride. Another team member CeCe is showing off the milage sign back to Bernailo, 22 miles. And of course I like to get a end picture after the ride. Jan, Heather and I made it. They finished before me, but I was not too far behind.

I have to love my girls. When I got home, they made a sign and put it on the door saying "Good Job Mom". I had to treat them to ice cream. I crashed that night after church and then sent the girls off to camp on Sunday.

My new mantra... Harder, Stronger, Faster. I think it is a song. Until next week. XOXO

Check out my Slide Show!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Week 7 - Up the Dam Road

First of all I want to thank everyone who has contributed to my fundraising. You all are awesome. I am a firm believer that it does not matter how much you contribute, every little bit helps.

I was reminded this week of how cancer can be so devestating. I ran into an acquaintance of ours. I know them through my babysitter. They have a 4 year old son and so my girls get to play with him. Bailey of course is ever the mommy. The wife was diagnosed with cancer about 1.5 years ago and has been undergoing chemo for months. She was featured on a series the church did called Against All Odds. Well, her husband came up to me at church to say hi. Of course I said hi and hugged his little boy. He looked at me with his big beautiful blue eyes and said with tears that his wife was not doing very good. He hugged me so hard that I could feel him trembling. I asked how we could help, and he was so distraught that he had to leave. I looks like his wife may not make it. Bailey and I cried when we thought about how thier beautiful little boy will grow up without his mother. He is now the survivor in this cancer war. So please donate even if you think the amount is insignificant.

On to better news... Well my training during the week was not up to where it should be. I only road to work and back home once which was about 1 hour total of ride time. At least I made it home this time. I can tell that my legs are getting stronger. It did take me 20 minutes to get from the front door of work to the top of Northern (Destiny Center). I have a goal to do it in less time this week.

I think I was not in the training mode this week since some events came about regarding the bicycle crash that happened a couple of weeks ago. I do know that I am not 100% responsible and I have a witness that saw the accident.

But, this weeks ride took us up Jemez Dam road. If you are not familiar with this area I recommend you take a Sunday drive there with a picnic lunch. The road that takes you to the Tamaya Resort near the Santa Ana Star casino is the same road you continue on to the view point of the dam. Certain parts of the road were not fun to be on. It was up and down the whole way and my thighs were yelling at me the entire time. When you finally get to the end, the view is breath taking. Unfortunately, there was no water, but God's beauty was all around. We stayed for about 10 minutes to rest up and then we headed back to our starting point at the Whataburger on 528. Total round trip was 40 miles. Not too shabby for someone who couldn't ride 5 miles a few weeks ago.

I found it challenging riding on the shoulder of 528. Cars are zooming by you at all speeds and you are trying avoid roadside trash. I think the group I was in kept a good pace of about 12-15mph. I was a little freaked out crossing 528 into traffic and then crossing 550 onto the dam road. Horrible visions popped into my head. I prayed for everyone to cross safely. I also noticed we all had better communication on this ride. Everyone was saying "slowing", "stopping", etc. Something we did not do a couple of weeks ago.

I am looking forward to this weeks training. I must persevere for those who believe in me. And, I must learn to believe in myself.


Heather and I at the overlook.

The group I rode with.

Some of God's beauty.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Week 6 - Meeting a friendly face along the ride

All week I had people calling to check on me. And, I had people asking when I was going to get on the bike. As you can imagine I was a bit hesitant since my fall. I planned to take the week off and start from scratch on Monday. Heather invited me to ride on the bosque to just get on the bike. We did't have to go far but we had to go. So on Thursday, I met her at 7am and we had a nice ride from Alameda and Rio Grande to Central. Round trip was about 18 miles. Since I was not riding with the team on Saturday, "Road Mom", wanted me to get another ride in. So Nick (mentor) was gracious enough and met me on Sunday. We did about a 28 mile ride to Bernaillo from Alameda. All in all both went well. I was nervous on the road to Bernalillo. Nick stayed far enough back so I felt comfortable.

When we got to the gas station in Bernaillo, I ran into a friend from my old neighborhood, Katie. It was great talking to her and meeting a friend she was riding with. Both were very encouraging to continue. Her friend Nan is a cancer survivor and I was inspired to see her out on the road.

I am trying to stay positive. My thoughts continue to go to Dale and how she is doing. She will be in recovery for a while. Continue to keep her in your prayers. I hope to do better this week with my training. I am feeling a little depressed about the fall. I am working it out as best as I can...

Read Heather's blog on sharing the road with cyclists.

Me, Nick, Katie and Nan