This has been a big week for me. I've already put in 210 miles of cycling since Tues, 10 miles of fast incline walking on the treadmill and around 7000 yards of swimming. And I plan on running tomorrow morning for the first time in 4 weeks! So it isn't quite "Ironman" training but I'm feeling strong, healthy and excited to race. This morning I layered up enough to keep myself warm at 6:30am. Instead of driving myself to the group ride, I pedaled my way over 20 miles to meet the Gearlink group at CVS. I never really realized how weak of a cyclist I was until I started riding with Gearlink. Of course barely hanging on this summer was a little insight to my poor cycling ability, but I love seeing my improvements. Towards the end of my training this year, I was at my prime and feeling great when I rode with the group. Now, however, the Gearlink guys are racing hard and riding strong! They are an amazing group of people, especially the leader of the team, Karel. What power these guys have! Anyways, after riding for over an hour to meet the group, I was feeling great and excited to ride. The ride started off slow (as usual) and we rotated at an easy pace of 18-20 mph. All of a sudden however, I was dropped and the group accelerated ahead of me. I tried not to get frustrated, but when I'm cycling my hardest at speeds over 26 mph to try to keep up, there was no luck in catching the group. After a while of cycling solo I decided to get on my aerobars and ride solo (nothing new for me!). I love pushing myself and challenging myself-especially when it comes to cycling. I was happy to be out there with everyone (kinda) and surprisingly, I was feeling really strong! My heart rate was reasonable, my speeds were great and even with strong winds today I was feeling really good. My mentality of the ride really changed once I stopped comparing myself to others and started to focus on myself. Sometimes I worry about racing Elite at St.Anthony's and get my butt kicked...but then again, getting my butt kicked by the best. Secondly, this vision I have of turning pro could easily be shot down by a bad workout, the crazy splits and times of some of my age group competitors and the results of some of the top current pros. So what am I trying to say? In the sport of triathlons you must challenge yourself. I think that is the beauty of Ironman training. Although you spend a lot of time training alone, you are forced to push yourself by your own strength and discipline.
I'm glad I had a great ride and my average for the 60 miles I completed this morning was pretty stellar compared to rides last summer. Really looking forward to the next month. I can't believe it's almost March!
I also want to wish my brother good luck this weekend (today) in California at the Pacific Classic Gymnastics meet. My bro graduates in just 2 months and he is finishing off his senior year as a 4-year Varsity Letter Gymnast and All-American! Keep having fun Aaron. :)