Friday, June 14, 2013

Miles in Madison: Part Two

5:45am: alarm goes off and I grab my shoes, a sweatshirt and my glasses before heading down to the lobby for some coffee and oatmeal. We were heading out to ride at 7am this morning but only because it was unanimously decided by the group that our ride would be fueled by Lazy Jane's scones. But knowing my appetite and that I would be doing 84 miles, I was going to need food before then. My partner was still sore, stiff and asleep when I went back up to grab my stuff around 6:30, so he hung back and this time it was the 4 of us on our way back out.

I was really excited for the ride. I had been on the trail, I knew what to expect and the best part: I knew how to use my gears! Our "short trip" to the bakery actually took us into the city, only to go back out to the course. But it was worth it! We passed Lake Monona and the helix that I would be running up and down into transition. It was really exciting to think that in a few short months I would be back here to do an Ironman! :)

But back to the scones.....mouth watering! I actually ended up getting three of them because they were too good not to take back. I had a chocolate-butterscotch one for breakfast and I swear it made my mouth water! Back to the gas station that we started at yesterday and I was ready to go! I had a fire in my belly, which was probably somewhat related to the calorie base I had built, but also the motivation to take on this ride again.....twice!

I told myself I wasn't going to scream this time around going down the hills, and I would try to peddle down (because I refused to increase the speed I was traveling at any more than I was already going!). Jeff rode with me today, and he would amp me up: "Ok we're gonna take out this hill". Peddle up it and let out a loud "WAHOOOO!" all the way down! And we kept a pretty good pace going. At one point we were holding about 24 miles an hour. I felt proud :)

After one loop we stopped back at the gas station to meet up with Steph and Stacey. Jeff decided to head back to the hotel, so the three of us hit the pavement for round two. Steph let me lead the way for the majority of the way so that when I come back without her I would know the way. We had a great ride and I got some experience with drafting. It was terrifying at first, being that close up on Steph's back tired, but in those really windy straights, it was quite helpful. at about mile 77 we had to stop, Stacey's tube popped and I was all too energetic to change it! Jeff taught me months ago how to change a tire and I have had all too many experiences with it since then because of the crapiness that is the lake path. Steph and Stacey had a field day and made sure to document the moment :)

Once we were all tuned up it started to drizzle. We picked up the pace a bit and finished the last of the 84 miles. Pulling into that gas station felt great! I was so proud of myself and I felt like i gained a new sense of self out on that trail. I had more confidence in my biking and now I knew the loop. IMOO was that much less intimidating. The evening was filled with good food and some friends, but it was short lived, since I was exhausted and we had one more day of biking to go!

Or so we thought. Monday morning we woke up to rainy, wet roads. Not good biking conditions. So as Kris and I sat in the lounge, savoring the last of the Lazy Jane's scones, the group decided that today would be a run day and then breakfast of course! Back into the capital we went to hit the path alone the lake. We didn't get more than maybe a mile before both Jeff and I had to call it quits. His back had been acting up and my knee was still sore since the fall a week before. Better safe than sorry, and better sitting in a warm coffee shop than running in the rain :) After Steph and Stacey finished, the 5 of us went to breakfast. It was kind of the parting of the pack, enjoying a last meal together, talking about how great the weekend was because when we got back to the hotel we'd have about an hour to clear out.

So we packed up our stuff and headed out. I fully intend on going back, at least one more time before the race. But Madison was real. I gained a lot of strength, mentally and physically that weekend and I am all too excited to head back. Until then, later days Mad-Town.

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