Summer swept past me faster than my 3 hour 20 mile PR. That was a proud day :) I finished working with Planned Parenthood and the Teen Outreach Program, but my training was getting so heavy it felt like I was putting in more hours there than with my kiddos. Weekends revolved around where I was riding and for how long. I did my first 100 mile ride with my girl Stacey. We rode from Evanston into Wisconsin and back, that was brutal! My first century ride I will never forget I had "found my dark place" like I was told by many-a triathletes, I would. It's funny because it would be around mile 50 that my mind would start to play tricks on me and I would have to convince myself that I could do this all over again. I won't say it wasn't hard. Every weekend planning out my route, occasionally finding tag-alongs, and making sure I had enough fuel. And by the time I finished I was done for the day.
I made a few more trips back up to Madison to ride. My "race rehearsal" weekend bonked pretty badly, I didn't get up to 100 miles on Saturday due to a late start and went home feeling mentally wrecked. So I went back up the following weekend and was damned determined to get 3 loops in before the day was done. I met up with a triathlon group from WI and rode the first two loops with them. But when I say "with them" I mean I held on to the tale end of their group for the first 5ish miles before I was on my own. This could have been the end of my weekend, had I tried to keep up with them I would have gased my legs early and there would be no way I could keep going. But I knew the route and I convinced myself that I needed to ride my pace, just like I would in the race. The group was great about this and as I came in for the second loop they called it quits. We said our goodbyes and I headed out for a third round. I must have been low on my blood sugar, I felt like I was going a little loopey riding another 42 miles alone, no one to talk to, just a whole lot of cows and corn. On top of that I wiped out pretty bad crossing the railroad tracks because my water bottle bounced out of my aero holder and I ran it over and skidding over. But i stood up, brushed myself off and tried to brush off the dirt and blood and kept going. Luckily I made a friend, or rather I ran into a girl I had met on my second loop. She recognized me, and I didn't recognize her, but we finished the loop together. She was awesome, and I don't think I would have made it without her. We tried to ride together the next day but it was raining pretty badly. we got about 15 miles out when her hero of a hubby picked us up in the sag wag :)
I lived for the weekends but I was even more excited for the school year to start. I was beginning my first year at Maddock Elementary as the social worker. I knew I have wanted this job since I was 17 and I worked damn hard to get it. And as much as that was so, I had difficulty in the first few weeks trying to fit work and training in during the week. I was fortunate that school started right as I was tapering in my workouts but even with shorter workouts I was still even more tired than I was in the peak of training. Still I was loving every moment of it. What I wasn't loving was the commute from Hyde Park to Burbank everyday, that part sucked.
I guess at this point I should say a lot of life changes were going on leading up to my Sept 8th race. So as summer was wrapping up I was spending a lot of time with this great guy, Tim, so in between working in Burbank, training in Hyde Park and dating this boy in Oak Lawn, I was doing a lot of running around. The weekend before the race I decided to move back to my dad's house in Brookfield. The commute to work would be a lot faster and I'd be closer to Tim. The only downside? I was losing my lake path and city folk that I trained with. But I didn't have much time to ponder it, I wanted to be out before the race so I wasn't stressing about it before. All the while I was also playing maid of honor for my sister, as her wedding was only a few weeks and my niece was baptised that weekend as well.
Honeslty I'm not really sure how I paced myself through all of that....