Sunday, September 7, 2008

Silverman Supported Ride

OR: Stef's Attitude Gets A Lot Better

OR: Anything Is Possible

Each September and October before the race, Frank Lowery, the Silverman Race Director, hosts two supported rides. These rides are free, they are for people racing Silverman, and anyone else who wants to come and ride, whether racing or not. There is a four hour ride in September and a five hour ride in October. There is a sag vehicle that has assorted stuff like water, Gatorade, Clif Bars, salt tabs and a bunch of other stuff. They also have stuff to help with any mechanical issues. This year the ride was co sponsored by the Las Vegas Triathlon Club.

Since my debacle of a four hour ride last weekend (see previous post), my attitude has been in the toilet and my mojo was flushed away. Just like that. Down the toilet. Gone.

The last thing I wanted to do was go out and do another four hour ride, with other people, all of whom are faster than me. I tried to talk with Coach about this without sounding like I was losing it (although I was). Basically I skipped a couple of workouts because I "wasn't feeling well" (although I admitted it was 95% mental) and told her I was not looking forward to the Silverman ride. Truth be told I wanted to skip it. I knew skipping it was not an option and after talking with Coach I did feel somewhat better. Still when I woke up this morning I felt like ass and really REALLY did not want to go.

Things got a tiny bit better when I got there. There were quite a few people, a few of whom I knew. Mike Sullivan from the Las Vegas Triathlon Club, who won a lottery slot to Kona this year! Nick Gallagher, who was in charge of the sag vehicle. Dave Carlson the Tri Club President. All great guys and all of whom I had met last year while volunteering at the Tri Club's mile 7 aid station on the Silverman run course. I also see them out training and at socials from time to time. Tony (my 68 year old phenom training buddy) was also there.

Still though, there is about a two mile climb out of Hemenway Harbor (the site of T1 and the swim start/finish) to get to the main road. That totally sucked and really annoyed the crap out of me. It was too dark to wear sunglasses, yet I wanted to wear them. When the f*ck should I put them on? My legs let me know they were not happy to be climbing this early in the morning. Truthfully, I was disgusted.

Once we made the right turn onto the main road though, things started looking up in a hurry! I found my rhythm. I started taking in my nutrition. I thought about my goals for this ride. And about how I was going to meet those goals.

Tony circled around and joined me. Throughout most of the ride we stuck together. He would pass me on the down hills and seeing him attack those down hills made me braver – I got a little lower into a tuck and did not brake so much. As the ride went on I got progressively braver and hardly touched the brakes at all (my top speed was 35mph which is fast for me)! Then I usually passed him back on the up hills, and so it went. About 10 miles into the ride I heard a familiar voice. It was Izaac! I had not seen him at the start but there he was, passing me, looking strong as always.

Everything about this ride went right and showed me what is possible for me on this course on November 9.

I kept waiting to get tired but I did not. I finished the ride all smiles and full of energy. For the first time ever I felt in control of my ride on this course, rather than the course, with all of its hills, heat and wind (there was no wind today) sapping my energy and stealing my mojo.

All of the training up to this point has been worth it, and I was right to tell myself this week to chill in my head, trust the training, and push forward anyway. I can honestly say now that I am grateful for the grinding hills. They have made me stronger. I have a new outlook on my race now and am thankful for this breakthrough workout.

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