My all time favorite thing to do is to snuggle up in a blanket with a cup of tea and eventually take a nap. When the kids are gone that is how I USED TO spend my weekends. This past weekend was the exact opposite of what my dream weekends used to entail. Left Saturday by 8:00am to head up to 87 Motel - yes that's actually the name of the place we stayed. I wouldn't call it a hotel bc that would be giving it way too much credit - I think calling it a motel is even a bit of a stretch! Arrived in New Paltz and was ready for a nice long ride - we were broken up into groups and I went in the beginner group. You know it's a hard core crowd when the beginner group is a mere 35 mile ride with "mild" hills. The insane group of girls went out for 70 miles but that's someone else's blog to write. After the 35 mile easy ride, we stopped to run. By the grace of God, I got out of running as my knee has been killing me for some time. I cashed in my Get Out of Jail Free Card and become the Bike Watcher while everyone else ran (which might be the highlight of the entire weekend!).
We ended the day with a fantastic dinner with the entire team - so fun to get to know everyone, talk about the day, discuss battle scars, routes, races and the following days workout.
I could hardly sleep Saturday night 1) because the "motel" was far from the Ritz and not all that comfortable (not to mention the child's shoe I found under the bed and was just waiting for a body to be there as well) and 2) because sever anxiety had set in. Sundays work out was going to be a longer, faster, hillier ride followed by a run, then lunch THEN an hour swim workout. I could have certainly slept for a few days after just Saturdays workout. So I had some trouble sleeping just trying to imagine myself getting through the day and not being last, the lamest, weakest of the group or merely just getting in my car and going home without anyone noticing.
But 5:20am Sunday arrived, I hadn't headed home just yet and was ready for the day - or so I thought. Put myself in the group above the beginners and off we went for a 37 mile ride. It was challenging, fun, hilly - I learned a ton on the ride since I was being coached by Laura for the first time. Each coach brings new insight and information to each session. Then I hit mile 28 and hit a wall but Laura doesn't like walls and we had to knock the wall down and speed through it. I'll admit, I wasn't happy - I wanted off the bike or at the very least to be dropped to go at my own pace. That was not an option - I think Laura's exact quote was, "this is called discomfort and people don't like it but too bad - get on her tire now". Another of my favorite quotes of the day, "biking is a workout done from a chair you need to work harder to get a good work out". Even sitting in a chair for 3 hours is hard work but I digress. Since stopping, being dropped or being uncomfortable were not options I finished and tried my hardest to finish strong...I think I did ok. I was able to keep the tire in front of me until the last mile which was a very strong climb - go figure the last mile is always the hardest climb!
Today I was not out of the run so out I went - it was supposed to be 15 minutes out, 15 back but since I was in some pain I did 10 out. My big plan was to do 10 out and then walk 10 back but alas, there was Laura again next to me running the whole time - no stopping when the "boss" is running next to you. By this point I could not even feel the pain in my knee or feel my legs at all - they could have been cut off and I'd have never even noticed. I did run an entire 20 minutes and for most people they do that as a warm up but it was probably the hardest part of the entire weekend for me. This running thing just sucks the big one. By this point the weekend was a blur and the rest is just more blurry than before.
The NJ team met for lunch and did all I could to continue talking and being human as not to pass out into an unconscious state never to return. Then on to swim for an hour of drills. At this point I knew for sure I'd drown in that pool or at least be happy to drown bc there was no way I could even move. But as I've said in the past, when your team and coach shows up - you somehow find a way to continue on. While most of that hour I did complain, bitch and stop at every wall - I did do it and even felt pretty good while doing it.
So now I'm home in the comfort of my own, lovely, comfortable bed and trying to reflect on the weekend. I often get stuck in little details:
I was in the slow group; I'm always getting dropped; I come in last; I swim the slowest; on and on but I can honestly say that I came home and thought I DID IT. I actually did it - road over 70 miles, ran 2 miles, swam for an hour in less than 48 hours - simply amazing.
I'd be remiss if I didn't once again thank my amazing team and coaches and this time I get to add Laura. Thanks for the push even though I didn't like it at the time it feels great now!