1 year ago this weekend I completed my first Ironman. I biked 112 miles and somehow ran a marathon, after a 2.4 mile warm-up. Today after 9 months I took my bike out for a ride. Maybe it was inspired the fact that my Ironmaniversary is coming up or maybe it’s inspiration that Page is completing her first Ironman this weekend at CdA. It definitely has something to do with the fact that I signed up for the Solana Beach triathlon which is happening in 5 short weeks. Probably a combination of all of the above.
When I first got my bike onto the street, I was a little nervous. Would I remember how to clip in? How to drink from my water bottle while riding? How to brake and unclip at stop lights without falling over? How to get into aero? I was transformed back into the novice triathlete I was just two years ago when I first learned to ride a road bike.
Once I clipped in (only one foot at first…just in case) and started to ride, I realized quickly I was in the wrong gear and found that I was able to remember how to change them. I headed out onto a neighborhood street and rode down to the end and back, about 1.5 miles, making a U-turn at the end. It wasn’t so bad. I could do this. I headed back out through the neighborhood and then took a steep hill down, over a speed bump and then turned onto coast highway. Traffic. I could do this.
Quickly I got in a groove. Within minutes I was in aero. I wasn’t overconfident though. I was cautious, taking it easy and watching carefully for any cars that may pull out from the parallel parking along the coast highway and potentially hit me. I’ve grown afraid of cycling in my time off. After reading about a young girl my age being hit and killed by a car while cycling in Newport Beach shortly after the Ironman and then a local man being killed while cycling on my route to work just a month or so ago (on a Sunday morning at 7 a.m., not rush hour), my fear of the road has increased. I often wonder if I even enjoy cycling enough to be worth the risk.
However, while riding today, I remembered. I remembered why I fell in love with triathlon and why I signed up for the Ironman. I remembered what it felt like to achieve milestones on the bike. First, it was my first 40 mile ride, which felt equally hard as my first 100 mile ride. I remembered what it felt like when my thighs were burning as I huffed and puffed up a steep hill and then how freeing it felt to ride down the back of the hill, flying past trees and feeling the cool wind rush over me.
So Rory, let’s do this. We have five weeks together and let’s become BFFs again.