I have had a lot of things going on lately. Lots of ups and downs. I am still conflicted with some decisions I have made.
Despite everything else, I have finally gotten my riding/fitness back on track from a recent slump. I ventured to the mountains a few weeks ago with a friend. I had an amazing time riding my bike in the mountains. The climbing was right up my alley. Hammering uphill is easy for me and I enjoy it! We rode on the Blue Ridge Parkway for the majority of the day. Passer-bys were always friendly to us cyclists and the view was incredible (despite the rain!) We turned off of the BRP to climb Mt. Mitchell. I made it up 2 miles of straight climbing! At that point, it was the hardest thing I have ever done on my bicycle.
Here is a picture of me at the Visitor's Center
After that trip, I decided I was addicted to riding in the mountains. Another friend of mine contacted me about participating in a cookie ride called "Bridge to Bridge." It is a 105 mile ride that starts in Lenoir, NC and ends at the top of Grandfather mountain. After many discussions with friends, and sponsorship from my boss, I decided to sign up. We left at 7:30am, ride started at 10am. The first 55 miles were pretty straight forward; many rollers and flat areas. Once you hit 55 miles, you begin 12 miles of straight climbing, then hit the Blue Ridge Parkway, and then climb Grandfather mountain. It rained the entire day. Physically, the ride was a 7/8 out of 1o for me, but mostly mental. I was freezing and have never been more miserable in my life. I finished in 7 hours and 52 minutes. I was on the verge of tears climbing up Grandfather mountain. THAT was the hardest thing I have done to date. I had lots of support from friends and acquaintances too that I really appreciate. I was 207 out of 277 finishers, and one of 13 females that finished the ride. I also engaged in a lot of self talk to encourage myself to finish. I am not a quitter.
Here is a very serious picture of me on the ride
Prior to participating in the epic ride of Sunday, I raced in a criterium. I joined the Cat 4 women's race. There were 5 of us. This was my second crit. I learned a lot, and also worked a lot! I came in 4th place, but very close to 3rd. My excitement about racing was at an all time high after the race. I decided that if I work hard through the winter and train for crits, I will have much success next year!
Stay tuned for more happenings...big things are in the works!