Dubya Tee Eff

This weekend we switched back to Daylight Savings Time  (had you noticed? My ass-dragging in the mornings was indication enough), so the group rides after work are starting.  Tonight will be my first Wednesday night ride of the year. 
A little background on how I got to these Wednesday rides: over the summer, I met a group of ladies (and a few lads) that rode after work on Wednesday nights.  A relative stranger to group rides, I hardly made the Seminole Cyclist Saturday rides because of work.  The Wednesday ride gave me another chance.

As a triathlete, I often shunned group rides because we are taught to be loners, not to draft, etc.  So there was a little part of me that thought, this isn’t good training, or if I start riding with a group I will not be challenged because the draft will make things easier.

(Look, I know I was really clueless when I started this whole training thing.  Are you done laughing at me now?)

Anyway, riding with that group led to riding with other groups and, for the most part, the exact opposite happened: I worked HARDER.  In places where I wouldn’t have normally pushed, the pace of the group forced me to keep up.  Then I started riding with faster people (than me), and I got even stronger.

In my head, though, there were always certain rides I “couldn’t” do.  Since it’s so easy to get caught up in “speed” numbers,  because everyone’s RPE is different, I ranked them something like this:

1.       Easy Peasy.  I might even be able to do this ride on my MTB.
2.       A Workout. I’m not going to hammer or crush anything, but I’ll burn some calories.
3.       The Crusher.   If I finish this ride with the front group (and I usually will), I’ll walk away feeling like a rock star.
4.       The Hammerfest. (there’s a front pack AND a slightly slower back pack) – I’ll probably have to drop to the back pack, but I can start with the front.
5.       The Murdolator.  I’ll be lucky to walk away alive

After I realized what it was like to go BALLS OUT, my attitude toward all my workouts changed.  Unless I don’t feel good, there’s no such thing as just “putting in the miles.”  I come to every ride/run/swim to WORK (although I’ve since learned NOT to share this information with the Masters Swim Coach the morning before a hard run).    So my goal was to always be in a group that pushed me to get stronger.

At the beginning of last summer, I transitioned from Easy Peasy rides to Workouts, and by the end of the summer, I was hanging with the middle or back of the pack of a lot of Crushers.  Slowly, over the fall, I started throwing myself into the front pack on more of the Crushers.    

Tonight I’m going to try to hang on to the back of a Hammerfest.  And next week I’m going on a Murdolator.

To be honest . . . .

I’m a little skurred.

We call tonight’s ride WTF.  (Stands for Wednesday Thirty Fast.)  And a lot of people have been riding indoors or not riding at all, so maybe I’ll hang on the front  . .  .  and maybe I won’t.   And maybe The Hammerfest will turn out to be a Murdolator.

I will be sure to fill you in on WTF happened.

2 tidbits of wizdom:

Karen said...

You have been killing it on the bike lately! Makes me want to give biking more of an effort. GO MAJ!

The Original MAJ said...