"Yesterday was not your defining moment. The calendar moved forward; why not you?"
The game plan was to do a trial run of the Hardwood course for the Epic 8 Hour Summer Reggae race the following weekend. Cornel and Zen are the glue that will hold the team at a respectable time and I am the weakest link. However, what I lack in experience (only my second year MTB), I make up for in passion and resilience. I say pliancy due to the shear amount of times that I have fallen, scraped, cut and bruised myself and my ego on attempting to get better at this sport.
I'm ashamed to admit, but, the first miscalculation came prior to getting on the course. It didn't prevent me from continuing as I came here with a mission. I've pretty much concluded that long dresses are a must for me during MTB season. There are also certain other benefits to falling at this age---I have confirmed without the aid of a physician that I do not have osteoporosis as my mother has. As I rapidly approach 50, this is an important discovery.
The first loop of the course was not uneventful with a few more spills, but, I was surprised to have completed it within the hour. Cornel has the patience of a Saint. He carefully rode behind me to watch my technique and offer any guidance along the way. Zen led the way and already had an extra loop in on us. The second loop again proved uneventful and lucky for me, the ground was quite soft with the lack of rain. My confidence was improving as I was able to shave 6 minutes off my previous run. I'm really not hoping for much better during race day as both Cornel and Zen are just wanting me to arrive alive.
While I cleaned up the extra dirt I had acquired along the course, Cornel let out some steam on his final loop; finishing the course in 37 minutes. I was amazed by his time and felt that we were in pretty good standing, until I heard from the pro shop that some of the practice runs had resulted in times of 20-26 minutes. Oh well, if you're not first, you're last.
............then there was Sunday. The game plan was to do an out and back on the T.H. & B rail trail from Dundas to Port Dover. I was still suffering silently from the events of the day prior, but, wanted to do this ride in preparation for the upcoming D2R2. Cornel and I had signed up for the 180k gravel grinder that takes place in Deerfield, MA. It was a little bit ambitious at best for me, but, I get excited when I first learn of these races. Then, all of a sudden, we are signed up and I'm trying to get some training in......all the while, pondering what I just got myself into.
|Town of Waterford|
The ride was pretty uneventful at least until we hit Scotland (which actually has a nice paved section), where we met up with a couple from the area and followed them back to their place for a nice cold beer and some nibbles. Now, these are the kind of rides I enjoy. Saunter about ,saunter about. Oh, and the cold beer. After all, the temperatures were climbing, but, the trail was pretty optimal in regards to shade with good tree cover for a significant portion. We headed back out after about an hour break and our next goal was to make it to Dover for an ice cream.
Once we hit Dover and our ice cream was devoured, Cornel figured out that we would need to maintain a 20km average if we were to make it back within full daylight. Sleeping in does have an occasional disadvantage, but, I'll take it when I can. I was committed to maintaining the average, so off we went, into the sunset, me and my blue beauty. Everything was going relatively well until we hit Brantford; that's when I figured out my legs were done. The muscles were starting to fatigue and it was everything I could do to keep going. This is another one of those times that Cornel will say.....it doesn't matter if you go fast or slow, the legs are still going to hurt, so you might as well go fast. If only I could convince the legs of such matters. I believe it was at this moment that I figured the 180km D2R2 route was probably more than I could chew, considering the elevation gains and we had just completed an entirely 156 of flat. Cornel graciously accepted whatever distance I was comfortable with. Its a difficult revelation to have to pull back the reigns, but, sometimes it just makes sense.