Monday, January 28, 2008
I don't live very close to where my work and local tri-friends live. And for that matter, there are not hoards of people training for Ironman anyway. So, I wind up spending a lot of time on the weekends all by myself.
Sometimes when I do that, I know that I am not really training hard enough, not really pushing myself, not taking many risks. I'm just putting in the time. That is especially true when I am riding on a trainer. I show up. I usually hit the approximate heartrate zones. But, it almost doesn't feel real if I am the only one who is involved. Sort of like "if a tree falls in the forest and there is no one around to hear it, does it really make a sound?"
This past weekend was for real. Lisa of Ferrari Flies and Robyn of Iron (who totally needs to get a blog) were coming north of town with a group of HRTC-ers who are training for Ironman Arizona and Ironman CdA.
Lisa, the "skinny jeans" ringleader and her bike, The Silver Streak.
Feel the lust for Robyn of Iron's pinked out bike.
I think this is a first Ironman for both of them, and they are both totally on track to have a strong race. Lucky me, I latched on for the ride with several others, and it was for real.
It was about 41 degrees when we rolled out at 7:30 and very damp. The slate gray cloud cover pressed down and drifted through the pines of the Sam Houston National Forest. Very soon we could not feel our fingers or our toes. There was great conversation to hold off the chill, some fog, cattle, one dog attack, 60+ miles of Texas countryside, and in the last hour, beautiful sunlight. The group of us did an honest to goodness ride with hills and some tempo and a run off the bike.
Of course the best part was not having to wonder if "it really made a sound." I think each of us pressed a little harder during those parts of the ride where we would not have bothered had we been alone. I know I did, and I can feel it today. It was real training with real people that will result in real improvement.
I need to do this "people" thing more often.