I was determined to start Saturday in a relaxed manner. I really really didn't want to set my alarm. I wanted to wake up on my own, enjoy the feeling of laying there for a little while before I jumped up, and then just relax around the house in my sweats drinking coffee before the urgency of workouts and general productivity took over.
After all, we hurry all week. Sunday was Easter which
meant an early rise in a home full of Easter-bunny believers on a mad hunt for candy. Yes, I give them candy on Easter. Too much of it. Way too much of it. That's another issue and it doesn't really matter on this post.
Back to Saturday. It was my day to chill. Come hell or...
Or frozen rain.
Or a mix of all three.
I met goal #1 and didn't set the alarm. I was leisurely in my bed and felt great when I strolled down for my coffee at 8 a.m.! That's a good 3 1/2 hours later than most of my weekday mornings. So there! Good for me. I'm so smart. I slept in and that was worth it. Or, was it?
I turned on the news. I looked out the window. I looked at online radar maps.
It was in the 30s. I knew rain was in the forecast, but I thougth I had more time. Didn't he say I had until noon? Plenty of time for my two hour rride before it started. Right?
Within 15-20 minutes of coming downstairs, I decided I needed to get MY BUTT MOVING!!! The rain was on my doorstep...and I was going out to ride even if it killed me. Ha!
I spent the next 30 minutes running around the house getting ready. I was inhaling oatmeal, chugging coffee and tossing around laundry. This shirt or that fleece? How many layers? Where are my socks? I need two gels. Mark- fill my tires? Ok- WHY does it take me SO long every time to get ready for a Ride??
and WHAT happened to my relaxing Saturday morning??
It was over. I paid for my leisure.
9:00 and I was out the door.
It was Pouring and it was 39 degrees.
In my thick socks and double layers of shoe covers, pants, thin underarmour, warm bike shirt, bike jacket, rain jacket, hat under the helmet, and two layers of gloves, I might not be able to move easily on the bike but I thought I might be Warm!!
At first, it was just messy. My glasses were speckled with water and I wished someone would invent mini wipers. I'd pay a lot of money for some of those! My bright yellow rain jacket would keep me safe. At first, I felt like a bad ass. Not stupid at all! I just felt tough. That's right.. I'm riding in the rain! Nothing can stop me!
I think it was around mile 4 when I had the sensation of having soaked my left foot in a puddle. Not the right foot, just the left. What's up with that? it was squishing and felt like a pool of water was in my shoe. By now, I was riding by Norway Lake. Which, by the way, is still Frozen. It felt super cold with the wind off the icy lake. It was pouring harder.
Still, I felt like a mean riding machine!
I was heading further away from town. I climbed a hill and made a right out onto a less populated road. By now, I'm 100% soaked. My pants were drenched, my feet starting to hurt from the cold, my hands were ....oh you get the point. I was WET and while my torso was dry-ish because of my cool yellow biking raincoat, I was frozen down to my insides. Nothing felt good anymore. I've ridden many many miles ( read: 2009 Ironman training) in the pouring rain. The problem on Saturday is that it was Freezing! It ws very very cold. Rain in the 50s is one thing. Rain in the 30s is a whole other story.
However, there I was. Out on my workout. Time to make it 'worth' it. I wasn't out there for nothing.
I clicked Lap and began my workset.
Except, I was wimpy on hills because I couldn't see in front of me. And, my glasses were either fogged up or covered in water. And, now, the rain wasn't really rain anymore. It was freezing rain.
Just keep telling yourself what a badass you are Ange.
Inside, I was starting to feel a wimper. I fought it. I stayed strong.
By now, it was snowing.
I swore out loud. Not because I was riding in the snow, but because it was SNOWING!!!
I know I know. I'm the one who loves snow. We love to ski. In truth, I'm the one who loves the 4 seasons. I love it all. Winter's time is done and now it's time for spring.
So, I swore.
I made my turn and headed home. I had an hour to go. At least this wasn't a 4 hour ride! My friends Mike and Tim were out on their 4 hr ride. I wondered how they were. I wish we could somehow buzz each other support from afar. I didn't know my best bud Mary was out there too. I might have stopped and tried to Call her.
During the next 5 minutes, I saw a familiar sight. My car. Mark and the boys were driving out to see me. I was so happy. I felt such love and support that they were concerned enough to check on me. My misery and aloneness out on the roads were making me sappy.
They gave me more drive inside. Seeing them there reminded me of the 'real world' and that the end would arrive. I didn't even stop. I just rode slower and waved a comical Hi like I was having a fun time! Mark said, "Are your feet at least warm? " I'm not sure what made him think they'd be warm. "NO! Not a single part of me is warm!!" He then told me it was 34 degrees and told me I was so strong. Ok...I'm strong. I'll keep being strong.
I told him I'd see him in an hour.. all was good.
It wasn't. But I wasn't about to stop. I felt fine. I was just miserable. If the two are possible together.
The last 20 minutes or so were the worst. I started to shake. My hands and feet Hurt so so much. I worried my feet might be truly 'cold injured' and then cause me problems. An obnoxious pick up truck rode So close to me forcing me into a deep pothole. I don't know how I avoided flipping. He had the whole road. There were no other cars and we were on a quiet back street. Remember, this is rural Maine. There's Room to move over. What was his point? Make the crazy lady pay for being stupid enough to ride in this shit? If he had stopped, HE would have been So Sorry he'd ever gotten close to me. Angry Ange took over for a few minutes.
I just kept telling myself with every passing house, "you will get there you will get there this will end you will be home soon keep going keep going keep going."
I pulled into my driveway and instantly cried. Alright, I didn't sob. But there were tears and big I feel sorry for myself wimpers. My guys weren't home! HOW could they not be there??? I was counting on them to hold my feet and make them warm so I could run!! Didn't they Know they had to come hold my feet??
Ok. They pulled in AS I did. They were behind me and opened the garage door for me. Phew. But it was too late. I was already mush.
I hobbled into the basement. I shook. I felt dizzy and slightly disoriented. Mark and Tommy worked together to take my clothes off. Tommy's eyes grew wide and he got this look of horror on his face when he realized I was going back out to run.
"You're going back OUT?" Then he smiled.
I gathered myself. Put on my clothes. My dry run shirt felt so gooooooood! oh so so good. I sat on the stairs and they held my feet in their hands to warm them. It didn't seem to help.
Out the door.
You know what? I felt awesome. My run felt SO great. I didn't want to stop. It was snowing hard now. And it was sticking to the ground. It was absurd. I was angry at nature for doing this to us. But so happy because, I was done. And in the end, I felt great.
I ran home and all the nastiness of the ride went away because my run legs were super and I had braved the storm.
The thing about Ironman training is this. There isn't a lot of wiggle room. You either train. Or you don't. A wise coach once made the point that the date of the race isn't changing. You will either be ready. Or you won't. It's just not worth looking at the weather until that day, when it's time to choose which clothes to wear.
July 24th is when it is. And the weather in Maine is what it is. It unpredicitable and often unfriendly. But I am a Maine girl and on July 24th, I will be at the starting line.
and at least I'm teaching these guys how to 'tough it out.'