Wow, was that a pleasant surprise this morning. I went out to my ride this morning planning to ride around 16-18 miles and relax this morning. I showed up at the ride and my partner told me that she was going 27 miles and my only other option this morning was a longer ride than 27 miles. I chose the 27 and forewarned my group that I would drop back on the hills and meet them at the top and recover. I don't normally ride this late in the year. Today's ride equalled my latest ride of the season, which was in 2005.
I haven't ridden further than 18 miles since the surgery on my right knee in Mid-September. I knew just from looking at the cue sheet that it would be a very difficult 27 mile ride for me. Hills are not really my friend right now, especially since I tore the scar tissue. I have one hill that has beat me every time in the last two weeks. I am starting to get mad about that. We only had a small group of 4 riders on the 27 mile route this morning, 3 women and one man. I had made it 16 miles in, including being chased by a particularly persistent dog. This hound chased me for close to a 1/4 mile. I was in the wrong gear, had forgot my dog spray at the house and finally just yelled at the dog to go home in my best alpha human voice and he actually listened. Only problem was that I was standing on my pedals in the wrong gear, going uphill and could not escape this dog. When I could finally drop gears and spin, I was really hurting!!! My quad was screaming. I stopped further up the road and stretched and was good to go again. Now, about that hill. This hill is a bugger for me normally even when I have a good base. The grade kicks up halfway up the hill and starts beating me up. Considering the previous 16 miles and the dog chasing me, I was toast halfway up. I had to stop. I stopped for a minute or two, caught my breath, stretched the quad AGAIN and hopped back on. My buddy Joe asked if I wanted him to help me up the hill and push. The last time I was pushed up a hill was 2005 and I told him the following, "I haven't been pushed up a hill in 5 years and don't intend to start now!! Thank you, but at this point, it's a matter of pride and I refuse to walk up a hill or be pushed up a hill that I know I can make it up.". I know that by November 20, I will make it up that hill without being pushed or having to stop partway up and recover. The huge plus of the month of October is that with a 9 mile ride tomorrow, I will have my first 100 mile month all year. I have only ridden about 270 miles this year and 91.78 of those miles have been since October 1!! It is nice to ride and not feel my patella rub on my femur. The last two cycling seasons have been very painful and I am ecstatic to go into next season for Triathlon and cycling pain free!! I may finally be able to ride my Century and ride it pain free.
Last but not least, I should be hitting the pool in the next week or two and planning to pick up my wetsuit hopefully in February and start the open water training in late March or early April. Still walking instead of running, but that is right on track, so no worries. I'll post my October distances tomorrow night and update the November plan tomorrow night!!