just a little bit longer. i just wanted to hang on longer than i did last week. it didn't have to be much, i just wanted to be a little bit further along when i got shelled. that was my goal for last nights' club ride. the same ride that i left a while back because it just got too fast; the same ride on which i got my ass handed to me almost every time i ever did it.
but last night was different. oh, it was still fast alright. in fact, it was a faster average speed than the tuesday night worlds'. but the best part? i didn't get my ass handed to me. i rode smart. i stayed tucked in the pack. i hung in well past my goal of just making it to river road. at one point during our blazes fast roll through the park, as we were coming up to a stop, i saw my husband looking back for me, and usually, when he looks back for me - i am way in the back of the pack. and i usually give him a nod that indicates i am still there, but barely. but tonight? i rolled up right next to him, and said "you looking for me?" and i totally loved that he was looking for me in the back, but there i was. feeling fine. well ensconced right where i should have been. front third of the pack. on a wheel. not out in the wind. bike coach was very pleased. i was right where he's telling me to be for months. only i had always felt that i could never actually get there. now i can.
and because i had my head screwed on right and was riding smart, i made it to river road and then some. at one point though, i was struggling to close a gap that was no bigger than a bike length. i just couldn't do it and was about to pull off in the hopes that i could get on a wheel and rest and give the guy behind me a go at closing the gap. out of nowhere an angel in barbasol blue swooped in, pushed me up to close the gap and disappeared into the line. i had a wheel again, but the guy who had been behind me had fallen off and i was last in line. hang on hang on hang on. i watched the miles per hour on my computer. 25. 26. 27. hangon. 28. hangonhangonhangon. holy shit. 29.
that was it. i couldn't hold it. i know by being the last one in line i was in the worst possible spot. but it was all just fine and dandy with me. i traded pulls with the guy behind me to catch them, but we never did. i lost him & joined on with two other guys and went up mockingbird the fastest i have ever gone up. i lost them near the top, but was over the moon about the whole ride. i had never hung onto that particular ride for that long. i would have freaked out a few months ago at someone coming out of nowhere to give me a push. and not too long ago there was no way i could have held 28 for as long as i did. i went into the ride with all kinds of negative thoughts in my head about my perceived abilities and came out of it feeling really good, with a nice big boost to the fragile bike ego. ahhhh. always fun to see that you really are making progress. i really needed a really good road ride. i might be starting the 'cross training, but i still have one more race to finish off my very first road season. this weekly race should have me ready for that one.
now, next week? hang on for just a little bit longer. ride just a little bit smarter.