I am the last one standing. Well, Beth is standing on one leg. Literally - she's stretching, again.
Thursday evening we did the group ride. I'm not sure I've ever blogged about it so an introduction is necessary. Bob talked me into this ride. The first week I showed up there was some guy in the parking lot with a disc wheel wearing an aero helmet, a guy on a mountain bike with a radio, a guy on a track bike wearing full race kit with his number on and some roadies. I looked at Bob and thought - what have you gotten me into. The ride turned out to be ok. We go to an industrial park and do a 3 mile loop. The rules are easy - you sprint with the wind, you go easy into the wind. The sprint takes us over 30 mph sailing down the road. The easy was at about 11 mph. Every week I make a new rule - if you cannot recover above xx mph then go back home and spin on your trainer. There is no need to go 11, friends. We are here to ride.
The first sprint always hurts. We as triathletes are so used to that steady state under control tempo moderate high end aerobic pace that when the switch flips above redline our stomachs lurch, our legs burn and mouths start to foam. It's a glorious place to be for about 4 minutes. And then you recover - just as hard (but seriously not at 11 mph).
We did a few loops then I regrouped with Ness and Beth. They were busy chuckling. Apparently they had renamed the ride - Crazy Laps. How true is that. I gave them the lowdown - take risks, go off the front, rip it up for the first few minutes then wallow in your own burn, don't save your legs for anything - this is a v02max light it up ride. A ride like this you have to be willing to take risks, pay for it then push some more. The sprint would begin and one of us would be right there at front. Each made a move, took a risk and there was burn. Maybe it was all the hill repeats I did but my legs were feeling it. But at a certain point on a group ride you override that pain. You push because you want to latch on to someone's wheel or pass the guy that is blowing up or keep up with someone else. You can't do it often but used in the right way these rides are really, really good.
Afterwards we went for dinner with Bob. Ness admitted she spent half of the ride uttering non-syllabic grunts and moans because she couldn't tell if the guys were shouting CLEAR BACK or CAR BACK. She figured she would do her part and just make a nondescript sound. All of us couldn't figure out why the guy on the Scott Plasma could afford a $4500 bike but couldn't afford something better than a $10 helmet straight from the 1980's. And the guy riding the Schwinn with toe cages and gym shoes - how he was kicking our ass. Ah, the group ride. Anything goes I guess.
And now - the peas are out and Boss is licking the bags. Chris is playing Dr. Chris with Ness. That sounds a little weird but...well, it was. He was making her scream with some crazy stretches. Tomorrow we will swim masters and make it our easy day. We are going to go shopping for Ness - she needs something pink. She doesn't know it yet but she does.