Doug led our group this morning for the ride (the Gold Group, the other groups were the A Group and Group 1 - haha). Here we are getting ready to roll out:
And the obligatory matchy matchy group shot:
This ride was beautiful. It was nicely overcast so we had a little reprieve from yesterday's blazing hot sun. Jeff, Aixa, Linda, Taryn, Kate and I rode up and over Gates Pass and then down to the end of the road. I still didn't know if we were going to be able to ride the McCain Loop until we all regrouped at the bottom and Doug said OK! Let's roll to McCain Loop! Yessssss!!!
I swear I smiled the whole time I was riding that section of beautiful rollers in the middle of miles and miles of saguaro cactus as far as you could see. I got a huge boost as well when Doug rolled up and told me that I was riding strong "like an ox." How cool is that?! He later told me and Linda and Aixa that we were riding really strong and that he had a hard time catching up with us, which made us all beam like crazy.
Then, we tackled the big hill on the way back home. This half-mile climb was difficult for me last year on my road bike with easier gears to climb in - I remember having to stand up for the whole climb and being afraid to topple over. I was really truly scared approaching it today. I was in front of Linda, and I started to panic and wanted to tell her that I needed her to back off in case I fell over on the climb. At that very moment, I realized that Linda was getting ready for a self-described "mini meltdown" and that her fear had her close to tears. I yelled at her and told her to remember that she grew balls yesterday and that she should use them. And with that exchange, we both HTFUed and climbed that hill. Here's proof (the scenic overlook at the top):
I was jubilant after the ride but then immediately began to feel nauseated and couldn't really eat anything once we got back to the condo. This would be a problem later during the swim.
Here's the before shot - more matchy matchy. Not sure what the other campers are thinking of us at this point, but it's still fun for us!
At the pool, Hillary handed out the workouts and I was happy to see that mine was for 100x100. Aixa, Taryn and I would share a lane and Aixa and I were expected to take turns leading.
I led the warmup and then Aixa took the next set. Somewhere along the way, I started to feel nauseated and tired and couldn't keep up with the pace. I apologized and asked Aixa to continue leading. And then I had to drop back and let Taryn go because I couldn't keep up the pace. And I wanted to cry and I wanted to quit and my shoulders hurt and I could barely move through the water and I was trying not to throw up in the pool and I hated my life. But I kept going! And I decided that today's swim was the check that my ego needed and a good reminder that I have lots to still learn. I spent about 5000 yards learning every detail of Taryn's feet, and I am thoroughly grateful to her for allowing me to do so. :)
Linda enjoyed a similar sufferfest with Hillary in Lane 1. So I'm in good company. Here they are happy and smiling and finished!
And because I'm a crazy fan, here's our workout again for posterity:
And our reward afterwards. I think I'm still in a calorie hole but I'm climbing out. Gotta gain some strength for tomorrow!