I am going to share with you what I have told every single person I’ve come in contact with for the past 17 hours (I’m not proud of it or anything).
I rode C group last night!
Now, if you don’t speak cycling geek, that probably doesn’t mean much to you so I will put it more simply.
I’m getting faster.
I started cycling with a group only about two months ago. My first few rides were awful… like Pukey the Clown awful. And those were only 10 miles, and the group was really trying to take it slow and make sure not to drop me. Those first few we barely averaged 15 mph, and I was still falling off the back every ride.
Eventually I worked up to longer distances, riding with the D group (14-18 mph average, no drop group) for around 20 miles once or twice a week on top of my twice weekly 10 mile lunch rides.
Recently, the D group has been a little slow for my taste. I’m not a speed racer (obviously), but I’m also not very patient. I found myself getting a wee bit frustrated with having to slow myself down, or if I felt I wasn’t getting a good workout in, even though just weeks before I could relate to that new person. That meant, it was time to move on, and move up, to the next level.
Since I’m neurotic, I put this off as long as possible. I have to admit, there was definitely something nice about being one of the stronger riders in the group. D group would never drop me, and every time I rode there was someone newer and slower than me.
My ego liked that.
However, the Type A part of me, who is always trying to be just a little bit better than… well… me, didn’t. Not one bit.
So last night, after much sandbagging and peer pressure, I rode C group. The pace would be between 18-20 mph the entire ride, and I was surrounded by strangers and a handful of friends who got me in this mess to begin with.
It was fast. It was brutal. I fell of the back on nearly every turn, got dropped completely on the climbs. But somehow, I managed to catch my fellow riders on the downhills and traffic lights, and at many times was right there with them in the paceline.
This pace pushed me outside my comfort zone, there were times I wondered if my post-Crossfit legs weren’t just going to pop off at the hips and be left there laying on the side of the road. Something inside me kept pushing, and the amazing machine that is my body, somehow managed to endure.
Those 25 miles were fast. They were hard, really hard. But they felt GREAT.
Not only did the ride last night make me want to do it again, it was yet another reminder in a long list of how far I’ve come. I graduated from D group, and eventually I will graduate from C. I’m going to keep improving every single time I challenge my body, and I’m going to keep challenging myself every day.
I realize it won’t always feel great in the moment, but I will always ALWAYS be proud of my accomplishments. I will always feel good about it when it’s over.
Well, most of me will. My lady bits might just not speak to me for 24 hours after.