It's not that I mind training alone. I don't. In fact, I believe that good quality training happens when you are by yourself. It is those times when you are in the midst of a test on a track alone, or in the middle of a TT effort in the wind, or blowing up a swim on your own that you learn the most. At those times, you only have yourself to fall back on. Your own experiences, your own logic, your own truths. And only you can pull yourself through that particular journey. And when you get through a particularly difficult workout on your own? You gain strength from it. You gain knowledge about yourself. And you can draw on this strength and information when you need it the most.....RACE DAY.
But I digress yet again. After all my alone training lately, I was facing a 4 hour ride with some specific work. Alone. And this prospect I couldn't deal with. I needed a training partner. I emailed, I texted, I called. I emailed again, and texted again, and hoped and hoped and hoped someone would answer. It was looking bleak and I even considered a paid training day in Boulder to support Davis Phinney's foundation. And finally, at 7 on Saturday night I got a return text and a training partner for the ride. Immediately my mood lifted. All of a sudden I couldn't wait to get on my bike. Clearly, I needed company. The weather looked perfect and I was ready to go. So at 8am Sunday morning, I rolled out with Matt for a little ride. He was going 5 hours as Ironman Lake Placid is his big race coming up.
We headed out from Chatfield to Sedalia to Palmer Lake, one of my favorite routes. We chatted, we rode, and when we turned around and had a tailwind? Well, Matt took off. And since I didn't want to ride alone the rest of the way, I found his wheel and hung on for dear life. At one point, he yelled back something to the effect of.....you OK with the speed? I yelled back YYYYEEEEESSSSSSSS!!! But I didn't know how fast we were going, I didn't want to look at my watch and take my eyes off his back wheel. Anywho, he was a machine pulling me along and when we reached the stop sign I asked him how fast we were going.......28-32mph for the last 30 or so minutes. And let me tell you, it was a blast.
So, 4+ great hours in the saddle, good company, solid ride, beautiful day. I even learned some good nutrition tidbits about myself that I will be able to put into use coming up in my next race Rev3 Quassy!
Oh, speaking of worthy causes, check out Matt's foundation C Different. As someone who has had vision issues since 2004, I find this foundation simply amazing. C Different is a non profit foundation that was created to enable blind and visually impaired athletes compete in athletic events, with their main focus being on triathlons in general, and Ironman distance triathlons in particular. C Different pairs sighted guides who complete the triathlons with the athlete in all phases of the race: swim, bike, and run. It's a fabulous organization and if you have ever witnessed a visually impaired athlete competing with a guide, well....it's just inspiring.