Last year when some of my rando buddies started riding crazy amounts I kept saying they were nuts and that I needed time to recover between long rides. At least a week, maybe two, and three weeks in between would be lovely. I don't know when that logical approach got away from me but when I returned from Switzerland in mid-March I rode a very sensible 200k brevet and didn't feel trashed afterward. Knowing the Bellingham organizers were planning to target a nice day for their workers' ride (pre-ride) for the 300k I asked to join in. Turns out that would be only 4 days after my 200k. Luckily the group included Ralph and Carol on their tandem and Mark T so I had plenty of great drafting companions. Still, I was pretty tired by the time we finished and then still had to try to rustle up something to eat, drive home from Burlington, and get cleaned up before hitting the sack at about 3am. Luckily my sweetheart of a husband answered the 5:20am call from my sister for a ride to the airport so I could sleep a bit longer. A few more days rest and I headed out for a "short" weekend ride with the Cycle Tuesdays gang - which means intensity! I was still feeling like I had recovered well so when Mark sent out a note to the SIR list for a mid-week permanent on Thursday before the big storm hit I just fell right into the trap.
Company was great, route was good, weather wasn't quite as nice as we'd hoped but manageable and we got to see lots of friends along the way. Michael Gray, Mark, Vinnie, Dave Harper, and myself rolled out from University Village at 7:30, stopped in Snohomish at the bakery for some fuel and a tube change for me and then on to Granite Falls. I was doing pretty well and even taking a few pulls for the team but any uphill made my legs feel like lead. After Granite Falls we did the undulations along Lake Roesiger and hit some very nice pastoral roads heading into Monroe. By this time Dave had to take up babysitting duties and paced me nicely along trailing after the other riders. Early in the morning we'd seen Kole (after having ridden a 400k the day before - as had Vinnie!) on his way to work. Along the Snoqualmie River Road we came across Kent Peterson out for a jaunt planned to intersect our gang. We spent some time chatting with him and enjoying refreshments in Carnation.
Next up, Issaquah-Fall City Road. A road that meets my definition of the Irish "a terrible beauty". It is a quiet, forest-lined road that kicks my butt every time. As said butt was already dragging a bit the kicking didn't take much effort. Vinnie managed to adjust his usual quick climbing pace to my slow slog and kept me company all the way. That's after he'd already waited for me before Carnation when I dropped off chatting to Kent and then getting stuck at a light. After this we saw Mike McHale and Jim Rupert just finishing up an afternoon ride and they turned around to ride with us for a short time and say hi. That left just getting to the I-90 path, a little jaunt around Mercer Island and back north to University Village. Now Mark was on duty shepherding me along as I got slower and slower on each hill. When we reached Mercer Island I called Robin at work so he could meet up with us on the other side of the lake and join us for dinner at the end. I started off in pretty good shape through the winding curves on the east side but once we hit the rollers on the west side of the island the wheels completely fell off and it was a real slog-fest from there to the finish. Mark showed incredible patience (as had all the guys the entire day) and got me back in one (albeit pitiful) piece. A big mug of beer and a bacon blue burger never tasted so good!
Next morning result - yes I do it for the glamour! If only my bike and I could defy gravity on the hills the way my hair defies gravity after going to bed with it damp!
Now, I'm going to take a long recovery break - really - don't even think about asking me to do a long ride - I mean it!