This last Sunday we went outdoors for our bicycle ride. This may not be a new phenomena for some of you, but for those of us who live in Iowa, we are really tired of riding our bicycles on the trainers in the basement. We have been in the basement since late October, so it is definitely time to get off the trainer and get outside!! I had a brick scheduled for Sunday…ride a hilly route for 2 hours and then follow that up with an easy 20 minute run.
As we pulled away from home, I knew it was going to be a challenging ride. The temperature was in the mid 40s and the winds were blowing at a sustained 25 mph from the NNW with gusts much higher. Because of these winds, we decided to ride to the NNW first so we could get the most challenging part out of the way, with the hopes that we could enjoy our return ride home. Positive note…we were riding outside and it was a bright, sunny day 🙂
That wind was BRUTAL!! I thought back to my most recent marathon…when the winds picked up at mile 18 and made the run more challenging, Adam started talking out loud to the wind, “Kiss me harder.” As I was leaving town and riding to the north into the headwind, Adam entered my head and I immediately started talking to and eventually shouting at the wind… “Kiss me harder…Kiss ME harder…Kiss ME HARDER…KISS ME HARDER.”
My husband and I stopped at the stop sign at 170th street to hydrate. He decided he was heading back home (he had been sick the day before and didn’t have much energy from his inability to keep nutrition in his system). I was mentally questioning myself, “Can I do this? I’m really tired and this is REALLY hard!!” Thankfully Kris was riding with us as well. As she pulled up to the stop sign she yelled, “I only have 2 and a 1/2 more minutes in Zone 3. I’m going to the next stop sign.” “Ok, I’m with you!!” I yelled back. I told my husband to ride home safely and took off after Kris. The winds now created a crosswind as we rode west on 170th street. I knew I was riding at a severe angle, leaning hard to the right, but this was a must if I was to keep my bike on the road. “Kiss me harder!!”
We stopped at the next stop sign and talked about our plan. I told Kris I was going to the next stop sign and she decided to join me. We fueled up and again turned back into the headwind as we went north on R38. “Kiss ME HARDER!!”
It was on R38 that I had the following conversation with myself, “I’ve never had a name for my bicycle. I should name you!! …KISS ME HARDER… Red…Ruby…Rojo (red in Spanish)…Mojo (even though they don’t rhyme, they are spelled nearly the same)…KISS ME HARDER… Mojo…that is your new name!! Come on Mojo…get me to the next stop sign!! …KISS ME HARDER…”
Unfortunately this conversation didn’t last very long, so I needed a new strategy to get me to the next stop sign…time to play mental tricks on myself… “Ok…you CAN make it to the church up the road…WHAT?!?!?! I’m only going 7 mph…KISS ME HARDER…You CAN make it to the goat farm…too bad those goats aren’t fainting goats…I’ve always wanted to have fainting goats…KISS ME HARDER…See that gray house…you CAN make it there…that flag is blowing straight out…KISS ME HARDER…9 mph is a little better than 7 mph…KISS ME HARDER…See the green house…you CAN make it there…KISS ME HARDER…OH, there is the stop sign!! I’m at an hour and 5 minutes ride time. There is NO WAY it is going to take me an hour to get home…Just go to the farmhouse on the top of the first hill on E18, then you can turn back and head home. Ok…let’s do this!!”
As I approached the stop sign, I yelled to Kris, “I’m going to the farmhouse on the top of the first hill on E18, then turning around.” Kris responded with, “Ok I’m with you.” As I turned back to the west, that crosswind was back and my private conversation continued… “Kiss Me Harder…I WILL finish this…Kiss ME Harder…I WILL FINISH this…KISS ME HARDER…I WILL FINISH THIS!! YAY…WE MADE IT!!!” It took us 1 hour and 17 minutes to get to the turn around point…14.78 miles. Though there weren’t many hills on this route, the headwinds and crosswinds posed enough of a challenge that I wasn’t too concerned about the lack of hills.
Now for the return trip home… “This is why we were pushing so hard on the way out…it feels awesome with that wind at my back…KISS ME HARDER…Oh my…I’m going 25 mph without even trying…KISS ME HARDER…Let’s see just how fast I can go…30.4 mph with no more gears to upshift to…KISS ME HARDER…Let’s go faster…KISS ME HARDER!!” It only took 46 minutes to go back the 14.78 miles home.
Now for the run portion of my brick…KISS ME HARDER!!!