Saturday, July 2, 2011

Busy Living in a Perfect Day

An early start to the day with a great breakfast of Special K with fresh strawberries and frozen bananas set me up for success.  I made the trip out to Front Royal, VA to join some fellow members of the DC Tri Club for a Skyline Drive bike ride.  I am not from around here and wasn't familiar with Skyline Drive, except for the exceptional views and surrounding nature that I've read about.  The drive out was not bad - the traffic around DC is quite tame at 6am on a Saturday.  I ventured out to Spelunker's in Front Royal to meet up with the crew.  This was my first ride, workout, for that matter with DC Tri so I was going in blind.

Do you have a go to Breakfast, what is it? 

When I pulled up to Spelunker's DC Tri members were easily identifiable - bike shorts, jerseys, assembling bikes, etc.  I met a few nice people and decided to head out with them at our previously decided wheels down time of 7:30am.  As we road up the road to enter Shenandoah National Park a couple people who had ridden the route before filled me in.  It's all hills, you'll love it!  Oh boy, it surely was all hills.  The first 8 miles were up a mountain!  We didn't stay in a group for too long and just spread out along the road with some of the guys catching us on the uphills.  Riding up a mountain slows you down, but it's a good workout.  I decided I would ride for about 4 hours.  I hadn't ridden much over 3 previously and nothing over 45 miles.  Many members were setting out for 80-110 miles - but I had to came it tame at 50 miles, especially after the wake up call of the first 8 miles!  Turns out the 110ers are training for Ironman Wisconsin, when I'm training for Ironman Wisconsin I'll ride 110 miles in the mountains too, someday.
The peace and serenity was great.  As I rode through the mountains and the mostly shaded road it was actually a little chilly.  Especially when speeding downhill!  The scenic overlooks every mile or so gave a gorgeous view of the valleys below.  It was so great to be out of the city, not riding circles around Hains Point and to be surrounded by people with similar goals - even if we all didn't ride in a pack.  I started to doubt weather or not I'd even be able to make it 50 miles as we just climbed and climbed in the beginning.  Every time I hit a downhill it was awesome, but felt so short in comparison to how much time I put in climbing to the top.  I settled in around 15 miles or so and was quite comfortable and starting to realize that I was going up higher every time a new climb came along.  I figured this meant the ride back would be better.  I pushed on climbing and racing down the mountains.  Traffic was minimal and Nature's surrounds made every bit of hard work worth it.

Where's your favorite place to ride?

The worst thing that happened on my perfect day - well while going about 35mph a bee/wasp/large bug got caught up in my helmet strap and hair near my ear.  I heard the buzzing and when I was comfortable enough I tried to swat him away only to realize he was stuck.  So I slapped and grabbed at him, but he was quick enough to sting/bite me before I got rid of him.  It hurt like the dickens and it still hurts.  The price of such gorgeous views and surroundings I guess.

I made it 25 miles out and decided to forego the rest stop that most were stopping at and just turn around and head back the other direction as I wanted to get a run in as well.  The ride back was awesomesauce.  A bit faster than the ride out due to the overall downhill of it but it still had some nasty climbs.  I took a PowerGel and made sure to hydrate.  Saw a lot of cyclists headed out on my way back.  The chilly morning mountain air was slowly being replaced by ridiculous heat as I headed back toward Front Royal.  While on Skyline Drive and in the shade the warmest it ever got was 75, as soon as I headed out of Shenandoah National Park and back into Front Royal it was a roaring 90!  Great running weather.

I headed out for a run around town.  I was instantly reminded of my running days in Statesboro, GA.  A nice cute town with an element of Southern Charm and plenty of mom and pop shops and diners!  I felt great on the run as well! Great things are in store for Augusta 70.3! I grabbed and ice water and frozen lemonade from Spelunker's before trekking back into the city.

A perfect recovery lunch was in store when I got home.  Peanut butter & Jelly and Chocolate Milk.  Lunch of champions.  Chocolate milk is arguably the best recovery drink out there.  More races need it at the finish line/athlete food tent.  The day is not even close to over but I can't help but thank God for the strength and ability to accomplish such a workout and for providing such amazing scenery.  "We'll Sing and Dance to Mother Nature's song."  His works are amazing, open your eyes and look around you.

A perfect day, and the day is yet to be over.  I can honestly say if there was a way to have such perfect days everyday and not work in the hospital for 8 hours everyday I would sign up now.  I guess I'll have to wait until I get that dream job.

What is your Perfect Day?

1 comment:

  1. I was one of the crazies who did the 85 miles to the top and back. One of the Annapolis Cycling Club guys about passed on the way back. We were pretty worried about the guy. Good job on the ride today! That place is a huge challenge.

    I think I went through 6 Gu's, a banana, powerbar, apple pie, 8x peanut butter crackers, 2 salt pills, 9 bottles of water. Not to mention the taco bell I had as soon as I got home!