I am on the countdown to STP, the time has flown past and this weekend will be a milestone for me. I am looking forward to it.
I have learned a lot about myself as I have trained for this ride. I have found that I can push myself harder than I thought possible. I have my husband behind me, but he is letting me do this at my pace, my way, he has taken the position of teacher and coach. He has taught me how to shift better, balance better, use my energy more efficiently, and he’s shown me the joy of the wind in my face (or back, or side … it hits everywhere at times!) as I move down the road.
I am learning how to shift as I move up a hill. I equate things with life as I ride, this would be one of those things. I used to coast down a hill (if I was riding in the “rollers”) and then shift when I was no longer coasting easily, normally starting out in a lower gear than I needed to. I found that once I was in that lower gear I was committed to that gear for the hill and there were times that gearing “back” that far actually made me have to pedal with a lot of leg strength to just get the tires rolling once again.
I have been working on building up speed, pedaling as I go down one hill and continuing to pedal in that higher gear as I start my climb up the next hill. Brad has taught me to start shifting down as I feel the slightest pressure on my legs and to continue shifting down as I go so that I am always pedaling with the same amount of exertion. I have found that I now take the hills in a higher gear with less strain than I did before. Do I hit it right every time?? No, but I AM getting better and seeing the improvement in myself makes me very happy.
Life takes some action on my part. I COULD just coast and hope that I gain enough speed to reach the top of the next hill without any effort. I have found that when I do that there are times when I realize that I need to shift and start pedaling and it’s HARD to do that when I have just allowed myself to “coast”. When I pay attention to what’s ahead and do a little bit of preparation, things go much smoother. I can shift easily and keep my forward momentum going and accomplish some amazing feats!
STP, here I come. I never thought that I’d see the day that I would look forward to riding 203 miles, but I do. I have trained and I am ready for this ride, both mentally and physically. I will have Brad as my rear view mirror and we will do this ride together. It is going to be an awesome weekend!