Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Very Warm Serving of Self-Doubt...

Today was the Metro Atlanta Cycling Club's One Love Century. First of all, this was a class act operation. I was so impressed by everyone and everything. The course was marked perfectly. Volunteers were at key intersections. What I really loved was that there was a mark for the turn and another mark after assuring you that you were headed in the right direction. The volunteers at the aide stations where cheerful, helpful, genuine. I can't wait to not do the Century next year and do the Metric. Ha!

This was my first century. For those of you new to the game, I 'm training for Ironman Florida (IMFL). IMFL has an elevation gain of about 750 feet. Total. This ride today, 4000-5000 depending on who's Garmin you are looking at. I think there is a reason they don't publish an elevation profile for the event. Holy hills, Batman!

There was lots of chatter as to who I was going to ride with today. All plans fell through and luckily my friend Nathan rolled up. I haven't seen him since December. He offered to ride with me. We took off about 10 minutes early. Before we took off I got to chat with my friend Elizabeth who is training for IM Chattanooga.

Know what happens when you take off before the fast kids? They pass you. That was a surreal experience getting passed by 2 different pelotons! I just kept my eyes forward and tried to hold my line.

We (Nathan and I) rolled through the first aide station, but stopped at the second. I wasn't feeling well. Bumped into Elizabeth. She asked if it was physical or mental. Mental was a fair question as I was embarking on a new distance and we had just ridden 30 miles of hills. I told her both. I think I need to reevaluate my nutrition plan of relying heavily just on Infinit as I was a bit queasy for the first 30.

Nathan and Me at our first of many rest stops.
Heat, hills, and other issues, Nathan and I plugged on and ended up stopping at each rest stop.

I haven't been training on hills, I've been training to stay in aero for IMFL. I have come to the realization that I can climb. Just slow. So slow, that at one point I may have rolled backwards. Just kidding, sorta.

By mile 50 my knees and feet were not right. My hoo-ha was actually the least of my problems today, but it isn't resolved. I will go back to Curtis and Cannon Cyclery for another fit. I am so frustrated. I get that if it were easy, everyone would do it. I get that soreness and discomfort is part of the package. But sharp shooting pain? Really? I hate my bike.

I got through the ride. A few tears were shed (Sharp shooting pain makes me cry, just saying.) I wanted to quit. Oh so many times I wanted to quit. But damn it, I'm too stubborn.

Wanting to know where the self doubt comes in? Will my bike ever fit right. Do I need to throw in the towel on MP and replace him, fast. I only have 8 weeks till IMFL. Will I ever ride without pain? How the hell am I going to run a marathon after my ride if I can't get my feet and knees situated?

I finally finished and as another classy move: There was still a small party for us stragglers.

I haven't had a Coke in years. For some reason this training cycle, it tastes SO good!

On the drive home I talked with coach. Told him my pace. How upset I was. He was ecstatic. He reminded me that Florida is flat and he thought my pace in today's conditions was great. He also reminded me it was my first Century. The next one will be on the IMFL Course in a couple of weeks at tri camp. The 3rd will probably be October 14th and I'll figure out where later.

Let's revisit the knees: I hurt so bad I stopped and picked up ice for an ice bath. I NEVER take ice baths.

I did however have a life lesson moment on the course. I would roll up to a hill and I would think about how much it was going to suck. But then as I began, it wasn't so bad. I need to get better about not panicking about things until there is a reason too.

Now...more water. More water. More water. I have a long run tomorrow on these tired legs!

P.S. please pardon any typos or grammar issues. So many people have asked about the ride today, I wanted to get this published.


  1. Stay positive Shawna, You are an amazing woman and I'm so proud of your adventures. I used to worry about being past by so many people until someone reminded me that I was a FINISHER!!! I'm on a journey to but mine is IMBoulder for 2016. Baby steps. YOU GOT THIS!!!

  2. Way to grab the positives, Shawna. This stuff *IS* hard and that's what is going to make November 1 (IMFL) such a celebration of our preparation! Unless you are planning to ride lots of hills again, focus on the fit for IMFL. You probably recognize that your riding "style" for this ride was SIGNIFICANTLY different than it will be at IMFL?! You are doing the right things and with the right mindset. Hang in there! You DEFINITELY have this and will ROCK IMFL!