Saturday, I ran 4 miles in the a.m. with the HIPsters. This might not sound like much, but I must confess, since the 10k debacle I have been REALLY mad at running. No kidding. I boycotted it for 10 straight days. (Which, for the record? I don't really recommend.)
I gave in to its whimpers on Wednesday, running 3 miles in the rain, and it was back to its usual tricks of letting me know that it would take another 10 weeks to regain what I'd lost in 10 days. Another 3 on the treadmill on Friday morning brought me to a whopping total of 10 miles last week.
Saturday: Pre-Mothers' Day:
Number One Daughter was out of town, cavorting with some astronauts down at Cape Canaveral on Mothers' Day weekend, but sent me a mysterious e-mail with these directions
btw...3:45 pm Saturday you are going to this address:Fun! I adore surprises! Was it botox? Liposuction? BACHELOR #3?????
2471 18th St NW
(between N Adams Mill Rd & N Belmont Rd)
Washington, DC 20009
BUT don't look up the address or anything ahead of time! i just watned [sic: we're authentic here at NBTR headquarters] you to have it in an email!
Even better! It was a massage, from here. Hot stones, and a masseuse who worked on my shoulders and neck until I thought I would cry. In a good way.
Sunday: Happy Mothers' Day!
Then it was early to bed so I could get ready for an 8 a.m. clip-in, to ride the Eagleman bike course, some 2.5 hours away in beautiful Cambridge, Maryland (land of the Tobymeister). What better way to celebrate Mothers' Day?
There was a 37-mile option, or a 56-mile option. My longest ride to date has been 30 miles...and that was just last week! Of course I chose 56-miles. (I have a blog to write, people!)
Things were good for 30 miles. I hung with the pack, we practiced drafting (this is actually hair-raising) we were talking, laughing, taking in the sights, nature, osprey, butterflies, frogs, turtles, peacocks. Life was good. Except for the wind.
It was windy.
OK, I know people say "It was REALLY windy," and you know, they mean the wind was blowing.
This wasn't like that.
This was the kind of wind that makes you wonder WHY THEY AREN'T EVACUATING people. But don't take my word for it, let's ask Tuan, who can actually, you know, ride:
The ride was a 56 miles single loop ride on as flat roads as you will find. The wind was just relentless. Is it possible for the wind to blow in 4 different directions at once ? There were parts where the headwind was so strong that when I turned to my left, the headwind followed my head to become a left crosswind. I turned to my right and it followed me there too. I turned around to look behind me and you'd guessed it ... son of a gun was waiting for me. It was like getting bitch slapped by four women at once.Like that.
We all had cue sheets (bike talk for "directions") but there were also bright pink fluorescent markings on the pavement all along the route that said "EM thisaway" or "EM thataway" ("EM"=Eagleman, "thisaway"=arrows pointing the way). At 30 miles the cue sheet said turn RIGHT, and the pink fluorescent marking said LEFT. Some of us went right. For 4.5 miles. Until ONE of us (THANK GOD—and SHANNON!) realized, um, this is the wrong way.
Oh, how innocent and carefree we were pre-mile 30!
And then there were four. I was still OK, amazed that I could even turn the pedals. Still in relatively good spirits.
It's amazing the panoply of emotions one goes through when stuck in a (somewhat) desperate situation. Resignation, denial, acceptance. Bargaining with God. ("Please just stop the wind for a minute and I promise to join a convent!")
And tell me please, WHY I had to have the refrain from this song playing ENDLESSLY in my brain? For four solid hours.
I started wondering whether it was possible for the wind to actually read a map. I mean, maybe when man created roads, he altered the wind currents. It's a theory I entertained while riding along (the appropriately named) Egypt Road for 7 long, endless, slogging miles, where I think I entered another realm. No matter which way the road went, the wind came directly at me. It was ALIVE!
I fell way behind. I couldn't take it! But I had the best bike buddies ever, and they had all waited for me as I made the long Exodus out of Egypt (Rd). We had 10 miles left. I almost wept for joy. My thoughts turned to pancakes. And crabcakes, chocolate milk and ice cream sundaes.
I don't know how but I finally made it back. I peeled myself off the bike, anxious to see which parts of me would remain on the bike. Luckily, everything was intact.
We high-fived. Some crazy people went for a run. We drove to Paneras and I got a PB&J sandwich and chocolate milk off the kids menu, and then suited up for the long long ride home.
It was the best day of my life and I can't wait to do it again.