…Without someone there to egg you on, that is.
Saturday I rode with my team, Pacific Velo. A 72-mile hammer-fest, if you will. Really, we went out pretty nice… for about 3 miles. And then the work began. It wasn’t raining, but the roads were a bit wet in areas (common-place for Hawaii) and we had an incident (read: CRASH), but the tough-as-nails attitude prevailed, and my fellow comrade got up and rode on. We rode hard, but steady, and then at the bridge in Kahuku, the intervals started. This is a Pac Velo tradition and it was carried on proudly. Another 5 miles and we were at the turn around. Couple of minutes of lingering (and oohing and aahing over road rash and a cracked helmet), back out we went. The next 90 minutes were again, a steady-state pace….not easy, but manageable. THEN the last 20 minutes. Of that 20 minutes, I could see only for about 10. The rest of the time I was deciphering landscape with black spots and blurred vision. Someone would break away. Someone closed the gap. Someone broke away. Someone closed the gap. Over and over and over. Go. Bury yourself. Go. Can’t see? Who cares? Go. Push. Bury. GO!
Finally, it ended. Quads were screaming, legs were trembling, Jenny was smiling. I turned to another teammate. Holy smokes (or something less appropriate for my coaching blog)!, I say. My teammate says, “You just can’t EVER go that hard without people around you.” SO true. That my friends, is what makes you faster.