Today was sunny and a high of 81 degrees and I rode 30 miles on a bike.
Excuse me, I just need to say that again: I RODE THIRTY MILES ON A BIKE.
Thirty miles! Me! On the bike! And I didn't have to walk any of the (admittedly rather puny) hills and I was only a few miles behind most everyone else on the team and there was wind and I got this pain in my knee the last few miles and aside from the rest stop I only stopped once just to catch my breath and I BIKED THIRTY FREAKING MILES, PEOPLE.
That might seem like the awesome part, but for me the awesomest of it all is that I only hated a few of the miles! Specifically, the last 4 or 5 of them. I was really tired and really really really really REALLY sick of the damn wind, which blew steadily and I swear changed directions to blow directly in our faces both on the way out and then after we turned around. Bastard wind, I will curse you with my last breath. Even when I was totally out of breath, I had enough left to curse the wind. Grrrrr, so much hate.
My legs felt rather rubbery when I got off the bike. And I still had trouble eating much afterwards, though I managed an adequate lunch (hashbrowns and eggs and a few bites of pancake). The pain in my knee is mostly better. The worst damage was from the sun on my arms, because I quite stupidly didn't put sunblock anywhere but my face. So now I have this burn which will turn into a hilarious farmer's tan:
Also, my legs actually feel stronger. Like I can feel the added muscle all of a sudden, especially in my thighs. It's pretty terrific, as feelings go.
I am SO GLAD I actually enjoyed the ride. Because if you didn't catch on, I did not at all enjoy last week, not even for a second of it. This time I had fun and chatted a lot with Coach Carrie (she stayed with me this time, we are marvelously sympatico in a lot of bike-riding ways) and though I dreaded nearly every hill, it was much much less of a death-march event. I smiled and laughed and just really enjoyed it. Which makes me look forward to next week, hurrah!
Coaches Carrie and Anne both tell me I have this great attitude and they love it in me. They keep calling me amazing. (Note: I don't feel amazing. I just feel like I'm stubborn.) "Lots of people have a frustrating time like you did last week," said Coach Anne, "and they just decide to never come back. But not you." This seems natural to me, the whole jump-back-in-there attitude, because the whole point of this sort of thing is to teach your body how to do it. It's to push yourself and get better. If I weren't getting better, I probably WOULD get frustrated. Believe me, I've very very good at quitting. I even LIKE quitting, a lot of times. But it's barely begun, so how can I even think of having that attitude?
Anyway, it feels great that the coaches think I'm doing great, and that Anne sees huge improvement, and that all of them are just as proud of me for finishing as I am myself. I thought of my grandfather today, how when he got his knee replaced and was so fast recovering that it near made the nurses' heads spin. I've got good genes, when it comes to doing better than people might expect.
I came home, took the best shower ever, drank a gloriously cold beer, ate Cadbury mini-eggs (which tasted so good I actually teared up a bit), and then took a nap as my cat purred next to me. I woke up and ordered pizza, ate it on the couch in front of the TV.
All things considered, it was a spectacular day. :-D