Firecracker 5k

“What were you thinking!?”

My husband asked me this when I told him I was invited to RTR with The Christopher T. Keller Foundation team. And I thought, he’s right! I’m almost 63 and realize that my riding needs goals to improve my climbing, speed and endurance….or to just maintain my fitness!  Bouts with the flu (I was so sick for so long I really think it was walking pneumonia), and an August crash that finished my favorite Trek Madone, and let’s add the 15 lb winter weight gain – ALL put me in mediocre shape for riding with the folks I wanted to keep company with. I bet some of you have your own list of excuses for a drop in fitness. The important thing is to RECLAIM it! I want to ride with the fast guys…. or at least catch up to them at the top of the hill. So, why not have a daunting but doable goal like Ride The Rockies?

My fate was sealed after a riding team-mate, Sandy, said she’d come, too, and share a tent with me. And Sandy is in fantastic condition and a very strong rider and climber. She and her husband have been a big part of our riding circle in Albuquerque, including cycling trips to France and Spain, so I knew she could accomplish the goal and motivate me to train! I was locked in.

So, I joined a gym and renewed sessions with my personal trainer, Jessica, who is 29 years old with absolutely no body fat and all muscle, and suffered the pain of Roy’s spin classes on Tuesday and Thursday nights (he’s a multi-year USA Cycling National time trialist and road racer, Race Across America, etc etc  from Albuquerque). I’m not a “gym rat” (as Jessica has me lifting 8 lb weights) and my comfort level for “spinning” is 60 RPMs, not the 95 RPMs Roy wants from me! You see, I’m not a very strong or fast climber. But….I do love to ride. They still affectionately call me a big ring masher.

"Riding with Purpose” Jersey Girl retired in Albuquerque

“Riding with Purpose” Jersey Girl retired in Albuquerque

AND, I signed up for the May 15 world champion Gran Fondo New York 2016, a 108 mile timed race starting on the George Washington Bridge and climbing 8,500′ with 5,000 other cyclists and racers. I won my age group in the 2013 GFNY and had an invitation back this year. So, why not add it to my training?

AND, my last challenge is that I signed up for a NM club trip to the Arizona mountains on May 22 – 27, climbing 25,000′ over 425 miles in five cycling days, with eleven other cyclists and one SAG driver. I thought it would get me in shape for Ride The Rockies.

Am I taking on more than I can? Let’s hope not. I’ll let you know. We all have dreams and ambitions. I want all of mine to come true…and maybe finally lose those extra pounds, and bring that cadence up to respectable, and hold on to the faster RIO cyclists on the hills of Albuquerque and Team Christopher in the process.

What are your training challenges and goals? I hope you take time to achieve them. I keep reading the biggest challenge is mental, so let’s tell ourselves at each challenge that, “I AM ready!” Good luck, and I’ll see you on the road.