To anyone who has seen me ride this won't come as a great surprise, but I thought that I would share my experiences from last Saturday morning.
Several athletes who work with The Puppeteer were scheduled to meet and do a run through of the Cary Duathlon course. Run short course and bike long course (31 miles). We met up at 8 am in the parking lot at the baseball fields at Brooks Park in Cary and it pretty soon became obvious that it was going to be a small group and that, yet again, I was going to be the only guy.
My work out buddies were Maggie Rougier-Chapman, Caroline Kratz and Lili Fernandez. I had already been warned not to try to keep up with Maggie and having riden with Caroline previously I knew that she was no slouch either! She was also trying out her sleek new tri bike for the first time, and I had a feeling that she might be ready to put it through its paces!
The first run was uneventful - a nice easy 8:30 pace. Then back to the parking lot and on to the bike.....
31 mile course around Jordan Lake with some rolling hills, but nothing too bad. Maggie took on pace duties and I was primarily at the rear yelling "car back" when someone came up from behind the group in something motorised. For a change the drivers seemed cautious and considerate!
Things were fine for the first 13 or 14 miles. A nice steady pace and we stayed nicely grouped. Things were about to change, however, when we turned off Route 64 and Caroline (who is comfortably over 6 ft. and a former international oarswoman) took over "the pull". Holy Crap! I stayed in touch for about another mile but couldn't hang any longer. Lili (who is only 16) was struggling too, so she and I stuck together and let the other two go.
I triathon circles there's a phrase for when a guy gets beaten by a lady..... he has been "chicked" and I was completely, totally and utterly "chicked" on Saturday. I'm not feeling bad though - I'm completely in awe of how fast these ladies are! It's a privilege to watch them ride. They may be 15 or so years younger than me and I was struggling a bit with allergies, but I could have been 20 years younger with 110% of my normal lung function and I would still have been completely, totally and utterly "chicked"! Awesome!
Lili and I finished the 31 plus miles together at an average moving speed of a little over 18.5 mph. That's not altogether embarassing, but I'm pretty sure that my new heroines were probably somewhere well over 20 mph moving average. Gives me motivation to work harder on the bike!
More my speed at the moment........