Remember how I was wondering how to go about wearing my blood pressure monitor while on my bike workout this morning? The problem solved itself. No, I did not skip my bike workout. (With less than 8 weeks left to race day? Are you kidding?)
At 4:15 this morning I sat straight up in bed. About 15 minutes earlier I heard my blood pressure monitor doing its thing. But at 4:15 it did it again. It made all the sounds it should have, but I realized (somehow in my sleepy state) that I didn't feel any squeezing on my arm. I felt along the cuff and determined that it was no longer attached to that box that was now blowing air and making a rather annoying noise. The tube that connected the cuff to the box had come undone, or so I thought. Poor Mr. Darcy turned on the light for me and I found that not only had it come "undone" but it was completely severed with no hope of reattachment. I told Poor Mr. Darcy to go back to bed and asked "What can I do?" There was nothing to even attempt to duct tape, so I decided to bike without it and call the doctor's office when I got back. I seriously doubt the cardiologists were at the office at 4:15 am!
So it solved itself. My ride was a good one. Coach is trying to teach me to pace line so she and I worked on that a little bit while the others who know how to pace line, road well, in pace line. I fear being in a pace line. Images appear in my head of people crashing into one another, bike tires meeting in disastrous ways. I'm not generally a fearful person. I've jumped from airplanes and think it's fun. I'm the mother of twins. I'm the person who stays calm in emergencies. I decided that it's because my brain really likes me and likes the idea of self preservation; and while yes, drafting really does make it easier to go faster, being only a few inches from the tire in front of me gives me pause. Literally. I pause my pedaling.
Today we worked on it. It was great because at one point I looked down and was relatively close to Coach (about a foot away) and I was going 19 mph! I'm not sure how long we had been going 19 mph, but still. I'm getting there. After a little pace line work, we worked on hills. In particular, Coach showed me how to pedal standing up. I know, you just stand up and keep pedaling. But you have to remember, I didn't ride bikes as a kid. I learned and then my bike sat there until Dad sold it. I only started riding a bike less than 1 year ago, so my skills basically have consisted of getting on the bike and pedaling. But, we worked on that for about 5 minutes, which wasn't too bad.
Then hill repeats. Technically 14 (if you count the one one the way to the airport too), but only 13 were intended to be hill repeats. The first one was hard. Heck, they were all hard. The second one included some lovely tightening of my hip flexor. The 3rd back pain. Somewhere along the way it got easier... toward the end, even if I did say to Coach "I think I hate hills." I was super excited with my performance. My 12th hill repeat was with 87 cadence and at 16.8 mph. My last hill repeat? 90 cadence and 17.1 mph. Yeah Baby! Hopefully I'll be able to walk later.
I started the morning exhausted. You would be too if you had something squeezing the bejeesle out of your arm once an hour every hour, and then got up at 4:15 am. Not to mention still have muscle pain from those squats and walking lunges on Monday. As Ryan said, it makes you want to do those over and over again until they don't make you sore anymore... besides, imagine how strong you'd be. At the end of the ride, I was invigorated and pain free... at least until the end of the 30 minute drive home.
Then I called the doctor's office. I have no barriers, evidently, because when the nurse asked if I could come in right then, I paused and said "I can come in soon, but you don't want me to come in right this second because I just had a 2 hour bike ride and I stink." Nonetheless, as soon as the padres arrived and I had a shower, we were off for the new blood pressure cuff.
Which, btw has been registering at under 120/80 ever since we left the doctor's office... 138/87 in the doctor's office. I'm thinking subconscious white coat syndrome (and evidently a fear of firefighters who take my blood pressure... or maybe it was just that they were attractive firefighters... hmm).
Come to think of it, it would have been very interesting to see what the blood pressure monitor would have registered on those hill repeats...