Saturday, April 11, 2015

Ride Like A Rhinocerus

It was already Thursday.  Our week in Florida was ending a day early by our choice.  The Midwest was in major rainstorm mode and we didn't want to drive for hours in it.   My husband took my hand in his as we walked our last walk along the white sandy beaches.  The kids were far ahead and I wished we didn't have to leave yet.  I was ready to return to normal, home,  and get back to training but I felt unsatisfied somehow.   Don't get me wrong, I had a super time while in Florida but felt I hadn't found "that one shell",  you know a special really cool one. It was looking like it just wasn't meant to be.  We could see the kids at the car as we stepped onto the small boardwalk that lead to the parking lot.  I had my head down, feeling a little defeated,  when I saw it!!  I saw a small plastic animal figure sticking out of the sand and reached over to grab it.  My husband laughed and said "I see you have found your spirit animal".

What the heck is this........

 As I looked down in my hand I wondered what finding a small plastic rhino meant. Was the rhino my spirit animal?   Over the years I have found several stuffed or plastic animals during my rides.  I had never given it much thought until Jim mentioned it this time. The first animal I found was an elephant.  Dumbo the stuffed elephant was small and fit easily inside my jersey pocket so I scooped him up. I put him in the wash and he was good as new. He went on many rides and Adventure races until his replacement was found.  My first two years of pedaling were the hardest and I figured it was good to be an elephant... aren't they known for being smart and powerful? Maybe for being a little stubborn too?

 I know zero facts about rhino's so thank goodness for Google.   Zilch, nada.  I was surprised to find out that the rhino and I did have a few things in common, maybe he is my spirit animal after all??   The first thing I learned was that I do not want to ride with other rhinos.  A group of rhinos is called a crash, definitely don't want that, LOL  The next tidbit I saw was that they are herbivores, they eat only vegetation... similar to my 'mostly plants' no meat diet. Next,  rhinos have very thick skin, but it's sensitive.  Another similarity.   They tend to cover themselves in mud to avoid sunburn, been there, done that.   Rhinos are also considered speed machines, they run speeds of 30-40 mph.  Now this is where our similarities end.   I am by no means a speed demon but I can get up and go if necessary.  My sprinting is there.... Just don't expect me to hang on to it for long.  However, I guess a rhino wouldn't be able to hold that pace for 200 miles either.  Perhaps I just need to add some speed when I can, like on the flats.  With a 34/50T set up I expect to hit some new flat and downhill speeds.  Wahoooo!

Tomorrow, Sunday April 11th, I will ride in my first organized race since June of last year.  I am a little nervous but I am sure that will let go after I start pedaling.  The Tour Of Hermann is a favorite race of mine.  One year I will be able to make a weekend out of it.   I also have not completed the days entire ride, not ever. Something always happened to keep me from it.  The first year I didn't pedal fast enough and wouldn't have been home in time to relieve my sitter.  Tomorrow is a new day, and I plan to change my previous TOH attempts, I am ready... I think, to tackle the entire 100 plus.  The weather is supposed to be beautiful and I have a super, fantastic new ride.  I would love to feel the wind at my back at some point but beyond that I have no special requests.

Ride like a rhino

 I have no idea what my mileage per hour will be since I just bought a Garmin and haven't been able to track it. The first loop is just over 52 miles and the second is just over 53 miles.  Ideally, I would like to be done with the first loop around 12:30 but will take what I can get.  I have motivation!!!  My husband spent the weekend at an Ozark Trail event and will be joining me in Hermann and giving me a ride home.  Isn't that sweet?


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