Archive for March 2014 | Monthly archive page

Training Week #6


posted by on Ironman

Week Six Recap


AM – I planned the week to not have a training session Monday morning.  The weekend was very tiring, so I thought it was a good idea to not plan a session first thing.  I think that was a good idea (at the time AND in hindsight)!

PM – 3200-yard swim – This was a true test for me as the first training session of the week.  It was the longest swim of my training plan so far, plus my last swim was a challenging session, mentally and physically.  That set was 4×10 minute steady swim and this set was 5×10 minute steady swim (with 1-minute rest intervals).  Well, I ended up being very pleased with my workout.  I was able to hold the pace for 5 sets of 500 and average less than 2:00/pace (1:59/pace woo hoo!!) for the 2500 yards.  My sets timed out at 9:56, 9:58, 10:02, 9:56, 9:57.


AM – 60-minute bike trainer workout with hill repeats.  The main set included three hill repeats at 10 minutes each in length with a combination of seated and standing climbs.  This (or a variation of) has become a fairly regular workout in the plan.  It is a good one and I certainly need to work the hills frequently to prepare for the notorious hills of Lake Placid!

PM – “Steady” run on the treadmill – 45 minutes at a pace faster that target race pace, but slower than tempo.  I completed 5.32 miles at 8:28 pace.  I maintained a pace a bit faster than planned and felt good on this run.


AM – 55-minutes on the bike trainer.  This is another session that has become a fairly regular workout in the plan.  It is an intense session with the focus on multiple sets of “max effort” for varying periods of time.  This is always a tiring workout, but this one seemed to leave me feeling a bit more worn out than the others.

PM – 2500-yard swim – The main set included 6×100 at moderate tempo with 15 seconds rest and 6×200 at moderate tempo with 20 seconds rest.  I was pleased with my swim and happy to maintain a 1:54 pace for the 1800 main set, with very minimal rest.  It is amazing HOW QUICKLY 15 or 20 seconds fly by!


AM – 30-minute run on the treadmill with the main set including tempo efforts.  These sets were short being 2x5minutes with desired pace being 1 minute per mile faster than target race pace.  This included 2 minutes easy jogging between intervals.   I averaged 8:00 pace for each of the two sets.  I felt fine during the run, but despite being a short effort, I was feeling fatigue in legs, which is certainly from the intense bike session the day before.

PM – 2800-yard swim – The main set included sets of 100/200/300/400/500 with 15 seconds rest followed by 2×300 easy/moderate/fast.  Performed all sets at “easy” effort due to feeling very tired. It ended up being a good workout though.  I was not highly concerned about time and therefore, focused a bit more on form.  I know that good form is so important and sets like this really reinforce that point!

Friday: REST DAY!!!  This was even more appreciated than normal.  Since last week’s rest day was Thursday, there was one extra day between rest days, and I could tell the difference!

Saturday: BRICK!!  For this workout, Tony joined me and we biked outside for two hours.  I really focused a lot on working my gears in the big ring and the small ring, especially on the hills.  As a result, I had a really good ride.  I maintained a strong pace on a rolling course and once again, we had windy conditions to deal with.  As soon as we got home, we changed into run gear and headed out for a 50-minute run.  Tony joined me on the run as well, and I was SOOO glad he did.  I was really dragging when we started out on the run and got a VERY short second wind about half way in and really died out at the end.  Tony did a good job of helping me through the first few miles where I was really struggling.  All in all, I was happy to maintain a pace of 9:09 for 5.46 miles.  (BIG kudos to my hubbie…yes, he bikes with me, but WHO does brick workouts when they are not really training for something specific?  Majorly supportive people do!!)

I want to share some additional results from this brick.  As I have written about before, I truly believe that nutrition is the “fourth” leg of triathlon.  A huge part of this is recovery.  However, the best plans don’t always result in actuality.  My nutrition was fine during the bike and I had enough to sustain me for the run.  I did run with my fuel belt so I could continue my hydration.  After the run, I did not really want to eat anything.  I had a little bit of chocolate milk (one of my very favorite recovery drinks) and took a bath.  By the time I finished my bath, I was feeling a little icky on my stomach.  I KNEW I had to eat, but nothing appealed to me.  I opened a diet Pepsi and had a few crackers.  I looked around the kitchen and I spotted waffle fries in the freezer, which sounded good.  While those were cooking, I ate a fun size snickers bar.  I am sharing this, because I want to be honest with my stories on the blog.  I think my body was craving sugar and salt, but these were NOT the best decisions for recovery.  I obviously won’t always make the best decisions.  It is what it is.  We DID have a great dinner that night with steak, asparagus, mushrooms and salad when we visited with friends.  That did not make up for my poor recovery, but it sure was tasty!

Sunday: 2.5 hours on the bike trainer with sessions alternating between easy spinning and target race pace.  This session WAS BRUTAL!!!  I tried to pass the time by watching several different shows from the laptop, but my legs did not have a lot of juice in them after Saturday’s brick.  Also, my poor choice for recovery may have affected how I felt.  For the target race pace sets where I really focus on watts, I was not able to maintain the averages that I was aiming for.  However, I put it all in and that’s all I can do.  I was THRILLED to get off the bike after 2.5 hours.  I had absolutely nothing left in the tank!

I know that this training will include a bunch of “firsts” for me and I have two to share that make me smile about this week’s training:

1 – 12 hours & 20 minutes of training for one week…I am certain that this is my highest volume week ever!

2 – 8,500 yards in the pool…yikes!  That equates to 4.83 miles of swimming!  That’s a lot and the highest volume for me in one training week so far!


Time: 12 hours 20 minutes

Swim: 8,500 yards

Bike: 88.05 miles

Run: 12.24 miles

Stretching/foam rolling:  Some, but not enough!

Hard Work Does Not Guarantee

Training Week #5


posted by on Ironman

Week Five Header

This was a tough week for fitting everything in.  I can’t complain as one of the drivers was two Carolina Hurricanes games during the week, and this is something we really enjoy.  The games were on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, so I had to plan accordingly.  The biggest impact was that I moved my rest day from Friday to Thursday.  I was able to make alterations in the week otherwise.


AM – 35-minute run with the main set incorporating hill repeats.  Performed 7×2 minute hill repeats with 1 minute recovery between intervals.  Incline settings on the treadmill were 4%, 5%, 6%, 7%, 7.5%, 8%, 8% (adjusted for each of the hill repeats and dropped down to 1% for the recovery interval).  My pace ranged from high 9s to low 10s…adjusted pace as needed as incline got steeper.  I felt good on this run!

PM – 1800 yard swim – The main set included a couple of 200 sets, several 100 sets (which involved building up to a fast pace for last 25 yards of the 100), followed by a bunch of 25s with evens being easy effort and odds being fast effort.  All included short rest breaks between intervals, which I adhered to.  I felt good about the workout and I pushed my pace, but tired out at the end of the 25s as evidenced by the declining times.


AM – 78 minutes on the bike trainer.  The main set included three 10-minute sets starting at low cadence and shifting every minute to end with high cadence.  No rest between the 10-minute sets…ugh!!  After the 30 minute effort, I had four 5-minute sets with odd intervals having low cadence and even intervals having high cadence.   (I had 2 minutes rest between these intervals…woo hoo!!)

PM – Training not planned since scheduled hockey game.


AM – 50 minutes on the bike trainer with high gearing (so low cadence).  Another focus on the main set was to not let the heart rate jump too high.  I kept an eye on my Garmin and adjusted my effort as needed to keep the heart rate within range.

PM – 1900 yard swim –The main set included 8×100 at moderate tempo/15 seconds rest/50 fast/30 second rest between intervals. While I was swimming and monitored my times, I was not particularly pleased with the times for the 100 moderate intervals.  After I completed the entire workout, I reviewed the results and considered how I was consistent for all eight sets.  I was happy that the average pace was 1:50 for the 1200 yard main set.  Looking at the workout from the big picture, I felt better about the results.

Thursday:  REST DAY!  I really prefer Fridays as my rest day, but had to switch up some things in order to fit in all the training this week!


AM – 30-minute run on the treadmill with the main set including tempo efforts.  These sets were relatively short being 2x5minutes with pace being 1 minute per mile faster than target race pace.  This included 2 minutes easy jogging between intervals.  Generally speaking, I do tempo runs fairly often.  Even in the off season, these are workouts I would incorporate regularly.  However, this was the first tempo set from the plan, so I had not run tempo sets in a long time.  I thought it would be tough to get this workout going in the early morning, but in reality, it felt really good to push the pace.  The pace that I ran was a bit faster than what I had planned at 1 minute faster than target race pace.  I averaged 8:03 and 7:58 for the two sets, which is slower that the tempo sets I had worked up to in the past. However, I tried to follow the plan and not push the pace too much. This was a pretty short set and my legs felt a bit fatigued, but otherwise not overly challenging.

PM – 2700 yard swim – The main set focused on 4×10 minute steady swim with 1-minute rest between intervals.  This set was identical to one recently where I had a great swim.  WELL, this swim was a tough one to get through.  After I saw the time for the first set, I felt a little deflated.  I was also feeling very tired and mentally I did not want to be swimming.  The second set was a “feel sorry for myself” set and then the third and fourth I pulled it back together and tried to get through with what I knew I could do.  My last lap was the fastest, and that made me happy that I turned things around a bit mentally.  Overall I did finish was an average pace of less than 2:00 for the 2000 yards.  I saw this as a little mental victory after a very rocky start.  I was pretty wiped after I finished!

My sets timed out at 9:59, 10:01, 9:58, 9:54 in comparison to 9:50, 9:50, 9:54, and 9:55 for the 500 yard sets the previous week.

Saturday:  Outside ride!  The plan called for 3 hours 15 minutes and we pulled into the driveway after completing 3 hours 14 minutes.  We covered 55 miles with an average pace of 17 mph.  Tony and I rode with a friend who is also IM training.  It was a good ride, except the wind was BRUTAL!  We had winds from every direction, so it made things more challenging.  We rode a very familiar, rolling route.  I tried a new product for hydration called Osmo.  They have a line that is formulated for women only.  It is Mango flavored and the taste was pretty mild.  I carried one bottle of Osmo and the rest water.  The Osmo seemed fine, so next long ride I will try two bottles.

watch 55 55 Ride 2

Sunday: Long run of 80 minutes at target race pace.  I had an adventure on the greenway!!  This was indeed a run and NOT a swim, despite all the water in this view!

Greenway Flooding

I felt lots of fatigue in my legs early on. After the first few miles, the legs seemed to loosen a bit. I was not really pushing the pace…just let the legs dictate the pace and not my head.




Avg Pace





































Summary  1:20:06.0     8.55 9:22

Overall, I felt the pace was not bad…a bit slower than plan directed, but felt this is what my legs had and so I was happy with that.  I did the run alone; however, I knew that a friend of mine was going to be biking the greenway over the weekend.  So, we planned to meet and leave at the same time.  Even though we did not train together, it was nice knowing she was out there and we did get to chat a bit before!

A couple of things that make me smile about this week:

1 – This was ANOTHER week where I successfully woke up early on four mornings and trained before work.  For this girl (I am not a morning person), I am proud that I was able to conquer the early morning yet again!

2 – I fit everything in, despite a crazy week!


Time: 10 hours 52 minutes

Swim: 6,400 yards

Bike: 80.33 miles

Run: 13.28 miles

Stretching/foam rolling:  Some, but not enough!

Committment from Yourself





posted by on Ironman

With one month of training down, I took a look back and have a few take-aways that are key.  First, I feel pleased with the first month.  As I had explained in an earlier post, I stayed very active since the “end of last season” and while I did not have a specific plan over the few months leading to the start of IM training, I feel that I did a good job in preparing myself to have a solid base to start this 24-week plan.  I am pleased that I stayed diligent to routine training and I have felt it pay off in these early weeks.

Secondly, while the training is tough, another challenge is balancing training with everything else in life.  My workday typically includes a version of this:

  • An early morning training session (generally three days/week), so the alarm goes off between 5:00-5:15 on those training days.
  • Getting showered and ready for work.
  • Cooking breakfast (always oatmeal), prepping lunch and all snacks for the day.
  • Commute to the office (approximately 40 minutes, but sometimes longer)…I try to leave home by 7:30.
  • Full workday…try to head out of the office by 5:00.
  • To the pool or home for run/bike.
  • Shower
  • Dinner = Tony or I (or collectively) cook dinner or even better we have leftovers!  Generally, we eat between 8:00-8:30 (depending on the length of training session).
  • Clean up kitchen/try to stay on top of a few chores.
  • Relax/watch TV.
  • Lay out all my needed gear for the morning workout and packing pool bag for the following evening if swim is scheduled.
  • Bed = this time has varied and I have tried to be in bed by 10:00, especially on nights where I have early training the next morning.

Needless to say, these are full days.  Often times I feel there is not enough time in the day. The key thing I have not fully discussed is getting enough sleep.  I have never functioned well on little sleep and that is even more apparent as the training gets more and more intense.  Frequently, by the time I sit down to relax, it is almost time to think about bed.  I enjoy this relaxing time with Tony and it is hard to call it a night when I am enjoying our time.

The workweek is by far the hardest, but there is plenty that has to get done on the weekends to have a less stressful week.  Apart from the longer training days, on the weekends I try to organize for the upcoming week.  I try to plan out a few meals and ensure we have all the ingredients.  I generally plan dishes that include leftovers to minimize the number of meals we have to prepare (leftovers are wonderful!!!).  I also like to make sure I have good lunches planned (hearty & healthy) to take to work with snacks as well.  Getting laundry done is also key, because I am generating more dirty workout gear than ever before!  If I get the majority of these things done on the weekend, the week goes a little smoother.

With all this, I have gradually started to figure out what makes things easier during these time-crunched days.  I will continue to try things that may help or make life easier.  Bottom line is that I knew these days would come and would be challenging.  With many things in life, sacrifice is something that comes into play.  I accept this, as I want to do all that is necessary to be prepared to reach my goal.  I know that it will all be worth it!  As I do with my training plan, I just take one day at a time and do the best that I can do.  At the end of the day, we will eat dinner (even if it is scrambled eggs and toast) and life does go on with dirty dishes in the kitchen sink!  I know this from lots of experience….

Poster for time passes anyway

posted by on Ironman

Week Four Recap Pic v2

I will first explain the high level structure of my training plan.  It includes three weeks of building and then a fourth week of lighter volume and training time.  This gives the body a recovery period from the previous three weeks of build and prepares it for the upcoming three-week block.  This is typically how my training plans have been structured…even from my first sprint tri.  It seems to be a good format that by body (generally) responds to well.


PM – Started the training week off with a 60-minute bike trainer workout with hill repeats!!  The main set included three hill repeats at 10 minutes each in length with a combination of seated and standing climbs.  Legs felt a bit fatigued from the bike ride on the previous day, but not too bad.


AM – “Steady” run on the treadmill – 30 minutes at a pace faster that target race pace, but slower than tempo.  I completed 3.49 miles at 8:36 pace.  My quads still felt fatigued, but maintained pace as planned.

PM – Had to shuffle training plan due to a late meeting at work.  Rescheduled swim for Saturday.


AM – 50 minutes on the bike trainer with varying levels of work effort.  Nothing like a morning sweat fest to go the day started!

PM – 2700-yard swim – The main set focused on 4×10 minute steady efforts with 1-minute rest between intervals.  This set was similar to a set I performed in the prior weeks’ plan, but it was 3×10 minute efforts.  I saw some improvement with this 4×10 minute workout.  My sets timed out at 9:50, 9:50, 9:54, and 9:55 for the 500 yard sets.  I was very excited to maintain an overall pace of 1:58 for the 2000 yards total (with very little rest).  The prior weeks’ sets were 9:55, 10:03 and 10:01 with 2:00 overall pace for 1500 yards total.  I love to see progress!


AM – 30-minute recovery run on the treadmill – 3.16 miles with average pace of 9:31, which is on point for this recovery run.  My heart rate averaged 141 and I was happy to keep the HR super low.

PM – The best part about the recovery weeks – MASSAGE!!  I tried a new therapist that was recommended.  I had a great one hour massage and she was able to work out some kinks and soreness.  I find this to be a very important part of training…both physically and mentally!!

Friday:  REST DAY!!!


AM – Swim – This was the swim that had to be rescheduled from earlier in the week due to work conflicts.  This swim focused on drills and form.  It was a total of 2100 yards and I did not even use my Garmin!  (Not using a Garmin is kind of a big deal for me.  I guess I can be called a “data junkie” and like to know my stats.  However, especially in the pool, it is good to have sessions to not think about time/speed and focus on form and breathing.)

PM – BRICK!!  For this workout, Tony joined me and we biked on the trainer for 95 minutes.  There were many different intervals with varying cadences and intensities, which helps the time pass.  Before I started on the bike, I had all my run gear set out, so as soon as I finished the bike, I changed and started out on my 35-minute run at target race pace.  I am usually very consistent.  However, this run was a bit different.  I ran in/around my neighborhood (some rollers) and I averaged 9:10 pace for 3.81 miles.  The inconsistency came in my mile splits.

Mile 1 = 9:34

Mile 2 = 9:30

Mile 3 = 9:10

Mile .81 = 8:22 pace

I was happy to finish strong!  One positive take away to report, was regarding my fueling and how I felt on the run.  In the post from my last brick, I explained how I had not eaten enough on the bike (to sustain the run).  So early on in the run, I felt low on fuel.  I definitely made adjustments for this session and did a much better job! As a result, my average pace for the 35-minute brick run improved from 9:26 to 9:10.  It is all about learning and making adjustments for improvement!


2800 yard endurance swim – The main set of this swim was a challenge.  It included 100/200/300/400/500 easy-to-moderate pace intervals with only 15 seconds of rest between each interval.  I held pretty well, but slowed a bit during the 500 set.  The 15 seconds of rest is what makes this tricky.

The last sets before cool down were 2×300 easy/moderate/fast with 30 seconds rest between intervals.  Despite a good effort, there was not a whole lot of “FAST” going on at that point.  I was really feeling fatigued for these 300 sets, but I just did my best and was happy to reach cool down.

Reflections from the week:

This closes out my first 4-week block of training.  I am very proud of myself that I have not missed any of my scheduled training.  It has been hard at times and I KNOW that it will only get harder as the time passes and the training gets longer and more intense.  With a solid month in, I will just continue forward and do as I have done so far…take one day at a time and do the best I can do!


Time: 8 hours 50 minutes

Swim: 7,600 yards

Bike: 42.43 miles (all on the trainer)

Run: 10.46 miles

Stretching/foam rolling:  Some, but not enough!


Training Week #3


posted by on Ironman

Week Three Recap


PM – 35-minute treadmill run at a “steady pace” (slower than tempo but faster than race pace).  Unfortunately, I had some right knee pain during this run.  I ran for a while before I felt any discomfort, but once I felt a twinge, I stopped and re-started to ensure my form was strong.  I have found that when I slow down when my knee is not happy, it often feels worse.  So, after stopping a couple of time and re-starting, I still felt the twinge. I actually sped up my pace for a short time and it felt better.  I then brought my pace back down to what I was targeting, and all was good.  This just re-affirms that I need to keep stretching a priority amongst all this training.

Average pace: 8:36 for 5.17 miles…this pace was in the range of what I was hoping for.  It is the same pace that I averaged for my 30-minute steady pace run last week.


AM – 80 minutes on the bike trainer with the focus on cadence.  I rode various sets from low cadence to mid cadence to high cadence.  This was a challenging set, but the amount of times you have to change gears and keep an eye on the cadence reading, helps the time to pass.

PM – 1900 yard swim with the focus on speed!  The main set of this swim included 8x100s at a moderate pace with short 15 second rest and then 50 FAST followed by a 30 second rest.  This was a tough set and I really focused on maintaining the SHORT rest intervals.  I was happy that each of my 100s fell between 1:48-1:49.  Yay for consistency!


PM – 70-minute run on the treadmill. I actually misread the instructions on my plan and instead of performing this run at target race pace, I ran it at steady pace, which is 30-sec/mile faster.  I had some issues on the run.  I started the run with some nutrition available, but it was not enough. I ended up having 2 Gus and 2 individual shot blocks and needing full calorie Gatorade (I usually drink G2 – the low cal version) to finish the run. Luckily, Tony was home and checked on me and brought me one of the GUs and the Gatorade, so I could finish up.  I was able to have a decent run, despite having a couple of times feeling “low on fuel”.  Obviously, I need to plan better next time.  I finished the run with 8.2 miles at 8:32 pace.


AM – 55 minutes on the bike trainer with the focus on big gears and low cadence.  I felt pretty good during the workout despite my legs feeling a bit fatigued from the run.

PM – 2200-yard swim – This was a hard one to get going.  I was VERY tired prior to starting workout, but I just told myself to go and get it done.  (Before leaving work, one of my co-workers actually commented “you look wiped”…well that says enough).  All in all, I was happy with my swim (I surprised myself!!!).  The main set focused on 3×10 minutes steady swim with only 1-minute rest between intervals. I was able to stay fairly consistent with the 3 sets timed at 9:55, 10:03 and 10:01.  I did not want to fall below 10:00 for the 500 sets (generally speaking, 10 minutes is about 500 yards for me), but given my low energy level, I felt like I pushed through. I was pleased that I was able to overcome my fatigue and have a decent swim. Maintaining a 2:00 overall pace for 1500 yards total (with very little rest) is a pretty good workout for me.

Friday:  REST DAY!!!


AM – 1800-yard swim with focus on speed work.  The main set included 200s, 100s and 25s.  I was most pleased with my 200 sets and maintaining a 1:52 pace (per 100 yards) for these sets.  The five 100s averaged 1:49.  Slowly making progress….

PM – 40-minute recovery run on the treadmill – 4.23 miles with average pace of 9:28, which is on point for this recovery run.  Heart rate averaged 148 and I was happy to keep the HR low.  The time passed fast because I watched an episode of the Bachelor on the laptop!

Sunday:  Group Ride

A couple of things that make me smile about this week:

1 – Even though I was battling low nutrition on my Wednesday run, I pushed through and finished strong.

2 – Flipping the mental switch to “get my swim done” Thursday when I was feeling very tired and unmotivated.


Time: 10 hours 1 minute

Swim: 5,900 yards

Bike: 66.84 miles

Run: 17.6 miles

Stretching/foam rolling:  Some, but not enough!

Enough Said...

Enough Said…


posted by on Fun, Ironman

Saturday was a full day with a swim and run on the training plan, as well as, a stop at Trader Joe’s and other errands/chores to get done.   The day flew by and before I realized, it was time for dinner out with friends!  For about a year, we have discussed trying this ”new to us” restaurant in Durham.  The restaurant is called Dame’s Chicken & Waffles and I have read lots of good things about it.  From the name of the restaurant, you can already tell that it was definitely a splurge dinner!

Growing up in the South, there are lots of dishes that I love, but I have to enjoy on rare occasions/in moderation.  One of my favorites has always been my mom’s fried chicken, which I actually have not had in a very long time!  I had never tried chicken and waffles, but I knew it would be a delicious pairing! 

We rode to Durham with our friends and even though there was a long wait for a table, we were fortunate enough to grab seats immediately at the bar, where they also served dinner.  Nicole and I had a delicious version of a strawberry mimosa while we all chatted. 

Enjoying a cocktail before dinner

Enjoying a cocktail before dinner

The order was chicken and waffles all around, just different versions/flavors for each of us.  I had the classic waffle with chicken cutlets and a strawberry “shmear “ on the side (whipped butter combined with strawberries).  My meal was quite tasty and you can see from the portion size that it was generous…even so, I still ate every bite (I guess the swim and run from earlier in the day really worked up my appetite)! 

Yummy Chicken and Waffles!!

Yummy Chicken and Waffles!!

The group thoroughly enjoyed dinner and we all left with full bellies.  We headed back to our friends’ house and hung out there a while until Tony and I called it a night.  We had a bike ride on the plan for the following morning while our friends were hitting a long trail run. 

For Sunday, Tony and I decided to attend a group ride that Inside Out Triathlon Club was hosting.  The ride started in downtown Raleigh and covered part of the Raleigh 70.3 course.  Since we are very familiar with the course and know that it has its fair share of challenges, we thought it would be a good ride.   The ride was a 40-mile ride, which was a bit shorter than the scheduled time on my training plan.  However, we figured it would be a solid pace ride and that would result in a good day of training.

After we headed out of downtown to start the ride, Tony and I worked our way up to try to hang with the front of the pack.  It is hard to stick with the group when the course has stoplights and lots of people that have to get through.  We hung with the front of the pack for the first hour and then we fell into a smaller group of 5-7 that really ended up being a good move.  The ride with the front of the pack had a lot of “rubber-banding”…quick starts/stops which make it harder to fall into a steady pace.  After we formed our smaller group, we were able to maintain a good, steady pace that seemed to work for the small group.  The ride totaled just over 40 miles and our average pace was 18.1.  I was pleased with that for this early season ride. 

All in all it was a good ride and we were glad we decided to join the group for the day.   The morning started a bit cool, but it was sunny and so it really was a pretty day!  I plan to watch out for more group rides that may pair up with some of my training.  It is a good way to meet new people and check out different scenery.  However, I still love being able to walk out of my house and jump on my bike!