Thursday, February 13, 2014

Laughter in Training

Back to blogging....

I wrote the draft of this post in December.  In reviewing my unpublished posts this evening, it dawned on me that I needed to post this, as well as write about my extraordinary experiences during the last several months.  I am compelled to get back to you and this blog.

Training for an endurance event is serious business.  It is a fine balance of hard work, rest, nutrition, hydration and more hard work.  An endurance event, when it comes down to it is a solo endeavor, however the road to the event is paved with training, friends and a support system.  It does indeed take a village to send an athlete out onto the course.

Training in the winter in Indiana requires either facing the elements, or riding indoors on the trainer.  Wind, snow, frigid cold...not for the faint at heart.  I have ventured out on the road as much as possible.  (Truth be told, I enjoy riding in the wind.)  However, the month of January, and now into February of 2014 has meant a lot of snow.  Lots...with a capital "L".  It's actually a bit ridiculous. As such, the trainer has been my friend and nemesis.

As you may know, I recently completed my first ultra distance event; La Vuelta Puerto Rico.  Three days peloton riding, 375 miles around the perimeter of the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. It was an amazing, life-changing event.  I will share more very soon.

The months surrounding this event have been rather tumultuous for me.  My personal life is a major way.  As such I have taken a brief hiatus from blogging.  In an effort to resume blogging, and write about this adventure, I'm jumping back a couple of months to the trip to Florida.

You may recall, in early December I began to write about the journey of three friends (a.k.a Tres Amigas) to a training camp in Mt. Dora hosted by MotionFit.  Kameel Abdurrahman is a captain at La Vuelta and has done the race many times.  We were anxious for the 141 mile mock La Vuelta training ride.  I left you  with the story about our stops in Tennessee.

Back on track:

Day 3...Friday, December 13, 2013 we arrived in Florida.  The town of Mt. Dora beckoned us after a very long 2 1/2 days of travel.  The town of Mt. Dora surprised me.  It was quaint and beautiful.  A small village of unique shops and restaurants.  We were eager to check in to our hotel, The Lakeside Inn, and get out on our bikes.  Alas, the desk clerk informed us that our room was not quite ready.  Dilemma.

Being the practical women we are, we decided to look for a laundry facility to wash our dirty, sweaty (smelly) clothes.  We had no idea of the fun that was about to unfold.  The mark of true friendship is being able to let loose and be yourself (honest and raw).

Turns out the laundry facility was not in the greatest of neighborhoods.  I am fairly convinced a drug deal went down in the adjacent parking lot.  We averted our eyes and kept our heads down.  The bench in front of the laundrymat housed an apparent homeless gentleman who had seemingly not seen a shower stall for weeks.  He seemed intent to sit and take in the three female athletes washing their laundry.

Still, we found time to be silly and enjoy the beautiful Florida sunshine, in spite of our surroundings.

Caught a few rays....improvisation as no beach was nearby.

Met some interesting characters. 

In such a setting, we lost ourselves in laughter.  Even if just for an hour or two.  We finished the laundry, found our way back to the Inn and rode our bikes.

One step closer to La Vuelta, many steps closer to each other.

More to come...we have a lot of catching up to do!

Peace Out xoxo