Professional athlete and 3-time Ironman champion

Euphoria and Dismay

I am in San Diego, training for a few weeks. It sort of came together at the last minute; I was coming out here for my cousin’s wedding and happened upon an excellent training partner, Katja Schumacher who had an excellent place to stay and having spent her winter in NYC was equally as pale and sick of the cold weather as I was!!

I’ve been here over a week now and am like a kid in a candy store! The training here is great! So many great routes to ride, beautiful scenery, bike lanes everywhere; it’s just great. I get to swim outdoors every day, sometimes with a fun and feisty master’s group, other days on my own. Either way, it is such a treat to be OUTSIDE!!

On Saturday, I headed out for a ride on my own. Katja had other plans, so my tour guide and training partner left me to own devices. I scoped out Google maps, recognized a few road names from our earlier weeks’ rides, managed to string them together for a route….brought my cell phone, credit card and $20 just in case…and headed out. After some hours, I’d wound my way back to the coast, but still had 60 minutes of riding on the plan, so I decided to make up time along the coast. It’s a nice way to start or end a ride…relatively flat and with beautiful scenery.

On a beautiful Saturday early afternoon, there was no shortage of riders on the coast highway. Some on mountain bikes, some road bikes, some beach cruisers. I passed an older fellow on his mountain bike. He was in his mid-50s, I’d guess. Out for a spin, I had figured; wearing regular athletic shorts, sneakers in toe cages and had tube socks pulled all the way up to his knees.

I smiled and greeted him as I passed. Gosh, these Californians are so friendly!

I pressed on – about 15 minutes to turn around to make my ride complete. Suddenly, I about 5 minutes later, I heard the whirring sound of a cyclist stomping on the pedals to pull around me. "Must be a big pack of guys," I thought by the sound of it. I moved inward to give what I was sure was a peleton of speedy riders a chance to pass….when suddenly, my mid-50 year old mountain biker friend in kneesocks made his move back by me.

Quickly my euphoria turned to dismay. Now I am used to having guys come by on the bike…not many guys like to get "chicked" on a ride. But man…I’d never been "mountain biked" before.

So to my friendly mid-50 year old with tube socks pulled all the way up….more power to you, man! You schooled me!! Well done. I’ll get ya next time! Pedal on!

Persistence. Determination. Love. The Journey!

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