This just in: Leg one of my "ride the Highgrade/Shadow/LittleCub loop 3 times in 5 days" is complete.

The last two days have been busy busy busy. I found a wonderful nanny to watch Annie today and Friday while I do my epic ride sessions. I can't tell you what a relief it is to know that a caring trained person is watching Annie while I ride. Also knowing that poor Troy doesn't have to take yet another two days off from work so I can train is an added bonus. Happy me, Happy Annie, Happy Troy. Ahhhh.

I had to wake up EARLY this morning. My bike was dirty and had a flat in the rear tire (despite my goo tubes). Last night I had rushed to REI to pick up new tubes for my bike and the Chariot but due to Troys Presidents Award Banquit I didn't get time to install them. So this morning I was up bright (oh wait...it was still dark) and early to wash my bike, change tubes, and attend to my chain that has been sounding awful as of recently. I took a picture for proof (see above).

I was out of the house at 7:45, off to meet Amy (J's Amy) for my ride. I was so happy to have someone to meet up with, it would have been a drag to do it all by myself. Amy ran 3+ hours the day before (training for Boston) so I felt very blessed that she was willing to wake up early and drag her tired legs onto her bike for me. Thanks Amy!

We had a great time riding up Highgrade together, chatting it up and telling stories. Amy and I always seem to end up telling stories on Highgrade! It was a bit windy out there, but the sun was shining, so I thought everything would subside. At the top of Highgrade Amy went a little farther with me, and then made the turn and headed back home. I had her company for about 1.5 hours and then I was on my own. I settled into my own pace. I know this ride so well by now I just took my time on the downhills and tried to stay steady on the ups. There was a lot of wind on some of the downhill sections, and then at other times...no wind. It's wild all the things your brain comes up with while you are on your bike. Little things along the road jog a memory or two and before you know it you are at the top of another long climb. The traffic on a Wednesday morning was low so I had lots of peace and quiet. I didn't even see another biker until I was riding up the back side of Deer Creek (almost the end).

In total the ride took me about 4 hours today, quicker than I thought. I only stopped once to grab a Gatoraid and a Snickers bar at a gas station...two minute stop, max! After a shower and lunch I feel pretty much 100%. I'm excited for Friday!