Last weekend I did my longest bike ride to date - 32 miles :) I can't really even tell that I'm doing extra miles except my crotch is ready to stop, but I find it really enjoyable!
I was using Abby's bike that she doesn't use anymore and one of my swimming friends just upgraded her bike and wanted me to check out hers - we're the same height and just about the same build. It has the pedals where you need the shoes to ride it, whereas I was using the cages with my running shoes. My last straw was when my shoe laces got all caught up in the chain. There is a noticeable difference on the 2nd bike - better fit, smoother ride - and with the shoes. I feel stronger.
When we started this endeavour - I had a helmet and an old triathlon top and shorts from my sister (whew, lifesaver on that!). Now, I have bike shoes, bikes shorts, and a brand new bike rack on our car. I know how to change gears,(recall that I had no clue how to do that in my first triathlon!) and I even know how to use the aero bars! I feel like I'm making strides! I had done about 5 outside rides total (of about 8-10 miles) leading up to my first Olympic triathlon and now I'm outside 2-3 times a week riding 60-70 miles a week. My next race is the Nation's Triathlon, compliments of my sis on Sept 11. I'm a little freaked out lately that it is on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and in DC. Should I be?? Yikes.
I'd love to do a half ironman - there's one Oct 2 (4 weeks out from marathon), but decided I don't need to spend $300 to see that I can do that and do it well! Maybe when I'm back to work? I can't afford that right now!
I am really good on the bike in groups and trying to keep up but seem to slack off and don't work hard enough when I ride alone. One thing is for sure - I've definitely improved and have more of a smooth ride! I really like the bike now! How things have changed :)