Posted by: sonewjersey | April 18, 2012

Preparing for a Strong Finish

Guest Blog by Nicole Composto, SONJ communications manager

Almost a full month ago, I wrote my first blog detailing my experiences in preparing for the 3-hour Can Do Triple Threat Inspirational Ride. It’s been 30 days since writing that blog, and I can say that much has changed. I just reread the blog post and laughed to myself at seeing just how dramatic I was in regards to how tough my workouts were and how I doubted myself and my abilities. I can safely say that today’s post will be different!

After that first extended ride, I started working out 3 days a week with my trainer. And although the workouts with him are still proportionally just as intense, I’m now working with weights that are double the heaviness of when I began to work out and I feel stronger and stronger every day.

A schedule conflict caused me to miss my second extended ride (90-minutes) but this past Saturday I finally got to flex my newfound muscles at a 2-hour extended ride at Can Do Fitness. After a month of heavy workouts, I went into the ride with an overinflated ego – and the class definitely put me in my place! It was a full two hours of riding, and while it wasn’t “my-heart-can’t-take-it-anymore” intense, it was a heavy, slow burn that caught up with me by the end of the class and far beyond into the rest of Saturday.

This particular 2-hour ride was more or less broken down into two parts…the first hour, taught by Beverly, was more of a long warm-up to get us ready for the more intense second half, which was then taught by Nancy. This second hour was filled with hills and “switchbacks” – a preparation for a turn on a hillside. I can honestly say that we spent most of the class out of the seat, standing up leaning forward on the handlebars…it was tough.

By the end of the class, everything hurt. My joints and my muscles ached down to the very core, but I felt fantastic. I couldn’t believe that I had completed 2 hours. I attended the class with two co-workers and one SONJ athlete, and everyone was so supportive of each other. We all congratulated each other on a job well done! I was proud of myself for finishing strong, but I definitely realized that I severely underestimated the class! This was very, very tough on me, and I truly am going to have to push to prepare to add an additional hour onto what was already a rough ride.

While the ride itself was tough and I was hurting, I felt so good about myself that I decided to go out for a 3-mile walk in the park with a friend – mistake! By the time I got home, I felt like I had been through the ringer! My body was exhausted, and I slept for 12 hours that night.

This has taught me that I really need to take care of my body for this ride…both before, during and after. I went into the Saturday ride without eating breakfast (Mistake #1), didn’t hydrate enough during (Mistake #2), and didn’t allow myself to fully recover after (Mistake #3). I now know not to take this endeavor lightly and that I truly need to prepare and recover from the 3-hour spin when the time comes. Anyone else who has signed up should also take steps to really treat their body right in preparation for the 3-hour ride.

At this point, I’m both nervous and excited for the big day, but I’m looking forward to it and also looking forward to being able to share my experience through the Special Olympics New Jersey blog!

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Responses

  1. Hey Nicole – you weren’t the only one “trashed” for the rest of that Saturday, 2-hr. ride, so was I!!! xoxo-your instructor, Nancy! I promise we will get you all through the 3-hr. event in flying colors and all of this hard work will totally pay off! Ride on…..nancy.

  2. Nicole,
    You inspire me! I know you have what it will take and then some to finish the triple threat, Ride On, Germaine


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