About 3 weeks ago, I had my first meeting with a personal trainer, Brian Johnson of Fitness by Brian. Eileen of the Gift of Hearing Foundation has been great with the organization of the ride. And this ride would probably only exist in my head if it weren't for my father, who has treated this ride as his full-time job the last 3 months. But Brian Johnson has been the biggest help to me personally.
Brian has donated his talents as a personal trainer to get me ready for my 10,000+ ride. Words cannot express my gratitude to him. Out of all the people working on the ride, I see him the most. I cannot believe how lucky I am. Not only has Brian been fitting me into his time in between paying clients, he is also helping with media coverage. Next week, if the weather is good, we're going to do our second outdoor workout with a spot on the news! He has good ideas, and has great advice!
We've been doing a lot of squatting and other exercises to strengthen my quadriceps (thigh muscles). Plus, I ride a bike a lot (obviously). Suffice to say, my quadriceps have been pretty sore for 3 weeks. For our training sessions, I cycle to Brian’s place in a loop. On the way over, there is a big descent, followed by a moderate climb. After that there is only a small “bump” before I reach his place. On Monday when I rode to his house, I made it up the climb decently. What surprised me was how much my legs were still burning over the small “bump” to his place. When I felt that burn on one of the smallest hills imaginable all I could think was "well, that's how it will be for 8 months."
My quads do about 80% of the work when I’m riding my bike. There are small hills and big hills. But right now, it seems like no hill is small! I climb hills much faster than I could a year ago, but it burns more. My quads are strong and Brian is helping me make them stronger. I'll give my legs a nice rest in the final week or two before the ride starts. But after that, my quadriceps will have to propel me 10,500 miles. I’m expecting my quadriceps may ALWAYS be a bit sore during my ride, but with Brian’s help they’ll hopefully NEVER tire.