On this, the second ride I've done since September, 2006, here is what didn't change:
1. Cars in the park where I cycle are STILL A BUNCH OF BUTT MUNCHES. I forgot what it's like to hear, "GET ON THE BIKE PATH," "F-YOU," and the sound of rapid car horns while riding. And this is in a PARK where there are signs every mile or so saying, "Share the Road." Oh well. They are probably miserable people, anyway.
2. I PROBABLY should not try to hang with a group that is going about 20 miles an hour.
3. By hanging with said group for the first 5 miles, then realizing just how fast they were going, it made for a looooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnngggggggg and rather lonely 20 more miles. Story of group rides for me. Group rides usually turn into solo rides where I beat myself up about how slow I am.
4. I have a lot of work to do.
Things that HAVE changed since 2006:
1. If this was '06, I probably would have cried on the car ride home in frustration, since that was pretty much my standard operating procedure. But I came home, kissed my boys, and laughed about how I just got my butt whooped. I laughed. Huh?
2. Yeah, this whole "not getting my proverbial panties up in a bunch" over a ride in April where I was embarrassingly slow is new. I think I like it. Because I just kinda know I'm fine, and I have time to do the work that needs to be done to get where I need to be.
3. I think it's because since 2006, I've survived Ironman and childbirth, and not a whole lot fazes me. I don't mean that in a cocky way, but more just at peace with myself I think. I know I'll probably never break any land-speed records, but I'm amazed at what my body has done in the past year and a half, and I have a new respect for it.
So I guess some things never change. And some things have been changed forever.