I've been riding "seriously" for a little more than 6 months after a layoff of many, many years. I ride 4-5 times a week, including an "easy" club ride every Sunday morning with a great club group. I've avoided most of their more serious rides because of serious hill climbs. I really, really suck on hills. In the last couple of months, though, I've noticed quite a bit of improvement, both in my endurance and leg strength, so I thought I'd give this am's serious ride a try.
A sobering experience. Even on the flats, the group's pace was so much faster than mine that I was puffing to keep up. By the time we got to the first hill of more than 1/4 mile length, I knew that I'd be stopping to catch my breath so often--assuming I didn't completely bonk--that it'd hold the group back, or I'd get dropped.
So I bailed. Back home I'm trying to retain some pride in the real progress I've made, and come up with some plans for pace and hill training that'll widen the range of my cycling. Any advice or reality therapy is welcome!