Ok, so the Duck chickened out.
I was so anxious that I actually lost sleep. I gave myself the option of riding with the women's group leaving from a different shop. That ride left later and was local, diffusing two of my imagined gripes with the ride that intimidated me. Plus the later time meant that if I procrastinated my way out of a ride, it was no excuse. The bases were covered.
I woke up and got every layer I own onto my body (not much for a Florida duck) and headed out the door... AND got smacked in the face with a strong, bitter north wind. It blew my hatch closed while I was trying to load gear. It cut through all my layer like a knife through butter. My hands were numb in moments.
I went back in a searched (again) for an ear cover that would work with my helmet. No luck. If I did this it would be with no protection from the collar bone up and the wrists/ankles down. I could likely keep my core warm but my extremities were on their own.
I texted the conditions MVF, a cold weather die-hard and got validation for my whimpiness. She said that my cycling clothes were totally inadequate for the conditions and I risked terrible, dire things if I rode in that. Okie dokie! Good enough for me.
I did swim later, doing my best impression of a submarine with nothing but an eyeball out of the water between intervals and ultimately did my hours on the indoor trainer. Thankfully a certain tv streaming website is willing to keep the Law & Order coming while I ticked off 124 minutes of intense boredom and profuse sweating.
Then I ate homemade soup for dinner.