Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Well, I didn't quite make it

Actually, didn’t come close. Not even a personal best. Sunday, I shot for 100 miles on a bicycle and completely bonked just past the 50-mile turnaround. Started having conversations with mythical creatures. At 65 miles I was done trying to rack up pride points. Just done. Toast. Hitched a ride on the sag wagon.
It was discouraging. My friends tell me to reframe it, that 65 miles is a big ride. This is true. It just wasn’t as big as I pulled off last year.

My husband told me for your first century, the stars need to align. It took him 5 or 6 tries to complete one. This was only my third. There will be another time.

The stars were out of kilter. It was a hard day. A lot of headwind on the way out. I was a little rundown and couldn't get comfortable on the bike. Life got in the way of my training schedule last month. My Dad’s 90th birthday was more important than a bike ride. 

I made mistakes. I was pressed for time and went out too hard at first. I didn’t take adequate breaks or eat enough on the way. I could have trained harder.

But I learned from it. I spent a day or two feeling sorry for myself, although the day-after hot stone massage went a long way in lifting my mood. Last night I was a beautiful evening, and I rode an easy 10-miler. It felt good to get back on the bike.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Patience, patience, patience

I am a painfully slow cyclist. Nearly everyone blows past me, particularly on climbs. Early in the season I swear I was getting passed uphill by small children with princess stickers on their bikes, but now I can smoke those little bitches!

Patience. I need patience with myself. Patience to grasp that I am starting at a different place or at a different time than others. I've only really been taking this seriously in the past year or so. Patience to recognize I'm built more for endurance than speed.

A week from today, I will attempt 100 miles on a bicycle. It's an organized ride with rest stops along the way, patrolling repair vans and a sag wagon. Much easier than attempting one alone or with a small group. Just toss a water bottle on the bike and go.

I'm behind on the training schedule. My longest day so far was 50. By now, it should have been 60 or 70. Life simply got in the way the last two weeks in July, including a week of family travel. That's OK. I believe life is fluid and goals should not be cages.

I've done what I can, and I will do what I can next Sunday. I'm not overly worried. Yesterday, 39 miles felt comfortable. Last year, my longest ride before the century attempt was 40, and I pulled off 90. The last 10 miles were ugly, and the sag wagon kept circling with concern, but I came in under my own steam.

Some of it will depend on wind and heat. I've heard it said you should not take up cycling anywhere known for its wind farms. Last year there was a 20+ MPH headwind a good chunk of the way out.

I have five hours to make the turnaround. Even with rest stops, this should be more than enough. I need to be patient when the cyclometer dips to 6 MPH and not to try to keep pace with others, even if I'm off the course DFL.

Even if I don't make it, it's OK. I haven't failed. The point is to get out and ride and feel the joy of a good spin. That I can accomplish for certain.