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.