So as anyone who read yesterday’s post knows, I rode a century yesterday that honestly kicked my butt a little and did in fact draw blood. OK, the blood was from the finger, but it drew it none the less.
A smarter man woulda left the bike at home today. However, this is one of the weeks I can only ride home 3 days. Next week, I am working at the office that is only 5 miles away, and the following week I am resting the legs to get ready for the big ride. I still feel the need for more miles before the STP. That meant today I rode….
Along about this time every year, as the big ride gets closer, I start wondering if, in fact, I have trained enough. I should ask my blogger Dr of Psychology friend if there is a phobia for this (DidITrainEnoughaphobia). So after yesterday’s ride, as hard as it was on me, those thoughts started making themselves known.
Then, after a long day of teaching, and walking SLOWLY upstairs each time I went down, it was time to ride. I took a mile long lunch walk to loosen the legs some, but I had no idea how the ride home would feel.
Saddling up, my rear end was the first to talk to me. “Dude! Really? Making me get back on the bike already???” However, after a few minutes, it quieted down and didn’t squawk again the whole trip.
I think it was because the legs took over! Right after I leave the building, I have a short, but steep climb to the main drag. I would use the elevator and cut through the lobby (which is right at the main drag level) but my bosses frown on me running over our older (down right elderly sometimes) customers. At the top of the hill, sometimes, today was one, I also have to sprint a bit to make the left turn.
Yep the legs were groaning! I will not repeat here the words I heard them say!
editors note: OK so maybe it is a bit strange that I understand the words the body parts say, and I talk to them sometimes while on a ride. But hell, the legs are doing all the work, they deserve to be heard and to get encouragement!
I made it down and up the biggest hills near the office, and then I noticed something. The legs quit complaining. Now I won’t say I was hauling ass, or even at my normal average speed, but I was cranking along steadily, making decent time and starting to enjoy myself.
When I hit the trail, I hit my stride. The speedometer showed, even with a head wind, that I was cruising along at 16 MPH! (Now I know to others that isn’t that fast, but I’ve always said, I don’t go fast, but I DO get there!) There was no pain, no tired muscles, I was enjoying the hell out of the ride.
But for once, the brain kicked it. Since there was a headwind, I was working pretty hard to maintain this speed. I started thinking. “OK you are doing well now buddy, but just how much do you have in the tank? Remember, you still have to climb up to the house!” So I eased it back a notch or two.
REALLY wished I woulda thought about that sooner!
I will admit it, about halfway up the 4 mile hill, it started to suck a bit. I was tired. It was warm, and the wind shifted to blow downhill…
But I made it, no stops, no problems, I just used the bigger gears and kept the legs cranking. I pulled into the house about 5 minutes later than I normally would have. I was tired, and the legs were chattering some, but I made it. I also walked into pork and rice cooking YUM!
Then it hit me. The training is paying off. In the past there have been times I needed 2 or 3 days after a century to get back on the bike. Today, I know now that if I had to, I could get up and ride to work tomorrow, no issues at all! For the record though, I do have to drive tomorrow, Manchild and I are having dinner at mom’s after work! This is one of the few times I don’t mind leaving the bike at home.
I am feeling good about myself, the training and the prospects for the big ride. I will start that ride at 4:15 AM with fresh legs and plenty to eat and drink. It almost worries me that I am NOT worried, but instead I will just raise the glass to the cycling gods and thank them for all the help this year!