The Let Down

You know I should be more ready for this.  It has happened every year since 2008 when I got the bike.  The let down.

This time last week, I was buzzing all over the place.  Getting the bike ready, attaching the number, 484, to the jersey, helmet, and bike.  Filling water bottles, camel back and the yellow bag.  Packing the last bit of stuff for the time in Oregon.  I hadn’t sat down since I got home, nor would I till about 9 when I finally got to bed.  This week its a different story….

In a little over 26 hours from the time I am writing this, it will be one week since I crossed the finish line in Portland.


Immediately afterwards we went to the hotel, and all I wanted was a beer and food.  Sleep came soon after.

The next day was the trip to the Ocean where I got to relax for 3 full days of looking at the water.


and walking on the beach.


But now, after two days back in the office I am sitting here, hanging out with Michelle and the Manchild, after just eating Chinese take out, and it hit me:  The big ride is over.

Since the end of 2013 I knew I was going to riding the 200 miles in a day.  This meant all plans, rides, training and most thoughts revolved around just that.  Tonight, though, I started thinking about our busy weekend ahead (Sounders Match, Mom in Laws birthday breakfast) and automatically thought,  “CRAP!!!  I need to get a long ride, the STP is only…. Oh yeah…”

The Let Down hit.

As much as part of that ride sucked (ok a BIG part of that ride), on that day for 16 hours all I had to focus on was traveling south, filling the water bottles, and putting on sunblock.  No bad news from the radio, no work stress, nothing but pedaling.

Then for the next few days at the beach, the major issues were: Where to eat and should I sit here and read or walk to the beach.

Now, though, I’ve hit that time when you realize there isn’t another big ride planned.  I am still very happy that I succeeded, and I proved I could survive damn near 100 degree weather.  But now the little voice starts.  That voice that says, “OK, so you rode hard last week, what have you done for me lately?”

I will still ride, because I enjoy it, and to keep in shape, but there’s no goal to shoot for right now.

It’s too early to lock into next years event.  That will happen as the end of the year gets closer.  After this ride, I am starting to have second thoughts about the RAMROD.  15o miles in 1 day in August going up and down the STEEP hills of Mt Rainier.  I am just not sure.

Sarah, of Honoring my Compass,  has peaked my interest in the Icefields Parkway ride from Jasper to Banff in Canada.  It’s about 140 miles, but I would break it into 3 days so I could stop anywhere I want, for as along as I want, for pictures, from what I have read it is gorgeous.

I’ve also considered for years going to the Olympic Peninsula here in Washington, and traveling around Olympic National Park.  I could leave my house, ride to the ferry and be on the route a half an hour later.  I’d need to do a lot more research on that one.  It would be at least a week.

The Oregon Coast has been beckoning for years, I’d love to redo that route.  I get the itch every time I go down there now.  Michelle could leap-frog me and meet in each town for dinner and to sleep. There were a few light houses I missed the first time.

Then there is Crescent City CA, to San Francisco along the coast.  Both this and Oregon would be 5 days or so of riding.  If I did this one it would be only my second ride in CA.

There are also local rides I haven’t done, Tour de Blast, RHAPSODY, and the Red-Bel 100 all look like fun.  I also wouldn’t mind doing the Reach the Beach I did last year, I very much enjoyed where the ride ended.

Finished Reach the Beach
Finished Reach the Beach

All these are ideas, but they will need to be fleshed out before a final decision can be made.

But for now its back to the real world.  Work, commuting, kids, and life in general.

I do get to be at the finish line for Michelle in October when she does the half marathon in Portland, I get to be the supporter and pay her back for all she has dealt with during my prep work and the aftermath.  I am very much looking forward to that.

Somehow, though, it just seems like something is missing…


4 thoughts on “The Let Down

  1. Great post, Tony! I can definitely relate to the let down…

    I ran the Chicago Marathon ten years ago. As part of the 16-week training program, we were advised to make sure that we had a goal to look forward to after the marathon. The advice was given because after so long of focusing on a goal, us humans tend to settle into a depression once that goal is reached if we don’t have something else to look forward to.

    I dismissed this advice, thinking I was “different” than everyone else. I was wrong — I experienced that “depression.”

    I learned my lesson. I now make sure to have plenty of things to look forward to on the horizon.

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