I love havin’ an AH-HA moment. The grind has been really ugly, and I haven’t been able to catch my breath. When I realized just how rough my financial situation was, I knew racing had to take a back seat. This was a BIG pill to swallow. I made things happen the only way I knew how– sleeping in the car, bringing my own food to races, and sometimes skipping a meal or two.
Sometimes we make sacrifices for the things we love, but when the things we love cause us trouble…
It’s time to let go.
Initially, I was pretty upset. I felt a bit lost, and wasn’t sure what my goal was anymore. I missed two days of training due to my work schedule, then I didn’t “feel” like riding. I didn’t “feel” like riding the next day. I didn’t care about riding the next day. Then I just said fuck it altogether.
Next thing you know, I found myself in some crazy-ass rabbit hole, and a week had flown by. I guess I should have swallowed the blue pill.
I decided to come out of retirement and ride a few miles while Chico dog was getting some work done at the vet. I hit up Elk Mtn, one of my favorite climbs, and immediately noticed the shit storm that was my heart rate. I couldn’t catch my breath, and my heart rate was through the roof. I did everything I could to make the climb as chill as possible, but my body didn’t respond. I spent the entire climb with my heart beating out of my eyeballs. It was hot as shit, I was dehydrated, and I had been off the bike for over a week. Amazing how much can change in 7 days.
Got to the parkway. Decided to ride up to Craggy Gardens. Lots of climbing, but nothing gnar, so I settled in. I rode 40 miles that day, with over 5k of climbing. I scolded myself for being a bitch about riding my bike. I had to pull myself out of the rubble.
I went home for the weekend, laid by the pool, drank a few margis, and decided to challenge myself to a bigger ride. The farthest I have ever been on a bicycle is 70 miles. I raced Pisgah Monster Cross in 2012, having only been on a bike (period) for 3 months. 70 miles and 10k of climbing, on a borrowed Stevens ‘cross bike. It took me 7.5 hours. So, yeah. I wanted to see what I was made of.
77.8 miles. No crying.
I had plans of spinning out my legs at Pedal Fest today. A nice, easy 33 miles, with a climb to the top of Watauga Dam. I got to the lot and saw all the TCRC guys, and decided I wanted to go hard until I popped. They kept it pretty mellow, but still harder than I wanted, and a couple guys went off the front. I managed to hang on till we got to the bottom of the dam. I watched them take off, but kept them in my line of sight. I was on the verge of vomit, but wanted to push myself, so I kept mashing. I made a valiant attempt to catch them at the bottom of the descent, but they had a serious pace line going, and I didn’t have a chance. I proceeded to bust out a 15 mile TT, solo, with a headwind. I murdered myself. Maybe not the smartest thing to do, but it felt good. And I can finally say I kept up with the big boys of TCRC.
Bikes can teach you a lot about life. Gotta bury my head and know that I’m comin’ out the bigger, better human being in the end.
Can’t knock tha hustle.