56 Miles of Hell

I went for my last training ride yesterday as the Big Event is next Saturday. We took a route that covers some of the ground of next week’s ride and was, without question, the most gentle terrain we have ever handled. In spite of the gentle sloping and generally non-hilly nature of the ride I had a very, very difficult time and managed to desecrate my psyche with self loathing. This was really inopportune and undeserved and typifies my biggest inner struggle with athletics. I was raised to think of myself as a chubby, gawky person and I just can’t seem to get out of that box, crush it and toss it in the garbage can where it belongs.

Back to the ride – from very early in the day my legs were killing me, I was slow and I felt really lousy primarily because I couldn’t keep up with the other 3 women – I couldn’t even come close. Usually I fall behind on the hills partly because I have the lowest end bike, partly because I have spent the least time cycling but mostly because I am slow(<- see what I mean?? arrghhhhh!!). Yesterday I couldn’t keep up with the pack for more than 5 minutes before I would fall behind – way behind. The pyschological impact of that was devastating. The part where my friend fell in a creek while waiting for me didn’t help. Here is the elevation map:

Although it may look like we handled some big hills we only changed elevation by 350 ft over 10 miles. That’s a gentle up followed by a gentle down with a few not all that steep hills thrown in the middle. On one of them I actually walked my bike up the last 50 yards – I NEVER DO THAT! This ride was nothing like the last big one I took where I kept my butt in the saddle and wasn’t too far behind the group and yet I just couldn’t hack the load.

I was just about to write a post on working to achieve our potential and I was going to riff off of Little Miss Runner Pants most excellent post about how running has had such a huge positive impact on her life and oh baby – I had a good one in my head. Going on a 56 mile bike ride seemed as good a jumping off point for that post as anything so what do I do? I blindside myself with self-loathing because I had a bad day.

Next week will be better, won’t it?

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7 Responses to 56 Miles of Hell

  1. David says:

    Okay. I’d look at it this way: you got the bad ride out of your system and, with a little rest, you’ll be loaded to ride strong and hard next weekend.

  2. Mother of Chaos says:

    Yes, next week will be better!!!Don’t let one training ride hit you too hard. Seriously. I used to be the Uber Athelete (USED to be), and sometimes…you just have a bad run (ride, whatever).You.Are.AWESOME.And getting more so every day, right?

  3. susie says:

    I understand. Really. I am doing the same thing to myself over my run on Saturday. David’s right.

  4. stefano says:

    I am tired only to watch the map! Good luck for saturday but during the big day the spirit is different and you will be very fast!

  5. Lynne says:

    This is ME! I could tell you that it doesn’t matter where you end up, as long as you are out there… BUT I’d be lying. I hate being the caboose. I hate falling so far behind… Bad ride, but keep going… 56 miles is awesome! Ride your own race, and move on!

  6. Bob says:

    Yes of courst next week will be better. Forget the self lothing you did great. I am looking forward to a relly great race report.

  7. jeanne says:

    holy hell! 56 miles!! i can’t even comprehend it! i can’t even drive in a car for that long without wanting to walk. Please please feel good about this. I’m begging you. You ARE awesome!

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