I did a ‘century’ ride on Saturday (The Motherlode Century – great ride) . My intention was to ride the 94 mile version but things happen and that wasn’t one of them.
This ride had a lot of climbing – a LOT of climbing. It was hot. The people I was with dropped me. I got into a very bad spin cycle in which I flushed myself down the crapper emotionally, spiritually and mentally. The route looks like this:
I got to that arrow and then cried Uncle when someone said the climb out of the gorge was at 12% – 15%. I just couldn’t hack the load. So I got in the sag truck with my bike and rode up to the second peak there where they had the lunch stop. I ate, met my friends who all managed to climb that thing, and easily rode back to the start with them because they were spent and I was rested. Maybe not easily as my legs were just screaming in pain when we had to ride anything you could describe as ‘up’ but I kept up. It was the best part of the day for me – almost.
The best part was sitting in the freezing cold river after the ride and then getting a massage.
The worst part was how mean and nasty I was to myself on that ride. It was the part where I was sure I had made a big mistake, that I have no business doing an Ironman, that I am old, and weak, and not worthy and I shouldn’t bother even trying. That was the darkness I leveled on myself.
Yesterday I was supposed to go for a 2 hour run. I really didn’t want to. I was pretty sure it would be awful. It was a hot, hot day and so I put I off until 7 PM and then I thought – “I hate this crap; but I’ll run 30 minutes; maybe I’ll run an hour.”
I threw myself out the door and started running and it did not suck. It did not feel terrible and therefore it felt great! I felt like Superwoman. I felt like I could run just about forever and so I ran. Or rather I did was I was supposed to do which was run 10 minutes and walk 30 seconds. And I did it over and over and over.
I only did it for 1:25 because I ran out light and I ran out of fuel due to grabbing a caffeinated gel. There was no way I was swallowing that thing at 8:00 PM but it was okay. I was so happy to have enjoyed my run that I didn’t worry about it.
And now I feel okay. Now I feel like I can. And I need to remember this – I need to remember there are good days and there are bad days and there are days when I can’t live up to my own (unrealistic) expectations. And it’s okay as long as I keep putting on the suit or the shoes and I keep trying. It’s okay.