Mind Games: Meditating on 70 miles


Originally uploaded by sipclip&go

I rode today, and although my starts have been a bit sluggish, by the 20th mile I feel like I could go forever. I think this is a good thing. With LIVESTRONG approaching, I want to be in the right place in my training. Problem is, I really have no set training schedule. It’s impossible for me: single mom, work ft as a professional, virtually no time to myself. I take my rides when I can get them, and most of my friends say I’m doing great, considering. My rule of thumb has been basically to do longer rides closer to the LIVESTRONG Date, with at least one 50+ mile 2 or 3 weeks prior.

This is far more preparation than I had the very first LIVESTRONG ride I did, which was completely unplanned. And I mean, completely. I went to Philly with my girlfriend at the time to support her and her ride. She had done some great fundraising and I was just happy to be along for the ride, so to speak. I dropped her off at the campus early on ride day, and then promptly swung through a Burger King drive thru on the way back to the hotel. Breakfast: Bacon, Egg, Cheese Croissant. Hash Browns. Coke. I ate in the car on the way back to the hotel. I suited up for a ride, brought my bike down and asked the bellman which way to go to avoid traffic. He pointed the way and off I went. With only one water bottle because I was planning on an easy hour long spin.

I wasn’t more than three miles from the hotel when I saw police lights blocking the intersection ahead. The LIVESTRONG Ride was intersecting my route! In hopes of waving to my gf, I tried texting her to tell her to watch for me. Instead, I saw her coming and shouted to her. She urged me to ride along so I did, and thought the coincidence was kind of incredible. She then persuaded me to ride the whole thing with her. I really didn’t want to, but she is a lawyer and her skills of persuasion were far superior to mine, so I agreed. I was really glad I did. It was incredible, and ever since I’ve been hooked.

What weren’t thinking about was that we had no transportation back to the hotel after the ride concluded. So instead of riding 40 miles (which I had never done) I rode 55 miles that day. All on a BK breakfast and no training, other than riding my bike once a week.

So why am I nervous about doing the 70 mile Challenge? I don’t really know. I drove the route last year and was relieved I hadn’t signed up for it. It was very hilly–killer hills. But I know now I can do the 40 miles, and with fuel in the tank, so it’s time to up the ante. Then I start thinking “I’ve never rode my bike that far, I’ve never been on my bike for 6-7 hours in one day.” True enough, but just because I haven’t, doesn’t mean I can’t.

I know my mind can be my own worst enemy at times, and other cyclists I talk to express the same struggles. On ride day it will be game on, and the chatter inside my head will need to stop, because there will be no room for it. I suppose on ride day, my job with be to funnel that nervous energy into my legs and away from my head.

31.5 miles
90 degrees F
Ride Category: Getting out of my head

–Karen

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