The Assault on Mount Mitchell is in 2 days 18 hours and 9 minutes. I know because I downloaded a app for my phone 180 days ago. It has not provided me with motivation, anxiety and great joy. When it said 140 days, I felt like I was in a great place training and physically for that time in the winter. I never ride my road bike in the winter. NEVER. Then things went NORMAL.
3 kids, one kid gets sick, everyone gets sick, but that cycle takes 3-5 weeks in a family of 5. I avoided the stomach bug, but got knocked on my but with a fluish type thing, got a terrible head cold, then realized how TERRIBLE riding on a trainer was after dinnertime, fighting to get 3 kids in a bath, in bed, juggling artwork and then disappearing to a trainer to listen to really dorky sounding training videos without angering my wife.
Then the days got longer, and I could get outside, forget the things I told myself about focused hi intensity training and no long junk mile rides. I'm going outside to ride junk miles. Trainer time is over.
First test was a group ride with some folks I know who do train in the winter and are strong B level. I've ridden with them before and knew they would be strong a good test to my winter fitness, I hung in, and felt good. 19.5 avg for 25 ish miles first ride out after the winter, I was ok with that. Still work to do but I was happy.
Few weeks later a 45 mile gravel/road ride with some friends. I felt like a knife was being stabbed into my right knee cap. After a week off the bike....5 miles out, it returned, 5 miles home pedaling with one leg. Doctors visit...Bursitis..... stay off the bike for a week, it's caused by repetitive movements...WONDERFUL.
I stayed off for 2 weeks, got depressed, missed 2 races I've waited all year for, and no 100 mile training ride or any rides during my week off work for spring break.
Went for a ride at the end of 3 weeks rode a few miles at a time worried to death....made it 30 miles with no trouble. Have done a few others since. Rode 60 last week, no trouble. 3 weeks of lost fitness is not what I wanted this close but it happened, and it's exam time, the kids are sick and my wife is MIA due to wedding season in full effect, so my Saturday morning rides are over.
Now I have not really ridden in a week, one training session Monday and now my left knee is giving me terrible trouble, not Bursitis just hurts and feels inflamed and I can't walk right. This is not very unusual and I live with constant discomfort from my knees. So my Taper work outs are now; forget it whats the point lets just see how this goes.
On top of all this, I will be painting at a wedding Saturday all day on my feet, and driving late night to my hotel in Spartanburg before the ride Monday. So all I can do now is pray I will finish the thing. I feel ok about at least making it to Marion. After Marion, who knows, I have freaked myself out really good that I will end there.
Did I mention that the highs will be record Highs and a 80% chance of rain.....YUP. So much for the Cool ride of the LAST 4 years...I checked...It's all my fault I apologize to anyone riding.
But I said the countdown timer gave me joy. There has been some good to this.
The winter is hard for us all, especially parents of any number of kids, I say 3 is worse than your 1, but your kid may be more nuts than mine...We all get stir crazy, kids start going nuts in late February/March...I work with these crazy people, in a room with no windows and teach a subject that maybe 2% of the people I teach actually want to hear about or let me tell them about it without interrupting or saying something really rude. Most teachers are not generally in a good place in March, "survival mode" we call it. Especially ones who have year long classes instead of semesters like me. That along 15 long years in, I am in a funk with my profession and ready for a life style change, but unfortunately have no fall back plan as my degree is rather useless out side of my world. unless you are hiring, I am interested.
So with a funk like I am in and the way my brain is wired like a crossed up mess that McGruber may encounter I am all sorts of messed up this year. But that counter..... That counter has given me so much to be excited about, to work for, to remind me how much I stinking love my bicycle..this much.
We all need things to drive us....its so good for us. I may not survive this ride Monday, but I sure am excited about it. I have been all winter. That timer, helps an ADD mess of a brain like me. Healthy stress, focus, reminder, something to take my mind off my struggle with my job and reflect on something awesome. Like Bikes. Riding Bikes. Working on Bikes. Riding Bikes with my kids. Buying a new Bike. I really love Bikes.
But when I am on my bike I am on a whole different planet. I love the suffer, the pushing my body, the things my brain can do, think about, look at. It's so awesome. I've never done any drugs, but this is why. I get high from the bike. I really feel bad for people that can't appreciate what riding a bike or doing anything that gives people like me that awesome brain sauce release....here's a cool read about bike and kids and ADD.
I just wonder how messed up I would be had I not given myself anything to work for this winter when I was in a mess mentally. I have lost 8 pounds getting ready, stopped eating sweets(maybe once a week) and nothing but water in months(not counting the cold beer as a recovery drink). I may be at my wits end with my job but I sure am excited and happy when I see that count down timer.
So after dreams of having the time to train to be on the local race team one day, I think just being in fair shape going into this ride is ok, and I know I will have a good time, I know I will suffer, hurt and get rained on during the event. I will also love every second of it when it's over. Though I do have to be at school the next day to give exams, and figure out how to get my car from Spartanburg.
Nothing in my life has every gone as planned, but I ALWAYS see some good in EVERYTHING after all the crap/smoke/knee pain and distractions have cleared up.
Next post....After the finish.....