I'm loading my IPOD full of songs and music and bands that I love in anticipation of Sunday's bike ride.
My padded bike seat cover has arrived and in Boot Camp I'm working HARD on my legs and getting the muscles all strong.
I'm still not sure I'm doing the ride.
The dog issue still isn't resolved (Though I'm fairly confident that if I call my good pal who never lets me down and never grumbles about these stupid favors I keep asking of her she would take him out before Church) but that's not the real problem here.
What I'm hung up on is CAN I FINISH THIS ONE?!
I've done 2 of these and haven't hit the finish line on either.
The first was 42 miles and I made 30. The last was 30 and I made 20.
In my defense I HAVE walked away a little smarter from each. But I still have not pedaled across the finish line.
With both that I have done, there comes an insane level of absolute exhaustion for me that I have to find the strength to shove thorough.
I'm sure if there was a camera crew following me watching me do these rides the world would lock me up and toss out the key.
I talk to myself on a obsessive level either sounding like a sailor (with the profanity due to frustration with either other riders, the route or my own personal physical limits) or a deranged cheerleader (cheering myself on and giving myself crazy pep talks at tough spots on the route) I've either got a huge smile plastered on my face or I look close to tears.
That level of exhaustion is like crashing into a brick wall. ALL the fun is sucked right out of the event and it becomes mind over body. The key with the Beach Cruiser that I've found is you must maintain your speed. Stopping and slowing down become murder because the bike is so heavy that to get going again takes tremendous energy and works the muscles in my poor legs super hard.
When I hit that damn wall my body sabotages itself by trying to pedal as slow as possible which is of course 10 times as hard as if I just kept the speed at around 10 miles an hour. I TRY to do 13 and keep it around there but when I get tired if I'm doing 6 that's a whole lot.
Of course I recently read a blog about someone doing the 100 mile route that got up to 40 miles an hour last year...
The tour last weekend was exceptionally difficult for someone of my level and as I've already whined and bitched about my bike was garbage which made the ride very difficult (even my dad who has been biking for 65 years was shocked to find that I rode most of the ride with the seat out of position. When I told him he exclaimed "That would KILL your legs making them work so much harder than they have to!")
Even so I hit that damn wall WAY too early for my liking.
The other issue that I ran into last weekend was the bike saddle. Not the height but the saddle crotch it gave me. Ya know where your thighs meet your crotch?
The two sides were in awful, ungodly pain. I keep hearing about "bike butt" which with a bruised tailbone was no picnic but the crotch pain (which isn't REALLY crotch pain but I'm not sure what to call that area other than the tops of the thighs which it isn't really...)
was far far worse than the bike butt. I had the same pain on the cruiser during the 5 boro and came home with some INSANE bruising on my ladybits but I don't recall it being that intense or acute.
The trouble is that my brain has this fantastic way of glossing over all the pain and exhaustion and while I can see myself at various points on the route and I can remember how exhausted I was and how much pain I was in, I look to the one on Sunday with a huge smile on my face. Yeah. The one I'm not sure if I'm doing or not.
The other big thing that has me worried about riding or not riding is that this week has been rain every single day but Wednesday and I haven't had a chance to take the bike out at ALL.
Is it the smartest thing to attempt 30 miles on a bike you haven't been on recently?
Somehow I doubt it.
While I'm thinking about it one of my secret wishes is that I had more of a support team. Maybe that would help? Along the route and at the finish lines I see moms, dads, kids, husbands, wives, friends all waiting to meet and congratulate the participants. I don't have that.
We will see what happens. I might not know till I wake up tomorrow.
Email from Dad, Part 8: New Year's - On Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 8:48 PM, Dad wrote: *Hi Sheryl,it's google time.Just read your latest googles.Having me there on Feb.1st is a great idea,I'm looki...
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