"Freedom and responsibility we speak of easily, nearly always without recognition of the iron courage required to make them effective in our lives." j. glenn gray

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Catching Up...

Well, here I am. It's nearly a month now and I'm still struggling to get my legs back. The last few times I've ridden I just can't seem to find my rythm. Prior to, and including the Gator Ride I was feeling and riding great. No kidding. I had never been able to sustain 20mph on the bike yet it seemed very comfortable. Maybe it was the new bike; lighter, more efficient and better fit allowing for more output with equal input. All things considered, I should be kicking ass on the bike. My diet is good and I'm back down to 165.

My rides lately have been 20 to 30 miles and so uneventful that I haven't even bothered to log the miles. I feel guilty for neglecting my bikejournal. My back, shoulders and neck have been giving me hell just 15 miles into each ride. The weekend before last I rode with the WOOF Pack for the first time in a while. We did the bridges ride over to Cedar Bayou and back. It ended up at 74+ miles for the day. The first 40 miles were great. I thought, "man, this is it...much better," then I just went nose in. I struggled the last 10 miles just to get home and, I had a tailwind! I couldn't help but think, "damn, jack, you suck!"

During the week I put in a couple "round-the-blocks" of 24 miles each. I still was not feeling all too courageous so I skipped the Rolling Hills Challenge. I rode Monday and Wednesday for 56 miles combined. I jumped on the bike Friday feeling pretty good and went for a spin with no preset was just gonna be a nice ride. So, 15 miles and my back was hurting and I rode through it. Then 30 miles at weemart and I felt good. Then 40 miles and I still felt pretty good though it was getting warm. I took off my helmet and hung it from the stem over the bars and kept a nice slow but steady pace. Then 48 miles and I started feeling that wierd tingly feeling that creeps in from who knows where. At 52 miles I was barely ticking over the pedals as I made the exxon in Manvel. I had already finished 4 24oz bottles but still I drank 2 quarts of gatorade and ate a package of cheese-peanut butter crackers. I sat on the bench and watched my legs twitch and jump. After about 20 minutes I swallowed my pride and called TC for a ride home.

It's now Wednesday and I'm cleaning my bike and figuring on riding tomorrow once this rain passes. As Van Morrison sings that there will be days like this, I contemplate my back injury and how the nerve damage affects my riding and, more urgently, how it will progress as I get older. Is this my 40yo midlife crisis? Is that where this damn feeling of losing my grasp...losing time...watching my ability slipping away is coming from?

Thanks to TC I now have a really nice bowflex trainer in my garage and am going to put some work into my overall strength. This should help with my endurance and basic performance. Other than that, I simply need to put in some serious individual saddle time.

You don't have to be fast to have fun!

Ride On!