Doing it all the hard way...

Monday, January 25, 2016

Coffee and Lies #161 I’m just a girl who can’t say no.

If you don’t recognize the phrase, that’s not my problem.

An attribute that comes with age is the ability to rationalize and compromise your way out of anything unpleasant.  We can see this in others but we skillfully overlook it in ourselves.  We do such a good job we don’t even realize we are doing it. 

When we do find ourselves on the doctor’s scale or looking at the eye chart or crossing the finish line and the news is bad - we fight to marginalize the information.  If we cannot deny the truth only then are we forced to deal with it.

Such is my reality in this data rich environment.  I’m getting older and I’m getting slower.  It takes longer to recover and my ability to “tough it out” has diminished.  The good news is I can get the fitness I need but it will require a significant effort.  It requires consistency and structure.

This past weekend I had two rides that were both different and the same.  Saturday morning El Chefe’ and I had a 74k slog of a ride.   I could say we started before sunrise but in fact, the sun never came out on Saturday so in my opinion sunrise never actually happened. It rained hard and then it rained harder. 
Someone actually stopped and rolled down their window and told us we were either crazy or studs.  I don’t know that those two things are mutually exclusive.  Nevertheless it was a tough day in the saddle.

After we finished I drove home sitting on a towel shivering.  My bun warmer has long since died. My fingers and toes were pruned and my eyes were red and sore from being pelted by rain for three hours. It was a feeling I had as a kid when I would swim in our chlorine treated pool with my eyes open. Rode hard and put away wet has new meaning.  Some base miles are just baser than others. 

When I got home I washed me, my clothes and the bike in that order.  

On Sunday morning McWoodie asked who wanted to go longer.  Part of my strategy to overcome my remarkable powers of compromise is that I have promised myself I will say yes to every cycling addition.  If there is a question of adding a hill (say Cougar Mountain or Pizza hill) or going farther (say “around the lake”) then my answer between now and the Dolomites is an automatic “yes.”

On Sunday the roads were still very wet but the sky was dry so it was a thousand times better than Saturday.  The proliferation of moss and slime on the wet roads dictated some caution on curves so that kept it from being a total throw down. Even so, I did push it now and again and again and again.  They were mostly short exertions but still efforts that took me out of my comfort zone.

When we turned and climbed up Cougar I locked in and found my desired balance between hurt and speed and climbed very well considering it is January.  Later, I took some longer turns at the front to increase my workload for the day. Not epic but not the easy way out to be sure.

As we were nearing the end of the ride and climbing to the top of Capital Hill my legs gave me the Garmin-esque “Battery Low” warning.  For those who don’t know when your Garmin gives you a “Battery Low” warning what it is really saying is, “I’m shutting off in five minutes……It’s too late to do anything.”  Such was the state of my legs.  “Davo, you’ve only got a few more minutes of climbing before the profanity from your legs escalates.”  My ride would be over in five minutes so I almost smiled.

El Chefe’ and Richman had also opted to join McWoddie for the supersize Coffee and Lies and although McWoodie feels no pain, the rest of us were whimpering.   Another three had done Cougar with us but had rushed back on different routes.  We claimed the Full Monty for the day.

Like the guy who rolls into a gas station on fumes I took a morbid satisfaction in having come so close to my early season limit with just over a hundred miles and two thousand meters of climbing over the two day weekend.  When I stepped off my bike my legs knew they had done something.
Don't drink and cowbell.

I’m just a girl who can’t say no.  There, I said it.  I’m committed.

More of the story is here !

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