Weird is a good word to describe today. Off would be another good one as well as just plain old "uggh."
Had a tough time getting to sleep this morning after work so the brain was engaged longer than I wanted. Finally got ready to go to sleep and figured to get a full day of sleep I'd need to get up at three or so in the afternoon. That was going to make riding a touch problematic because then I would have really had to wedge it in between sleeping and my shift tonight. I set my alarm for three and probably around nine I was out.
I woke up with the room completely dark and quiet and no clue as to what time it was. My body believed it to be sometime after two in the afternoon. The alarm had not gone off yet but I figured it was close to time. I moved around a little and I could see a bright sliver of light on the edge of my makeshift blackout curtain. The intensity of the light made me think think that it was much later too. Finally I shifted up and peered around the corner of the futon to actually see the digital clock and it was only 12:42. Weird.
Weird but good in a way. I had not slept my day away and I have some time to play with to get ready for the ride and to actually ride without feeling pressure to cram it in. My feet hit the floor and I was moving.
Besides waking off at time that I was not planning to the next weirdness came when I hopped on the scale. The weight is up. Up. Up. Up. I don't know what it is... well I do... I have two suspects but the main one is that I am still eating every damned thing in sight like I did on vacation. Oh yeah, drinking sodas too... So right now I can't really modulate my intake be it either the quantity or the quality and the numbers one the scale are reflecting that. Worst part is I sort of don't care. It isn't as much as I don't care as I just don't have the whatever it takes right now to be strict with myself. Working my new schedule is tough enough... training is tough enough... something has to give and damnit I love to eat.
Anyway... weight is up... motivation to do anything about it is down and I am displeased by both of those factors.
Now to ride... I had the ride sort of mapped out in my mind and I had transcribed the workout to a note card to tuck into my shirt. Basically I was looking at an hour warmup followed by a 30 minute interval up a hill, ten minute easy rbi, then a 20 minute interval, another ten minute easy rbi, followed by two five minute high intensity intervals then just regular riding to bring the volume up to three to four hours.
The same problem I am having with cleaning up my diet crept into the ride today too... Just a head full of "I don't want to." The first hour I thought about just quitting. Everything. Running is stupid and riding a bike is even more so developmentally limited... it's all bad. Then the ever nagging question of "why" looms over me... Why Leadman? Really? Why? Why not just call it a good fifteen minute ride go home and go back to bed, call it a day and hope for a better tomorrow. Email Lucho and inform him that due to a lack of interest today has been cancelled. Why not? Why not even just take a week off, completely, and then see how things look after that? A week off... that sounded pretty good, or it did.
Of course none of that happened... I didn't bail. I rode through Sonderman, GOG, Red Rocks and did my first 30 minute interval pretty much the full distance up high drive. It about killed me and I got it done but I had no clue how I was going to do the next 20 minute interval with my HR between 145 and 155. But then I got an idea...
I bombed back down High Drive to the Red Rock Loop trail and started riding up it towards Section 16. Now I am having fun. Riding up that single track was a blast and before I knew it, I was almost at the top and my 20 minutes about done. What do you know? Pretty cool!
The ride back down to High Drive on the trail was fun too and that is when things really turned around for the ride. I did the five minute intervals going up High Drive again then down the south side and around Lower Gold Camp to Red Rocks then GOG, then home pretty much the same way I went out.
Maybe I was just tired. Maybe I needed to knock some rust off after two blissful days of rest? Who knows, but somehow I managed to find my rhythm again on the ride and just have fun. I think part of it is something that I read that Dave Weins wrote in an article. "The best way to improve is to ride your mountain bike a lot, plain and
simple. The more trails you descend, the more hills you climb, the more
roots you encounter, the more blind turns you navigate, the more times
you brake, shift and corner, the more rutted jeep roads you traverse,
the more… Okay, you get the idea. Get out there and ride your mountain
That made sense today and inspired me a bit as I found myself in the later parts of the ride pushing things a little bit. Never unsafe mind you but maybe going down a trail or two a touch faster than I normally would. As disjointed as the ride started out I found myself savoring the technical challenges of trails on my way home. I also thought about that other cyclist I saw on Saturday and his super smooth descent down the trail... That makes me want to improve even more.
A weird day, a tough day no doubt, but it was definitely a day that pushed me in more ways than one. I am confident that in the end I benefited and definitely got something out of it. 33.81 miles in 3:44:10 with 7653 of gain. It worked out.
Tomorrow I run.