Entering week 9

I took a small detour from my normal route this morning to avoid construction and happened on a park in Palo Alto I didn’t know existed. My world felt a bit wider and brighter after that.

I’m getting to the point in training where I’m feeling pretty ambivalent about riding my bike so much. There are many mornings when I just want to get on the train and not hassle with traffic. I’m riding from an hour and a half to eight hours six days a week, and I feel like it’s eating my life. I’m not getting the heavy legs feeling, but my legs are nearly always feeling tired and sore, and I especially feel it when I start a new ride: I don’t feel fresh and rested, but rather still tired from the day before.

Because I’m almost always tired, everything seems like a struggle, and it’s easy for me to feel overwhelmed. After I got back from the coast on Saturday, I was doing some chores, and I felt like I do when I have the flu: like after every movement, I wanted to lie down and rest. (I slept for over ten hours that night, but still woke up tired.) Cooking seems like a hassle, even if it’s something really simple and quick, like muffins, cutting up a few tomatoes, or boiling pasta. Finding out that Mike’s Bikes is all booked up and can’t tune up my bike before the ride without some serious schedule convolutions on my part nearly undid me today.

But training has been rewarding in other ways. It’s reminded me that accomplishing things requires me to decide, commit, and follow through. It’s easy for me to decide that I’d like to do things, and it’s easy for me to follow through once I commit, but it’s the moment of commitment that I tend to have trouble with. If not for my riding buddy Michelle, I could have hemmed and hawed about W2W for quite a while. But with her quick decision, it became my commitment, and following through by finding a training plan and getting on the bike six of every seven days became surprisingly easy.

I’m hoping that I can apply this to accomplishing other things in the future, perhaps other athletic goals (I’ve already joked about running the SF half marathon next summer) but perhaps more importantly, other personal goals — the kind that are easy to think about doing, but hard to really commit to. Remembering that the moment of commitment is the hardest part for me may help me get over that hump. And knowing that I’ve managed to find the time and energy to do this vaporizes my excuses that I don’t have the time. Most of the goals that I’ve considered and failed to implement would take much less time than training for the MS 150.

One other way I cope, perhaps more practically, is that I know how close I am to being done. The ride is a week and a half away; this Saturday is the last time I have to ride 60+ miles before the event itself. Seeing the goal so close is that extra little bit of motivation I need to get up and ride 25 miles tomorrow. (And looking forward to my day off on Thursday helps too. Any little bit!)

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