21 miles of paying the piper
Everybody has those days when you go out to exercise when you just aren’t into it. You know it going in, and are painfully aware of it the entire time you are biking/running/playing. You have days when everything seems to come easy to, but those don’t make for very good stories. This is the story of one of the bad ones. (These events occurred in real time).
On what I am sure is a completely unrelated note, went out for a couple of slices of pizza with some friends and former co-workers last night at Mellow Mushroom. There may have been a couple of beers involved too. Again, I am sure that this is unrelated to today’s Bataan Death Ride.
1400 EST: Getting ready for the ride, getting dressed, pumping up tires, checking out the bike, filling up the water bottle. This prep work winded me, perhaps I should have taken this as a sign. Hoping to get 20 to 25 miles in the books.
1402: Out on the bike and starting a couple of miles of warm up. Don’t have a good feeling about this already.
1415: Just over 2 miles in and I’m already sweating like 1976 Elvis at a Peanut Butter, Banana, and Quaalude bar.
1435: About six miles in, a, finishing the initial trip around the neighborhood and am heading for the main stretch of the ride along Innovation Way. Once you commit there it’s 14 miles before you complete the loop (actually you can turn around at anytime, but mentally I treat it like a bridge with only one way in and out). The thought of tackling this stretch is not pleasant right now. Turning left, doing another lap around the neighborhood, and calling it a day after 12 miles or so seems appealing right now.
1440: Committing to the Innovation Way stretch. Stop at the red light and consider the depth of my self loathing that this must display. Generally this is about the point where you kick into a good stride. Needless to say, this isn’t in cards today.
1445: Out on the long straight away now, and guess what? Here comes the wind! And the sun is ducking behind a big wall of clouds. Huzzah! Wind and I do not get along on the bike. I ride a Trek hybrid and usually in a fairly upright position. Toss in the fact that I’m 6’4″ and riding into a headwind is akin to running with a parachute on your back. Resolve to fight through this.
1450: Over 10 miles in. Dear god this is awful. Reach for a drink of water, apparently there’s 7 gallons of acid in my mouth right now.
1455: This ride is Godzilla, and I am thousands of fleeing Japanese.
1500: Looks down and checks to see if my Road ID is still on. At least they will be able to ID the body easily.
1505: Slow down for a little hydration, halfway through the Innovation stretch. At least I should have the wind at my back on the return trip.
1506: WTH? The wind seems to have switched direction. How is this possible? Perhaps god didn’t like my joke about how bad Christian rock is earlier today. Resolve to give it another shot if I survive.
1507: I take that back. I can’t promise that. Christian rock is just too horrible.
1508: The hallucinations start to kick in. The devil is tempting me. Not surprisingly, the devil takes the form of Rachael Ray. She’s promising to take the pain away if I just stop and lay down on the side of the road. And she’ll bring me a sammie.
1510: Will not submit to RayRay! Must keep going.
1511: A sandwich would be good right now. No! She’s too evil!
1520: Passing the garbage dump, hitting the home stretch. Urge to throw up is passing. No wait, wind just hit the dump, feeling is back. Oh, and there’s a mangled deer carcass on the side of the ride. Swallow hard.
15:30: Made it back to Alafaya and Avalon Park. I survived, without resorting to cannibalism or pledging to listen to Christian rock. Victory. I beat you, Rachael Ray.
1540: Roll into driveway, 21 miles logged. Fought it the entire way, but didn’t quit. Consider the piper paid from last night, but now I feel everyone of my 41 years. Will now go cover myself in Icy Hot and lie down for 10 to 12 hours.