Friday, June 21

The Leadville Saga: Dawn Patrol or Die

Wanted Dead or Alive…
This guy:
 

For crimes against mediocrity.  And stuff.
Reward:
$5.13 (hey, it’s what I got!)
 
Enough is enough!  No more mountain bike races!  I canna take it anymur. Me auld body is suffurin’ too much.  

I’ll sell the mountain bike and take up knitting.  Good grief there ain’t enough Aleve in the world to kill this ache!  But no, I’m going mountain biking with this guy early Saturday morning.  What am I thinking?!

I feel weak these days.  My legs don’t feel as substantial as they used to.  I miss my commuter miles.  I miss my prairie bike commutes.  There…I said it.  My recent failed attempt at Hart’s Orchard was crushing.  I realized I’m not in the shape I want (NEED) to be.  I’m not logging the needed Leadville miles.  And I’m being lazy about the other things I need to be doing.  

Grrr!!!  I’m so disappointed in myself.  I feel like I’ve just fallen completely off the train.  It feels much worse than I did on the Preservation Ride when I was bonking.  This goes deeper. 

Six months of stress-related weight gain and stress-related…well, stress…have taken its toll I think.  My poor little spirit is broken.  I just don’t want to go on toward Leadville.  

There’s a minor—but still significant—part of me that just wants to stay home in August.  I think I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t go back and give it everything.  It just seems like everything now is so much less than what it needs to be.  

I need another Corona Pass to boost my confidence.  Somehow I’ve got to prove to myself that I can pull off the biggest ride of my life.  It’s big not because of the miles, the elevation, or the altitude, or even the combination of those three.  No, it’s big because I’ve got so much invested emotionally, spiritually, and socially.  

The fight has gone out of me.  And I don’t like that.  Not one bit…

I have fifty days left to prepare physically and mentally.  It feels like I’m starting at square one.  It seems like I’ve got so much preparation left ahead of me.  It feels like finishing the Leadville 100 bears the weight of every trial I’ve ever faced in my life.  No, there’s no pressure.

I had planned to get up yesterday morning and do a half hour or hour ride on the road bike.  I got everything ready the night before, including front and rear lights.  I had no excuse not to ride.

When I got up it was super foggy.  I just didn’t want to take the risk.  You’re nodding your head, agreeing with the wisdom in choosing to avoid putting myself in a dangerous situation.  I’m shaking my head, cursing myself for being weak.  Why didn’t I go ahead and ride?  There’s not enough traffic at 5:30am on my road for there to be any danger.  I was lazy.  I didn’t want it bad enough.  

I could have run.  I could have ridden.  I could have done core conditioning, stretching, or mind-exercises.  I went back to sleep.

I can’t afford any more of this weakness.  I don’t have that luxury anymore.  I only have seven weeks left.

This Saturday morning at dawn I will strike out for the lair of the monster pictured above and let him push me through the seven levels of mountain biking hell.  It’s all I can do at this point.

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