Monday, September 21, 2015

Convert


I haven’t touched The One in quite a while.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I moved it out of the way to get to the floor pump when the SSB needed a little PSI.
It’s not like I’ve been riding much either.  But since I acquired the SSB I have ridden it exclusively.  I’m a full convert to the ways of the Simply Simple Bike.  My focus lately has been on running with less riding going on.  My body is complaining. 
I managed a half marathon PR (on the road, self-supported, non-event run) the day of a conspicuous local trail run (take that Blow Jowen!).  My previous PR was my first half ever: the 2013 Iron Horse in Midway.  I ran that in 2:14.  Saturday I did a big Red River road loop and threw down a 2:09 run.  Actually, I ran it in 2:08:51.
But I impress…er, digress.
Needless to say, I’ve drank the singlespeed kool-aid.  And it’s goo-ood!
What was I afraid of?  Not being able to climb?  Not a problem.  So far I’ve only faced a small handful of climbs that thwarted me.  Only one seemed legitimately related to a lack of grannier gears.  And if I were in better shape…
After all of the derailer trouble I’ve had of late I am much relieved of stress riding the SSB.  Its whippy lightness of being is nice too.  I can yank the front end of that bike around like a small dog on a short leash.  Something about the geometry just feels right.  I can’t manhandle The One like that and it’s really not any heavier.  Maybe just a tad…
I’ve ridden the new-to-me bike at VP, CVP, Waverly, and Cherokee.  I have not yet taken it to Skullbuster or Cave Run.  I think the Big Limestone loop at Cave Run would be the real test.  The climb up from the visitors’ center seems like it would be the SSB showstopper.  And I know the northbound climb on Lakeview would shut me down.  But then again, it shut me down with full geared wussitude.  I need to build up some real climbing endurance.
Why do I need to build climbing endurance on the mountain bike?  I’m so glad you asked!  Leadville.  Oh yes, Leadville.  I’m going to throw my name into the hat again this year.  2016 lottery, here I come!  And I’m going to do it right this time.
I’ve been sitting on my book.  As bad as I want to see it in print something has held me back from really trying to push it on down the road.  In a text conversation with the CTL I realized: I need to get a belt buckle.  That’s what I set out to do and I didn’t do it.  How can you write a book about that?
And I need to do it in the right style.  I need to prove to myself that I can focus on a long reaching goal and meet short term milestones.  I’ve failed miserably my whole life when it comes to certain types of goals.  Thirty pounds off.  Core strength.  Speed on the bike.  These things are stepping stones on the way to the success I outlined for myself five years ago.  I’ve not even tiptoed across a single one.
My interim goal is to finish the Rough Trail 50k trail race.  Finish.  After Rough Trail I am going to lay off the long distance trail running.  It’s beating me up too much.  I say this…and yet I still want to do Yamacraw.  Maybe I’ll just do the 10k.  And half marathon distances seem to work good for me.  That feels like a good hard distance to train for and enjoy.  More than that taxes my social and familial resources.  I’m not an ultrarunner kind of guy it turns out.  I just have too many other and more important things going on in my life that I’m not willing to forfeit.
I did have a good long run this past weekend.  My training calendar has an ominous “22” on Saturday.  I was behind in my mileage after my Achilles detour and the New York trip.  I basically took a week and a half off and then also missed a second weekend of mileage.  And to protract the healing instead of running this past week I rode the aforementioned SSB.
My last long run was the 12th of September (my aforementioned PR) and before that I ran a 16 mile road run on August 29th.   The injury and the trip serious derailed me.  I was determined not to give up though.  I was somewhat despondent when I woke up Saturday morning and lay there scrolling through Facebook on my phone finding absolutely no motivation to get out and run.  I had conceded 20.  I figured if I could make that leap, then hit my scheduled 16 mile long run next week I could make another leap to 24 the week after that.  I’d be back on schedule.
I didn’t have confidence that I could run 20.
Then I came across this video
Needless to say I dragged myself out of bed and got dressed.  I pushed fears of injury, cramping, and bonking straight out of my skull.  I know I have the knowledge and ability to block those things from happening.  I loaded up my hydration pack, shoved down a little food, and spent a solid half hour stretching before I ambled into the cool dawn fog at a conservative 11:30/mi pace.  And I maintained that pace for 20 miles.
I have a hard time holding back.  I don’t want to take easy runs.  I want to be fast and longsuffering.  And for now, the reality is that I can be one or I can be the other.  But I finished 20 miles feeling pretty good.  I won’t say I was ready to go out and do it again.  I considered going ahead and socking in those extra two miles, but in the end decided 20 was enough.  I’ll get back to my scheduled mileage, and I’ll finish the Rough Trail 50k.  Nuff said.

 

 

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