It was a hard day today... It was physically hard, it was mentally hard and emotionally draining, to say the least.
I have to admit to overconfidence going into this season. I had ridden a metric century before so I am in better shape than most people. I know what pain is and how to deal with it (or so I thought).
Let's backtrack to the beginning of the year. I am working full time and I decided I did not want to do Wildflower... not my type of event and not my type of lodging. Why cycle and not run is a good question and one that I don't know if I'll be able to answer any time soon.
It was a short season, at least it felt that way, and it was a humbling learning experience. I no longer believe I can do things cold and without preparation. I've learned to place a higher value in training and in learning to listen than I did before this event.
Don't get me wrong, the ride itself was beautiful. At the top of King's beach or coming down from Spooner it was wonderful. It just wasn't as easy as I thought it would be, if you can ever consider a century ride an easy under taking.
It also made me think a lot about mental strength or as Macca puts it how to embrace the suck. I hate to admit it that pain, fear and uncertainty caught on to me... my brain was just not there for the toughest part of the course.
At first I was pissed that my mentor even suggested that I get on the van and sag to the top of spooner. In hindsight it was the right call and it was one that I grew more and more comfortable with as I drove up. If I hadn't then the risk would haven physical and for the rest of the year just remember how long you took to recover from your ankle injury.
Once you get past that ugly and sad period of just pure anger it gets better, it made more sense to ride from the top of Spooner and be healthy about it rather than run the risk of hurting yourself for the long term and not just screwing up AMBBR, but for PG and SDTC as well.
Attitude wasn't the best either. I talked to one of my Triathlon coaches about it and he pointed out one little thing: if you think you're going to fail at something you most likely will. Part of the mental game is to never doubt that you can do it, whatever "it" is. When I did PG last year there wasn't an ounce of doubt in my brain that I was going to make it; even when Drew asked me if I was ok, my mind was completely set on finishing the race.
Thinking I wasn't ready for AMMBR gave me an out and, whatever the reasons why I took it, I used it.
After I was able to put the SAG ride out of my mind, I can’t really deny how exhilarating it was to come down Spooner towards the finish line. I decided to pay the price and push hard down hill (are you supposed to stop when you come to a parked cop in motorcycle?) and how much fun I had overall.
I had a wonderful team, coaches and mentors. I don't think I would have made it as far as I did if it wasn't for them.
Now to transition back to the comfort zone of the tri team. More on that later 😀