I was a little concerned about the Thursday night ride last night. Stress has a way of sapping energy. The legs can feel fine, but the mind can be tired and lacking motivation.
A lot of new guys showed up which was cool. But this does change the dynamic of the ride quite a bit and things tend to get fast and less smooth.
I was not feeling great and actually thinking about turning back and spinning home alone. For some reason, I just wasn't able to get on it. I felt sluggish and tired.
At the second re-group, about 30 minutes into the ride, Kevin informed me that our avg speed was close to 22 mph. Ok, so that's why I was hurting, I was maintaining 22 mph, I don't do that. I don't train for that, and I can't ride that fast alone, on this terrain. That explains why I was hurting so bad. With that knowledge, I realized that I was not doing as poorly as I thought. If our avg had been 18 mph, I would have been worried, but since I was pushing so hard, it was ok.
We wound around the farmland, with talk of splitting into two groups. It almost happened a couple of times, but never did. At one point I looked back and had a 50 yd gap, I maintained my speed and looked back again, I had about 100yds. Ok, cool. I rounded the bend and headed down a small hill. I didn't look back, just got aero and gently sped up. With some luck, I could make the next two turns, and if the group got stopped by traffic, I could get out of sight. Somehow, that is exactly what happened. I got out of sight and I was redlined. I kept spinning, eased off a little bit to recover, but for some reason, my heartrate would not drop, so I kept pedaling.
It's lonely out front. Going solo. Kind of the same feeling when one sticks up for what's right. I can either fall back and drift with the crowd, or stick my neck out and go for it. I like to think that I am a "go for it" kind of guy.
This time, I went for it. But to what avail, there was no prize, no real competition, I was not trying to prove anything to anyone, I knew that with the strong guys in the group behind me, I should not be able to stay out long. Why did I do it?
Because I wanted to. I saw a chance and went for it. That's life. When you see a chance to go for something you do it. When you see a chance to confront an issue, to make your surroundings better, to request respect, you do it. Kindly and gently, but you do it. Sometimes you take a chance and the people around you don't respond in a positive manner, they are threatened by your courage, things don't turn out so well. So what do you do? Keep on taking chances.
Today, I took that chance and I stayed away longer than I thought I could. It made me just a wee bit stronger, in my mind if not also in my legs and lungs.
Halfway up a longish hill, I turned around and saw the group, I upped the pace a hair, but just didn't have anymore to give. Chris passed me and I jumped on his wheel. At the next intersection, we regrouped. It was getting dark and we took a short cut home.
Have a great day.