August 29, 2013

A return to consistency? Let's not get crazy!

A lot of things have happened since 2010, but let's not go too far down memory lane today.  I don't have the energy.  A tough, tough commute home tonight in the heat - and I finally feel like I've pushed myself to the wall, personally.  I haven't paid attention to perceived effort, and have ignored the advice of ye olde "never do two hard days in a row," specifically with the same kind of goals in mind as I've brought to the permanents and brevets lately:  push myself.  Ride hard.  Ride lots.  Today, the bubble sorta popped on me... just didn't have the juice today, all things being equal.  Instead of a generalized feeling of malaise or fatigue, it was definitely in my legs - right in the correct places.  Used, good sore feeling... but, definitely out of push for the afternoon.   It.  Felt.  Amazing.  

I think I'm finally just approaching a point where I'm systematically shutting off the noise in my head, the self-doubt, the anxiety and worry... about a lot of things, not just the bike.  It's a great place to be - as if there were doubts.  

Baby steps -- I have been eating 'clean', as the kids are calling it these days.  Not depriving myself, but trying very hard to eliminate that which is artificially derived or processed.  Good food - healthy, delicious food... and drink.  I haven't weighed myself in over a week... bracing myself for (hopefully) a surprise on Monday morning.  Willpower.  On the bike, I've hung up the car keys ... at least for the last few days.  Today marks the fourth day in a row of riding to work.  That seems like starting over, but it's a step.  Once upon a time I was over 100-deep into a ride-to-work streak, maybe more - can't remember - but, it all came unravelled shortly after about May 2010.  

Before then, despite increased after-work activities, I was consistently riding to work on the days I could.  Consistent.  After May 2010, yikes... my mileage log entries are reserved mainly so I remember how long I've had a certain part, what the weather was like, and how much time I have left before I have to think about a new cassette, chain, tire, whatever - but, after May 2010, looking back at the mileage log reveals a TON of information about my state of mind.  Holy hell.  The notes section, normally blank, ballooned into mini-blog posts (you're welcome, I won't even post an example here) talking about millimeters of this and degrees of that, as I nitpicked and analyzed until I -- quite literally, in some mild respects -- had something of a minor breakdown or disconnect.  At work, stresses reached an all-time high, financially my family was in something of a crisis (from which we've since recovered), and I was not dealing with it well.  I put on a smile (at least, I *think* I did) at work and at social gatherings, but everything fell down.  Dark Side Rides, gone.  Weekend fun rides, gone.  I even picked up something of a stutter, ranted, went off on unrecoverable tangents... brain-dumped and chat-dumped on people until my jaw hurt and my fingers ached.  Yikes.  IF you were one of those people - thank you, and; wow... sorry 'bout all that. 

It was a dark time....   

LOL.... ooooo-kay.  

Things have improved.  Cognizance is a big part of this - and there is still work to be done.
But, I haven't ridden to work more than 2-days in a row since August of 2012.
I hadn't ridden to work more than 3 days in a row since April of 2012.
The last time I was really consistent was July 2010.  
2013, then, has proven - mentally, spiritually, and professionally - as something of a rebirth year.

 I never really quit, and I never really stopped riding the brevets - at least periodically, if not on a streak of the 200km variety - and I'm glad for that.  I could have just snapped and sold off the bike at any point - but, I'm glad I didn't.  While this blog has been dominated with randonneuring-style posts and such, it's really, REALLY nice to be commuting to work again this week.  I feel fresher, sharper, and tired in a good way... 

...which makes me ask, briefly -- with a doctor's appointment tomorrow AM, and a heat advisory in effect (or at least imminent), do I listen to my body, and give it a rest tomorrow?  Or, do I call it an excuse, defeat my own resistance... and ride?

'till the morning.... I ponder... with a smile.  

Heck, maybe I'll just ride slow... "five-in-a-row" has a nice ring to it.

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