Every once in a while I have a day where I don’t perform as well as I think I should which leads to a soul-searching attempt to have my cake and eat it too, like last Tuesday evening…
We’ve been into spring for all of one and one-half weeks (okay, maybe two, max) and the laser-cut tan lines are already in full effect. I put in 145 miles last week, just three shy of the 148 the week before which took a 57 mile ride in the rain to attain. This is almost exactly where I want to be and it’s sun, great weather and perfect temperatures as far as the eye can see. In fact, today’s forecast is one step better than “mostly sunny”, they’re calling it “abundant sunshine”.
My speed is starting to come back again, though I was nervous I’d lost it there for a minute. I went on a fantastic recovery ride yesterday with the phone in the back pocket (so I wouldn’t bother with mile times). With very little effort in semi-windy conditions I managed an 18.2 mph average (exactly where I was at the conclusion of last season and where I want to be) and I had my first decent 19.5+ mile ride on Saturday for the season.
Now, speed for me is a bit of vanity. I like being a touch faster than average even though I’m not concentrating on training so much as enjoying the exercise and endorphins. I don’t mess too much with intervals, I rarely rest and I don’t eat a fuel based diet – three of the biggest no-no’s if you want to be fast.
I weighed in on Saturday at an almost perfect 159.8 pounds on my thin 6′ frame… I like 155 because it’s a little easier than lugging the extra five pounds uphill but my wife likes the extra five but as any husband knows, happy wife = happy life, so I’ve opted for the happy wife and the extra five. One thing that I took from last year is that I have to eat a lot more than I’m normally comfortable with to keep my weight steady as the miles ramp up. In other words, at 100 miles a week I can eat pretty normal. At 150 miles a week (and 200 later in the season) I have to work at getting enough food in me to keep from getting too thin. Admittedly this is a good problem to have, but I’ve paid for these fabulous legs one mile at a time over a lot of years. The other benefits, the ability to sleep better, the higher quality of life (and the ability to enjoy it) are all icing on the cake if you will.
So here I am, though exceptionally busy, I have all of this awesomeness that my life has become and I’m worried about 1.5 miles an hour. Which got me to thinking, “As good as things are, if I just’ – the mental sentence trailed off…
“If I just” is the beginning of a mental cancer for me. It implies lack when there is plenty. It implies the need for perfection in life, which cannot be perfect – not once in the history of the existence of human beings on this planet has it been attained (though one got as close as is possible). My back and forth with speed and enjoyment, while small, is a compact little issue in my life – the inability to accept what is as it should be at the current level of effort being applied. So, as I did last week, I’ll fret over the little things for a few days before sanity catches up with me and I come back to my happy reality which is where I am at today.
C’est la vie. I must remember that 20 years ago I prayed for the problems that I have today. Good times and noodle salad.