How do you gauge whether you dug in and worked some rust off on the bike? How do you know when you can say, “yep, I gave it everything I had”. For me, the answer is simple but not exactly for the squeamish…
I work it till I puke. Then, after I’ve recovered for a second, I get back at it.
Now I’m not talking about blowing chunks all over the top tube, more like that minor “puke in my mouth” deal. But that’s how I know, and I’ve come to relish it even though it tastes nasty.
I headed out at five yesterday evening having kicked around the idea of taking it easy after a decent 32 miles on Tuesday. I came to the conclusion that I’d skip the easy day for a full on 16 miler. Not exactly a wise idea two nights in a row but I’ve got a day off the bike today and an easy 25 miles with Mrs. Bgddy tomorrow followed by a big weekend. I figured what the heck, I’ve gotta crack down anyway.
So six or seven miles in, sure enough, my buddy Ralph paid a visit. I know I got ‘er done.
So this morning I woke up and I can really feel it in my legs – I’m cooked and it’s all good. After my day off today and a nice easy ride tomorrow I’ll be ready for the weekend. The question posed is not rhetorical though, I am curious: How do you gauge when you’ve given it your best?
On another note…
I had an interesting winter. While I didn’t eat myself silly, I wasn’t counting calories either. I definitely gained some weight, say 10-15 pounds (almost the entire weight of my bike on the high side by the way). Here we are two months into the season (only about a month’s worth of days that I could ride) and that weight is almost entirely gone. The definition in my shoulders and legs is back and what could have been construed as a “gut” is fading quick (Mrs. Bgddy would take that last part and roll her eyes saying I’m being way to sensitive about said gut). I have made some minor dietary changes, not to speed up the process but my tastes have changed lately: I would drink a Coke or three when we went out to dinner – those have been traded for 1/2 and 1/2 unsweetened Iced Tea and Lemonade. Not perfect, but I never claimed to be pure as the driven snow either. I also cut candy entirely. Candy and I have a twenty-one plus year history, roughly dating back to when I quit drinking (it’s a normal thing for ex-drunks to hit sweets hard). As stated earlier, I didn’t drop what little bit of candy I did eat – we’re talking serving sizes in an evening, not bag(s) to drop weight, I simply lost the desire. There is a trick to losing the desire to enjoy sweets though… The farther removed I am from sweets, as time passes, the easier it is to skip the candy aisle. Some days still require active avoidance it but most days the thought won’t even cross my mind. Now, you may be wondering, “if a guy doesn’t have to abstain from candy to stay relatively trim, why give them up at all”? That is a very good question and I asked myself that very same thing when I got the notion that I should quit. I decided to give up my minor candy habit because I arrived at the conclusion that it’s simply a waste. Here I spend all of this time working my butt off on a bike so I can be fit, happy and fit in my size 32 jeans and I’m eating candy – it’s useless as fuel. Once I arrived at that conclusion, every time I put a piece of candy in my mouth I thought, “why are you doing this“? After that it was only a matter of time.