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When Twelve Miles is Good Enough…


April 2016

Written on Monday…

When I left for the office with my Venge in the back of the car so I could take a minute to clean it before work, I knew darn good and well it was going to rain later in the day.  The Weather Channel app had been calling Monday a washout for the better part of a week – and for once, they never changed the day the storms would arrive.

I knew I’d be riding the trainer inside before I took the kids to swim practice. 

When I got home however, even though there were some ugly clouds, the sun was peaking through in several places… and it was blessedly warm, a few degrees over room temperature.  The rain was coming, it was just a little late getting here.

I had less than an hour to get a ride in.  If I just did the trainer, I could have done 45 minutes and gotten 18 miles in… well, maybe 16 – Sunday was pretty tough.

On the other hand, dude, it’s the trainer!  I prepped my rain bike, changed and took off out the door.  Even if I got caught out in the rain, the bike would clean up. 

I could have taken a day off but you know better than that about me.

I figured I had 40 minutes, no more.  I should have kept it to ten miles and shot for a lazy 15 mph pace just to loosen my legs up (15 is my approximation of lazy, not yours).

Once I got out there though, even in the headwind, 17-18 was just too easy to hold.  I added two miles and made it back in 39 minutes.  A little more than an 18 mph average.  Probably a little too fast, but better that than too slow, eh?

I showered, threw dinner down my gullet and ran out the door with the kids.

I hate a sub 45 minute workout but 39 minutes outside is way better than 45 minutes on the trainer.  It’s not even a contest against a day off.

I’m pretty tough when it comes to people with Donut Shop Excuses.  “Oh, I’ve been too busy to stay fit” or “I’ve had too much on my plate lately (have you ever wanted to respond, “Yeah, I can see that. You obviously didn’t have to sacrifice any time at the table.”). This originates with recovery from being a drunk, of course. We don’t make room for excuses and bullshit. We know sacrificing our feelings temporarily for a firm grasp on what’s really going on is a requirement. We call it honesty. Without it, we are as good as dead. It is what it is. Unlike some, I was perfectly okay with recognizing I was a waste. How can you fix it if you won’t recognize that there’s something there to be fixed in the first place?

The truth is, at least for me, twelve miles is only good enough when I don’t have time for 16. Or 20. Or 30, 40 or 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 or 100 miles. It happens two or three times a year.


  1. Kecia says:

    I just finished up 90 minutes on the trainer, just for you 😉

  2. Dan says:

    Love that term “Donut Shop Excuses.” That, unfortunately, is too much of our world.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Thanks Dan, I have to give props to my friend Grateful Jim for that one. He’s a sharp old-timer. Saw him run 5 miles with two broken ribs after slipping on the ice. One tough dude.

  3. Tony says:

    Regarding that Weather Channel app, have you tried the Dark Skies app? It costs $3.99, but is the best I ever used. Tells you the weather conditions for where you are. They call it ‘hyper-local’ weather. Also, gives you alerts. Every morning at 6:00 a.m. I get a weather report for my riding area.

  4. 15 miles is warm up for a guy like you!

  5. JustI says:

    “Yeah, I can see that. You obviously didn’t have to sacrifice any time at the table.”

    Now that had me laughing! Have a great day 🙂

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