Friday, November 12, 2010
This has been an amazing year for me as far as cycling goes. I pushed myself harder and farther than ever before and achieved just about everything I set out to achieve. Below is a list of some of the things I've done but what I won't be able to capture in words is the feeling I have because I've done them.
Inside I feel as though I've won the super bowl or something. I feel a sense of elation that endurance athletes must feel when they cross the finish line, and they more than anyone know how much time and effort it took to get there. They more than anyone know the joy of reaching for something that was formerly beyond them. They more than anyone know the joy of success which is not so much defined as beating the next person but beating their own limitations and internal objections vis-a-vis their goal.
I feel that way. And I feel the additional joy of knowing that just a couple of years ago I couldn't even have entertained the possibility of accomplishing some of the things listed here. In early 2008 I made a life-changing decision to submit myself to SP and do everything they told me to do as if I knew nothing. Because of this I began to make incremental changes to my lifestyle which have stuck over time and now here I am: 43 years old and accomplishing things beyond what I've ever accomplished.
Here's a list of the highlights:
1. I completed five centuries (rides of 100 or more miles in one day), including a ride of 125 miles and a ride of 150 miles.
2. I completed one double century (a ride of 200 miles in one day) in about 12.5 hours. Of the 50 riders who began the ride, three dropped out and one finished behind me. That one was over 70 years old, too bad for him, I'm glad to say that I beat someone!
3. I completed a five-day bike tour of Minnesota called the MS TRAM. My wife has MS so we do this ride every year (this was our 8th year) but this time I added some miles: instead of riding the normal 300 miles, I rode 353 miles.
4. In previous years I've had a hard time staying motivated to ride through the fall, but this fall I put in a total of 820 miles and may yet put in a few more.
5. I reached my goal of 2500 miles for the year. There was still plenty of time left before the snow flew so I decided to make up what I lacked of that same goal last year and thus reached the goal of 2708 miles for this year and an even 5000 for the last two years. However, we continued to have good weather and so now I'm just a few miles away from hitting 2750 for the year which, Lord willing, I will achieve.
For some cyclists with whom I ride this list would represent just another year, but for me it represents an amazing year. Thanks to all of you who have been sharing this journey with me and encouraging me along the way. Now it's time to enter into my winter training regimen and begin dreaming of what I will go after next year!
Hope you have a great day!