Running is tiring. A couple times last year I did it for eleven hours straight, and man, was I tired afterward. Most days I do it for about 11 minutes before I’m like Fuck This. But I just keep going.Brendan
That quote is from the article I Hate Running, which is SO spot on (and funny).
It really speaks to what I was thinking about yesterday on my bike ride. No, not The Drop (that really is a running thing), nor the fact that my clothes also smell like I never wash them 10min into anything – but about the idea of going forward anyway.
Yesterday I did about 4,500 ft of climbing on my bike over about 42 miles. I did via 2 laps of the Cemetery Ride and 3 laps up to the Council Crest summit. Like most of my training lately, it involved counting laps.
I now count laps for seemingly everything, because one go around rarely comes close to mimicking the actual thing we’re training for.
I sort of miss the days when a nice 1,000ft climb on the bike was a ‘nice solid day of pedaling’, as opposed to ‘not even close to enough climbing’ for my Tuesday training ride.
Last week I swam three miles in a 25 yard pool, which totaled 216 lengths (108 out and back laps). I counted every. single. lap.
On Mount Tabor I count 8-16 laps running the stairs or 5-9 laps on the bike.
On the cemetery ride I count 2-3 laps.
Even on our 10,000ft climbing day I counted laps – 2 on Dog Mountain, and 3 on the long bike ride.
IT’S MENTALLY EXHAUSTING TO CONSTANTLY COUNT.
I’d much rather just bike up a 4,000ft hill than bike 10 laps on a 500ft hill. My brain could then wander off to thinking about cheese, or napping, or ice cream, or tea, or literally anything else. Unfortunately, I don’t live in biking distance of a 4,000ft hill (or hike or ski or a GIANT pool), and so that would necessitate me getting into the car and driving somewhere. And that takes TIME. Time which I definitely do not have.
My laps are no Self-Transcendence 3100 mile race but sometimes it’s still really hard to finish a lap, and then will yourself back up again when you just Go. Home.
Yesterdat I really didn’t want to do that third Council Crest lap. I misjudged the amount of climbing my day involved and was definitely bonking. It was drizzling. I
had have SO MUCH WORK to do. My legs were sore. A hot shower sounded great. So did dinner. And a nap (or at least sitting on the couch).
But I’d set the goal to do three laps early in the ride for this specific reason. I knew I wouldn’t want to keep going, and I’d needed an extra bit of push to convince myself to carry on. If I’d left the decision until the bottom of lap 2, I would definitely have headed out. And sure, I could have bailed if I was too cold, sick, or really beat.
But I went up again because I knew that when I was in the middle of The Picnic (or any hard adventure), the mental fortitude to push forward is just as important as the physical preparation. You need to know you can keep going even when you don’t want to, and you can train for that.
So, here’s to laps. May they (hopefully) make the actual adventure just a bit easier when the time comes.
Oh, and bonus, I did get to see a rainbow at the very end. So, at least there was that.