Sunday, June 3, 2012

That which does not kill us

Makes us stronger. Friedrich Nietzsche

Or maybe just really pisses us off DJ Mike

I am always amazed by the focus and dedication of our fellow Speed Theorists. As dedicated albeit part time endurance athletes (when I say part time I mean as opposed to pros who get to do for a living what we do for fun) we all juggle many roles in our lives. Work, family, friends, caregivers, volunteers etc.

We have all had the awkward work conversation where someone marvels at "how we fit it all in". Another thing that I am sure everyone can relate to it how time pressured we all become. It is often the case that there is a very narrow window of opportunity to get a particular workout in.

Such was the case for me yesterday. I had a precise 3 hour 45 minute window within which I needed to fit a 3 hour 30 minute workout. The departure time was noon, after both family & work obligations and before a booked appointment and more family obligations, it's now or never. Great gonna get the workout in. I live on the extreme north end of town, so pretty much everyone ride goes north or north west and looking to the north & northwest there is clearly rain and more likely major rain. Well at this point in the year, is there anyone that can go back to the trainer in the basement for a 3+ hour session?

So let's make the most of it... About 45 minutes in it is just spitting a bit, I'm loving it, cheating the elements getting a good ride in. The moment this thought passes through my head, the skies open and it starts raining for real. Being wet isn't so bad, once you are wet, you are wet, slow, creeping getting wet kind of sucks.Then it really starts raining and for the better part of 2 hours it pours. While I am grumbling to myself I am thinking about my team mates who were doing the pre-ride in Banff and I'm thinking "OMFG if it is this bad and this cold here, they must be in hell" (more on that in a moment).

At this point the novelty has really worn off and I am getting legit cold. Toes are basically numb, hands aren't working the shifters very smoothly, but at least I am getting close to home and out of my self induced misery. Welcome to riding in Southern Alberta. Slayer Dan has researched the weather stats for this special part of the world... it's truly frightening data (first or second year members, ask the Buddha himself at the next TNT ride, but he may not answer you, you may not ready for this knowledge yet, it will set back your learning)

I know you know this one, the slog home it stops being a ride, it stopped being fun (a long time ago), it is just transportation and the hope for warmth at the end of the road. Once I get inside the house I realize my hands are so numb I can't get the chinstrap on my helment off, I can't pinch the clip with enough force to open it and have to push the strap up over my head to get my helmet off. At the same time I realize my teeth are chattering because I am shivering so much. And just then the phone rings. It's one of my fellow Speed Theory team members driving home from Banff, happy as can be, telling me how beautiful and sunny it was and how much fun everyone had, how everyone was shedding layers as fast at they could, people out on the patios... oh, and btw the way, "what was up with your voice... you sound terrible?

Now those of you how know me will appreciate how hard this was, so through gritted teeth I lied and said "well that is great, I'm so glad you guys had a great time"

And as soon as I got off the phone and looked outside the sun had come out, the wind was gone, perfect day, just in time to leave to DRIVE to my appointment.

Sometimes we don't get the luxury of choosing when we ride, run, swim or rest, we get what we get and make the best of it. But this much I know I didn't see one other person riding or running for those 3 hours, It didn't kill me, it sure did piss me off, I can only hope it made me stronger. See you on the road soon!


Unknown said...

Good for you Mike! Harley and his group, also joining up with Crankmasters Dudes, heading out at 10AM i total sun. This brutal weather change exactly like you described ...hit us precisely around noon! Which for us was our midway point. Meaning, 2 hours back in pouring rain and climbing up Glen Eagles to boot.
The BONUS ...unlike you ... was the group, all determined, never quitting, covered in mud spray figuring out where to draft!
Thanks to the SP for making a :) vs :(

Harley Borlee said...

Yeah, we got soaked and froze too bud. Don't know if it made me any stronger.....

cyclingphysio said...

I managed to skirt the outside of the storm, got only a bit wet. The best part was that in the 155km I did that day, 110 was with a tailwind due to the shifting downdraft from the storm! finished the ride under 6 hrs including a 30min stop for lunch. Definitely didn't make me stronger, but it was fun to average 45 Km/h for 3+ hours!

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