The road beat me on Saturday. I started out strong, even though it was already hot and windy at 5 am. Then my foot began to burn as I circled the south side of South Mountain, and soon I couldn’t think about anything else. LaVerne, our always supportive ride leader, caught up and gave me a push to the rest stop. After a brief rest, I thought I could finish, but I had no energy.
Some days are like that. I know this is true, and try not to dwell on the defeats. However, in the final days before RAGBRAI, I worry that my body is rebelling and I’m not as ready as I was at the beginning of June.
My chiropractor knows Lance Armstrong’s chiropractor, and as he worked to relieve some of my aches and numbness, he assured me that Lance has bad days, too.
In theory, indoor cycling should be cooler than outdoor cycling in the summer. The gym AC hasn’t been working right, and the cycling room was unbelievably hot this morning. As I tried to focus on something other than the room’s temperature, I thought about LaVerne mentioning she’d like to ride RAGBRAI in a year or so, and that it would be nice to go with her next year, but do I really want put myself through this again? I decided to wait and see how I feel when it’s over. I remembered how noncommittal I was in March, first not registering for RAGBRAI because I wanted to see how I felt after the MS ride; and also not committing to a distance on the MS ride until I reached the turn for the century loop. Suddenly I remembered how the century ride empowered me to keep going. I started to push harder, and spent the rest of class feeling like I was back in my element.
As class ended, one of the new girls ran out in the hall and vomited. The instructor attended to her, and a couple of us went to the front desk for help. Two employees headed toward the girl, and I noticed that one of them, Megan, was walking stiffly. I’ve gotten to know Megan because she volunteers for the MS ride, and gives presentations on what it’s like to live with MS. Most of the time, her symptoms aren’t apparent, but today she said she was feeling all 2,000 parts of her body. Then she enthusiastically started talking about an upcoming fundraising walk, and being in next year’s marathon.
My pity party is over.