Wait Until Next Year

Typically that phrase is used to describe my beloved Cubs. And once again it will apply.

However this year it also refers to the North Shore Century. I have entered this 100 mile ride the past three years, completing it the past two. It has become a part of my legend, to the extent you can apply that word to my life. Riding 100 miles and SCUBA diving are the two things I do that not everyone can or will do.

It is next Sunday and will go on in 2009 without me. If you have followed this blog for the past couple of years you may have noticed that except for my fall at the beginning of July, I have not said much about riding. Over the past three years it has been a source of pride and joy. Not this year.

This year the words agony and frustration provide a more accurate description. True, I did little last winter to stay in any kind of physical condition and I am sure that was a contributing factor. And yet once the riding season began in April I followed the same pattern that has been successful in prior years. This year has been a struggle.

Instead of 50 miles becoming my base ride with the occasional 60 or 70 mile jaunt, I can barely complete 40-45 miles. My legs which have always been my strength feel dead. Each week I kept hoping that this next ride will be the breakthrough ride. But it never came.

As I have began to share my thought about not riding this year I inevitably got the same two comments. First, “why do you think it is harder this year?”. Second, “Why not try to do the 100 mile, you can always stop and have someone pick you up?”.

To the first my unsaid thought is always, I am not a doctor or physical therapist. I have no friggin’ clue why this is happening. If I had to guess, maybe the fall took a greater toll than I realized. I know that I have not been stretching enough. Maybe being tight has kept my legs from growing stronger. But really I do not know.

The second question just makes me feel worse about giving up than I already do — which is really badly. Do people not think that I have considered trying? Last year I did not think I had it in me but with some encouragement I tried and succeeded. Last year I was cruising through 50. Different story. Believe me if I thought I had a 50/50 shot I would go for it.

I am dedicating myself to next year with the idea that I will go for the Apple Cider Century. That ride has some rolling hills and is a tougher 100 that the NSC. I am starting now, will stay in shape over the winter and attack the road in 2010 like never before– or at least like 2 years ago when I was in the best riding shape of my life.

Stay tuned. I am not giving up, just taking a hiatus. A one year only hiatus.

About 48facets
What you read is what you get.

One Response to Wait Until Next Year

  1. Frank Roche says:

    You got it, brother. I’m sure the Apple Cider will be great. I admire that you roll when you can.

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