So everything was going great and we were cruising along (rather quickly, I might add) when I hear a shewwwww coming from my tires. Thankfully, I had realized I'd forgotten a spare tube on my commute and with my luck riding with the fellas (numerous mechanical/bike issues), I wanted to have it just in case.
Jeff and Casey were contending for county line and bridge sprints throughout the four counties we rode in yesterday. I usually attempt to do this when I'm fresh, but I just let them go today. I believe the score was Jeff 4, Casey 3, with Jeff pulling out a nice acceleration to take the last sprint.
Anyhow, around mile 55, Sam popped. The 20+ mph pace became too much and climbing became a thing of pain. We returned to Lexington (around mile 75), and I was a little scared I was going to pass out on my bike. For the first time since training for my half last year, I just wanted to lay down on the side of the road and take a nap. No questions asked. After I split off to head home, I decided I need to stop and infuse my body with some sugar. 44 oz. real sprite anyone? I got a couple of powerades as well, just to make sure I could ride the last mile home.
I was pretty much a zombie the rest of the evening, and thankfully my wife is pretty awesome, as she rubbed my legs for me (while reminding me that she didn't feel bad for me because I decided to ride "a billion miles" :D )
The main point is this: when you're riding off the back of the pack as much as I was yesterday, you have two choices. You can quit, pack it in, pull out the cell phone and get a ride (which is not always a bad decision), or you can fight the voice inside that's calling you stupid for trying to do more than you have before, for trying to keep up with people who are "better" than you, etc., etc., etc. I think everybody has it. You hear it often when people are worried about not feeling in control during a workout. I've learned from riding with these two ,who have much better fitness than myself, that simply accepting where you're at and not worrying about it is key to success. If you constantly beat yourself down about not being fast enough, bla bla bla, you'll never have the motivation to get out and do it the next day. Just know that in whatever area you might be working, playing, you're out there extending yourself, and it's a good deal better than sitting on the bench. I would also advise riding with some people who are weaker than you on a semi-regular basis to keep self-confidence high.
By the way, a link to an article about the pool in the last post can be found here.