Reliving the Mental Barrier

It’s hard to tell someone less experienced that a future event is “challenging but very possible,” when you are nearing onto the decade mark in the arena of said events.  Specifically, I am referring to my experience in slightly stoopid endurance events, and in particular a 400ish mile bike trip.  No matter how many days that are on the agenda, 400 is big number.

The trick is to divide the miles into days.  I remember reading something like this when I was embarking on my first marathon.  “Yeah, it is ‘just one mile at a time,’ but it’s 26 of those!”  It didn’t sound quite right to me.

In marathons, the experience that I go through involves a few major stages: the initial start of finding a good pace, the majority miles where I’m in some kind of groove, the decision point to keep the pace or speed up, and the final push to the end.

So, a marathon isn’t quite one mile at a time, for me.  Yet, it’s no longer a daunting big mileage to me, either.  It’s now roughly four stages I pass through.

I enjoy life moments that let you relive personal learning experiences.

Even though I heard her perfectly, I asked dre what she said when she told me, “That was a fun [up-] hill [climb].”

She thought a climb was fun??

I was shocked.  Days before, the same person that gave me an earful of concerns and reasons of how our 400 mile bike ride was nearing impossible to hear that she just enjoyed climbing a hill!

The previous day was a tortuous 33 miles in a mix of rain and freezing rain.  We broke up the frigid day making hot chocolate in a state park handicap bathroom.

. . . and after a day like that, I could see why an 8% grade incline in a snow covered mountain range with a big tail-wind and a warm sunshine on your shoulders which also marked the halfway point for the day, really could be a fun uphill climb.

Kudos to dre, for turning another leaf and my ability to live vicariously.

On our 2009 Turkey Tour in Awesomerica.

It turns out there aren’t always food drops and water bottle hand-offs in real life; who knew?  If you’re some roadie thinking that 40+ miles per day isn’t that accomplished, put some gear, food, and water on your bike so that you can cook and camp along the way.

Or, just remain calmer than I am.


3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    jeff said,

    i’m living vicariously, too. i’d like to plan something like that in a year or two and take thunderclap and smsmh along for ‘the ride’. i feel it very important that tc have these sorts of adventures early in his life so that they become commonplace. thanks for the inspiration.

  2. 2

    Rooster said,

    Matching shoes – CUTE!

  3. 3

    aquadump said,

    Rooster: Foremost, I bought the shoes first. Second of all, I am easing into a life nearing that of a couple jeff and I see quite often during a lunch run. The couple are senior citizens and wear matching turquoise robes into the YMCA. Something of a status I aspire to ultimately achieve.

    jeff: sweet! I honestly think it’s the best way to travel. Lighter and faster than backpacking, but slow enough to smell the flowers. Let’s make a triple tandem for your family!

    Bill Bliss and Daughters, Bikecentennial '76

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