It is well-documented that I have struggled to love my bicycle. In an effort to fall more in love with cycling by gaining confidence in myself and my abilities, I asked Coach Elizabeth if I could do a metric century before Steelhead. I expected to do one maybe in mid-July, but not so soon! Still, when we chatted about the distance options at the Swedish Days ride this weekend (25, 42, 62, 75, 100, or 124 miles) I found myself actually excited that she suggested the Metric Century distance, 62 miles. (It’s called a metric century because it’s about 100k.)
It seems I went temporarily insane this week and thought I loved my bike. I found myself writing things like, “I can’t wait for my METRIC CENTURY this weekend!” (Yes. Even with the words “Metric Century” in all caps. That excited.)
A positive attitude is an amazing thing.
I rode 63.66 miles today and I enjoyed every single one. Okay, that’s a lie. The last 4 or so miles were uphill and into a nasty headwind. I did not like those so much after riding 59 miles already. I heard other riders describe those last miles as Purgatory. They were right. But I loved 59.66 miles, and that’s like… 93.7% of the miles. I will be elated if I like 93.7% of Steelhead. So I’ll take it.
My Dad and a friend of his decided to join in the fun of Swedish Days, so they picked me up early this morning. The plan? Lauren needs to kick some booty and get ready for Steelhead and will rock her pace as best she can. Dad’s Friend needs to kick some booty and get ready for RAGBRAI so he will rock his pace as best he can. Dad is just crazy and likes to join on these adventures with little to no training but an insane love of endurance sports. He will try to hold Lauren’s pace, but Lauren should not try to stay with him.
The plan worked. By the end of the ride, we were spaced out a bit. Dad’s Friend was leading him by about 10 minutes, and I was pretty much smackdab in the middle.
I have no idea how I stayed so positive on this ride. I just… really enjoyed riding. I credit most of this to the excitement I had about the ride all week. I also knew how amazing it would feel to know I’d cycled past Half Iron distance. (Yes, I know that I have to also swim and run that day. But I’ve swum more than 1.2 miles. I’ve run freaking marathons. Until today, I’d never cycled more than 51 miles, which left me 5 miles short of race distance.)
And now… I can cycle 63.66 miles. This I know for certain.
After today, I’m feeling a whole lot better about cycling in general.
And now, after this weekend of positivity, it’s time to put up my feet, relax, and go to bed early. I’m officially spent.
What goals have you accomplished by pushing yourself and remaining positive?