Week 13 of 16. The mandated number of miles this week is frighteningly high. 282 miles. That is almost the same number of miles from my home to Phoenix, AZ (according to Google Maps). I never thought that I would ever voluntarily train for an athletic event of any sort and here I am talking about mileage, speed, interval training, and pain. CRAZY. Have I noticed anything during the weeks of training I have so far endured? Well, let me attempt to quantify my findings:
1) I am complaining less. At least out loud. (Does complaining in the form of the written/typed word count, such as this blog?)
2) I like my cute cycling socks, cute helmet, cute shoes, and really cool sport shield sunglasses. I will post a pic of my new shield sunglasses in a separate blog post very soon.
3) I can bike longer whilst listening to podcasts, i.e., educational distractions.
4) I am learning various bits of information and trivia whilst riding (see “podcasts,” point #3). For example, did you know that there is a law against dying in the Houses of Parliament in Britain? This is partly due to the British government’s desire to save money on state funerals; members of Parliament are considered important enough to warrant state funerals, but the expense of having one is great enough to pass a law banning MP’s from expiring whilst Parliament is in session. Frankly, I’d probably expire from boredom, but that is an entirely different thing altogether.
4) I am eating a lot more junk food (and more food in general) during this training period without (much) guilt. I have eaten more french fries during the past couple of months than during the past 10 years.
5) Yes, I admit, I AM getting stronger and faster. Well, at least I am pushing myself harder once in a while. It is kind of cool that I have concrete evidence attesting to my increasing speed and “prowess” on the road bike via Strava (a social media site for cyclists and runners where one can upload data from one’s cycling/running computer and share training progress). For instance, today, I biked the Red Rock Scenic Loop (again) and got another personal record (PR), breaking the PR I got last week for doing the loop. I was quite surprised because I didn’t feel like I was going particularly fast today.
At this point, I’m still not certain if I’m going to take a (long) hiatus from the bike after the double century. I expect that I will decrease the mileage considerably, unless my SAT spikes my water/food with mind and mood altering substances that will influence me to continue riding long distances whilst thinking it is my own idea to do so. (Mental note: guard my liquids and foods.) I am a little surprised and yes, even impressed, that I’ve adhered to my training schedule THIS LONG. The proverbial light at the end of the (training) tunnel is but a minuscule glimmer at this point….but the fact that I can sense that shimmer of light every few days is heartening.