Monday, May 9, 2011

9 May 2011

Wow, it's hard to believe how time flies. I haven't posted in a while and don't know where the time went, and now the 2011 Assault on Mt. Mitchell is less than 7 days away! Looking back through some old numbers, I am surprised to find that I am within a handful of miles from where I was this time last year, a little better than 1700 miles this calendar year. Even though I finished last year (and am forever proud of that!) there are a couple of things that concern me: last year I finished the Marquis de Sade and this year I was not able to climb White Oak Mountain. Also, I am about 30 pounds heavier this year.
I am taking comfort in these things: I do believe I can beat the 3:30pm cutoff at the Parkway, and once on the Parkway, I am hard-headed enough to slog it out and make it to the top. I think too, that I have learned a few things this past year to improve my technique, such as breathing and cadence, as well as becoming better at riding my own ride. I have accepted the fact that I am too old and heavy to be a racer, and I need to control that competitive thing in me that says, "that rider in front of you is only 100 yards off; you can pass him/her if you want too." While I hope to get into groups where we can work together pulling each other along, I want to go out there with the idea in my head that I am totally alone and need to make it to the top.
Something kind of funny to me: when I finished last year, I thought I would do the Assault one more time, just to see if I could get a better time, and then I would be done. This year's ride is almost a week away, and I am already looking forward to next year's ride. Why? Because I am 45 and not getting any younger. Biking puts a feeling in me like nothing else. I ride, I sweat, I hurt, and yet it's the most satisfying thing I have ever done. When I rounded that last right-hand curve in the parking lot last year, I felt like I was finishing the Tour de France! Like a new mother holding her newborn child, what was behind me wasn't worth thinking about, only what lay before me. At that point, I think I could have ridden another 100 miles.
So, anyway, totally changing the subject now. I was on a Saturday ride the other week and someone mentioned my blog. I was surprised to hear this person had been following my blog, and pleased that she didn't ask me, "what are you thinking?!" To me, this is not so much a blog as a journal or diary. I started doing this just to track my riding and make a few notes. I don't claim to be a writer and anyone with a computer can have a blog. But I have enjoyed it, and am happy to learn that others (three, I think) enjoy reading what I write. Thanks!
I am an RN, have been for about three years now, one of those midlife career changes. Except I have never had a career, only a series of different jobs. I have worked in a hospital for the last seven years, six of those in the ER, a Level One Trauma Center. If it's bad, it's coming to us. I have seen things that should be seen only in a war zone and cried over children leaving this world. Needless to say, it's a very stressful situation. I left the ER about a month ago to go to one of the ICU's. Still somewhat stressful, but hopefully helping folks heal and recover from whatever madness they have endured. I think the most stressful part is the learning curve I am in right now, learning my way around, new people, etc. It will get better, and I will soon achieve a level of comfort I can handle. Until then, there is my bicycle. I will continue to pedal as much as possible, giving myself what I once saw referred to as a "mental enema." A two-wheeled jaunt through the country is, to me, a great source of healing and making things right with the world.
Thanks for taking time to read this.
Be blessed, be safe.


Kathrin said...

It's amazing how fast AOMM is approaching by now... Scary too... Terrifying actually! ;-)

I am trying to get our little group of four from the MdS ride together to form a pace group... Half of the group is not aware of that plan yet, but I still hope it's going to happen. Anywho... You are more than welcome to join us. The more the merrier and after I had a pace group experience last weekend, I definitely think it's going to be an advantage.

Counting down the days... Woot woot! ;-)

Oh and congrats on the department change!!

Mike said...

Thanks. I have to see how I am riding and who I will be able to keep up with. I wish you all the best and much success!

Aaron said...

We're almost there and sounds like you'll be fine. White Oak was insane. You won't see anything like that Monday. You seemed to do Green River fine. Putting the mileage in helps even if you have some obstacles. Hopefully I'll see you up there.