Saturday, July 26, 2008

let them eat cake

1. it is hot out there.
2. 90 miles, more than a handful of them exceedingly painful.
3. morgan is experiencing a decidedly unpleasant fragrance day.
4. favorite boat name seen today: "Gorge Us"

I set out to ride 60 miles. I was going from my house up emigration, then up big mountain, down to east canyon resort, around the dam, and back the same way. but my training schedule suggests a longer ride, and I haven't been to morgan yet this season, and these two things were chopping away at my conviction to keep the ride to 60.
and I was feeling pretty good, once that first half hour was over, so I started thinking about riding all the way to morgan . . . and next thing I knew I was on my way.
when I reached my favorite morgan rest stop (a big, clean, bright phillips 66), got water and a nutrition bar, the plan expanded. why didn't I go on to stoddard, take the freeway overpass, and come back on the other side of the valley?
where is a good reason to nix an idea when you need it?
so I rode to stoddard, and around the morgan valley, and back up to the dam. since I've now gone way past the TMI point (that's Too Much Information, for those of you who don't have children), the short end here is that I barely made it back up big mountain, wanted to stop about 6 times but didn't, then fought the wind all the way back home, coming close to being a bundle of pure misery.
my arms ached, my back ached, I was so uncomfortable I just wanted off the bike.
OFF THE BIKE. perhaps permanently.
so today's question is, why do we do things like this to ourselves?
I can't be the only one.
how do we determine what's right for us, what's enough, what's too much?
take drinking, for example. or eating. or gambling. or working: some people don't have much at all, some seem to quit at an appropriate time, and some are unable to say 'no more.'
is it a character flaw in some of us that keeps us from stopping at a reasonable point? how do we determine that reasonable point? what if a 'reasonable point' shifts from experience to experience?
I've ridden to stoddard and back before. why was today worse? and was there a point at which I should have reined myself in, knowing I had to retrace every mile I rode? should I have known that I didn't have as much in me as I thought I did?
where's the line between under-achieving and over-committing?
eight guys passed me as I was heading up the back side of big mountain. they were all sweating, and none of them looked like they were having the time of their life.
could any of them have felt as bad as I did? I don't know.
but on a lighter note, marie antoinette's famous phrase has been running through my head today, and since I worked so damn hard this morning I think I will let myself
go eat cake.

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