Sunday, April 25, 2010

training rides and their rewards

today I rode a training ride. not the kind with extra little wheels coming off your rear axle, but the kind that is good for you. the kind that emphasizes your weaknesses. the kind that makes you push limits and stretch thresholds and, well, experience misery.
it was hard.
okay, it wasn't all hard. there were a few beautiful descents and miles of tailwind pushes. and I was intensely grateful for every one of those moments.
but the rest was hard.
see, there was this thing called the wind.

I'm a decent climber, and a pretty good descender (for a female), but the steady grade-into-the-wind stuff just kills me. it eats up every ounce of energy I have, and spits back a general sense of depletion and frustration. I want to be moving more quickly. my muscles cry out that they're giving it all they have: why is my body moving so slowly?

I kept thinking about how good this was for me. I certainly wasn't thinking about how much I was enjoying it.

except, to be honest, for the moments when I looked at the snow-drenched mountain peaks: mount timpanogos and its range, and then as we turned directions and moved further north, glimpes of the high uintahs, still richly, densely white.
and the moments I gazed at jordanelle reservoir, and then those times I looked up at wind-whipped white clouds resting against the clear blue sky.
and the burro gnawing at a wooden post, the mottled farm cat who slunk across her yard, the horses whose necks stretched gracefully upward as they sniffed the wind.

the dogs who chased and barked at me, threatening to nip my shoes: not so much.

but it's one more ride to chalk up in my Book of Life, one more intense effort that will (supposedly) pay off.
and now I'm huddled in my jammies after my hot shower, having eaten everything I could find for the past two hours in an effort to replenish my depleted stores, ready to spend the next hour with a great book on my oh-so-comfy couch: this is my greatest, most favorite, reward.

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