sometimes everything just clicks.
mindset, physical body, weather, companions, traffic, wildly unpredictable elements . . . there are times when every aspect of your adventure moves so perfectly that you couldn't have planned it that way yourself.
I--oh lucky soul--had such a day last saturday.
lotoja is an event that I spend, oh, about nine months training for.
not everyone who participates in lotoja does this, but I do.
I train all winter to maintain a level of fitness, to keep my heart strong via interval work, and to keep that cycling form ingrained in my mind, muscles, and cellular memory.
then I begin the outside work as soon as weather semi-permits, and I build up over the summer until I reach that beautiful taper phase . . . then it's smooth sailing for about 2 months as I enjoy the strength and speed I've developed over the past 9 months.
lotoja is the peak experience, and if all goes well, proof of how hard you've worked.
it doesn't always turn out that way: sometimes we have good days, sometimes not, no matter how much effort and planning has come beforehand.
but this year, the entire universe seems to have conspired to give me an incredible day.
I felt well, I rode well, I had great--although always changing--companions along the way, the weather was perfect, I had no mechanical issues, my support was awesome (thank you, as always, john) . . . and I rode faster than ever.
this is not to say it didn't hurt along the way, that I didn't wish it over at certain points, that I didn't feel like my heart and lungs and legs would all burst at one time or another.
it is not an easy ride.
but it was a great day, with a great result, and I am great-full and grateful.
and now, for the next two months while I'm at my most fit and least stressed . . .