On A Training Ride for the American Cancer Society's 2015 Endure for the Cure

This morning, I woke to the sound of rain. It had been raining all night, but the forecast called for a mostly dry day. I remained confident that it would be.

I pulled my Giant Defy 5 out of the closet and began doing maintenance -- degrease/lube the chain, remove the rack and change out the tubes. The tubes were nearly 2 years old; It's been a while. Once I was satisfied with the work and pre-flight inspections, it was time to taker her out. Well, not yet; it was still raining.

Finally, right around 10 am, the sky cleared and the rain stopped. Wow! An accurate forecast? Cool. Time to fly...

My goal for the day was to get in at least 30 miles. It's been a while since I've done a stretch like that. Last year, when I was trying to kill myself, I was doing 2 loops of the levee system -- one in the morning, one in the afternoon -- for a total of about 28 miles or so every day for a few weeks. Then I slowed down and spent more time enjoying the ride rather than trying to get hit by traffic. It was a nice change, but it also mean that I was riding a lot less. A couple times a week, here and there, whenever I felt like it.

Well, since getting on board to ride in the ACS Endure, I've switched from a moderate, "casual" pace, to something a bit more crazy. I'm riding to beat the devil, as they say, but I'm not racing against myself, I'm racing to get into shape for this 62 mile ride I'll be doing in August. So far? I think I got this.

I didn't bring a bottle of water, food or anything -- which was incredibly foolish, I admit. But the course I rode is pretty flat -- relatively speaking -- so it was really just up to keeping my stamina up. I needed to know how far I could go before I got into trouble. Had the estrogen changed my body chemistry so much that I couldn't ride at least 30 miles? Had the lack of testosterone sapped my strength? The answer is, "No." It clearly hasn't. I felt just as strong and able as ever.

By the time I got home, I actually considered going a little further, just to see if I could push the total even higher. But I backed out. I didn't want to exceed myself, especially since I no longer knew where my wall was. Besides, I can always save that challenge for another time, and there will absolutely be another time.

Eventually, my goal is to ride this route again but include the ride up the Coxton hill. Everyone hates Coxton. It's sick. By the time I reach the top, I want to vomit. This mass of twists and turns of almost vertical roadway is extremely well-known throughout the cycling community. It's the mountain everyone wants to be king (or queen!) of, simply because of its legendary difficulty. At some point, if I'm serious about training for this, I'm going to have to Coxton. I just don't know when. Maybe next Saturday? We'll see...



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