Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Training Begins . . .

. . . when the urge to quit does.

Tonight, within a mile of embarking on my circuitous augmented ride home I found myself thinking about whether I should just turn around. I felt dreadful, weak in a deep way, left knee twinging with my cadence. Granted, I went out last night, had a few drinks, stayed up until 3 and then rose at 7:30, so it's not like I wanted for an excuse.

I decided to persevere, though, and tabled the decision whether to climb Stanton or just push through Bloomfield and down the hill by the hospital. After climbing into Oakland, I settled in -- still weak, but no longer uncomfortable or afraid that I had no climb in me. At Millvale and Liberty, I decided to push through to the Park, and at the Park, I turned right onto Friendship, Stanton beckoning.

There are no short cuts, and I have a long way to go. By next month, in the warmer weather, I must take this path home -- or variations on it -- almost every day. And by then I'd like to be making a similar trip on the way in, too, or at the very least adding a climb to the ride by turning up Main or Fisk in the morning.

If I can ride a hard 20 miles four out of five business days, and add a long-ish 30-mile-plus ride on the weekend, I should be able to muster what I need to survive the 150.


Blogger Michael said...

I don't think emily got anywhere near that level of preparedness for her trip through the MS150. That said, she also collapsed for a day at the end.

I'm curious to see how it goes, especially on a fixie.

8:18 PM  
Blogger Moon said...

And so why aren't you riding with us?

10:59 PM  
Blogger emily said...

ouch! michael outs me as a wuss!

he's right, though -- my training was so pisspoor for last year's ride. i think the longest training ride i did prior to the actual MS150 was 40 miles. and i was fine.

i think it helps to think of the ride as two back-to-back long rides. the first day is around 84 miles (i think?) and the second day is the balance of the 150.

i was fine. exhausted, yes, but i rode the whole 150 miles. the ride is very well-organized. they have rest stops every 15-20 miles, which are a must, given the need for hydration and nutrients. i stopped at every one except for the first one, for just long enough to refill my water, have a snack, use the loo, stretch my muscles. it was hot as hell last year, but other riders told me previous years had been much more comfortable.

this year i really want to do the century option, so my training has got to be better than last year's...

the point in this is that the MS150 is a really good excuse to get in awesome shape, or to just get in good enough shape. however you do it, it's good for you.

and yes, i did collapse for a day after the ride. but i think that's inevitable, regardless of how much training you do.

1:37 PM  

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