The Eighty-Mile Mark

The Long Road Back Part Seven

Have you ever been driving and miss an exit ramp, only to find out that the next ramp is eight miles away? It infuriates me. I have to drive eight miles to the ramp to turn around and drive eight miles back to get to the ramp I was suppose to take. Quick math: that is sixteen extra miles! That is a perfect metaphor for my current situation. This I realized when confronted with my first real, indoor training ride. For those of you who have ridden centuries before, it compares to the excitement at the start to the feeling at the eighty-mile mark . . . twenty more miles to go. At this point, I just want it to be over.

img_20200526_110654I enjoy a good workout on Peloton with Christian Vande Velde. He has great insider tips and training workouts. They are not fun, but they are very productive. I really enjoy when he talks to the riders like we are on his team during a grand tour. I met him this past summer. He seems like a great guy. Anyway, I hit the start on the touch screen and Christian started his warmup. I knew something was amiss when my legs whispered (kind of loudly) to me during the warmup. The workout started. I will spare everyone of the forty-five minute fiasco: talking out loud to myself, shaking my head, shoving my bottle back into the holder, checking my gearing about 100 times, and on and on. The snap was there, but the sustained power was a vapor. I could not hold power.

Did I not expect this? My delusion of getting right back into the mix had cost me a HIGH mental barrier. I should have told myself that this would happen. Ease into it? Baby steps? In my impatience, I had told myself that I did not have time for baby steps. Oh, how my body quickly reminded me. Remember the movie Top Gun? “You are writing checks that your body can’t cash.” Well, that is where I am. I have been told by numerous people throughout my life that I am one of the most mentally disciplined people they know, but mental strength will not allow you to over ride what your body cannot produce. “Shut up, legs” does not work when there is NO gas in the tank. So I only have one option: back up and regroup.

The old adage in fitness that it takes six months to gain it and six weeks to lose it is not that far off. I can feel that my aerobic fitness is around the corner, but my power is lagging far behind. Weeks and weeks of sitting or lightly spinning has sapped me of sustained power. After the train wreck of a ride with Christian, I am now back to a building power program. I feel like a rookie who has never ridden bike, but it is all I can do for the moment. I have now taken a deep breath, thanked God for my ability to even ride again, and hit the start button.

17 thoughts on “The Eighty-Mile Mark

  1. Unlike an actual rookie, you’ll be finding power in no time. All good things come to those who wait. But I know what you mean about missing the off-ramp. Last time I did it I nearly missed the start of a half-marathon. Turns out it was my fault for missing the off-ramp and I wasn’t even driving 😉

    1. That’s right, and that’s part of why the recovery is so grueling… you know where you should be and that doesn’t match with where you are. One day at a time, brother.

  2. You’ll get there. Had similar back fractures etc after a big hit from a truck in 2015. Back on the turbo in a couple of weeks, but wasn’t even 80% fit three months later. Glad you’ve got the perspective that you’re not dead or paralysed – it makes the waiting for form a little easier. Keep putting the miles in, and the rest will come…

  3. I pray for you daily brother. If anyone can get back to normal it will be you.
    “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” – Psalm 147:3

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