Today I set out for a long ride, given it was a holiday. My goal was to do at least thirty miles, aim for sixty-two, and if I got there and still had energy, then go for seventy five.
I was riding a six mile loop, with considerable headwind on half of it. When I started, it was 44 degrees, and I wore two teeshirts and a windbreaker. After thirty seven miles, I gave up. Only four laps to go and I would have had my second metric, but I just couldn't keep going. Although the temperature had risen to about 58 degrees, and I could remove the windbreaker, the two teeshirts were soaked with perspiration and I felt too cold.
But the real problem is I felt I let myself down. I could have finished the metric with just a little more ooomph. I wasn't that tired, I certainly wasn't dehydrated nor undernourished. I just reached a point where the ride wasn't fun, and I couldn't talk myself in keeping going.
So, I came home, looking at the half empty glass, when the reality was it was half full (37 miles is 37 miles, after all).
Part of my problem today was that my head would simply not stop working the math. How many miles had I gone -- how many remained? What time was it? How long had I been in the saddle? How much longer would it be? What's 62 miles minus 27 miles which means how many do I have left? So on, and so forth.
The first lap was murder -- cold and sluggish. It wasn't until I reached the 20's in terms of miles that I began to feel I was getting somewhere -- and then my brain reminded me that even at 25 miles, I was still 50 miles shy of 75. And I was already tiring!
So, I'm bummed that I gave up on myself too quickly, even though I know I should be happy with what I did accomplish. I've got to learn how to turn off my brain on these long rides, and enjoy the scenary more. The biggest problem with this ride is it almost never felt like fun. When it's no fun, it's hard to keep going.