I don't want to have an excuse, and I guess by merely saying that I lack any. My races and training stand on their own merit, I don't have any kickstands, crutches or subtle push on the small of my back. I do what I can, when I can, and go from there. Nearly 20 years of chasing something I can't quite identify isn't slowing the drive, I don't feel like giving up, I relish the suffering more now that it is slightly less frequent. Riding up another pass, watching the marmots watch me, spotting the big horn sheep farther up than I care to go on a road bike I let my mind wander away from the wheezing in my lungs and push to go deeper and detach my head from everything else. Turn up the headphones, let it fall away and pedal higher. I like the simplicity now more than ever, the inner dialogue is not visiting a quieting place, I look for more challenges to pedal through, to go deeper into what I think I can do. Anonymous as a shadow rolling, the pedals that put the head at a little bit of rest, let the legs try to quiet it down this time. Next time it might be the other way around.