The whole time

How big is your bubble? When do you think it's going to pop? Are you functioning in an ever expanding, dense fog? Often the fog gets confused with the dark, the rare moment of clarity short lived. Suffering at 5 am for an ethereal, not yet determined goal; other than the obvious (trying to put the sand back into the top of the glass) gets heady when the only friends there are the bears and the darkness. My head wanders, thoughts go far and wide as the calendar sheets pass under me. One certainty that is unavoidable, one thing you can't escape, even if you are gifted, one of the fast ones, a club I flirt with yet can't hang. Instead it all goes in, the early rides and the constant thought, races are great but the work is where the clock stops, 5 am at 41 feels the same as 5 am at 16. I've been in the dark the whole time.



Confidence and fitness seem to run pretty close together. I was recovering between intervals the other day when I was passed on the singletrack by a less fit looking cyclist. If I were confident of my fitness it would have bothered me less or not at all, like how on an easy day on the road you don't mind getting passed by Pathletes. This bothered me, it made the next 3 x 20 minute efforts fly by at threshold, work gets done regardless of the mindset, it has to right now, if not I'll suck more come October. If it didn't eat away at me I'd be less motivated at 5 am to go shiver thru the first 15 minutes of the next workout. Always racing away from the self loathing.



I feel a little plush right now, the legs are a pleasant constant ache. Soft tissue beaten up like an old couch cushion. That meat tenderized feeling after weeks and days of closely monitored flogging. The season is knocking, the bikes are just about dialed and the crisp air appears and goes at a moment's notice. My vision is narrowing, every move seems more calculated, the current guilt level is pretty pronounced as the Breck Epic goes on without my lazy ass on the startline. Instead I see things not in days but in a 45-60 minute blocks of special, blood in the back of the throat, cross eyed goodness. Purging 8 months of decadence in favor of 4 months in my own choosing, my Penal Colony.



I saw a banner style vinyl sign today tacked up on a single wide in a trailer park that read "Join us for the Happy Activity Fun Club" aside from the natural assumption that it was a front for a meth addict social club, I wondered what activity lay within. Perhaps Bridge and Canasta? Maybe it's a front for a sex club. Either way I was fascinated, not enough to go in though.



Fighting for the hours when I began to try to get it all in, now it's the minutes, the endless minutes where once it was hours. Lines pulling one way then the other tangent off a different line. The process to accomplish what little I want is eclipsed by what chunk needs done.



Sometimes it's like the wind and my nose is running, sometimes it's like a waterfall and I'm right in the middle of the water's path. Sometimes it's like the pressure on the outside isn't anywhere near the pressure on the inside, equalize? I wish. Then the wind fades and the water is warm, and the pressure equalizes and it all lines up, orderly, as the trees in the forest have an arrangement, the chaos and randomness fade into a beautiful, quieting din. That din is all mine, for now it relaxes and soothes, earned nicely. A product of my own chemistry.


Open Eyes

Today I saw a woman walking a cat and a flock of nuns. It was weird, the cat was walking on one side of the path and the woman the other, the cat knew to get off to the side unlike most kids and dogs. Then an hour later I saw about 10 nuns, full on Sally Field (flying nun) white outfits with the habit and everything. The only thing lacking was seeing a midget and the Apocalypse would have been upon us. Not much else to see at that point, just watching the pedals go over the fluffy clouds in my head.



Summer is fading, it was been raining almost everyday and consistently chilly, when it does warm up I feel that chill creeping in. Fortunately I am almost always wearing wool. I feel rushed, hurried thru to the next thing without concern or shrift for the thing I'm currently doing. I want to spend the next month going slow, do a few 6 hour rides and clear the slate in time for cross. I hope I get to do it. Summer is short at 9800 ft and it deserves the ample attention it's not getting.



A few sections in tonight's race gave me tunnel vision, somehow years of abuse haven't left me foggy, I was able to look down at the rocks and the dirt laying across and see it for what it is; layers. I felt it all, a little bit of front suspension only goes so far, a singlespeed climbs nearly better than anything else if the gear is right, tonight I was close, 3rd on the night but a great victory over the creeping urge to quit because of rot-gut, I wanted to throw up and see if that helped, I didn't. So, instead I rode the bike and tried to climb well enough to enjoy the descents. I was OK on both accounts. the dirt pushed aside on sections revealed sharper edges, cutting and ripping at what little rhythm I could generate, in the end it was flowy, as much as it could be at least. Seeing the edges and flares where the trail opened up it's lines gave away a little, it shared more than I think it realized. I didn't take more than I needed.


There are so many clever metaphors for what we go thru to ply our past time. If it's cycling great, I know kind of what you go through and you know my struggle. The calendar doesn't lie, the date on our racing license is commensurate with years of dedication, escapism, and lies that we could attain some random far off place on a podium that doesn't relate to any other aspect of our lives. Lies that our body has the ability to get to that level never achieved. Look at all of the busy coaches out there, trying to manage our expectations, whatever goal it is we are trying to look forward to. Pick your goal wisely, don't lie too hard to yourself, it's unhealthy and could bring down the whole house of cards.



Wednesday night's battle with Hypothermia and lightning took more out of the tank than Mt. Evans. I realized this after the 4:30 am ride on Saturday, the tank was dry, it would take more calories than I deserved to refill the reservoir. Rest and food, repeat the same. The neuroses had me getting knee surgery for the achy knees the rainy/hypothermic race produced. Then, fear of ingesting bear/mouse/elk shit had me out for months with an infection, meanwhile all that was needed was rest and food. Yeah, stable, right?