Free Your Mind, And Your Legs Will Follow

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pushing Past That Dark Place

While riding the other night I found myself doing laps in the park that is a couple blocks from my house. There is a 2 mile loop with a very nice climb in the park that gets the legs burning by the end. I train in this park on a regular basis and was planning on doing 25 miles in the park just as a recovery day. I started to get a little tired of the same loop time after time and quickly found myself saying...well maybe I could just do ten laps, or maybe just 8 laps then head home..... NOOOO, this is the slug inside of me wanting to be lazy. This was one of the last decent days that we would probably have this season, I needed to fight this urge to be off the bike and keep pedaling!!!!

I have encountered this feeling several times in some of the races I have been in this year as well as the rides that I have done this year. The hardest of all of them was the Fruit Loop... After mile 180, Ari, BB, and I started to get light headed, started seeing things, talking nonsense, not being able to hold a line.... you get the point. We stopped several times for coffee and to talk and laugh and make sure we would finish this ride. At the end of the 260 miler we were wiped out. I felt enough energy to finish with 70 more miles (Trans Iowa distance....I know its do-able), but it wouldve been a struggle to get back on the bike. I fought the demons off during the night and that sunrise gave new strength to our legs as the finish was close..... Trans Iowa will be even worse, unfamiliar ground, new roads, many more hills, and who knows about the weather. Something I have thought a lot about (almost every day) since last April. Giggles has sent me scarily accurate accounts to what it might be like out on the roads....we must finish

Other rides like DK200 left me soaking wet on un-rideable roads in the middle of Kansas. We decided to quit since the route was not rideable....HOW STUPID, the best thing that I learned from this race was that from now on, I WILL NOT QUIT!!!! I should've kept riding any road to get to the checkpoint as the setup was a little more relaxed than T.I., I have to think and fight the urge to stop....easier said then done after 140 miles and 100 degree temps.

The Heck of the North made me want to weep.... I was verbally grunting and moaning on some of the trail sections. I wanted to yell out and curse Jeremy Kershaw....instead I told myself I drove 10 hours to be here, to be in this great state, to ride with some of the best gravel grinders and to PUT UP A FIGHT!!! And I fought through hours of cramps and some nasty gravel to finish in a decent time (in my opinion).

When the going gets tough, don't give up.... don't quit.... RESIST THE URGE, keep moving, keep going, and keep fighting!!!!!

- JB


  1. This is a great post! I look back at my gravel track record and I am very disappointed. Over the years, I have finished some very hard events. I finished a Half Ironman this year and really enjoyed the day. When I have come up short on the bike recently, it was due to a failure between the ears. I am looking to the new year where I can complete my chosen events with the right attitude. Talk - Action = 0.

    Bonk King

  2. This 'Dark Place' thing has so intrigued me the last few years. Go after it, head to head! where one finds themselves.