Monday, June 1, 2015

Playing the Game

I'm rusty as hell. After a grumpy, unhealthy winter and a challenging spring, I'm late getting back into training. It's not just my heart and lungs and muscles that are out of practice--the mental discipline I developed last year has all but melted away with the snow.

So on Saturday--sunny, warm, lilac-scented Saturday--when I couldn't get out of my own way and was late getting my bike ride started, when I stopped to visit friends in Tenants Harbor and it was too fun to leave, when I ended up too tired and distracted to follow through with the whole 2.5 hour ride--I told myself I would make up for it on Monday.

Which gave me that same queasy feeling I'd get back when I was trying to quit smoking, when I'd resolved not to smoke at all and that little voice would pipe up with a counter-proposal: Just one. You can have one now and skip the one you were going to have in an hour. That sneakyass internal negotiator that acts like she's looking out for you, but you know in your heart she's playing her own game and she's out to win.

Same thing on this bike: I knew I would regret it. I knew I'd be happier if I just pushed through and hammered out one more hour. Bu there she was, that sneaky inner saboteur, dealing me a slick deck. It's a slippery slope once you let that dealmaker have a voice and I knew that as soon as I considered it, I was going to cut the ride short. I'll just call yesterday a rest day, and I'll do my long ride on Monday morning! I will do it, I'll start the week off with a bang. I'll be rested and enthusiastic. I'm committing now. It's perfect. Nothing wrong with this. It will be fine. I even made a plan to meet a friend at 5 am Monday morning for a two-hour ride. YES! I thought. I AM BACK!

But I forgot about weather. It never even occurred to me.The rain sounded light when I got up at 4:00 on Monday morning. No problem, I thought. I am an Ironman. I'll feel even better about myself if I train in a drizzle. My riding buddy texted me: Are we on??? Hell yes, we're on, I thought. It's barely raining. I am an Ironman. Then I checked the radar.

It started pouring buckets. And it was 47 degrees. I made my friend decide. Man, was I ever glad that he canceled.

I practiced changing my rear tire and put the bike on the trainer. I got on that thing and endured two mind-numbing hours of spinning in my living room while the rain hammered and the wind lashed the building. I think it goes without saying that I was glad we weren't out in it, but I was acutely aware that I traded a sunny spring afternoon for this. I will not skip a long workout without a real reason ever again.

Because I don't care what kind of game you're playing: a beautiful Saturday afternoon on the St. George peninsula will always beat two episodes of House of Cards at 5 am on a Monday morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment