The Plan was 100 miles
I planned to do my first Century yesterday. Didn’t quite work out as planned but I am not disappointed.
The setting was the NYC Century, a large organized ride in New York City with routes of 15, 35, 55, 75 and 100 miles.
The day started out badly. I overslept when the alarm clock went off but without any sound. Instead of getting up at 4:00 AM, I jumped out of bed with a screech at 4:30 and quickly dressed. We didn’t get out the door until a bit after 5:00 and by the time we parked and got to the start line it was 6:30. I was not on the road until 6:45, 45 minutes late for the start of the 100 mile group. Not a tragedy but it had me worked up anyway as being punctual for EVERYTHING is a trait of mine.
The ride is, well, interesting with a broad mixture of riders with everyone from hardcore cyclists to weekenders to people riding beach cruisers.
The course is easy with few hills of any substance and long flat stretches. What is difficult is the constant stopping and starting from the stop signs and traffic lights. The condition of the roads is also a significant challenge. Many potholes, steel plates, raised manholes, sunken manholes, and broken glass in abundance. I saw dozens of riders with flat tires.
In any case, my plan was 100 miles. I did 75. Why? Well, several reasons: 1) I forgot to take the one blood pressure med the Doctor is weaning me off. The body was not happy about the sudden loss of the medication. 2) (And this is the main reason): I missed the turn. There is a point where the 75 mile and 100 mile course separate. The 100 mile course goes 10 miles further out on Long Island and then comes back to rejoin the 75 mile route. I missed the turn. I am not sure how as I am told it was very well-marked (if in somewhat confusing terms) and hard to miss. On the other hand several people I met along the way also missed the turn….
Given the mistake, I decided to just relax and enjoy the shorter distance and be proud of the accomplishment of riding 75 miles. Make no mistake: it is an accomplishment. 2 years ago it was out of the question. A year ago it was out of the question. Now it is an accomplishment. Now it is one more stepping stone on my path to 100 miles or more. I am not at all upset that I shortened the ride. At one point in the ride my neck had started to hurt badly and I thought I would have to shorten the ride to the 55 mile distance. Riding with my good friend NI, I had even said I thought I would shorten it due to the neck and arm pain but when the split for the 55 came I decided to push on and do the 100. I am proud that I decided to push past the mind games and go on. I wish I hadn’t missed the turn but I am glad I pushed on with the 100 in mind.
The entire Journey, this ride, the weight loss, the disciplines, is about pushing past what I thought I could do. Next up is 100 miles with no missed turns.
What 77-miles looks like on a FITBIT
The Evolution Continues
We have decided, Missus and I have, to push chicken and other poultry out of our menu. No particular reason other than just don’t enjoy it much. With the banishment of red meats and now the move away from poultry we continue our slow slide towards a vegetarian diet. Only fish now stands between me and being a true vegetarian. I don’t think I can give up lox….
Tonight was a stir fry of shrimp, bok choy, shiitake and onion in masala. It was delicious. We had a little kabocha squash on the side and a bit of rice. Very good. It occurred to me afterwards that I would not have missed the shrimp…
The evolution continues.
On Being Happy and Happiness
There are many places in my life I would never go again. I have not always enjoyed this ride. There have been many factors involved in making me who I am and who I was. I am not going to rehash them here. Let it just be said that I was not always the happiest or most content person. There has always been something unpleasant boiling under the surface and sometimes not very far under the surface. Frustrations, confusion, angst, anger have all been a steady part of me. I can’t speak for anyone else. I don’t know if these are things everyone feels the way I always have or if I am one of the few. I only know that the way I have dealt with these issues has not always been productive. It has cost me love, friendship and happiness.
It also contributed a great deal to my physical condition.
I experience happiness just as anyone does. I feel happy when with friends, family, having a good time; the accomplishments of my children make me happy. But I have not been a happy person.
Now I have pulled some more control over those unpleasant aspects of my life and I have found control over my tendency to hide within, retreat from the world and to deal with it all by eating huge quantities of food.
What I am finding is I am happy. I mean that I am in pleased with my world, happy to exist in it. I feel in control of myself and the way I interact with the world around me.
This is a new experience. Being happy in my world. Not feeling on the edge. This is a great thing for me.
It is, perhaps, the biggest part of how I have been able to do what I have done the last 20 months.
Finding a way to be comfortable being me.
This is something I didn’t expect.