Photo: Mikael Colville-Andersen, Flickr Creative Commons
Then the alarm went off and I looked out the window. It was still pitch black. It wouldn't even be gray outside until I had to be in the shower and I live way out in the boonies. They don't put up street lights this far out from anything resembling a neighborhood. I could have still gotten up, found my headlamp and gone anyway, but I used the excuse to reset my alarm for a later time and go back to sleep. I should have gotten my ass out of bed and gone for a run, but I'm slow to wake up in the mornings and a bed is REALLY convincing at 5 a.m.
As for the cycling, it's less than a month until I'm supposed to ride 103 miles around Savannah. I normally do 17-21 miles anytime I go for a ride, which means I need to build up my endurance. Toward that end, I went out for a 40-miler this past weekend. Let's just say that I really hope that the end result was from the heat and not from the distance. I'd gotten up a little later than I had intended Saturday and by the time I'd eaten breakfast and gotten myself ready to go, it was 10 til 10 in the morning before I got up on my bike. That meant, after taking into account my short rest and food break in the middle, that it was a good bit after noon before I got back to where I started. Unlike my normal evening rides, the late start meant that I pushed through most of my ride with the sun beating down directly from above. I was fine for the first 20 miles. I was fine for the first 30 miles, good enough even that I chose the longer option of the two second-half routes I had planned for the day. Somewhere around that 30th mile things fell apart, though. I was exhausted. Miles that I normally complete in 3-3.5 minutes were suddenly taking four. I couldn't keep my cadence steady for any significant amount of time. I'd pedal for a bit, coast, and then pedal again. Normally, I pedal pretty steadily for the entire ride, only coasting on the backsides of the tougher hills.
When I finally finished the ride, I even called my wife to come pick me up in the truck so I wouldn't have to walk the 1/2 mile to the house down the sandy road between us and pavement. It took me hours to get back to feeling like myself. I don't usually require any real time to recover from a ride and never more than 15 minutes to get back to being myself after a hard run, but this time I was spent.
In case you're bad at math, 40 does not even equal half of 103. I'm going to be stepping up my bike distances every weekend until the big ride and if I can't manage at least 75 miles by the weekend before the ride, I'm definitely going to cut back to a shorter option in Savannah.