A long road

It’s been a long to recovery since August 23rd of last year and I found out yesterday that I have come a long way but similarly have a long road to travel ahead. That road is both metaphorical and literal.
The metaphorical road is the fitness level that I am currently at is simply not high enough I found that out yesterday.  The literal road is the miles of black top that will pass under my wheels and feet to get that fitness to the required level.

So yesterday? What happened that made me come to this conclusion? What other lessons could have been taught?

Yesterday marked another running of the Midmar Notts cycle race. It’s a relatively shprt race at 60 or 80 km but definitely a unique event on the local calendar. The unique character is that it is an out and back route along the same road. More unique is the elevation profile. You start at about 1 000 m above sea level and at the turn around you are about 1 400m above sea level. It is certainly not all up hill so you do a lot more climbing than those stats suggest.
It was the second time that I attempted this race. The first, back in 2012, was a blisteringly hot day. I did the 80km ride and my race did not go well. I did not hit the wall but I came pretty close.
This year, the conditions were poles apart. It was 9 degrees Celsius when we started with a slight drizzle. The roads were very wet from heavy rains the afternoon before. The cool weather made it very cold once moving which added to my demise.
Anyway, I digress! Lessons learned?
1. Always be prepared. I was lucky that I took my (sleeveless) rain coat. One should always take clothing for all possible weather conditions. My leg warmers would have been perfect.
2. Never underestimate a race of this nature. Because it is a uphill and downhill route, we prepared for a 30 km race. Wrong! Once we hit 30km it was still an hour back on precarious road sufaces. Another factor to my demise.
3. 5 months off training lost does not come back in 5 weeks. I learned very hard that thos 5 months of lost training have halted progress. This halt is not undone in a very short space of time I.e. 5 weeks. I have lost my legs I had 6 months ago.
4. What goes around comes around. For years, I have been the one to wait foe other people whilst on the bike. I do it as a choice because I want to help them. Well, this was my time to be helped. About 4 km from the finish of the race, I was encouraging my riding partner, who happens to be my dad, to keep going and, well, he did. Straight off my wheel and away into the distance! It was great to see him go. I hoped that he would go and finish but he slowed and almost stopped, to let me catch up. I told him to go ahead for thw the second time but he refused AGAIN! He said hat many time I waited for him so he waited for me this time. It was appreciated and I told him too.
5. The Time Freight Midmar Notts cycle race is one for the calendar! A great race in all aspects. Well done to the organisers once again.

So lessons learned and recovery on the way to complete. Next year will be better becaus of better preparation.

Fantasizers… rely on luck.
Dream Builders… rely on discipline.

Fantasizers… focus on the destination.
Dream Builders… focus on the journey.

Fantasizers… cultivate unhealthy expectations.
Dream Builders…cultivate healthy discontent.

Fantasizers… minimize the value of work.
Dream Builders… maximize the work they do.

Fantasizers… look for excuses.
Dream Builders… lead to action.

Fantasizers… create inertia.
Dream Builders… generate momentum.

Fantasizers… breed isolation.
Dream Builders… promote teamwork.

Fantasizers… wait.
Dream Builders… initiate.

Fantasizers… avoid personal risks.
Dream Builders… embrace risk as necessary.

Fantasizers… make others responsible.
Dream Builders… make themselves responsible.