It was easy to wake-up and get out of bed this morning because the heat indoors was uncomfortable. I felt fine and was psyched to get out and ride. Even at this early hour it is usually bright outside, but today there was so much overcast it looked like hell was hovering above Tokyo. As I walked out the door, a sudden wave of heat and thick humidity smacked me in the face. I knew immediately cycling today was going to be more of a chore than fun.
The first 6k was a fairly standard amount of warm-up pedaling. The damp and sultry air made it difficult to breath comfortably, but this is an unfortunate byproduct of Japanese summers and will likely not be changing anytime soon. The freshly lubed chain on Red Chameleon did feel like the machinery was operating smoother that it had been in recent days.
The remainder of the first half of the ride was pleasant yet uncomfortable. I was not really able to get into a decent cycling groove, often times struggling to maintain cadence and speed. I did get decent rest last night and did not feel tired this morning. For whatever reason, my performance was not where it should be, and for no apparent reason.
At the 18k checkpoint I considered just going straight home because the atmosphere was almost suffocating at this point. However, when it came time to decide to go towards home or double-back to do the full 50k, I rode towards the latter because I knew if I did not then I would be severely disappointed. When I did reach the 25k checkpoint I paused a bit longer than normal, drinking a substantial amount of electrolytes and eating two gel packs. I hoped this would give me a burst of energy, but also keep me fully conscious for the 25k return trip.
Prior to departing towards home I had decided to focus more on the podcast I was listening to rather than the horrible air or any struggles to maintain pace. This strategy worked quite well because the entire 25k back flew by quickly even though the full ride stats were pretty piss poor overall.
Sometimes you just need to ...
- push yourself.
- put your head down, forget the pain, and focus on something else to get you to the end.
- work harder.
- remind yourself of your ultimate objective.
- just breath.
- enjoy the ride.
While I do ride for the exercise and fitness benefits cycling offers, I primarily am hitting the pavement as often as possible so I force myself to disconnect. It is all about a form of meditation more than anything else.
The weight I have lost, and kept off since starting this journey, has been phenomenal. But the improved mental health, increased confidence, and feeling better about myself are far more important than any other benefits I have enjoyed. Plus, I love cycling, and this is something I enjoy doing most mornings.
Just get out there and do it. Enjoy yourself! Before you know it you will be improving your own health and fitness, hopefully decreasing that waist size, and increasing your quality of life.
You can do it. I believe in you!
I believe in me!