Thursday, February 6, 2014

Au Revoir #TINAR 1000

If the TINAR 1000 Challenge is finished, why do I feel so sad? 
It's February 6 and I haven't ridden a bike since January 31 and there's no reason. 
I'm not sick, injured, buried by work, or been abducted by illegal aliens. 
"Hell, I want to ride woman"
at least that's what body is saying, my mind is saying "f**k it, go tomorrow." 
My mind's been saying that since February 1.

Final stats from TINAR 1000:

Total Kilometres: 661.77
Total Elevation Gain: 32,652 ft
Total Days Ridden: 23
Total Calories Burnt: 11,878
Total Hours on Bike: 33:10

I started out the TINAR 1000 half-assed and I finished it half-assed.
But the middle part was pretty good. 
To start with, I was finishing up a cold at the beginning of the month, 
so those early rides averaged sub 20 miles. 
As the weeks passed every ride got a little longer, every ride I felt a little stronger. 
That is until the last week, and I'm taking full responsibility for that lackluster finish. 
But before the bad I want to point out some of the good:

-I got a STRAVA QOM for going 1.4 miles downhill.
(that's pretty damn funny because I descend like a feather)

- My legs got some muscle tone and I got a bit of a tan.
(although no one's gonna mistake me for an Italian) 

-My diet improved 
(for the most part)

-My love of cycling increased, 
(it's now bordering on clinical obsession)

-This is the most miles I've ridden in January, 
the weather kind of helped though,
average temps were around 78 degrees.
I love Summer Embro.

-Most important thing I gained from this challenge was
actually feeling healthy. My body functioned the way
I always knew it could, but now after a week without 
riding I'm a complete disaster. 

I made some mistakes, I knew they were wrong yet I still did them.
Will I learn from them? Probably not, but I fully intend to try.

Here ya go, learn from em:

- A challenge like this is not good for procrastinators.
I learned not to wait till the last week to ride 250 miles.

- I didn't fuel properly while on rides.
When it came to water and food intake I was terrible.
You are not supposed to have any liquid left in your
bottle after a 3 hour ride.

- I didn't refuel properly after most rides.
   It wasn't the quality, it was the quantity.
Who am I kidding, it was quality.
Note to self: smoothies are always the way to go.

-  I needed to take care of my bike and my body (legs).
I think I washed and lubed my bike once the entire month.
I also didn't stretch at all, and my idea of massage was putting
on lotion. They both put in a lot of work, they deserved better.

While out riding I had a lot of hours to be alone with my thoughts.
One of these was realizing how much I love my quads. I like to watch them
involuntarily move outwards as I take a corner or just watch them pedal away
without me asking them to. In fact, I love them so much I named them:
The left one is Gino and the right one is Fausto.
I promised them that we'd make plans to get back to the gym next month.
And yes I have conversations
with body parts, my bike, or random animals that may cross my path.

As I was riding my final day I had the strangest feeling. I knew I was nowhere
near my goal, but I wasn't upset about it. I got kitted up, clicked in
and pressed the RIDE button on my Garmin. As soon as I crested the top
of our street, right before I make my usual left turn, it hit me:
I felt empty, but not in a depressing way. 
My ride that last day can only be described as rotational meditation.
My mind was clear. No thoughts or worries came zipping through. 
 I heard the birds, I saw the clouds, and I heard my dirty chain turning over,
but nothing would stick in my mind. I felt pleasantly stupid.
As I write this it's becoming clear to me what I experienced that final day:


Well, maybe not fully enlightened, but as enlightened as
I've ever been in my thirty some years on this planet.
I may have failed at meeting my goal but
I definitely feel like I gained something this month.
I'm looking forward to this coming year.
I have more challenges in store,
it seems to be the only way I can anything done.