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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Harriman Hurt

Saturday I took a trip to Harriman State Park for a ride with my friends Todd and Walter. Let’s just say it was a hurt fest. I am so out of shape compared to where I was last year. I was scheduled to go 6 laps or 84 miles, but I had to stop after only 5 laps. I was just too tired to go on. During my last couple of laps, I was really starting to lag. Perhaps I was better off just going myself so I could have taken my own leisurely time instead of pushing to keep up. Perhaps then I would have gotten in the total distance.

Todd bailed out of the ride after 56 miles. He had done 100 the previous day and didn’t want to push it anymore. I had expected that by tackling Harriman a day after a 100 miler he would be suffering, but he looked strong as ever. Walter stayed with me over my final 14 miles, but I could tell I was really holding him back. Even if I felt like going on another lap, I don’t think I would have because I didn’t want him to feel obligated to stay with me.

After Walter left to complete a 100, I met Todd down by the beach. I could already feel my muscles shaking from the day’s effort and I was filled with chills. My HR started to take a dive on my final lap and I guess I used up all of my energy, hence the chills. Despite the chills, I took a dip into the lake to wash off the sweat, dirt and suntan lotion from my body. I was feeling groddy and needed to get in the water. After I submerged myself, I stood up to see an oil slick surrounding me. I was an environmental hazard I was so covered in grime.

When I returned home and started to unload my car, I suddenly felt like such a loser for not completing my intended distance. It felt as if I had quit a race simply because I was feeling too tired to go on. As I write this, I vow never to let myself quit a race because I am tired or the going has gotten tough. If I feel like such shit for just quitting a training ride, imagine what I would feel like if I bailed out of a race. In a way, I wish I could go back and complete that 14 miles, even through at the time I am pretty sure I made the right decision.

After returning home I almost decided to make up the distance right then and there. I had to pick up my road bike from the shop and I thought about taking it out to Prospect Park for a 14 mile test drive. I was feeling a little better, since I had eaten some solid foods. However after some asshole turned his car too sharply onto my side of the street and almost hit me head on I decided to just go home and rest for the remainder of the day. And rest I did, I fell fast asleep in my bed for several hours.

This morning I was supposed to do a 20 mile run, but I was conflicted with my desire to go for a swim out in Brighton Beach. Swimming won out since I have tomorrow off from work (Memorial Day) and could do the run then. I went down to the beach with my friend Rob. We swam for a wonderful 51 minutes in clear and mostly calm seas. The water was a balmy 61 degrees and I felt toasty warm in my long sleeve wetsuit and neoprene hoody.

As pleasant as my morning swim was, my afternoon wasn’t nearly as so. My wife and I went to the Jackson Premium Outlets in New Jersey for some Memorial Day discounts. I lasted with her for much of the shopping spree, but towards the end I had to bail out and escape to my car where I listened to the radio in air conditioned comfort and now type this blog entry. Here is a picture of the vast sea of cars on top of an oppressively hot asphalt parking lot. It’s 91 degrees and stifling.


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