Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My First Wall

Day 34 – 3/30/09

By the 40th mile marker I started to hallucinate. I had been on my bike for 4 hrs in the pouring rain and I for some reason kept going. Every hill I would hit seemed to get steeper and every car that would pass would get closer. I was on my way to Fitchburg, MA for my longest ride so far and didn’t know what I was getting myself into. The water would run down my glasses, I couldn’t feel the tips of my toes and my pants started warming themselves because they were so soaked through that my body energy would just heat the water trapped in the three layers I had on. By the time all the roads started to look the same I decided I would pull over to the side of the road. I stretched and took a deep breath. I had hit my first wall.

For 4 months now I have been quickly taking on challenges in biking, not feeling as though I needed to stop but wanted and could push further. I went from biking down beacon St to biking to Lowell (25 miles away) in a month. I have felt pretty invincible, until now. 40 miles is a fraction of the amount that I plan on doing in a day for my trip across the country but right now, 4 months into my training 40 miles combined with constant down pour, my mortality hits me right in the face. Now don’t get me wrong I am not giving up by any means, instead I am more motivated than ever to get my biking up to the speed that I want it to be. I like the challenge; it just so happened that I have learned more about my body’s capabilities. Right now 40 miles is my first wall. I have 5 months to get that wall to 100 miles, now that is a clear goal if I ever had any.

After taking in the fresh New England back country air I got back on my bike and pushed the final 3 miles. The last 500 meters were strait up a hill but I made it and was able to take a nice relaxing day with Lara and her mother.

At around 25 miles a small beacon of light shined on the side of route 117. It was Great Brook Farms Café (356 Main Street Bolton, MA 01740) that looked more like a winery café then some building out in the middle of MA. When I went in, it was beautiful. There was a group of older men chatting around a couple of tables as if they had been there their entire lives. There was a woman near the window being interviewed about being a female in a male dominated field (not sure what the field was but it was an interesting conversation to over hear) I walked up to the counter and a man was in the back preparing someone’s drink. He told me to grab a coffee if I wanted and he will be right with me. Bruce was his name and he was the owner. We ended up chatting about small business and how he wants to change this place into a destination to have your wedding at. I think he definitely can do it. He is also a motorcycle racer so we talked about that for a while. It is definitely a place that I will go back to, especially because they have BBQ sauce and boy am I a sucker for some good BBQ.


TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 49 hrs 10 min

1 comment:

  1. Mark,

    I remember the time I hit the "wall" very clearly! Your Mom and I had ridden from our place on five mile to Nampa and back. I remember riding past a 7-11 thinking - stop for a minute and get some water - I didn't - it was hot and while we were riding back along Chinden - we got to Locus Grove (about 3 miles from home) and my legs just wouldn't go any more. We would stop and then I made another 100 yards and then stop. I had run out of water 20 minutes before and I thought I could make it - Wrong! Anyway we made it 1 more mile and to the Albertson's store - I staggered in bought a half gallon of gatorade and drank the whole thing... message: stay well hydrated!!!

    Also on our rides to Lucky Peak reservoir (40 miles round trip - flat roads) I would make it there ok and then on the return trip start to feel the energy really low - I would eat a power bar and then about 10 minutes later be back at full steam. message: make sure you are getting enough carbs/sugar/protein!!!

    Keep it up!