Finally somewhere beyond Montpelier I decided to turn around. As if it were a gas station, I pulled into a stranger’s driveway to fill up my tank. I stuffed my face with twizzler’s and swapped out an empty water bottle. My legs felt fine and my mind was ready to take me a few more miles. But if hell had mountains, I’m sure they somewhat resemble the clouds sitting only a mile in the distance.
After squeezing two gatorades out of five dollars at a nearby gas station, I began on the thirty miles home. But while I was enjoying the sub maximal wattage I was putting out, the rain drops were getting bigger and more consistent. I thought to myself “I wonder if I can outrun this sucker?” I looked at my left hand which had heart rate zones written on it. I looked at my watch on my right hand and saw my heart rate was in the “recovery” zone. Yes I can.
The road would bear right and sprinkles of water would splatter on my arms and back. But as the road turned left and downhill, I picked up speed and rode out of the storm. I pounded on the pedals calculating my energy reserves perfectly to get me back home at this speed. I crested hills amidst corn fields out of the saddle, sat and felt the burn. It was my day and I could feel it. My legs felt rested and strong. The gloominess behind me seemed to be getting worse, and my legs stronger. The air felt light and chilly. I looked at my Garmin forerunner to see that I had been averaging 21.7 miles per hour.
I felt strong, I felt invincible. But the veins on my arms began to bulge, my legs lost their color, and I was feeling cold. Nearly a mile from my house my lungs felt weak and I felt winded. Once in my home I took only a few steps before I collapsed on my living room carpet.
Its been three days now that I have not trained trying to recover from that ride. I don’t think it’s really worth that.