It was the coldest bike ride I've done and I had plenty of gear to keep me warm; probably too much actually. This would only add to my discomfort...and to my fury.
From the beginning, I knew this ride would be "off." You know what I mean. There's a different feel to the air...a different feel to the world even. Perhaps it felt that way because that's exactly how it was.
The first day of truly colder weather was accompanied by its rebellious friend, The Wind. I felt like it was taking out its frustration on me, as if the lack of severe weather this summer had left it pent up and only today could it finally unleash its force.
I felt like I was biking through mud instead of through wind. I felt sluggish and angry, angry and uncomfortable, uncomfortable and...hopeless.
So many times I yearned to turn around. I was just utterly miserable. I kept on telling myself to get my head in the game, like my old high school softball coach used to yell out to me in the field from the dugout. But I was so mad because I was so miserable, and memories of Coach Savilla's leadership just couldn't shake the negativity.
So many times I thought to myself, "That's it. I just cannot and will not do this anymore until I get a road bike. Forget the challenge, forget the training. I hate biking. I'm done."
For whatever reason, I made it to 11.5 miles and turned around. As soon as I did, the head wind was gone and my ride felt somewhat back to normal.
I finished up at 10 mph. My slowest ride ever.
Maybe I needed to have this rock-bottom experience. I've yet to feel so frustrated in this sport, and I'm pretty good about getting in a slump and coming back even stronger.
Here's to hoping that's the case.