Words that accidently fell out of my mouth around the 100km mark of ride recently. My two cycling buddies were not helpful when I asked them for motivational words to finish the final 50kms. Admittedly, they might have been literally eating cake. Ravished. Not caring about chatter. They left me no choice than to spit this directive out.
Laughing, they dared me to use this as the title of my next blog.
If you read my blogs, you’ll know I have an endurance coach, and now a sports dietician. See cake. I was pretty damn hungry. The dietician put me on Gatorade for my long-distance rides. I know, I know. I have copped a lot of comments. I did protest because I hate the artificial crap. His reply, “Georgina, you do know what you are doing is not normal?”
Pause. Um, yeah. Come to think of it, is anything I do normal?
If you see me slugging down blue drink, don’t criticize, it means I am well on my way to pushing out 100-150kms. And I’m working on going longer. I also get to slam down Turkish Delight as well as the usual protein and carbohydrate fueled foods.
When you are going a long time in the saddle, there is nothing like sugar. There I said it. I was doing Lemonadas in Italy like a kid in a candy store. I no longer judge when I see a cyclist with a coke. I understand.
My trainer writes a monthly program and I follow it. Well mostly. Except when I’m sneaking off to climb Mt Baw Baw. Apparently one of the harder climbs in Australia. And yes, I did not know that until afterwards. Eye roll. I was led astray by a fellow mountain goat. Easily distracted by her peers was commonly written on my school report card.
I did fess up to the Mt Baw Baw climb. My coach’s reply, “Baw Baw, you’re a naughty girl G!! But I love it!” I suspect his response might have been a little different if I told him about the extra 60 kilometres smashed out later that afternoon. Thankfully he doesn’t follow me on Strava.
If he ever reads this, I am gone. And I’m glad he lives in Perth.
Recently, I had to message him to say I had come off my bike. Except I was not meant to be in the bunch that day. I didn’t hear back for hours. Unusual. Okay, this time he is really going to bust my chops. Turns out he was on a 400km training ride. In one day! And you think I might be determined, he’s a whole new level. Phew. Too weary to notice I was not on my training program. I suspect he knows.
Last week I had three flats. This was becoming annoying, until someone asked how many kilometres I had cycled on these wheels. Strava check. Appears to be 9,600kms. Yep. Double eye roll. Tyres are meant to last around 6,000kms. Oops. Rookie error number 86. The tally grows.
My cycling buddies went to town. Bloody love ‘em. One said, “stop riding so much, who the hell does endurance cycling anyway.” Ironically, says he who has contacted my endurance coach to inquire about training. Who will have the last laugh I ask?
More impressively, I have cycled 9,600kms since I started riding at the beginning of this year.
I had to take a moment.
And maybe another.
A small head spin of seriously what are you doing G?
None of this makes sense. Except it does.
I have just registered for the 3 Peaks Challenge in March. You have 13 hours to cycle 235kms with 4000 metres of climbing.
If you do it, you get the jersey. I want the jersey.
One of my good friends offered me his jersey after I told him I registered. I am currently questioning our friendship. What kind of a friend does that? I mean after you have paid. Now I have to finish to show him.
My training is going to increase as I reach for these goals. I was poking fun at myself, telling my coach. His reply, “awesome news on the 3 Peaks Challenge, this is so up your alley it’s not funny.”
That stopped me in my tracks. He actually believes I can do it. He sees a much bigger picture. And yet, I do not even really believe I can do it. That is both the truth, and an old internal narrative.
I can easily tell you a list of shortcomings around my cycling, all the reasons why this is a ridiculous idea. Those moments of doubt, the voice questioning why I feel the need to be so driven. If my best friend was writing this she’d just laugh and scribble, “high achiever and A type personality.” Been hearing that for years.
Yet, I am surrounded by great people who have already begun barracking for my success. Those riding buddies who poke fun at my rookie expense, and my non-cycling friends have backed me already.
Does anyone want to sponsor me, yet?
Well, I will be one of the ambassadors for Cycling Mums Australia in 2019. I get to rock that kit. There was some debate over what to have printed on the back. I thought G force but my awesome trackie friend suggested I can crash. See above. She thinks she’s funny. I settled for Georgina, seems as though my parents named me that, and it’s about time I gave them something back. Even if it’s a middle-aged spirted woman climbing mountains and pushing comfort zones, much to my kids dismay.
There are way too many eye rolls in my life.
I kind of turned up at a party pick up last week in lycra. I had a flat tyre and drank too much coffee. My twelve year old just looked me and up down, silently raising her eyebrows. I see it as my job to embarrass them. Seems I am doing a fine job.
My coach said at the beginning that by six months I will not know myself as a rider. Three months in he’s already right. I have hours of training ahead of me. I am constantly being pressed to ride stronger by the others I surround myself with.
So, fair to predict let’s get this fucker finished will be muttered or shouted many a time into the future on those senseless gradients and long days on the bike. This captures what the heart of endurance is for me, that is to be just turning up and to keep on pedaling, no matter what.
My only problem is there will always be another fucker.