Today was a perfect day for a long bike ride. While it was sunny, the temperature was very mild, just under 70 when I left my home to meet my training partner to ride. She started at the north end of the road along the river and I live 6 miles from the south end. We did our best to time our departures to meet up and made it with in a reasonable time. Then we took off together. So many other cyclists were on the road – it makes the ride more enjoyable to see others along the way. I was very energized the entire ride – the perfect weather, seeing others along the way, riding with my friend, and my awareness that I am stronger all contributed to a great ride. In the end I road 50 miles with the dreaded 4 mile long and 340 foot elevation climb home. It was by far my slowest stretch of the ride, but I made it through and did not feel exhausted at all. I actually wanted to ride another 10 miles to stay with my friend but I chose not to push it.
My race is three weeks away. A training day like today is just the encouragement I need. Knowing I am prepared, comfortable with my pace, and feeling good after 50 miles – oh say that I could run a half marathon after – all add to my mental preparation for the race. The mind is where the biggest battles are fought. Today gave me the ammo I need to tackle doubts. One more arrow in my quiver to prepare me for race day.
Through the year I have come up with mantras to help me through swimming and running. My favorites are “I won’t give up” “Don’t be a sissy” “Just keep swimming” and my favorite and first “Believe”. I haven’t thought I needed a mantra for cycling, but “Believe” works well. Especially after today. When doubts cross my mind, when I am passed by others when I am giving it my all, I will remind myself to Believe – believe I will finish, believe in my proven ability. And “I won’t give up”, because of course if I did, I would be a sissy.