Friday, July 28, 2017

Out of luck (aka "I was robbed and they kidnapped Davey) (July 16-27, 2017)

Translation: unintentional DNS at RAMROD. 

I’m not usually one to prep for races in advance. It says something about my level of anxiety that I showed an unusual amount of preparation last week, that I went to get a front light and uploaded bikewithgps routes for RAMROD. My fat to fitness ratio was not what I had hoped for 4 months ago. 

I had hoped my "altitude training" and rest would help me, but I just seemed to get worse and worse. I was anxious about the last big training ride with the Hill Yes! boys, especially the day after running/ jogging the Trials Legacy marathon in Oly. An ambitious ride starting in Lynden and going to Mt. Baker, 115 miles 8189 ft elevation gain. 

Lynden is a beautiful town near the Canadian border, we stopped for coffee at a place fitting the Dutch theme while the rest of the group arrived.
Everyone had done RAMROD a bunch of times before, other than one guy, and this climb was apparently very similar to the first climb of RAMROD.

The start was pretty nice, and hanging in the pack chatting on the flats while looking at scenery was awesome. But as soon as the climbs started, I was like a rock sinking in the ocean. They were nice and waited at the tops of the hills
but I kept begging them to leave me because I threatened their getting done with the course in good time. Once the climbing started I got so far back I got lost and finally I convinced them I would be OK, which I was, though I had to ride with one hand holding my iPhone to navigate. I felt a lot less pressure having to keep up with them, got to take in views, smell some flowers,

was able to fix yyet another front flat, but decided to turn around at the 55 mile mark thinking that would get me a century ride in at least. Missed the key part of the climb (only did 4725 ft elevation over 96 miles) but I had more in the tank. It was just a matter of making those cutoffs.

Then I had a bit of a mini-meltdown last weekend at what was to be a relaxing "wind down" ride, 56 miles 2265 ft, the 15th group training ride of the Ramrod Training Series, when I got dropped like a bucket of lard by the pack, essentially at the first climb. Despite all my resting, my legs were unreasonably tired, felt like they were 500 lbs each and made of lead. 

I cut the loop short and called Elmer in tears. If I can't do the "cool down ride", how would I survive the real thing? 

His advice? Drop Ramrod. This made me even sadder. I had a similar reaction to being told I was not cut out to be an academic or a leader or a musician or supermodel or insert whatever. F* that, I’ll show them. Only 3 months later to realize they were right, in some cases I realized I was pushing for someone else's ideal or just wasn’t my cup of tea. I felt that was why I had 6 DNFs at 100 milers (runs), and I trained myself not to care, and once that happened I could finish. Contrary to everything I was taught, I had to learn not give a S* to succeed.

But this is different. I can’t explain why I want it. I can’t not give a S* at least not yet. Ask me again when I fail 3 times. But I just wanted the chance to try. 

So after meeting Elmer for Glos, eastside ride, and Dim sum, I head to Redmond to pick up my RAMROD packet and add another 30 miler from Marymoor. I found this awesome route by none other than the illustrious E. Gierke. The hay was now either in the barn or it wasn't.

Anyway last night I was pretty proud of myself, got Davey all dressed and tires pumped and into the back of my car the night before. Plenty of people were out and about, this being one of those busy weeks for the church next door. But it was in my locked SUV with tinted windows, I’d done it before….

I took a sleeper since I had to get up at 2:30 to leave home by 3:30. Somehow I managed to be a little later than planned, getting into my car at 3:40. I could still make it to Enumclaw by 4:45 and make the 5 AM start.

I got into the car and saw a pair of gloves and cd boxes on the driver seat. Hmmm I didn’t recall looking for anything last night, but I am a slob so it didn’t seem weird. I started the car but the internal lights would not turn off. No indicator lights were on. I got out and checked all the doors, and in fact one of the rear doors was partially open. Guess I didn’t close it fully after emptying groceries yesterday. I headed down the highway and when I turned off I felt something was off. I didn’t hear the usual rattling in the back of the car. I thought, noooo, but it was true, no bike in the back.

I racked my 4 am brain. I clearly remembered loading the bike last night. Or did I? In any case I wasn't going to get far with no bike so I turned home. Theoretically I could still get home by 5:30 and back to Enumclaw by 6:45, and maybe still get to start.

But I knew the truth before I got home. No bike in garage. It had been stolen. My car had been broken into. I dug into the glove compartment further and saw my bag of parking $ was also gone.

My steel bike was in the shop, I hadn’t imagined I would need it so soon.

Of all the things that could go wrong for RAMROD- not getting in, bad weather, injury, this?

I was clearly being punished. I actually questioned whether my unfitness led me to unconsciously behave as to accidentally get Davey stolen. Well being undertrained never kept me from pressing my luck with stuff that was too hard for me before…. But oddly I can’t shake the feeling it’s somehow my fault. Everything bad is my fault and everything good is luck.

I call the police but they are not open at 5:30 AM. I should go to the grocery but TJs doesn’t open until 8 and I went to Safeway yesterday. S* I have to stay sober until 7. So I start writing (BRS, not work mind you). I emailed Davidson who advised me to call my insurance company. Many phone calls later, I got a tired but sympathetic cop to file a report what won’t go anywhere, put an ad on Craigslist for a “no questions asked” reward for Davey, filed an insurance claim, put myself on the list for Davey II and ordered replacements for accessories.

Got a group text from the Hill Yes boys. Another successful RAMROD for them, on a perfect weather day. They sympathized about Davey but at this point I wasn’t sure which I was sadder about, losing Davey or losing RAMROD. I explained to my sister J who is a professional musician, I was attached to Davey a bit like my Powell flute. Yes it's just a luxury item but after 9 years and many miles together, blood sweat and tears, I have a strong sentimental attachment to it even if I don’t ride hundreds of miles anymore. But a bike can be replaced. RAMROD 2017 can never happen for me, and at my rate, will I ever get the chance again?

I’m ridiculously torn up I don’t know why. My gratefulness for all I have just reinforces the ridiculousness of my first world problems. 

But a loss is a loss. Time moves on and experience can never be replaced. Regret is almost the same as guilt in my book. RIP Davey...

Done crying (for today). Going for a run now. Back to work tomorrow.

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