It Finally Happened!!!!

I finally had a day where I wanted to get off my bike, pick it up and throw it in the lake as I was riding over the bridge.  This happened to me on Saturday late morning and had I not had a great run after the bike and another on Sunday I am pretty sure I would be a grumpy muppet right now.  Here is how it came to be that me and El Diablo almost got divorced.

Saturday morning Karen does her long runs and so I start my rides later in the morning and typically ride through the afternoon and tend to take it easy because during the summers here in Texas the temperatures can reach 105* and the heat index easily up to 110*.  On Saturday though we had a cold front come through and the temps were in the high 70s when I started.  Here is the kicker……just before I left the house I checked for the winds and where were they coming from.  I do this so that I can get a jump-start on the mental aspect of the ride.  If they are coming out of the South then the ride at the end will be hard since I head straight South toward the end.  If they are coming out of the North then the start of the ride is going to be brutal.

For this ride the wind decided to come out of the North and so I knew it would be tough sledding to start but that meant that I would finish with a tailwind and oh happy days.  What stood out like a sore thumb was the number 17.  Yup, 17 MPH winds to start the ride.  AWESOME I thought with a hint of sarcasm.  As I was leaving I mentioned this to Karen and she said that it was just gusts going that high on the run and the ride should be fine.  What we both failed to realize is that where Karen ran and where I ride are two different areas of the Metroplex.  She runs where there are buildings and trees.  I ride where there are farms and the only structures out in the pastures are the occasional oil derrick.

As I started out heading North I immediately noticed that I was basically pedaling in place.  I can beat this I kept telling myself and then the chain slipped.  I changed gears and it slipped again.  I put it into the big ring and no slipping.  I finally reached the 8 mile point of the ride and this normally takes me anywhere from 24 to 27 minutes.  The longest being 28.  On this ride……just over 30.  I fiddled with the rear wheel and that is when I noticed that the chain was extra loose.  I then thought back to Maine and how the same thing kept happening.  This must be because of the travel that the chain got so loose because I had just had a thorough tune-up before the race.

I chose to push on and would just ride in the big chain ring the entire time.  So now I am out on Route 377 and headed due North.  This is normally a good time to open up the bike and push.  This day just was not going to be that day.  I reached a marker on the route that would be around 1 hour and I got there at 1 hour 30 minutes.  It was right before that as I was crossing the bridge that I looked at the lake and had the following thoughts:

  • Get off the bike and call Karen to come get you.  You can walk to the gas station and get some water and gum and wait for her to get here.
  • Get off the bike, pick it up, throw it in the lake and then run home.
  • Keep moving your legs dude because the return home is going to be a blast.

I kept on pushing and pushing and cursing and cursing.  I finally made it to the next marker where I typically text Karen from.  Normally at this spot at 2 hours and on this day I was there in 2 hours and 15 minutes.  I had a decision to make.  Go the extra 12 miles that could take me 45 minutes based on the winds or head south and finish in less than 4 hours of a 4 hour ride.  Physically I felt fine, but mentally I had been beaten so I decided that coming in under 4 hours was going to serve me better than coming in over 4 hours with another 30-45 minutes of brutal headwinds.  As soon as I turned South I knew I made the right choice.  The speeds immediately went up to 27-30 mph…..oh tailwind how I love thee!

I got closer to the car and made a bet that if I were under 3h30m that I would do a side road for a few extra miles/minutes.  As I made the turn to add the extra on I was headed right back into a headwind and I knew I made the right decision because this was only going to last 10 minutes while had I done it earlier it would have lasted 45.  After the ride was done I went out on a 30 minute lactate threshold run.  I got my HR up to 155 within seconds and held it between 155 and 160 bpm and the run felt great.  I was coasting at just under 8:00/mile and immediately felt awesome.

As anybody who has ever trained for anything will tell you:  there comes a time where you want to quit.  There comes a time when none of it makes sense.  This did not happen to me during Ironman Texas training and that is probably because it was all so new.  Now that I am going through my second cycle and in the same year it finally happened.  I have never wanted to quit a ride or run before the way I did on Saturday.  The best part was that I didn’t quit.  I did not give in to the mental barriers my mind was putting up.  I forged on and when that tailwind hit I was like a kid in a candy store.  Smiling from ear to ear.  I was having a blast again.  The next day I went for a 1h30m run and it was so effortless and fun.  It was as if that bike ride never happened.  It did not linger and just left my conscience.

There are going to be ups and downs during training.  How you deal with them will dictate how you race with them.  If you give up during training you can guarantee that you will check out during the race.  I for one am not a quitter and when these tough mental days hit me, I choose to hit them back.  I will not be a punching bag for anybody, but especially my own mind.  I will put my nose to the grindstone and push ahead so that come race day when the going gets tough and others decide it is too hard I will keep going.  I am competitive and this is one way I will win.  I may not be the fastest or the strongest but I sure as hell will be one of the most determined.

Have You Ever Wanted To Throw Your Bike In The Lake?

What Did You Do About It?


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  1. Matt Oravec says:

    Never wanted to get rid of my bike, wanted to get off of it, which makes me go fast LOL.

    I have issues keeping the energy and intensity going all year training wise. After having an early season race and now these past races, I had a hard time getting back in the groove. I am super impressed you have kept the volume up and are maintaining your training.

    The best part about these days is that they make the good days THAT MUCH SWEETER!
    Matt Oravec recently posted..Rev3 Maine 70.3 Race ReportMy Profile

  2. Brian says:

    I wanted to burn my road bike after IM Kansas 70.3, so I went for a 13.1 mile run after I got off and felt better about. I just had to get over the tough ride mentally and the run helped.

  3. Jon says:

    Holy tailwind on the way back! Reminds me of the 70.3 in Galveston. I think I negative split the bike by like 20 mins because of that tailwind on the ride back.
    Jon recently posted..My Leg Strengthening RoutineMy Profile

  4. John says:

    Way to battle the voices. It can at times seem much worse then it really is in our heads. When you get done and reantalise your work out most of the time I find that it really was not as bad as it my have seemed. Staying focused and in the moment helps. Not looking to far down the road remaining present and embracing the feeling of of the suffer helps in mental preperation. It seems to keep your fitness both physical and mental in check and keeps you durabille in both. The durability is were the majic happens!!! Nice work

    • CTER says:

      John – you are so correct. I wound up finishing the ride with an avg of ~18mph which is typical for that ride for me on a training day. Getting through it will help me at IMAZ where the winds can be brutal.

      Best to just break it down into chunks. If I have to ride 18 miles at IMAZ into the wind then I will be riding 18 miles back with the wind at my back. Just get through those 18 miles at a time.
      CTER recently posted..It Finally Happened!!!!My Profile

  5. katie says:

    I wanted to throw my bike in the bushes quite a bit. But I didn’t. It’s a choice.
    katie recently’s a monsterMy Profile

  6. Karen says:

    Just keep moving forward! I am constantly negotiating with myself. Make it to that next stop, that next light pole, whatever. Usually by the time you get there you are feeling better. Tailwind is always around the corner :)

  7. adena says:

    I want to stop during every workout. The mental bit of shutting myself up is always the worst part for me. Hearing that it can happen even to the rockstars out there helps tho. Next time I want to stop I’ll think of you. :-)

    • CTER says:

      It ain’t all unicorns and rainbows. This one was the hardest by far this year because it was unrelenting. 15-20 mph sustained winds with 25 mph gusts. I was furious and frustrated but when I got to head home it was a pleasure.

      The moral of the story is that you keep pushing because eventually it will turn around.

  8. Bob says:

    You wanted to throw your bike in the lake because he needed to go to the Doctor (LBS)?
    Shame on you..
    Do you kick your dog went it barks too much?

    (just kidding.)

    yep, I had one of those days….. on Saturday!!! Imagine that.. Started heading North on Route 620 with intentions of 50 and was quite happy when I turned at mile 10 and came home for 20…

    Now instead of the North winds I blamed it on safety since 620 is a very busy road and the wind was blowing me all over the place…… That’s my story and I am sticking to it….
    Bob recently posted..Friday Night LightsMy Profile

  9. Maria Simone says:

    Been there. Done this. I can totally relate. You are lucky this is the first time!! hahahahaha!

    Those winds are mental benders. We don’t have many hills where we live, but it is almost always windy – and typically from more than one direction. I was so afraid I was going to read that when you turned around, you were still riding into the wind. Aaaarrrggghhh!

    Way to tough it out, brother.
    Maria Simone recently posted..Is your performance anxiety slowing you down?My Profile

    • CTER says:

      As usual you were on my mind.

      1st) I was thinking become the athlete you need to be, become the athlete you need to be….keep pedaling THEN

      2nd) I thought OH SH*T what about what you wrote to Maria on the IMMT race report and how the wind NEVER goes with you and that when you hit Route 289 the wind is going to turn and be blowing at you……hahahahaha!

      It was an all around ugly start, but a glorious finish. And when I got off the bike I ran like a cheetah. I am so happy with where my running is at right now and where my mind is mentally when it comes to the run. They don’t hurt as I have been able to push the pain out of my head on the run. Next is to do that on the bike as well.

  10. Denise says:

    “I may not be the fastest or the strongest but I sure as hell will be one of the most determined.”

    LOVE this!! The fact that you’re going through all this for a second time this year is incredible. Sometimes I can’t even grasp that I’m going through it once. This ride only made you stronger and I think it’s awesome that the bad ride left you as quickly as it hit you and the next day you were back out there killing it. Keep that focus, getting close!!

    • CTER says:

      You say incredible and some may say idiot.

      All in all I love the distance and all the work that goes into it. It makes the hard times at owning a company much more bearable b/c I know that I have a swim/bike/run coming up that will allow me to remove myself from the work and think clearly.

  11. Jen says:

    Great post.

    I don’t have a bike but I have had moments of wanting to throw myself in a lake during a tough run.

    The moment we don’t quit is the moment we grow and get stronger.

    When you say:

    “There are going to be ups and downs during training. How you deal with them will dictate how you race with them.”

    I feel like you can replace the word “training” with “life” and replace “race” with the word “live”

    “There are going to be ups and downs during life. How you deal with them will dictate how you live with them.”

    It’s a great life lesson as well as a training lesson. No road is always flat and smooth but facing down obstacles and mentally overcoming the tough times is what make us strong.
    Jen recently posted..I’m on the radio! My first radio interview for the film heard hereMy Profile

  12. Jeff Irvin says:

    First of, go get your derailleurs checked out. Chances are one of them slipped.bent some when traveling.

    Nice job on sticking it out Jason, you are one mentally tough Mofo being able to put in the back-to-back volume you are doing. Be happy you have the ability to train and race. It is something we all sometimes take for granted and you don’t realized that until it is taken away.

    Keep up the great work man!
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Ironman Mont-Tremblant Nutrition and Predicted TimesMy Profile

  13. This hit the spot man! I had a very similar experience on my ride Saturday. It was the first 100 miles I had ever done alone, only my second attempt at 100 miles, I did not realize how mentally challenging it can get. The thought crossed my mind more than once when I was getting tired of heading straight into the wind that I could just turn at the next rest stop and cut the ride short but I AM NOT A QUITTER so F-you mental back wash! Doing that distance is not easy but I learned that doing that distance alone is even more of a mental challenge to me at least I like to have someone to talk too =). Thanks for this post, once again you drove home a excellent point… just keep going.
    Summer Bailey recently posted..What Ironman Training has taught me.. thus far.My Profile

  14. We certainly get our share of 20+ mph winds while on the bike. I hate it worse than anything else. I’ll take hills over wind anyday.
    Carolina John recently posted..Ultra week 2My Profile

  15. Scott says:

    – When was the last time you had your chain replaced? Normally a chain will last one year with amount of riding you have been doing, they stretch out.

    – Riding into a head wind is demoralizing, you have to work 3x as hard for less then stellar speed. Your quads get burned out and it also messes with your nutirtion strategy as well.

    – More then once, I have thought about tossing Mercy into a lake, in front of a moving semi truck, off a cliff, just leave her behind with a note “free bike”, it happens

  16. lindsay says:

    feels good to push through those mental demons! sometimes it’s tough to “make the call” of is it just mental weakness or is something really ‘off’ that day, but you have to at least give a fighting chance. way to persevere jason :)
    lindsay recently m&m dayMy Profile

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