Thursday, October 23

Dirty Laundry

This "season" reminds me a lot of my college laundry system.  Let me explain...

Just back from the laundromat, I would have a nice stack of clean clothes... properly folded and piled nicely on the floor.  I was never much for hangers or dresser drawers.  This pile of fresh smelling clothes represents all my fitness and ambition back in late April.

I would wear my clothes to class and work, favorites first of course.  If there were no offensive odoürs in the pits or crotchal regions, they would be placed in a secondary pile... the "I can get away with wearing these at least one more time" pile.  Socks and underwear did not apply, as I rarely wore them anyways.  Yes, I didn't generally sport socks in Youngstown, Ohio in the winter.  Anyways, once they had been worn in an athletic endeavor (usual intramural sports or one of the many phys ed classes I took for fun... and an easy "A") or to a smoke-filled bar (where I spent at least six nights a week), they were then moved to the "totally dirty" pile, not to be worn again until properly laundered.

This year, I pretty much burned through my clean pile of ambition and fitness by the first week of June.  To make matters worse, it's as if someone came into my room and kicked all the piles around while I was out dancing to Blister in the Sun at Pogo's on penny draft night, leaving me smelling my way around, trying to find that last t-shirt with a day left in it before heading out the door to yet another class I would sleep through.  By mid-June, everything smelled like ass, I was out of quarters, and I just didn't care how much I stunk anymore.

I had nothing left for July, August, September or October.  Going through the motions, following through on commitments I had made to myself, putting the "season" behind me.  A race like Double Dare is no longer in my bag of tricks.  Those days are behind me.  I don't want to ride my bike for more than twelve hours (especially twelve hours of something in circles at some park) unless it is followed by beer, sleep and a bleary-eyed drive home the next day.  Burned-out, washed-up... whatever.  It's just not my cup of tea anymore.  I wished I woulda made a better run at it back when I had some interest in such self-flagellation.  Not a missed midnight cutoff.  Not a torn sidewall.  Now I just wanna have fun... relatively speaking.*

I also didn't want to push too hard and set myself up for bailing on the Wilkes 100k this weekend.  90%+ singletrack at close to 14mph average.  If you don't bring legs, you will perish and settle in with the pack fodder.  Although I was only out in the woods for 14.5 hours this past weekend, I had plenty of time for quitty thoughts.  I was resigning from races in 2015 I haven't even entered yet.  Thoughts about buying a squishy geared bike and doing nothing but lackadaisically pedaling around the Pisgah this winter and well into next year.  With all this darkness inside me, there was no way I was going out for extra bonus yet pointless checkpoints only to put myself in such a hole that I either would have a terrible time at the Wilkes 100k or avoided it altogether to hide from further painy things.

Despite dressing myself in low ambitions and smelly fitness, I still managed to achieve what some refer to as "goals."  I stood on the top step of a few podiums, lingered on the lower parts of the box a few other times, and finally completed the King of Pisgah Series... which in and of itself is not an easy thing to do.  I spent more than forty hours balls-deep the Pisgah over five events.  A lot can go wrong... but it didn't this year.  I am thankful for that.

I also have to thank Zac for two things:

Going hard for the "W" at PMBAR back in May...

Only to accept my low goals at Double Dare this past weekend. 

We coulda went for it and made prolly six or seven checkpoints on Day One.  I didn't want to push things, risk a DNF, taint my brain (and taint) for Wilkes 100k... just a finish is all I was after.  I know it was hard for him to settle for so few checkpoints.

Personally, I was stoked on the fact that at 6:00PM on Sunday, when the race was over, I was already unpacked, washing machine loaded, and headed to the shower.

Maybe someday I'll have that desire to dig deep and go do something super hard and super stupid.

Someday... but not Sunday.

*I will contradict most of this tomorrow.

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