Motivation Monday – From Crappy to Happy

Leah here.

Last weekend, we rode the Rosedale ride (a 61 mile charity ride) and circumstances conspired against us to have a crappy day:

  • We didn’t get home until 11pm, and didn’t sleep until after midnight the day before.
  • Weather was not as we expected.  We checked at midnight, it was supposed to be a low of 60 and calm and  get sunny and warm in the afternoon.  At the race, it was clearly significantly under 60 and super windy to start and never really got much better, and we were ill prepared for it clothing-wise.
  • We got there late so we couldn’t start with the 60 milers, so we ended up in a big crowd.
  • My nuun never got into my camelback so I had plain water for a long day of riding instead of sweet, sweet electrolytes.
  • Can I just repeat how cold I was and how it didn’t really get better after what would normally be considered a warmup?
  • The beginning of these rides are always so crowded with people that really don’t understand at all how to ride in a group.  This made it hard to get in any nutrition and I didn’t eat enough before the ride because my tummy was a little sour.
  • Things started to hurt more quickly than I would have liked (lower back, neck, wrists).
  • Did I mention the cold?  That I didn’t like?

Needless to say, I started the ride a little grumpy.  I was not having a good time.  I kinda wanted to bail early.  I didn’t want to catch a cold.  I didn’t need to ride 60 miles this early in the season.  I was going so slow because I couldn’t get warm and the wind.  I didn’t expect this to be a good experience at all.

However, by mile 20 things got better, I went from FREEZING to not quite as freezing.  I got some cookies and gatorade and snacks in me.  The wind got a little better.  And then happy Leah came out and stayed and played the rest of the ride.

I went from whining about the weather to laughing about making bets on when the sun would come out (I totally won, it never did).  I went from whimpering at the hills to growling at them and charging up them.  We got faster (we gained about 1.2 MPH in the second half).  We sang songs and joked around.  We settled into the long day, and found it full of joy and fun instead of something to endure.

So, my motivation takeaway from this is to not let what could be a great experience be tainted by a not-so-stellar start.  I knocked over 30 mins off my metric century PR (4:29!) and enjoyed the day a LOT.  Imagine what I would have to remember about the day if I didn’t start?  Or turned back early?

Also, here’s a reminder to completely overpack as is always my instinct, and check the weather race morning one more time before a race.  Tights would have been super nice.

Question: have you ever had something start out crappy, but end up happy?