The reality is that I was up about 2:00AM and didn't get to sleep again until 4:00 or so. When the clock went off at 5:30 I was useless. I texted some of them to make sure no one was riding solo. They had a quorum so I went back to sleep. When I finally got up I still had my ride to do. While it was warmer than it has been recently (with temps in the mid 40s with the hope of maybe breaking 50), the wind was howling with about 20mph sustained wind.
Before I got on the bike I tried to figure out why I was doing this ride. The first thought was guilt. Not doing this ride would make my coach wonder why he was crafting the workouts that I wasn't doing. Not doing the ride would be imposing on my family as they were adjusting their schedule to accommodate my vanishing for 3 hours - sometimes vanishing early works in the schedule and sometimes, like last Sunday, vanishing later is more difficult with the kids having to be delivered to their activities. I already left my friends high and dry early in the morning. I got on the bike and started riding.
When I am doubting my workouts I sometimes seem to "invent" reasons to cut it short or reduce the intensity. I know I shouldn't be doing this but it happens sort of on its own from time to time. I know if I don't do the work, magic isn't going to help me race the way I want to race. Yes, my early season races are more like training exercises leading up to my IMFL, but fear was starting to come into play. I am fighting the injury to my foot already. If I can't ride as well, reality would start sinking in that an old, fat, gravy sweating rock star shouldn't be doing what I keep trying to do. I kept riding.
To mix things up I decided to do a little exploring on the bike. Turns where I typically made a left as part of a known route, I made a right to see what was there. I did some hills that I hadn't done in a while (including Sagamore Hill and saw the tourists milling around), found a few new ones, and started having some fun on the bike even though the wind was a constant reminder of what the day could have been if it wasn't there. Even though it wasn't a great ride, it was still pretty good.
Time flew by and I realized I had to head for home or I'd be out too long (there was a soccer game for 13 year old girls that I wanted to see). I felt I could have ridden all day. Then I noticed what I've been missing: Passion. Passion led to joy. Obvious at the end of the ride but not obvious at the beginning when guilt and fear were bouncing through my head.
I need to remember the passion more often.
What makes you do what you do?