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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Obsessing over Revised Goals to Avoid Year-End Self Loathing

12.29.2013 30m 32F
Deadlines, quotas and goals; much the same thing, packaged in variations of positivity. In 2012 I had ridden 7K miles and had a lot of fun at it, so I speculated that I'd try to ride 8K in 2013, figuring that if 7K was fun then 8K would be even more fun.

Didn't happen; took on too much work, made bad scheduling decisions, and let The Joy slip away from me. If only Bad Decision Dinosaur made bike jerseys. But I was having a blast when I was on the bike. I got to ride with great friends, and I got to ride the Natchez Trace, the Katy Trail, and my long-envisioned Chesapeake Bay ride.

I knew I wasn't going to reach 8K or even 7K; the numbers just weren't trending, so I decided that 5500 was practical. Funny how even a revised, rightsized and slid goal can focus the attention.

With just a few days left and snow and cold in the forecast, today (Sunday) found me at 5473 miles on a rainy but mild day. I still needed 27 miles. I couldn't bring myself to launch into the heavy rain of the morning, so I procrastinated and putzed all day long until deciding that I'd have to do it.

I got on the bike at about 3.45, in moderate rain. I wore the rain jacket and the rain pants.

I wasn't motivated by the goal, or by guilt, as much as by dread-laden avoidance of self-loathing in the event I'd miss 5500.

I rode to Moon and across the Sewickley Bridge and over to Sewickley to the Starbucks. I was warm and dry, although the outside of my clothing was cold and wet. Enjoyed a warm-comfort drink, venti-one-pump-Skinny-Vanilla-chai-tea-latte. (We need some bike racks outside the Sewickley Starbucks, although I realize the Village aesthetic is fiercely protected; it is, after all, the Beaver of Allegheny County.)

Departed at about 5.15 in darkness and light mist, all lit up. Three lights forward and four lights aft. I love riding north out of Sewickley and up into Ambridge. Took the newly opened Ambridge-Aliquippa lane and took the lane across the span. It's not wide enough for a car to get by you, and my timing was fortuitous in that I had my lane to myself.

Turned onto 51North after checking all my rear lights. All the car drivers were very courteous and gave me a lot of room, and two slowed way down to see what was under all those bright lights. (I love it when that happens.)

The final three or four miles are on tertiery roads, and they were as quiet as they could be - I think people were tracking the football outcomes. It was a very peaceful, quiet dark ride, and a little bit of snow started falling. 30 miles for the day, 5503 for 2013.

1 comment:

  1. I'll take "That's Awesome" for 5500, Alex. Congrats!