Existential delimnas in the desert

There comes a point in every 24 hour race I’ve done where I’m beat, and unfortunately it happens before the race is done.  For these occasions I’ve learned to bring apple pie.  So about 1:30 AM I came into the pit and said “pie!” and Lynda was so on top of the situation (I was 10 min later than expected) that pie was in my mouth before I could sit down…

In every other race, this has been a period of great torment.  The body says no, the head says get up you wuss.  This time, the body did all the talking.  The head was quiet.  Quite frankly, I didn’t care.  I knew I could carry on and chug out enough laps to hold 2nd place, and knew what it would take in terms of effort and recovery – and at that point it seemed stupid, pointless.

This is the defining moment of 24s for me.  It is easy to pedal along up to this point.  After this point the race requires a certain depth of fitness, hunger, motivation, mojo.  This is when the real race begins.  For the first time in my experience, I had the fitness but not the hunger, motivation.  Fitness is not enough.

In a nutshell, that’s what happened.  There are lots of details, plenty of highs and lows of what actually went down out there and I’ll post some of that shortly.  Many have asked about bones…none are currently broken that I’m aware of, maybe a crack or two but that’s nuthin…

What is waaaaay more than nuthin though is the absence of motivation mid-race.  That’s new for me and has never been an issue.  Naturally that was a topic of discussion with LW on the drive home.  She recognizes it as burnout, thought it was similar to the end of her pro glory days.  It’s really hard for me to wrap my head around that one – that I could be burned out when not racing for 3 months.   I guess I could be burned out on fighting for the comeback as that has been the theme for the past year.  Tom Danielson has had a rough year, check out his interview on VN.  Our seasons have been strikingly similar.

Terminal burnout?  Yea, right – I give it a snoball’s chance in hell.  I got a little care package from Curiak yesterday – Leviathon seatstays with brake posts on them.  This means I can use the power meter on the 29er MTB.  I was excited like a kid in a candy store about that one.  Does that tell ya where my heart is?

One thing is certain.  I’m relaxed.  For the first time in a year there isn’t some event that requires immediate training or rehab.  I’m excited to get out and explore my new surroundings, and excited to get out and find that perfect route from St George to Moab.  This fall is going to be about exploration.  Not forced, just natural. 

I’ll go with the flow I have.