Tenacious … or stubborn?

s-works MTB shoes

I haven’t decided if I’m tenacious or stubborn.  To me, it appears the delineating characteristic of “stubborn” is the part of the definition that references someone’s resistance to change course “in spite of good arguments or reasons to do so”.

Tenacious: not readily relinquishing a position, principle, or course of action; determined.
Stubborn: having or showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good arguments or reasons to do so.

My latest scheme, in addition to fully intending to ride the Alexander 380, is to bike from my home near the Twin Cities, MN to NE Iowa on Friday — in one go.  We’ll bike for a few hours the following morning and then get driven back home.  It seems completely reasonable to me seeing as that I’ll have a decent tailwind the whole time, I’ll be on my road bike for minimum rolling resistance, I’m riding on a weekday when traffic should be lower, the route is less than 170 miles, AND I’m going with a buddy.  When I explain it like this, it sounds like a no-brainer to me.  Why WOULDN’T we do it? I decided I’m going to consider myself tenacious with a slight side of stubborn.

I haven’t told my dad yet but he’ll likely disapprove once he finds out. I was considering not mentioning the ride at all until it was over, but whoops, here we are. Also, I dare not mention this exploit at work lest people think I’m even crazier than they already do.  Today someone asked me at lunch if I had “started riding my bike again since the weather was so nice?”  I looked at him, dumbfounded for a second, and managed to answer “Um, well, I never actually STOPPED riding my bike* this winter.”

* nevermind the fact that I actually have bikeS that I ride throughout the winter…

Tonight’s group ride was another lesson in stubbornness.  I decided to tag along on a roadie ride with a few people much more fit than me.  I knew I was in trouble but thought I could perhaps hang out in their draft long enough to survive.  Nope.  We turned and began climbing hills into a stiff headwind, and I was dropped repeatedly.  I would like to think that I biked as hard as I was able tonight!  I puked, legitimately puked, while pedaling again.  I think that’s a sign I found my limit tonight.  The rain picked up, I was cold and feeling like a burden, so I found a good place to peel off, thanked them for waiting up for me so many times, and pedaled home.  The unintended interval training was a GREAT workout and I’m still glad I went.

The results of tonight’s ride leave me torn between thinking that my fitness is poor, or this respiratory thing that won’t let go is affecting me more than I like to admit.  I’m on antibiotics now but they are also wreaking havoc on my system, and I can’t shake the wheezy cough.  However, when I reference Strava data (I’m an engineer, I love numbers and therefore Strava..) I climbed some of those damn hills just about as fast as I had before – when the wind was favorable and I weighed less, but was a little out of shape coming off of a surgery.  I’m going to call it net neutral.

The next few days will find me trying to strap as many bags and gadgets to my fancy carbon road bike as possible in preparation for Friday’s point to point route and overnight stay. It’s sacrilege to defile a gorgeous Cannondale Supersix like this – she wants to race, not bike tour — but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do in the name of training.

I’ll leave you with this – it’s a doodle I found in my kiddo’s backpack. He doesn’t know that I swiped it, but it’s a doodle of him riding a mountain bike.  I just love the huge smile he drew on his face, it makes his mama proud.


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