No, dirtbag, not that dark place. I mean the very dark and angry and bothered dark place I went to for approximately 42 miles on Saturday afternoon. Oh, that was dark.
Have you ever just wanted to keel over and die? I mean, literally fall to the ground and cease to live? Because that is what it's like to hammer up a hill on your bike with no energy and a headwind directly from Lucifer's lungs.
I'm not kidding.
Saturday's century ride was an experience, I'll say that much. The first 50 miles were awesome, I felt great. Hopped off my bike at the halfway point, grabbed some lunch, sprawled out in the grass, called mom. I felt awesome.
I think my famous last words were, "Oh, I'll be fine. I feel awesome!"
That's pretty much how it hit me. Somewhere around mile "too far" and "it's not over yet." The wind picked up like mad. Every direction BethJ and I turned, it met us face-to-face, screaming at us like a filthy whore.
Every rotation of the pedals was work. Every gear change, every time I switched the position of my hands. I remember not wanting to cry, but considering throwing up. I was exhausted, but I kept on pushing.
I don't remember a time when I've been so very aware of my entire body. It's the best way to describe it. Especially the feeling in my ass. I was very aware it was there, and uncomfortable and angry. Eventually, the wind felt like it was drowning me, like I was choking on air. My face was tired of it, my skin was hot from the sun.
Awful, all around.
BethJ and I came to a point where we rode in absolute silence. Neither of us had to speak or tell the other to shut the fuck up, we just knew. No talking was good talking. The only energy we had was to look straight ahead. If we spoke, the language would not have been pretty.
Of course by mile 85 that was all out the window, and we were delirious and laughing hysterically at the rest stop, but I think that was a side effect of pure exhaustion. That, and we're damn funny. But I'm betting on exhaustion.
Riding a century and running a marathon are very similar in terms of exhaustion, but at the same time, they're very different. Cycling does have down time. On flat roads you can ease up, coast, rest your legs. But it's the uphills that are brutal. It's the uphills - against the wind - that remind me so much of the last four miles of a marathon. TERRIBLE.
My body reacts in different ways to each. I think I felt a little bit more of a full-body exhaustion from the ride, but running a marathon focuses all of its exhaustion on my legs.
Regardless, the recovery time of each is quick for me. Recently, anyway. I recovered from my last marathon in no time, and although my quads are still a bit tight today, my body's ready to get back on the bike. Not that I will, of course. Are you crazy?
I'll ride a century again, just as I'll run another marathon - or many. I went into this ride with, literally, no training, other than what I'd been doing with my running shoes. I think my ass could've benefited from being a little more acclimated to the seat.
It was exciting. And it was fun. And it was hard as hell. Just the way I like it.