It’s been several months since I’ve written an update to this blog. What can I say? Life happens. I could list all the things that have kept me from writing, all the ways I struggle to say what I want to say without writing my own little novella each time I put my fingers on the keys, but in keeping with my new approach to blogging, I’ll cut to the chase – and I’ll try to keep it brief.
It is Leap Day, and I find myself on the eve of the month of March which holds so much for me. First, it is my birth month, and in keeping with the tradition introduced to me by my dear friend, Claire, I intend to celebrate for the entire month. And it is the month we get back some hours of daylight. For a cyclist, that means more hours to be out on the road, especially on the weeknights after work. More reason to celebrate. And then there is the coming of spring. Who doesn’t like spring? It is my favorite season bringing with it what I love most about San Diego weather: sunny and 70s. We haven’t had much rain this year, but because the usual winter cloud cover has been absent, we’ve had colder days and nights. It’s been the chilliest winter on the bike that I can remember. Jackets, full-fingered gloves and arm/leg warmers have been put to good use on almost every ride the past few months. I’ll keep them in my gear bag for another couple of months, but soon, they will hibernate until fall. Yet another reason to celebrate.
Indeed, March is marvelous month – always. This year, though, the best thing about March is I am actually able to ride. Last year, I was still recovering from muscle damage resulting from a statin drug I was taking to lower my cholesterol. It was a difficult time. I wasn’t able to be out with my team getting ready for the biggest ride of our lives and I was hurting. At that time, I didn’t even know if I would be able to do the ride at all. This year is different. Our training for AIDS/LifeCycle has started and we have been building mileage slowly for the last six weeks. I’m excited to meet new riders almost every week and I’m really enjoying my role as a Training Ride Leader. My body is feeling good and I’m finding my rhythm, becoming accustomed once again to the ritual of packing for a ride, leaving a warm bed in the wee hours of the morning, eating a bigger breakfast than I do any other day of the week, coming home to refuel and rest before getting on with the day and then preparing to do it all again the next day. Eat. Rest. Ride. Repeat.
Yes, cycling season is in full swing, and by the time the ride rolls around in June, this will all seem so routine. That is why we train. It’s not just about getting our bodies ready for 545 miles. It’s about getting our heads around doing it day after day for seven days, when we are tired and sore, cold and wet, and emotionally spent from the highs and lows of the event itself. It’s about being ready for anything that might get in the way of making a difference, of saving lives, of getting it done on the Ride to End AIDS.