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At just over a month in now to the more focused and serious riding, I feel completely incapable of even covering half the distance. Yesterday, I finished (and I use that term loosely) a 38-mile ride, and thought I was going to die by the end. I was exhausted, could barely pedal, and I'm still not sure how I made it up one of my least-favorite climbs at the very end of the ride (I certainly owe thanks to the family who had just arrived home as I was thinking to myself, "Man, just get off and walk up the hill!" Their "You can do it" encouragement is certainly the only thing that got me to the top). Sure, I was getting pelted by hail for a good portion of the ride, and the seemingly never-ending head wind didn't help matters, and I didn't exactly plan the best route as the majority was constant climbing... but shouldn't this be a fairly doable distance by this point in the season?
The thing is, I have no desire to "race" a century. I just want to complete it. I'd prefer to not be near-death at the end, but as of this moment, I have no confidence that even if I decided to kill myself I could finish the ride.
The plan for the century has actually turned into a potential double century this summer (thankfully, not on the same day). I am still planning on my unsupported ride before the end of August, but I've also signed myself up for the Venus de Miles century in late September. What was I thinking?!? Seriously. I don't know how I let myself get talked into this. With the Venus ride, I can always choose a lesser route, but I'm still terrified that I have talked myself into something I won't be able to complete.
All of that said, I carry on with training, believing that somehow I will be able to add mileage to my rides and eventually make it to the end point. I have days when I wonder why a "transportation cyclist" would want to do this to herself, but I suppose a challenge is sometimes necessary to see what we are capable of completing? Or, maybe I just enjoy a good torture session once in awhile?