Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Five Digits

I rode 10,000 miles this year -- a new personal high.

It's been looming out there for a while. The first week of November I noticed that I should be able to pass 2008's total of 9,000 miles, and that I could maybe hit the big 10,000. Five digits. Scary.

All it would take would be 200-mile weeks for the rest of the year.

Early November, that didn't seem too hard. We had great weather then -- sunny, with highs in the 70s or low 80s -- and I felt pretty strong. I even managed to bank some extra miles at first.

Then it got colder and wetter, and I was grabbing every mile I could get. A drizzly morning, with temperatures just above freezing, but a chance that it might clear up later that day -- and off I rode, taking the long way to work so that my daily total would be 30 instead of just 24. Then, on the Saturday after a Snow Day Friday (a classic Southern holiday for the kids), the roads are mostly clear of snow and ice by noon, so I grab a fast 50 miles before jumping into the shower late for the office holiday party.

These were miles for miles sake. If I had a choice between the slow recovery ride that I needed or another fast workout, I choose the latter because it would take me further. If the choice was between a climbing route that would make me strong or a flat 200K, I chose the brevet.

Instead of helping the Randowife and Randodaughter put up the Christmas tree, I was out getting in some miles. The lights did not go up at all outside, because if the weather was good enough to hang lights, it was good enough to ride.

Thank goodness for online shopping, or there would not have been many presents under the tree this year.

In the last couple of weeks, I wouldn't even talk about it for fear that I would jinx it. The Randodaughter told a friend about it, and that scared me. Now, if I failed, I would let her down, too.

But now it's over. I hit the big 10K Sunday, riding on the Trace with Jeff Bauer, Jeff Sammons (no relation), and Kent Kersten. It was the last long ride of the year, and we had planned to do another 200K. But I knew that all I needed was 80 miles to hit my mark, so we cut things short and only rode 104.

Yeah, when you're a randonneur you say things like "... only rode 104."

It was a pretty nice day, with temperatures in the mid-50s and winds fairly light. We stopped at Garrison Creek, and I took a picture to commemorate the milestone.

Monday was nice, too, so I went out at lunch and did a 20-mile recovery ride. And Tuesday was going to be warm in the afternoon, so I biked to work.

I took the long way in, even though I forgot my wool wrap and my ears were freezing. I would like to say that I took the long way just because it felt good to be on a bike. Part of that would be true. But down deep, I was still counting miles. I was running the numbers in my head, thinking, "I'm at 10,046 miles. I could easily hit 10,100. It's a nice round number."

It's a sickness. I hope I get better soon.