After a good (and tough) weekend, I've been thinking about the fine line between challenging myself and knowing when to throw in the towel. Saturday I challenged myself at an Orienteering Meet; then Sunday I completely freaked during a mountain bike ride. The difference between the two? Orienteering is done with 2 feet solidly on the ground, while mountain biking involves the threat of my already bruised body being thrown to the ground. See why I might be willing to hike my bike rather than ride?
I write the above as a round about way to say I think I might not be cut out for mountain biking. Sunday's ride was a continuation of past rides - my fear getting in the way of any fun I might have. Granted the trail was more difficult than most I have been on and after the initial terrifying, single track ride (where I walked the entire time) I was able to enjoy a nice, simple ride with another friend. But I am tired of being "challenged" on rides that elicit panic attacks, not shouts of joy. When do I say "no more" without feeling like a quitter?
While I contemplate that question (and you are more than welcome to offer comments with advice, encouragement, or a "kick me in the ass" type of comment) I plan on riding the whole weekend. Ironic, isn't it? But, these rides are not exactly typical mountain biking - more like road biking and some simple, wide and hilly trails that lack any of the typical technical stuff usually associated with mountain biking. This whole thing puts into question all the adventure races I want to race - unfortunately most races do not have easy biking sections. Now, if I could just find a race without mountain biking, I would be extremely happy (unlikely but hey, I can wish can't I?)
I'm still planning on running my 12 hour/60 mile race in July - I figure if it gets too bad I can do the whole "hike my bike" thing. That's part of the reason i am doing it alone - I won't have the pressure of letting my teammate/s down with my fear of riding - I'll just be riding for me. That might be the best idea I've had yet.