Digging a Hole.

After Wednesday's knee issues, I should have taken it easy. Ridden with less intensity. Fewer miles. Fewer hours. That would have been the smart thing to do.

Nobody ever accused me of doing the smart thing. Instead, I doubled down with the kids' college fund on a bluff.

Early on the knee complained a bit. Nothing too strident, but it was there. We found a compromise and I kept going.

My average ride so far has been roughly the same as the Wickersham Dome stage of the Tour of Fairbanks. 50 to 55 miles, 4500 ft (give or take) of climbing. One five minute (or less) stop at the turnaround, then back on the bike. Day after day.

After a few days of this, you start to wear down a bit- especially if your body isn't used to it. Mine isn't this year. My steady diet of 60-90 minute rides were more about intensity. Build up the top end and forget about the diesel. I'm paying for that now. 

My body is slowly adapting to the new reality as I slowly grind it into dust. I come back to my parents' farm completely wiped out. I doze off downloading my Garmin files or watching the end of the day's Tour de France stage. Soon enough my patient wife rouses me to do something with the family. I try to steer the activities to something involving sitting down. I'm usually unsuccessful.

I love my parents, but they are the worst mattress shoppers in the world, so my naps usually take place on a random love seat or couch. I get my share of the horrible bed every night. I wake up every morning before the alarm clock goes off, anxious to be on the bike and away from the clutches of that mattress. The floor is looking better and better.

When I got to Drakes Mill Pond and the ride's turnaround, I straddled the dam wall and soaked my knee in the cool water. The complaints were drowned for a while. As the knee marinated, I thought about all of the descents on the way out that would now be climbs. The climbs would now be descents, but somehow it never seems like it evens out.

Either I'm going to get stronger or my knee is going to explode in spectacular fashion.

Probably the latter.

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