Wiped Out.

This is part of the story:
Monday I flew across the country with the family.

Tuesday I spent 11 hours walking around an amusement park.

Wednesday I drove across Virginia, showing the sleeping-but-otherwise-completely-enthralled family where I grew up.

Thursday I got on the bike again.

This fills in some of the details:
Before we got on the plane at 1:45 AM, I had gotten almost five hours of sleep in the previous 24. Meaningful sleep on the plane (more than 15 minutes) was impossible. I'm not built for it.

When we arrived on the east coast, I still had to drive four hours to get to our destination.  

We arrived there around 10:00 PM, and once the family was settled in, I crashed in a most profound way.

I woke up first, showered, and then roused the family for a day at the amusement park. We were fifth in line on the way in and among the last out. It rained on and off all day, adding to the considerable humidity but keeping the crowds away. While the rest of the family rode rides and played, I mainly pushed around the stroller. By the end of the day, my right hips was sore and popping from favoring my left knee all day. The family had fun, so that's all that matters.

When we got back to the room I climbed in bed, looking forward to a good night's sleep. The middle son decided it was too cold in the room, so he turned on the heat. I woke at 1:00 AM in a deep pool of sweat. Who turns on a heater in late June in Virginia? Switching the air conditioning back on did not help, so I had to turn the thing off and wait for it to reset. When it finally did, the air conditioner had to cool the room 20 degrees before I could sleep again. That would have been just before 4:00 AM.
I woke up at 7:00 AM, showered, and went to breakfast. When I returned, everyone was still asleep. When I mentioned the pool was open, the middle two kids suddenly came to life and dragged their mother out there, leaving the oldest and youngest sons comatose in the room. I decided to do a little laundry, not realizing the circa-1950s dryer might not be up to matching the 150% humidity. At least the clothes were drier than I was. They weren't dripping.

We managed to pack up and be out of the room 30 seconds before the 11:00 AM checkout, and were soon on the road. Because I really didn't want to drive for hours on Virginia's efficient but utterly mind-numbing interstate system, I chose the longer and winding back roads I traveled when I was younger. I probably should have chosen the faster route, given my sleep-deprived state, but it certainly was more interesting to look at. Six hours to do a four hour trip was a bit much, and I collapsed on the bed and slept for a whole hour before the family woke me to eat. Having done nothing but eat (and not sleep) for the past few days, I really could have passed on dinner. I was finally allowed to go to bed around 10:00 PM.

I was up at dawn to ride. I hoped the bike I had unpacked the night before wouldn't implode on a high speed descent. After four days off the bike, my legs were flat, but I put in a solid three hours on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It wasn't fast, but at least I was moving again. Base miles are what I need, and that's what I got. Little by little I'll add intensity, testing the knee and rebuilding the fitness I scraped off in the prologue of the Tour of Fairbanks. At the very least, I'll have some very sharp cycling kit tan lines when I get home. If you can't ride well, you can at least look the part.

Sleep would be good, too.


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