The wind was blowing steadily out of the north in the morning when I cracked my door. I retreated to my bed and shopped for aero helmets on the internet, killing some time in the hopes that the wind would abate somewhat. It didn't.
At 11:00, I rolled out into a warm and windy world, tucking my head down and churning away. The plan was to do 95 miles. After 30, that number was reduced to 80, As it turns out, 80 was still way too much.
I started pedaling squares. Then triangles. My speed dropped. I downed bottle after bottle of scientifically-tested electrolyte drink mix, but I knew I was losing. I was falling apart, and the wind was laughing at me.
When I reached my turnaround point, the store at Big Level, I refilled my bottles, drained one while I was sitting in the shade, and then filled them again. I drank a Coke. I ate a Snickers bar. I contemplated the 40 miles ahead of me. I noticed the wind had died. Crap. I was counting on a tailwind.
When the sugar rush hit, I got back in the saddle so as not to waste it. Five miles down the road it was gone. My speed dropped again. I kept losing. I knew if I stopped again starting would be that much more difficult. I milked the brief downhills for all they were worth and fought the uphills. Funny, they never seemed that long before.
Eventually I reached the more populated part of my route. I bypassed the friendly Walmart Coke machine, as I was fixated on ending the ride. It wasn't fun. It was survival. I climbed the I-10 pedestrian stairs, pausing at each level to rest. My calves twitched, letting me know a cramp was just behind the next door. Each short section of the ride was a little victory which I didn't celebrate. I didn't have the energy.
When I reached the room, I downed a 32 oz bottle of water and then jumped in the shower. When I got out, I weighed myself like I had done just before I left. I had lost eight pounds of water weight in less than five hours. No wonder I was falling apart. 
This was supposed to be an easy week. I think I broke myself.


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