Saturday, May 19, 2007

Mr. Murphy - vs - God's will

For the past few days, I've been in the pre-event routine. This mainly involves, rest and different eating habits. I arrived in Raleigh on Friday evening and began going through a bicycle shake down, laying out my riding gear and preparing my chow for the ride. Oh and looking at often to be certain of weather patterns. I have to be prepared. The motto is to do enough preparation so that the event is just another rehearsal. Difficulty is needless when there is a plan to overcome all obstacles. In endurance events where your life could be at risk this is especially the case. Going through a routine/check list calms the nerves and allows for better rest.

I did this preparation routine perfectly. This morning prior to departing for the event went without incident as well. For some reason I had an uneasy feeling about the upcoming 400k brevet. It could be the time off the bike resting a nagging knee. The cure for overuse injuries is rest. I hate rest sometimes. The nerves could also be because 250 miles is a long, long way. They could also be because the ride ventures briefly into the mountains for some 15% climbs. It is difficult to train for this terrain at the beach. The bridges are not steep enough!

So I drove to the starting point. As I approached the butterflies increased. I pulled into the parking lot expecting to see riders preparing bikes and registering. The time 0615 - right on schedule for a 0700 start time.

Here is the problem. When I pulled into the parking lot, the only thing I saw was parked cars with no people or bicycles. My stomach did back flips. I stopped the car, placed it in park and sunk into my seat. I can't (*$!#&*$@! believe it! The start time was 0600. I failed to see it on the web site. I looked at it 4 times on Friday night and 4 times on Thursday etc. I did not see the 0600 start time. I was blind to this important fact. All of the preparation for not.

I could have gone for a ride anyway. Perhaps done the 200K for training or something. I decided to return home and get cleaned up. Why?

There are only two possible reasons I didn't see the 0600 start time.

1. Murphy's Law
2. God's Will

Murphy's Law:
I just don't believe Murphy explains this morning's incident very well. Murphy can be blamed for many things. Here is an example: I was on a ride in the Mojave Desert. It was a Saturday morning and I was returning to 29Palms. I was in the vicinity of Wonder Valley. I received a puncture. No big deal, within a few minutes, I had the tube changed and began putting air into the tire. Problem, the air was not staying in the spare tube. Turns out the spare also had a few punctures in it. Both of the tubes were too far gone to patch. I would have to walk the 10 miles back to town. Not good! You see, this is Murphy in action. There is a good ending to this story. After about a few miles, my neighbor just happened to be returning from a gambling trip to Laughlin, NV. He saw it was me and gave me a ride home. It ended up being my lucky day!

God's Will:
I don't believe I was supposed to ride today's event. It just wasn't God's plan. The knee pain should have been enough deterrent. On Wednesday and Thursday, I said many times, the best course of action was some rest. Rest and build the mileage back up slowly for some longer events later in the summer. I knew this with all of my heart and conviction. The alternative could mean a real injury that may sideline me for months.

There was this other voice telling me that my knee couldn't stop me. You have rested enough. I had to ride. My plan was to ride as far as I could. If I failed, so be it. With some courage and some vitamin 'M', I would be able to prevail.

This is a great thing that God does for us all. He will only let us get into predicaments that we can handle. We may not realize we can handle it at the time but we persevere. Think about David slaying the Giant. David was not a soldier, he was not a physically strong guy. He was just an average boy. Oh, he was faithful to God too! The Giant was physically opposing and stood there laughing at David. Come on now, who are you boy? Go home before you get hurt. Famous last words huh? There is no way David slays the Giant without God's help. Without David, an entire army is destroyed; not to mention all of the innocent women and children.

Evidently, God did not want to guide me through 20 hours of pain and misery. He has other plans. God said NO(knee pain, need rest). I said YES. He said NO again (more knee pain). I said I'm going for it(I will suck it up). He said oh yea? Watch this dude. Just like many conversations we have all had with our parents at one time or another. Well, here I sit depressed, irritated and ready to ride. This is the only explanation for missing a start time which has been on the website for months.

The good news? I got some more rest for my knee. I will attempt to ride on Monday morning. Based on this ride, I will decide how to proceed with training and future events.

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