cycling (MTB) 3:10:00  19.0 mi (10:00 / mi)
let me tell you a story... back on july 4th, 2010, my friend todd and i (along with a psychotic freestyle leprechaun named mark) went for a ride in annadel state park. it was about 100 degrees, and by the end of the ride, mark had snapped his handlebar in two, and todd had smashed his face on the ground. as for me, my fate was much worse - i lost my very soul. see, when i push too hard (especially in heat), i get to a point where i can no longer eat or drink anything, my face catches on fire (without any sweat to cool it down), and my body rapidly shuts down. even worse, it comes on pretty fast, and i don't know what to do to stop it from happening. on this ride, i limped back to the car walking my bike and trying not to pass out, and i spent the ride home shivering (despite feeling like i had a body temperature of 150 degrees) and trying not to projectile vomit all over the supple leather interior of todd's audi. in 10 years of mountain bike riding, this was unquestionably my low point.
it doesn't help that annadel is a tough place to ride - despite the heat, almost all of the climbs (save for the opening 1.5 miles on fire road) are on single track, which means a mixture of embedded and loose rock. it's my favorite place to ride, but you have to be up for the challenge. so today, after working since this past april to build up some base fitness, i decided to revisit annadel and see what i could do. despite finishing with legs on the verge of cramping and a super sore lower back (damn you, lack of core strength!), i did pretty well, and i felt okay the whole time. 19 miles! that's about 7 more than the ride last summer, with probably around 800 more feet of elevation gain. i wouldn't even let a lost bolt holding my disk brake caliper onto my frame stop me - i jury rigged that shit with some wire from my survival kit and kept on going. sweet.