We tend to think of this quote from Benjamin Franklin as a business quote. However, it can come into play in all aspects of our lives, from the serious to the mundane.
How many times have you gone to the grocery to pick up a few items only to get home and realize you missed a couple things. Or, alternatively, packing for a trip and you arrive and realize you need to make a run to a store to get several items you forgot to pack.
The failure to plan bug bit me in the butt today. And in a way different from the above.
I like to ride a bike for exercise. I rode yesterday and did rather well considering I had been off the bike for the last months working through a personal loss. Today, I went out again “planning” for a longer ride. The temperature was in the high-80s to low-90s and there was a breeze but I thought I could handle the ride. That was my first mistake . . . shooting for a longer ride in the heat and humidity.
My second was going out with essentially no fuel in my body. I had gone out for Sunday brunch with my wife and some out of town friends. As I’m diabetic, I tried to stay away from the carbs and stay more protein oriented. I’m also overweight so I am trying to burn fat for my fuel. However, hitting the road with an empty stomach makes for a pretty severe lack of energy.
Mistake number three was not pre-ride hydrating. I had had a glass or two of water and I loaded up my water bottles . . . all two of them at about 20 oz. each. Not a good plan.
I got myself out there and did fairly well until I was about 9 miles into my “planned” 30 mile ride. Then I started feeling the exhaustion and my legs just would not churn at the rate I needed to keep my speed reasonable. My energy levels felt as if they were about shot. I realized I had not been hydrating much so I hit the water bottle a couple times.
Could I have benefitted from an energy drink like Gatorade or PowerAde in my bottles? Perhaps, but again, as a diabetic, I try to stay away from those since I don’t need the blood sugar spike. So water it was.
I was getting so dehydrated over the next mile that I had almost emptied both water bottles and then I hit a hill. It wasn’t even a big hill or a long hill.
As I started up, I felt the energy draining from me and the sun beating on my back. I looked down at the shift lever to downshift and it seemed as if a faucet got turned on as the sweat poured off my face. Nevertheless, I plodded up. I got about 2/3 of the way up this little hill and I just knew I was done. I pulled over, sat in the shade of a small apple tree and called my son to come and get me. I still had a couple ounces of water left and it was almost hot water by this point.
As I sat there, I turned off my ride monitor and did what I always do, I posted my ride stats to social media with my frustrated comments. I received some comments about what a beast I was riding in the heat. I also got some about making a smart decision and calling it a day. But one dear friend, who is a voice of reason, posted a comment about needing to make a plan for my ride.
Truer words have never been spoken!! I immediately realized he was right! I made all the mistakes on this ride. I set out for a 30 miler with only two bottles of water and no plan to replenish. I went out on an empty stomach with no snacks to keep me going. And I went out in heat and humidity that I knew would sap my energy but did it anyway. So many opportunities to make better choices and I ignored them all!
Was I planning to fail? No! Self-sabotage never entered my mind. But I did plan to fail by failing to plan. I went out willy-nilly for a 30 mile ride after one 12 mile ride in the last month and zero other miles on my bike.
Not good choices by me today.
Thanks for reading. All comments are appreciated.