Four hours is a long time to ride a bike. It's even longer when you aren't actually going anywhere. And you're staring at the same four walls, in your basement, with only one window, starting at 5:00 a.m. On a Saturday. Four hours of spinning your wheel, without moving one inch. Watching YouTube videos and counting down the miles, to nowhere.
The thing about riding on a trainer is that it gives you a lot of time to daydream, to think, to pray. Sometimes this is a good thing, a great thing even. Sometimes you just wish you were done. Occasionally you do all of the above and then realize that you still have 3 hours to go.
But at the end of the ride, my legs are tired and I feel accomplished. I know I've done what I need to do to prepare. I also know that these training rides to nowhere in the basement in the dark of the early hours before anyone else in my family has woken for the day are mentally tougher than anything I'll face on the road, anything I'll face on race day. That preparation is just as important as moving the legs for 4 hours non-stop. The toughness I'm building inside will be so important on race day, when I'm tired and thinking about quitting. And in life, when I want to give up, like I wanted to so many times over the last 4 1/2 months.
And in the end that's the real beauty of all of this . . . having the dedication and learning the patience to work toward a goal that won't be accomplished for months. There is nothing more satisfying than working so hard for something for so long and then finally getting to the finish line and knowing that in this "I want it right now world", you were willing to give 6 months of your life for this one, brief moment of success.