Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A biking rollercoaster of emotions

I feel like a million things have happened since the last time I posted, but apparently it has just been a week. I guess maybe that's because I have had a wide range of emotions and thoughts and feelings about training and life and had a visitor in Atlanta and an abnormal weekend that included a lot of partying and I skipped some workouts and was okay with it and also got on a plane and am now in North Carolina writing from a hotel room with a room overlooking the beach after spending the past two days inside of the Robert E. Lee conference room.

A lot can happen in a week.

So let's just focus on where we left off, where I wrote this beautiful glowing post about my magical transcendent experience biking and feeling like a galloping horse throughout the farmland of Georgia. Well then wouldn't you know it, the very next day after I posted that, on Thursday evening, still feeling high from that positive ride on Thursday and a successful ride on the trainer on Tuesday, I had a super crummy bike ride. That led me to being nearly in tears because I thought I had broken myself and was going to have to deal with injury and pain with still 10 weeks of training to go.

I got home from work and decided to bike from my house, which I should just never do anymore. I always fall trying to get on my bike in front of my house. I am surrounded by monstrous hills which is a sucky way to start a workout. And who would have thought, but riding on major roads during rush hour is NOT FUN. My whole ride was terrifying, heart pounding bike riding. Up and down mega hills. And I started to feel a lot of tightness going uphill in my left hip and some pain.

I got myself home as fast as possible and almost cried at how terrible of an experience it was.

Quickly I stretched and foam rolled and went about my evening plans. In the morning, I still felt the aching in my left hip so I made the decision to not go to swim practice and rest. I hadn't had a COMPLETE rest day in a while, even though some days had been easy, so I decided to let myself have it. Rest days are really hard on me mentally sometimes.

After not doing anything all day on Friday besides foam rolling and stretching, I took an ice bath that evening. The achiness and pain I was feeling was really similar to the pain I felt in my RIGHT hip right at marathon training. Massage, chiropractor, and ice baths had helped before so I decided to give it a try. I sat in my icy bath for 10 minutes and then got out, warmed up, and went about my evening.

I decided to cancel the plans I had to join group rides and try to attempt 40 miles on the bike for the next morning.  I looked at my schedule and decided I could use this weekend as a rest/easy weekend, then build the next two weekends, and then have another rest weekend when I go on vacation. So instead of going to bed early, I went out with friends, I drank cheap beer, and I completely let myself forget about the pain and anxiety I was feeling from having a rest day and from feeling some discomfort with so much left of training to go.

Waking up Saturday morning, I felt so much better.  Not what you were expecting after I said I went out drinking, right?  Don't worry, I still pace myself :)

I didn't have the achiness and I felt compelled to try and still get an easy bike ride in, so I went over to the Silver Comet bike path and decided to ride for an hour.  I told myself to forget about pace and just have fun. Just enjoy the ride and feel good.

From my first pedal stroke down I was super nervous, but I felt no pain.  I started to ride and just enjoy it, as I mentioned.  I didn't want to worry about pace, I didn't want to worry about effort, I just wanted to ride my bike and take everything in around me.

Fortunately, it was an amazingly beautiful day to do that. Unfortunately, that means that the bike path was packed and super crowded. Until I got a few miles out, there was lots of weaving around runners and walkers and families.

When I got 30 minutes out on the ride, I was still feeling good. So I decided to keep going. I decided to try and ride for two hours. I kept going and kept feeling good and enjoyed the ride, practiced drinking and eating on the bike, smiled at everyone I passed, and enjoyed the day.

At about 50 minutes out, the cloud started to get really gloomy and some rain drops started to fall. I scanned the sky and being worried about a storm coming through, I rode another 5 minutes and turned and head back in after 55 minutes on the bike. I had opted to not listen to music on this ride as I wanted to be really in tune with everything around me and my body. My main goal was to enjoy. the. ride.

Heading back in I continued to feel good on the bike. During the times that I didn't feel good, I reminded myself of the mantra I had read in a friend's Ironman recap blog that I also used when I did the Olympic distance tri. Sometimes during the ride, you'll feel great and sometimes you'll feel like crap. Both will pass.

When I got back to the beginning I was at 28 miles and I decided to keep going to get an extra 4 miles on the bike to be able to have ridden ONE MORE than I rode the weekend before.

Honestly, I was feeling good. I was debating in my head if I should just keep going and get to 40 miles. It was really tempting and I could have done it. However, I also didn't want to overdo it completely on that day and didn't want to deal with navigating through all the people heading back OUT on the trail and also wanted to give myself something to work towards the next week.

So I called it quits at 32.43 miles, which I rode at an average pace of 15.13 mph in 2:08:34.  I am getting close to a bike distance PR (35 miles!) and was more than anything else, so happy that I rode the bike without pain and went further than I had originally scheduled for myself for that day. I again, finished the ride feeling that athletic high that is why we do all this crap in the first place.

1 comment:

  1. OMG so this post reminded me of something I forgot to put in my post about the Hustle Up the Hancock.

    First...January and February are notoriously slow where I work, so (not to sound stalkerish) I may have gone back and read through a ton of your blog, and I'd just finished reading about the Paris Marathon when the Hustle came up. When I was like 40 floors into the climb and kind of feeling it, I totally started chanting in my head "40 floors done, 40 floors done, 40 floors done in a 94 run"...and then I kept doing it whenever I was struggling. I got the idea from your posts about doing your long runs and getting yourself to keep going. It's amazing how mantras like that *totally* work! So...thank you!!!! It's such a great idea!