Jun 3, 2007

closing in on a month ...

a month of barely running, that is.
so in the meantime - this is what i've been doing:
and loving every minute of it. (that's me in the middle there - on today's 25 mile ride)
the bike scared the shit out of me at one point in time ... that tiny seat, the pedals that you had to lock your shoes into, the traffic, the speed, the thought of road rash -- i am a worst case scenario girl & believe me - i could conjure up some ugly scenes while riding the bike ... me, in a ditch still locked into bike. me, flying through air smacking into a tree - never to run again. or worse. one might wonder how i can possibly enjoy a ride with these thoughts in my head ... but here's the thing: i couldn't run. if i couldn't run - i HAD to do something else ... it was complete serendipity that despite the crazy shit going on in my head about what could happen -- i actually found that i enjoy it. i really, really like it. the thing about worst case scenarios - is that they almost never happen & you are left with pleasant surprises. my pleasant surprise is that i have found this great thing i can do to cross train & keep my fitness level up & best of all i can enjoy doing it with my husband ...the fear is slipping away little by little. ok - key word here being little.

here's what i am good at: i can kick some serious ass in the hills ... in fact, i LOVE the hills ... i know there are hills out there that i have not encountered yet that would reduce me to tears ... but, until i meet them, head on - i like hills in that "i'll take some hills with my breakfast" sort of way.
i love the flats - feel like i can go for days & days & days and never stop ...
the downhills - a straight downhill - are slowing growing on me. in that, oooh - i get to go into my big ring, turbo-booster gear sort of way.

the thing that gets me? the place where i am always dropped? a turn. a measly turn. i start to panic about the bike skidding out from under me & wonder to what degree i am banking & i brake like a total wussy girl ... but i know i'll get over this. eventually ... right?

my husband says i need to learn to trust the bike and myself. he says the bike wants to stay upright. i have heard this before in different contexts ...

my husband and i met at flight school ... so our dates were always spent flying a little cessna 150 together ... we'd talk about flying & all that i was learning - i confessed to him that i was too scared to practice the stalls that my instructor wanted me to practice ... he said i needed to trust the plane ... because, inherently, it wanted to stay flying. it wasn't just going to fall out of the sky.
we had a sailboat when we lived on the coast of maine and would go 'sailing' frequently ... sailing in quotes, because i was too afraid to ever leave the harbor. i was terrified that we'd capsize ... he always told me that if i could fly a plane, i could sail a boat - imagine the sails were wings ... and, inherently, the boat wanted to stay upright ... it wasn't just going to go over.

do you see a pattern here? clearly, the common denominator here is me & my irrational fears. i really just need to conquer this fear of the bike & learn to trust it. and me on it. mostly, i think - i just need to trust myself. cause if i can do that - i can kick some ass.


Vickie said...

Give yourself time. It takes about one full season to really feel one with the bike, including the downhills without too much braking, turns without feeling like you will crash, and knowing when to unclip (before you stop). It sounds like if you got into duathlons or triathlons you could be a serious contender! But I'm a lot like you with the irrational fears. I'm learning to not obsess too much and am sleeping better because of it.

Unknown said...

Oh man -- my hands get SORE when I ride since I'm braking ALL the time!!! I'm actually thinking of taking some sort of bike skills clinic because I too really enjoy it when I get on my bike. Can't say I love the hills as much as you, but they're not too bad. (But I have a HECK of a time trying to get started on one. I can't seem to click in very well when on a hill!)

zanne said...

haha! so happy to hear from both of you that i am not the only one!!

i have found that padded gloves are essential for the whole "white-knucle" factor!

i always wonder how long it would take my brakes to wear down - could they, in theory, be worn down to the nubbin on a really long downhill? :-) cause i know my nerves can be worn down to the nubbin!

my click in panic only sets in once the light has turned green at an intersection & i'm trying to cross with cars behind me - i'm always looking down to clip in which then makes me sort of swerve all over the place. steven says - first, just get across the road - then worry about clipping in.

getting started on a hill? i honestly don't think i could ever 'start' going up a hill from a dead stop - there has got to be some momentum! momentum is your friend. (my husband tells me that all the time - should be my biking mantra!).

as always, thanks to both of you for popping by! keep the tips & comments coming!

Tall Girl Running said...


I was glad to see your post... it'd been a long time and I was a little worried about ya! Sounds like you've adopted a terrific attitude about your layoff from running and I'll bet because of the cross-training you're doing now, you'll come back stronger than ever.

You are one tough chica.