Jun 27, 2007

trade-offs & lessons learned

last night: another day, another club ride. the anxiety was setting in an hour before the ride just standing in my kitchen. i was thinking of blowing it off ... after all, i had already run that morning - what the hell did i need to kill myself on a ride for? my husband - who lovingly tells me i am a total head case - knows exactly why i am trying to weasle out ... he says - there's no hairpin turn in this one -- its a different route.

what? no hairpin turn? i'm in!

so there is (for once) ZERO anxiety going into ride. i don't even freak out when once on the roll, someone's water bottle is suddenly rolling all over the place and i miss it by a hair ... water off a ducks' back.

i'm good. i'm happy. i'm well ensconsed in the group.

then, my husband rolls up beside me & quietly says, this is not the group i want to be in ... i want to be in the group ahead of the one we are in. i think - no, that's the group YOU want to be in ... i'm good here. i'm happy here. why you gotta mess with my mojo? That's what i'm thinking - what i say to him is 'bite me. i am staying put'. i knew that picking up the pace to catch up to one group ahead was a recipe for anxiety - especially with a series of fast turns coming up.

but then, once we are out on river road - which is a good, long straight stretch ... i realize, and this pains me to say it - that my husband was right. this was not the group i wanted to be in. this group was far slower & far more unorganized. my husband & i tried to break away in the hopes of catching group just ahead ... but got stopped at a light & everyone caught up with us. then of course, the cocky girl who tries to pass everyone (that would be me) practically falls off her bike when her foot slips off pedal when trying to get going again. i think i got laughed at. so shit. i'll stay here.

its' crazy & unorganized, but its all a learning process ... i realized that i traded the need for a valium drip attached to me & bike for a slower ride. i think that it was a good trade. i knew i could do about 5mph faster - but i was ok with it. and so here's what i learned on last nights' ride: my husband is right.

haha. i should just end post here. imagine how much i could milk that statement.

anyhow - he says i've got the stregth & fitness level to be way up with first group. i just don't have the bike handling skills to stay with them in the first few miles through neighborhoods & on any major turns. and that lack of skills = high anxiety.

i did smoke the entire group on a major hill. and when i say entire group, i mean all of them. except two. my husband & another guy. there were 20 people in our group ... we hit the hill & i go up effortlessly. i am feeling very smug. very smug indeed. i think i have opened up such a huge gap & i see that my husband and the other guy have picked up a couple of riders that were ahead of them & i think i can have a miniscule slow down, catch my breath a bit & still totally catch up to them. and then - much.to.my.dismay - everyone i just smoked starts passing me one by one. WTF? people? hello? what are you doing up here? why are you not back there coughing on the dust i surely left in my 18mph wake?

ugh. no matter. group all back together ... including small group ahead & we head for home ... got to feel all smug again when another fellow came up to admire my very old-school steel bike & said i was a strong rider ... i attacked that hill.

yes. i did. i do love those hills.


Gotta Run..... said...

Alright.. all these cycle post is making me want to ride more.

My biggest problem with riding is how it affects my runs. Legs are heavy and tired the next day. Does this get better over time? Tell me more.... I love it all just have not figured out the right mixed to keep myself in motion.

If you can not tell I am also a major head case about fitness. And yes... I must admit that my husband has been right a time or two in the past. Very hard to say out loud though..LOL!!

Vickie said...

I'm telling you, you're missing your calling. If you can haul that fast uphill on an old steel bike, imagine what you can do with a new, sleek, lightweight bike? I'm telling you, I see a triathlon on your horizon. Start swimming already!