Getting Over My Fears

Last weekend I decided that I should go on my former normal Saturday morning group ride and try to get over my fears. It had been months since I had gone. The last time I went, I hammered to stay attached, got dropped, and ended up with back spasms. Not good.

The Donut Ride

I put some thought into the plan, and decided that 55++ miles was too much. I reviewed the route and started 6 miles into the ride, expecting the group to find me quickly since I started after them. Leaving the parking lot with a pit in my stomach, I felt anxious and nauseous over how the ride would go. I wasn’t kidding when I said I was scared of riding my bike.

I rode alone for quite a long time, which ended up being perfect. This allowed me to warm up and pay attention to my body. Adjusting my spine and positioning on the bike, I was feeling pretty good for the first time in a while.

The group eventually caught me and I felt like a kid on Christmas. Damn, I’ve missed these people. I think we also had record female turnout on a usually male-dominated (or all male) ride!! We hit up my favorite donut shop in the universe, and when we stopped folks noticed my color coordinated and donut themed kit. The socks were my favorite part. Yeehah!

The group left Cannon Falls and I felt a little sluggish, which is common for me after pausing as long as we did mid-ride. I got dropped on the hills but managed to not be last, so that was a major win. The riders re-grouped and I stayed attached until I got to my designated turn. I was proud of myself for leaving the group and heading back to the car, even though I was sitting in fine and having a blast. Behaving isn’t easy!

Rides with the Little Man

Saturday evening, our little family went mountain biking. My boyfriend wanted to ride hard, so it was just me and the little guy alone in the woods. He was cranky and so was I, so it made for an interesting combination. He talked me into riding black or the “expert” trail (something he rides all the time), and I quickly regretted it. I forgot how many big drops there were compared to the easier trails. I’d yelp when the trail jarred me, or mutter and walk my bike. The kiddo asked me to stop whining it was so bad. How’s that for a change of roles?!

So crazy happy on his new bike

I had some back spasms and muscle pain Saturday night, but a dose of muscle relaxers got everything in line. The plan was to take the kiddo out on his new mountain bike on Sunday to start his gravel training “regimen”. He and I are doing the 24 mile course in the Filthy 50 in October, and the kiddo needs to work on his endurance.

We were both a little off that day, whining, and wanting to go home. We made it less than 10 miles, but the good news is that if he actually tried that kid can MOVE on the new bike. Money well spent? Too soon to tell, but my guilt over the purchase is slowly waning.

What’s fun?

Overall, I’m trying to find the fun in biking again and not push myself quite so hard toward arbitrary goals that may hurt my body more than I can afford.  I also need to work on weight loss and the best way I know how is to exercise.  This means I’m constantly feeling torn. Not riding may be what I need from the perspective of a rundown, exhausted human. On the other hand, not riding means not exercising and wasted time making progress towards goals. I have a weekend ahead of me with no riding and hopefully another week without any work travel, so both of these things should help alleviate the feeling of absolute burn-out.

The good news? Well, the good news is that I’m able to vacuum the house without panicking about my back for the first time in over a year. I can also sleep through the night again without back and shooting nerve pain, due to the newly prescribed brace. Fingers crossed I can keep it on the rails long enough to build fitness this winter. I think it’s within my reach.

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