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Friday, April 29, 2011

Rode on the street today!

Just got back from doing a ride at lunch.  Good weather today - sunny & 70 - while tomorrow is going to be craptastic - snowy & 40.  The hubs suggested we take advantage while its nice so he brought the bikes up at noon.  This was a really big deal for me to ride out on the road.  A little backstory here.....

...once upon a time, many, many, many, many (many) moons ago I used to do sprint triathlons.  I really enjoyed them.  I love to swim.  Easy to get into a groove and very comfortable in the water.  Was never a great runner but did do cross-country for several years in high school.  So, when I was shedding for the wedding (14 years ago), I did a couple races.   Until one fine spring day down in Austin, Tx.  It was just a few weeks 'til my next race & I'd really trained a lot; had high goals to better my time, worked on the bike/run transition, etc.  I was starting to get really into it.  That particular day was a bike day - all good until I got hit by a car.  I did not enjoy this.  Nothing truly serious - a lady was pulling out of an apartment complex and didn't look both ways when she pulled out.  She wasn't going real fast & neither was I but still car vs. bike is never a good combination.  I slammed in to her left panel right by the front wheel.  I went up on the hood, she hit the brakes & I went flying back.  Pinky & ring finger on left were totally mangled, outer part of left hand was broken and huge gash on right elbow.  All in all, not that much damage.

But still.....I never did that race & I've haven't really ridden out on the road since then.  So, obviously the scars went deeper than just a few stitches.    I thought about all of this for the first time while we were out today.   Today's ride was quite nice - wide shoulders or dedicated bike lanes everywhere (yea, Colorado!) on rural roads outside of Boulder with little traffic.  However, the storm front did move in during on our ride and the wind got fierce.  There were several times I was afraid that I was going to get pushed out into the street.  Yep, it did freak me out a bit.

As we were riding along, the hubs asked how I was doing.  Now, he doesn't think my earlier accident was all that big of a deal...perhaps a bit of Chloe drama, but, hey, I bear the scars. I'm entitled!  I told him I was a little spooked but I could do it.  That was my response - I could face this fear (a fear mostly in my head) & I could do it.  Not sure I would have said that 45lbs ago.

As I get back into shape, I'm back to swimming and then the purchase of my beautiful new bike, obviously, the thought of doing triathlons has crossed my mind more than once.  A couple of hurdles - this thing about riding out on the road with cars is a serious concern for me.  I feel like I took a big, positive step in the right direction today.  For the first time, I believe if I got serious about a race & really started training, I could face the bike work.  More than just going to spin class or sitting on a bike in the gym.  Also, the hubs is a little crazy and loves "centuries" aka 100-mile bike races through the mountains of Colorado.  He's signed up for a couple this year &, now that I'm all geared up, he's started dropping hints about me joining him (he wouldn't have said that 45lbs ago!).  Riding on the street with cars is something I need to get comfortable with.

While we're on the tri-topic, another big hurdle for me is the running piece.  Like I said earlier, I suck at it.  A more pressing concern is that I am trying to protect my knees.  All my workouts up to now - swim, bike, yoga, pilates, etc - are all low impact.  Thats deliberate since my knees, ankles & hips ached so much when I started this journey.    I recently set a goal to start running once I get to 60lbs down.  The thinking goes that I'll be putting a lot less stress on my joints plus adding running in the mix will help me tackle those last 20lbs of my journey.   So this my immediate goal - lose 15lbs so I can get to my next goal.


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