#bikehour – 1/22/2015 – “changing limitations”

January 22, 2015

Extended the streak to 6 days today, although I still cannot claim it’s real easy for me, yet.

Got in 10.7 miles.

Start time and conditions were pretty much identical to yesterday. Around 4:30-5 AM, in Ottawa, and start temp roughly 26-28 degrees. Wore same outfit but this time forgot lip balm, and felt its absence pretty early on the ride.  Otherwise, generally pretty comfy.  Feet *slightly* chilly but not bad.  I recently bought a much thicker pair of wool socks which I will employ on colder rides (or same temp + longer mileage).

The route was a somewhat disjointed one. South a few blocks to 15th street, east on that, past the graveyard and over some rollers. This road has some rollers and some gradients, but alas only goes for a few miles before the pavement turns to hard rocky gravel. I’m not enthused to take my current bike over that, so the planned route was to approach this border, then turn back, then down the road by the graveyard, which loops up and around, by Wal Mart, and then Main St (59) back home. That’s what I did.

Only 10.7 miles but it wasn’t the easiest. For one, the rollers at the start took some out of me. For two, probably more significantly, went to gym yesterday for first time in some weeks. Differently from my customary routine, I went in the EVENING, after work. I was blown away by how much harder the workout felt ( = unpleasant) after a hard day’s work, contrasted with pre-work morning workout. I got through it fine, but was tired after, and then this morning, having only 12 or so hours elapsed versus 24 hours had to have an effect.

Again, as with the bike aspect itself, easier times are coming, and the body is just going through an adapting period.

A good segue to inventory the challenges I recognized in returning to fitness from the condition I was in, and where I am now with those.

Following my descent into depression, horrible eating, and just general disinterest following my mom’s passing, I reached a pretty sorry state fitness-wise. Among the challenges I knew faced me were overcoming the apathy and finding the enthusiasm again; finding the “courage” or confidence to ride again in public while feeling like I probably look out there like I am working as hard as I am; muscular endurance and cardio; the sheer weight itself; and, one which I didn’t realize was specifically how weary my arms would be in supporting my heavier frame on the bike which it was unaccustomed to doing.

Fast forward 6 daily rides now. The arm weariness thing is MUCH better. Certainly the apathy has been put to pasture and the enthusiasm is back. Similarly I no longer have the same dread of riding in public that I felt (progressively more strongly) during my descent. Together, those were THE biggest hurdle, actually. The weight itself – well, it’s coming around, of course, and will be gradual. I can feel the last several days that I am moving in the right direction.

Now we’re mostly down to cardio and muscular endurance – the legs being willing to keep working consistently over the course of steadily longer rides and day after day, and the cardio/stamina to improve apace so that the energy is there. Right now this represents the biggest limitation. But like the others, I’ll get there! Easier days are coming. The magic of being able to hop on the bike and ride X miles over more/less any terrain is not terribly far away. Maybe weeks, maybe even a couple months – but I’m reeling it back.

Notable music: “Control” by VNV Nation was the first song Pandora gave me. Probably my least favorite song on my most favorite album of theirs, so, there ya go. Some hitherto unknown, very cool song that mixed drum and bass with choir-style vocals came on and was awesome. Another Nephilim song, this one slower and quieter, provided the wind-down soundtrack to my return to the house. Musically the highlight was undoubtedly “The Scientist” by Coldplay, which came on roughly midway. “Nobody said it was easy / No one ever said it would be this hard / Oh take me back to the start.” Perfectly appropriate for this rebuilding era I’m working hard to graduate from.

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