Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I Want To Ride My Bicycle
I rode my bike 32 miles on Saturday. I took Teagan for an almost 2 mile ride to the drugstore and back on Sunday. I did an almost 5 mile ride on my own Sunday evening.
I didn't ride last night because of my dental situation making me feel icky.
Today, I'm already plotting out when I can go ride. I thought about bringing my bike to work and riding at lunch time but there is the possibility of severe weather today so I scratched that plan.
I have to make myself run this week because I'm running a 5K on Saturday. Not just any 5K. This was my first ever 5K last year so this is an important aniversary in my running career.
But I want to ride my bicycle.
I have a friend at work who loves running. He used to be a serious distance runner and is getting back into running and has completed a few 5K's, a half marathon, and is training for a marathon later in the year. He's a decent runner and goes a speed I can only dream of. That half marathon he did? He averaged just under 9 minute miles. I'm lucky to run a mile in 14 minutes on my best day.
He loves getting outside and running. He loves the speed, the movement, the exercise, the push. He feels great while he's running.
I don't love running. I love looking forward to a run (but haven't really felt that excitement to run in a while). I love how I feel after a run. But I don't love running while I'm doing it.
I know I'm still recovering from that half that I did in May. And I knew it would take some time before I got excited about running again. It happened in June 2010 after I ran that first ever 5K. There is something about achieving the goal that leaves me needing some distance from it all.
Unlike last year's let down, this year, I have a new activity stepping in.
When I ride my bike, I feel fast and free and strong. I feel like there are so many places I can go and things I can do. I feel good- even when riding in the rain. During that 32 mile ride on Saturday, I hit some low points. Riding in the rain (and some mud) during the ride was tough but it didn't stop me. I did have some physical stuff to work through in the middle of the ride (weird stitch in my belly) but other than that, I felt good.
And I hadn't trained for that 32 miles. I'd cycled the 5 miles to church on a Wednesday evening a few weeks prior, had dinner, worked out with friends, and then rode the 5 miles home. That was the extent of my training.
If I start taking cycling seriously, I wonder how much I really could do, how far I really could go?
I started running and have gone around 300 miles since I started keeping track in April of 2010.
How many miles will I gain on my bike in the coming year?
I feel like I have a lot to learn about cycling. And I have to be cautious because it would be very easy to drop lots of dollars on various equipment and clothes. It's not a sport I feel I can easily afford. But a few basic investments are already paying off and I only have a couple more things on my list to make cycling a full on family event.
I think that's something I really like about cycling, too. It's something we can do as a family. Teagan is becoming a stronger rider. She needs a bigger bike and will then be ready to learn to ride without training wheels. We are wanting to get a bike trailer so we can take the kids on bike rides together. And with a trailer, we can easily ride to the Farmer's Market, the grocery store, and even church from time to time.
As I rode my bike on Sunday evening, it hit me how good I felt and that I could honestly say that I loved riding my bike. I loved the burn in my thighs and the use of my arm muscles. I loved it as I was doing it. I think that's key to really succeeding in most anything in life, isn't it?
Some of us are runners, some are cyclists, some are swimmers, some are dancers, some are group fitness lovers. Some are elite athletes and some are newbies.
Bottom line is that we all have to find what we love and start working on it.
Sidebar on the Queen song linked above- if you're a fan of Queen, you most likely already know that the original video for this song featured a large group of naked women riding bikes. Personally, I cannot imagine riding a bike naked. I bought special pants with extra padding to cover my naughty bits- no way would I want to hop on a bike naked and truly expose those tender areas to cycling abuse!