Thursday, June 5, 2014

Why isn't biking fun yet?

See those straight elbows? A big no-no.
Last week I was supposed to ride my bike for 1:15 and fit in four work intervals, each four minutes long. I had a route planned at North park that would take me up four good hills. But when I got there, I was wobbly getting on my bike, had trouble clipping in, felt like a rag doll, rode my bike for 12 minutes and then bailed on the workout. I also emailed my coach and my husband and stated I was never riding my bike again.

A few days later I relented from that statement, but the feeling still lingers and I constantly question, "Why don't I enjoy riding my bike?"

I used to like it as a kid. I have ridden bikes in lots of places - I have even biked the circumference of Inishmore in Ireland! So why is riding such an scary thing now?

It's more complex than just being scared though. My feels range from "doing good" to "slightly nervous" to "freaking out" then back to "struggling." And it's not really about my fitness level, though there is some fear there that I'm not strong enough to tackle some of the steeper hills around here. There's also a fear that I am not in control of the bike, that I'm going to go too fast, or make a mistake and crash.

Most people would say the fear of crashing is not unreasonable, but I think I've let it grow a bit out of proportion. Most people would also say, "just don't bike." But I like triathlons and I keep thinking that more experience will make me feel better. There are tiny glimmers. I climbed a tough hill once already this summer.

My bike is in the shop getting a slightly shorter (2cm) stem. My coach and I are hoping the shorter fork will help me have better form and feel "more comfortable" when I ride. I'm using that phrase as a substitute for "not feel scared."

I have made some plans with my coach to change the way I approach bike workouts. And in the meantime, I'm going to think about how lucky I am to even be able to ride my bike. And I'm going to wish my coach all the luck in the world as she tackles Race Across America as a member of Team PHenomenal Hope. You must check this event out. I'm going to think about the riders and people with pulmonary hypertension the next time I don't feel like biking! And of course I'm going to donate.

Here's the video: