Sunday, January 12, 2014

Today's ride

In which I learn something about myself (again).

I am a competitive person. Since the migraines began in earnest in June, I have had a difficult time getting back on the bike; except for commutes, many of my rides have been cut short or slowed down because of headaches. In discussing strategies for the upcoming TNT season, G pointed out the tendency toward headaches with each ride as a big concern. Even if everything else works out perfectly, it's possible that I just won't be able to put in the miles.

With that kicking around in my mind, I was worried about the ride this morning. I thought about offering an alternative to the usual ride, to allow for a shorter route. Instead, I rode the path, which allowed me to get in the same number of miles, on flatter terrain but without a group to "chase". I also was sure to wear the HRM. I was lucky to ride with C the entire time, so I had company that was willing to keep it nice and mellow. After the out-and-back--all along the path--I felt amazing. The heart rate stayed in a reasonable range, I felt really good, and I never even had the inkling of a headache.

Now, one point is merely an anecdote, but I am still cautiously optimistic. I think the problems with headaches from when I got back on the bike (after a dramatic loss of fitness) through today has been frustration. My running hadn't suffered, but the bike fitness had, and mentally I've tried to translate the running to the bike. That is, I know where I want to be, where everyone else is, and where I "should" be. That's not where I actually am, and I've been riding too hard by trying to keep up, and I think that exertion has been causing problems. Just because I *can* ride at that level (physically, cardiovascularly) doesn't mean I should. Not yet.

My plan, then, is to ride the rides and miles I should be riding, at the pace I should be riding, and at the efforts I should be riding, and not those I want to. It will be difficult sometimes, but given how great I feel today (and how lousy I've felt after rides where I haven't done that), there should be some strong contingencies in play. One factor to consider is who else will be on these rides, but once the Team starts training, I will have others who are rebuilding their fitness that I can tag along with, and will have plenty of company. And, if it doesn't work out, I can kick the fundraising money raised over to G. It's win-win.

See the details here. It's about getting quality miles in, and enjoying them. That happened today (thank goodness).