I hadn’t been on my bike since May. Once I hurt my hip, I quit trying to ride at all, much less get in any long rides. So when my friend Emily asked me to help her get back on her bike for the first time in years, I took the invitation as the opportunity to get back out on mine. Long story short, an easy and fun 6-mile ride with her during the week prompted me to ride again on Sunday morning. I hopped out of bed, threw on my biking clothes, and went for a solo ride down Creek Road in Dripping Springs. It was beautiful and so much fun. The best part was that I craved a ride. I didn’t do it because I had to. I did it because I wanted to.
That’s the danger of Ironman training or any race-oriented training. Workouts sometimes go from something you get to do to something that has to be done given the impending deadline of a race. Not working out could mean not finishing, so fear of the DNF makes the workout happen. It’s always good to get the workout in, but it’s not always enjoyable to get up and get moving. It’s eventually fun once I’m in the thick of the workout, but the idea isn’t appealing. It’s burdensome at times.
For me, it was a lovely feeling on Sunday morning to actually want to get out on my bike, not because I have a race coming up – because I don’t – but because I wanted to experience just being on my bike. I wanted to ride. And I did. I rode for an hours and ten minutes and covered almost 18 miles. I averaged over 15 mph, which surprised me because I’m usually aiming for that in a race. How did I manage that after more than a couple of months of not riding? Has my overall fitness improved, despite the extended period of rest? Or was I just having fun? I don’t know.
What I do know is that I’m energized about my workouts. I’m looking forward to being active, whether it’s a ride or run on my own, a run with my friends, a run with my trail running group, or a spin class at the gym. I haven’t gotten back in the water yet since my hip improved. That’ll be the next step for me. The idea of swimming again also excites me. I miss my swim program. Maybe it’s time to rejoin.