Tag: cycling

Alexandra and the Terrible Horrible Day – almost

The sun snuck through the windows. Ugh. Morning came to early. I checked the clock. 6:10. Ugh. It was already late. The morning workout should’ve already started.
I hated that the daylight hours were getting this short. I couldn’t tell what it was. The later sunrises? Maybe not having a next race or end of the season blah? Maybe my period or some pre-menopause shenanigans? Maybe ragweed? Maybe low iron? I don’t know what it was, but I was so blah.

It was supposed to be a swim / run day.* But I switched my weekly long run to the next morning, so that didn’t make sense. “I’ll bike.” I thought.  The morning was chilly. I forgot my arm warmers. I didn’t want to drive less than a mile to the pool. I didn’t want to walk. Ugh. Stupid day.

Caffeine helped. I’d bike to the pool, swim, and then bike after.

I pulled on my swimsuit and then reached for the kit I’d laid out for the morning. Short sleeves. Too cold. Ugh.

“Oh screw it!” I pulled the tags off my pretty new Betty skin suit. It was far too pretty for this crappy workout and I just didn’t care, it had long sleeves. I pulled it up and and zipped it over my swimsuit. I paused and sat back down on the bed. This wasn’t what I wanted to do.

*Why the hell was today “supposed” to be a swim day? Says who? I’ve got no coach. No training plan. Not even any triathlons on the schedule. It would be over a week since I was last in the pool, but really…”supposed to be a swim day”???

“Oh screw it!” I unzipped, took off my swimsuit, and pulled the skinsuit back on. I was just doing the bike ride. But not on the road. Of course I broke my cyclocross bike earlier in the week. What I had was my old mountain bike. Crap. I didn’t take the pedals off my bike when I turned it over to the Bike Guy’s care. But I was so not going on the road,  so flat pedals would just have to do.

You know those days… When you can’t get out of you’re own way? When you can’t get all the things you need to leave the house in the same place at the same time? When you think going back to bed might be the safest thing to do? When you want to cry because you hate how you feel, but you can’t make it stop and you think you just might be broken? It was one of those.

As I slowly pedaled away from the house, my phone rang. It was Jason. “My old pedals are in the tool box.” (This is cycling couple speak for “I love you. It’s going to be okay.”)

With pedals changed, I rolled out for the second time. My legs were heavy and tired. (moping is exhausting)

I came to the end of the pavement and all I saw was a sky filling with rising sun.

I usually stay on the hard packed, rocky beach road on my cx bike, but because I broke my bike, this morning I had the wheels for the beach. I rode for however long on the sand, right at the water’s edge,  seeing no one.

I almost chose the bad day. This was all right here and I almost chose the crappy, down-on-myself, can’t-find-a-thing, what’s-the-point day.

Play. I must remember to play. I must remind myself that immersing myself in the outside makes me happy. It is simple, it is free, it restores – it’s so hard to remember!

Scenes from the Terrible, Horrible Bad Day that wasn’t:

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I almost chose a crappy day over all of this. Inertia is tough! 🙂


Fatbike Time Machine

When I hopped off my mountain bike, a couple of weeks ago, I confirmed my carefully reasoned decision that I didn’t need another bike. More specifically, that I didn’t need a fatbike.

Between my cyclocross bike and my mountain bike I was really all set. There wasn’t much terrain I couldn’t tackle with one or the other. I hadn’t been on it in a while, but the mtb handled crusty snow trails very well. Plus with gravel kings on the road bike, there was no real potential of missing any possible winter riding. And the reality was that as a tri geek, I spend most of my winter on the trainer chasing watts, anyway.

Done. Although tempting, I felt great with the decision. Moving on.

Fast forward a few weeks. My friends, who did not subscribe to the same carefully reasoned decision, declared that we’d be riding fatbikes for our ride and that they’d borrowed one for me. There was no protesting.

We met. We ran. We got dressed to ride. We hopped on the fatbikes. We pedaled.

I’m fairly certain that what I was on was a fatbike time machine and I was back in the time before careful reason and rationalization were valued or required for any decision.

“wanna make a fort?” “yes.”
“wanna see if we can dig a hole to China?” “yes!”
“wanna build a ramp and jump our bikes over Angie’s little brother?” “of course!”

There was no asking why. It might be fun. No rationalizing. Just “wanna.”

It was the same on this fatbike…

“wanna see where that trail goes?” “yes.”
“wanna see if we can ride over those bushes?” “yes!”
“wanna ride through that stream and that mud?” “yes…I really do.”

That bike was about as fun as anything ever was! I laughed for most of the ride. I laughed when I looked at my friends on their huge bikes barreling up and down hills, over logs, off trails and into the woods. Like grown up, big kids, we were thrilled to find a wooden bridge or fallen logs. Everything had potential for fun. Terrain that would have caused me to pause and worry about safety or brakes on my cross or mountain bike was just another invitation for fun. Fatbike fun

The forest became one giant “wanna!”  

I had felt content in my carefully reasoned decision that I did not need a fatbike. But seriously does anyone not need this kind of fun in their lives?

“wanna fatbike!”


*special thanks to Steve the Bike Guy for the fatbike rental & to his son for letting me borrow his for my first trip (of many) on the Fatbike Time Machine

A short love story

“If Trainer Intervals inTentyou’re lucky enough to have someone who will grind out a bunch of intervals on the fluid trainer with you in the dark at 5:45am,
you’re lucky enough.”

~ inTent & inLove

Recovery Ride – the Cycle of Gratitude

Workout:  Recovery Ride
Type: Bike
Planned Duration: 0:45
Description: Reintroduce yourself to your road bike or thank your tri bike for a wonderful season. Exceedingly easy effort throughout.

All I need is a cape & a tiara
c. Curly Girl Designs

Before I started working with Coach Kelsey, the day after a race was a workout free, rest day. Now I do a recovery ride. Recovery ride = “stay in the small chain ring, spin and just get the lactic acid out of the legs”.

I was reluctant to give up my day of rest, but I’ve found that these rides do indeed improve my post-race recovery. (My coach is wicked smaht.)

I hopped on my bike for a computer free, easy spin, the day after my last race. The workout note, “thank your tri bike for a wonderful season” was my thought loop as I set out. I chose a pretty route for the morning. It had more left turns and stops than my training routes, but pretty was the goal – not fast.

I was thankful for my bike.  I do love it. I’m so comfortable on it now – especially compared to the beginning of the season when I first tried the aeroposition. (I was truly petrified)

The previous day’s race replayed in my brain. It’s amazing to think that I can complete a triathlon and be out here this morning with so much ease and comfort.  The progress I’ve made in the past 2 years feels awesome. I’m happy.  I thoroughly enjoy the new people I’ve met and get to hang out with on race days.

I am so amazed and happy that I’d been so healthy throughout the season. I had a few niggles here and there, but nothing that didn’t heal with an extra day of rest and a foam roller. No sprained ankles or shoulder issues – just awesome.

I pedaled for 45 minutes (give or take a few). Spinning easy and smiling and looking for things to be thankful for. I spend so much time focused on what I can improve – for some future race. It felt like I great stretch for an over-used muscle.

The recovery ride is going to be a fixture in my training from now on. I’ve renamed it the gratitude cycle.

Workout:  Gratitude Cycle
Type: Bike
Planned Duration: 0:45
Description: Stay in the small chain ring, spin and just get the lactic acid out of the legs. Reflect on all that you have to be grateful for. Exceedingly easy effort throughout.

“If we don’t feel grateful with what we already have, what makes us think we will be happy with more?” 

Letting Go of the Perfect Workout

inTent on VacationWhat’s wrong with this picture? It’s a beautiful day. No rain, no snow, mild temperatures in the mid-70s…and I’m on a fluid trainer. While I spin away at least ten other “riders” cycle past me…on my fluid trainer.

As they pass, I think about how I “should” be on the road today. I try to rework the day’s schedule in my head. I should’ve gotten up earlier so I could’ve done both my swim and my ride. I should’ve done the ride in the early morning and then squeezed the pool into the afternoon plans, somehow. I sure Kelsey would be on the road today.  Ugh, if I was really as committed to my training…

What you can’t see in this picture are my kids, but they’re there. They’re on the other side of the screen door, mostly getting along nicely. In addition to training, I have the secondary task of refereeing. Will bonked Hannah on the head. Hannah’s not letting Will see the screen and he can’t see the video. Will’s turn is longer than Hannah’s.

The whining and peace-keeping adds an interesting dimension to intervals. For sure it isn’t perfect.  It is damn good, though.

So why do I do this to myself? I was in the pool at 6:00am and had a great workout. I’m here on my trainer, working hard and focusing on my goal to improve my cycling strength. And I’m beating myself up by comparing myself to stories that I’m making up about other people. Contrary to some competitive thinking – this isn’t motivating me to dig in and train harder. I’m just feeling badly about the good work that I’m doing, right now.

No one likes feeling this way. I don’t want to ruin the workout. It’s time to “cough up that hairball” of crappy thinking and refocus.

 1. I’m an amateur athlete. I compete against other amateur athletes. We all have lives and responsibilities outside of triathlon. I like this about my fellow tri peeps.
2. I have other options. I could add more childcare, but I really don’t want to. I choose to mash-up my training with my family life. It makes me happy.
3. It’s called a PR. Personal Record. It’s not a record for training in someone else’s life or anyone else’s body. It’s doing my best with my own life, my own training, my own ability, and my own circumstances.

Hairball gone, I focus on pushing through the burning in my legs. I enjoy the view of the salt marshes across the road and the occasional cyclist and runner passing. I smile at the complaints about the slow internet and stalled videos as they sail through the screen door.  I take extra special pleasure in my 10 year old daughter’s warning that people are going look at me funny in the driveway. I’m letting go of perfect, and it’s damn good.

As a sports performance coach, I know this stuff. As a human being, I forget, I’m human.