Compelled by my ride yesterday, I thought I’d write a little follow-up to Riding with ataxia, Kipp Style: Part 1 and Part 2. Last week topped my all time distances, come time for my ride on Thursday, I felt invincible, the legs were pounding out relatively smooth mies for a change, and I was getting personal records along many of my regular segments.
After logging about 100 miles, and having a full day booked out for Friday, I welcomed a rest day, to let my body catch-up. The plan was to get a long ride in Saturday afternoon, then take Sunday off for one of my nieces first birthday party, and resume the insanity of exercise today. Well, Saturday came, beautiful weather, although windy, Greta and I went out for brunch at a local favorite, Jam, which is also the scene of our first date. One of the great breakfast/brunch spots in Portland, if you don’t mind a little line wait beforehand. Capitalizing on my exercise calorie debt, I went all-out on my ordering, and eating. Big mistake, come time for a ride later on, it wasn’t happening, I should have opted for one of their more healthier options.
So, now the plan was to get up early Sunday morning and get in a quick 20ish mile ride then head to the birthday party in the afternoon. Unfortunately, Greta came down with the crud Saturday evening, and it was only worse by Sunday morning. While we were both looking forward to going to the birthday party, we made the decision to not go expose a bunch of 5 and under little kids to the contagion. That’s not the gift you want to keep on giving!
Having the afternoon open, and wanting to distance myself somewhat from ground-zero, I decided to go for a LONG ride. Again, amazing weather for February, although a bit windy (here’s a picture showing my flag being blown sideways):
That smooth pedaling feeling I was having day 3 and 4 of exercise, however, was gone. Having taken a couple days off, I was feeling the change and it took a good 20 miles before I really felt my legs cooperating again! Not to be dissuaded, I kept at it, and going through all of my snacks, rounded out my longest ride to date, 53 miles. Although my body was nearing dead, my mind felt alive with this accomplishment.
I’m working my updates week schedule this week (evenings), and the plan for this morning was to get up early and go to the gym for some lap swimming. Well, that was great and all, until I actually got out of bed and started my zombie walk to the bathroom. My mind said: “Let’s do this!”, then my body said: “NOPE”, and I went down with a very clear reminder of what I did yesterday.
Consistency. That’s what I need. While I love getting into these longer distances, I think I need to focus on the medium distances, or whatever level will allow me to consistently repeat every day. For me, riding with ataxia rewards consistency, not huge efforts. You’re trying to train your muscles to do this repetitive thing, like learning a new language, repetition seems to pay-off over the long haul.
I’m not saying there won’t be more longer rides, there will, you can count on it, but I think I need to put in some more consistent work leading up to that time, and with the new dream of working towards a triathlon, I am going to try throwing some more lap swimming in the mix. After all, it felt good getting 150 miles logged in a week, I want more of that!