Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Training

The weather in the Twin Cities had taken an amazing turn for the better.  Overnight lows had been above the freezing point.  Not only had the temp taken a rise, but the sun came out, the clouds parted, the weekend was upon us, and free time allowed for a bike ride! 

Went out for a relaxing 30 mile ride on Sunday morning.  It was SO nice outside, that later in the day I took a walk around the block with my lovely spouse.  I took advantage of the opportunity and followed up with a ride to work and back on Monday.

On Tuesday morning, I stepped out of bed and could barely walk or stand up straight.  Filled with optimism and enthusiasm, I packed up my bag with clothing for both Tuesday and Wednesday and headed off to physical therapy.  An absolutely grueling back and neck workout/physical therapy session was followed up with a visit with the doctor. The feedback from the doctor helped me focus on the positive, recognizing the accomplishment and progress I've made.

Once at the office, I stored my clothing for Wednesday in the locker and took my 16 flights of stairs to the office. Worked a full day, drove out to visit with my extended family and headed back home.

Lacking a real suitable commuter bike, I have tried using my days of driving to bring in provisions for work. I have been trying to leave clothes at work so that I can ride unladen. For me, the idea sounds better than the practice. I'd much rather carry everything with me than plan a day in advance.

By Wednesday morning, I woke up exhausted and discouraged. I managed to wake up before the alarm went off at 4:45am, but it was a struggle to hobble to bathroom to shower. The warmth of a hot shower was enough to try to stretch in a inadequate attempt to relieve some tightness. Out the door and off in the darkness for my commute to work.

The ride was good. Not that it felt all that great physically to ride, but the mental sense of accomplishment is something so incredibly valuable. Something I don't get a lot of. I feel good having ridden, very much enjoy the solitude of the morning commute. It feels like the one opportunity that I have to relax and sort through things mentally. Riding is such good therapy, something I NEED right now.

I talk myself into circles. I wrestle with balancing my gratefulness, optimism, and frustration. Failing to find clarity, it results in a confused and congested mind and silence. I don't want to say anything, because I have a hard time admitting to myself honestly my level of frustration and disappointment with how I feel.

Thursday was another difficult session of physical therapy. The weights and exercises completely tap me out. I take the attitude and approach while there that I'm going to give it my all, 100% and take advantage of the coaching and equipment that I otherwise would never have access to. A couple of trips up the stairs to my office, a Ramsey County Active Living meeting after work and I was completely tapped by the time I collapsed into bed for the night.

I had high hopes (but unrealistic expectations) that I would somehow find the energy to ride on Friday. I woke up to see the slightest of dustings of snow and that was enough icing on my already well-baked body to convince me to drive. It's been a tough week of training.


nickel said...

Do you need a set of panniers to borrow?

Reflector Collector said...

No thank you... Thanks for the offer!

I have panniers, I have a rack... My bicycle supply is in a state of flux right now. I need to stop waiting for the insurance company and stop waiting for the frame-builder.

I just need to put something together that I can use as a temporary commuter.

nickel said...

I have a Miyata frame (10 speed) that I am no longer using if you are interested. It probably needs a bit of work but it might fit you. My inseam is 32" and I have about 1" of clearance over the top tube (too big for me).

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