Thursday, April 24, 2008

Anyone got a shovel to scrape me off the floor?

What was I thinking?

I haven't ridden a bike, let alone worked out (I mean something more challanging than a 3 mile leisure walk) since September.

The longest ride I went on last year was 16 miles (with a Booger in tow).

Assuming... well, you know the cliche... left me feeling like a spaghetti noodle left in boiling water for three hours!

Last night, I joined a womens' riding group (free!) that bases out of the new Treads bike shop in Lakewood, CO (NE of the Wads & Hampden intersection). The original plan made by Pam, the leader and Treads employee was to do about 16 miles - a route I did last year w/ the Booger in tow.

Pam is from Florida which means she's used to biking year-round. She's in great shape.

Then Julie shows up. Julie has been a volunteer for Bike America (? I think that's the name) and does rides such as the infamous Triple Bipass. The TB is a loooonnnnngggg ride over Squaw Pass, Loveland Pass and Vail Pass. Basically Evergreen to Vail the hard way. A way that would stress most cars!

Hard Core biker babes + me.

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't keep up for the first 6 miles uphill. Well, I guess the fact that the Booger disconnected my front brake pads and they were squeezing the rim contributed to my slowness.

They whipped my sorry butt up Mount Carbon in Bear Creek Lake Park, I knew they would. I even told them not to feel bad if they wanted to blaze on ahead and leave me behind. I was on my home turf.

Pam doesn't like to drop riders b/c it's all about having fun and the mere DOING the ride that matters. So, at the top, Julie suggested we drop down the SW side of the mountain, loop through the park and take Morrison Road to Kipling where we'd pick up the trail once more.

I think I grunted. What the heck? I did much better than I expected. Aside from the potty break at the top of Carbon, I didn't stop at all for a rest.

32 miles. No-shape me rode 32 miles. I was amazed. Didn't know I could do such a thing so early!

Of course, I've never really ridden with others before - especially others way above my level. Subconsciously, I was motivated to keep going. They never got too far away and even complimented me all over the place. (I must admit I had them on the downhills - LOVE speed!)

When I'm by myself, I allow the fatigue and heavy breathing to get the best of me. I tend not to push through the muscle burn. It hurts (not in an injurous way) and I pull back or turn around. Pushing limits is what makes us grow. Why is that so hard to do alone?

I'm so jazzed up about riding (plus, my PT said I need to ride as much as possible before my surgery to build up my leg muscles) I plan to join Pam et al on Wednesday nights at 6 PM. That way I'm committed to ride hard once each week, and can build up on my own during the week.

Riding is the only physical activity I can do that doesn't inflame my torn cartalige.

PT lady assured me, the stronger I can build my leg up now, the quicker my recovery. We're talking days vs. months. If I put in all the work now, I may be able to climb through my beloved Rickett's Glenn two weeks after surgery when I go to PA.


C.J. Darlington said...

LOVE that photo! :)

Way to go, girl!

Papa Joe said...

Sounds like the experience I had trying to hike Huron with John and Del.

Jan Parrish said...

Wow. You are amazing. Go for it.