16 January, 2011

Off season blues (or confusion)

So maybe it's not really off-season. Base period is more like it. Riding the trainer as much as I can, even if it's a short session. Tuesdays and Thursdays are great because the club puts on the Trainer Tours, so at least you can sweat along with 40 or so friends.

I don't want to complain about the weather. It's winter and is supposed to be cold and snowy and stuff. Makes us appreciate those 100F days. Seems not only do I have issues with staying upright on a bicycle, I also have trouble with the whole walking thing. Last Saturday I went bowling with friends. Great time! They are some lively people, that's for sure. It's nice to be included. After bowling we headed to our cars. I'm walking towards mine and hit some black ice. Both feet fly forward and I land on my arse, square just above the tailbone. Everyone helped me up, asked about my well being and I insisted I was fine. Once I got to my van and started pulling out of the parking lot I began to cry. That fall really hurt. Such a big baby, I cried all the way home. 

I was so tender and sore. On Sunday the act of sitting down or standing up was misery. Once I got to either position I was fine, for the most part. I didn't get on my bike again til Thursday. I was ok for the most part at the Trainer Tour. Supposed to keep my HR in aerobic area so didn't work real hard. Last ten minutes my bum was getting sore. Saturday I finally got outside to ride, first time since New Year's weekend! I rode the club ride, to and fro. Got in 27 miles. It was cold at the start, but we warmed up quick. The wind was fierce in places, but that's what riding outside is all about, right? The elements. I felt pretty good, last ten miles my butt was tired however I didn't care.

This morning I finally got to ride my mtn bike again. Twenty showed up at the fire roads of Deam Lake. We split into two groups, fast and not so. Temps were about 28, but I think it was colder at the top. There was a pretty good covering of snow and it was crunchy. As always, my heart rate spiked while riding on the paved road to the trail head. I think it's the 26" wheels, you spin a lot more which increases breathing and HR. I was feeling great at the beginning. People ahead of me were in sight. There were climbs, but offset by downhills. We got a little bunched up in some places. Eventually though the climbs outnumbered the descents. I just couldn't keep up with everyone (or catch back up). With each hill I had to pull and each time I pulled my butt started hurting more. Finally the last one passed me and I was the caboose. Only problem was that this was posted as no drop. Always puts some pressure on the last one (psychologically self imposed, not by anyone else). One of my friends had turned back, having a not so great morning. Finally, I reach a point where everyone had stopped to wait and regroup. I had no idea how long they'd been waiting. But as soon as I arrived they started again. No time to really catch my breath. This is where self imposed guilt comes in. I wanted to rest a bit, but it was cold and was sure everyone was getting cold. Not a good thing when riding. I heard one of the guys on the front say that this was going to be a long ascent, but nothing real steep. It took about 5 minutes, maybe less and everyone was out of sight. Another 5 minutes and my quads starting burning. I shifted gears and tried to find a sweet spot, just never seemed to get there. Then I hear bikes behind me. The fast group had gone a different route, but then came on this one. One by one they caught and passed me. I think I was off my bike taking a breather while one passed. He asked if I was ok. Yep, I'm fine. I would clear a hill to see more empty trail ahead of me. I wondered how far ahead everyone was, but there was no way for me to know. I never saw any of the rest of them except for one. He was leading our group. I got almost to the top of the trailhead to the pavement and he was coming towards me, asked if I was ok. I said yeah. He said the others had gone ahead to do an out and back. I asked which way to go to head back to the cars. My heartbeat had been in my ears the whole ride to this point and my quads were aching like crazy and my butt was outright hurting. I just wanted to recover and get warm. 

He pointed me to a trail I knew. It was downhill most of the way and I got very cold. It was exhilarating though. I flew down much faster than I had the two previous times in the snow. 

So, not sure what to do or think. I love to ride my mtn bike. It's probably not smart to ride the fire roads alone. (not sure I'm very smart) But I won't ride with that group again, not for a long time. I don't know, but today I was no where near their fitness level. I'm sad. I want to ride and have fun. I'm shocked at how out of shape I felt today. 

I changed clothes at the van, cranked the heat and drove home. I shivered the whole way. I shivered for 30 minutes after I got home. I'd commented on my facebook status that "I'd like someone to fix me some hot chocolate please". A friend said that was a high maintenance comment. I don't think I'm high maintenance. I was being silly since there's no one here but me. I fixed my hot chocolate and fell asleep. I slept over an hour! which is crazy since I slept 8 last night.

I really am not sure how to feel. I try to do the things I say that I will do. Maybe I need to understand what other people's definitions of things are. I'm conflicted. I thought no drop meant no one would ride alone at the back. At the same time I would've felt worse if someone had had to be with my slow ass. 

I don't make plans and not show without a call. I do my very best to follow through. I should stop with my expectations. I need to be realistic, both about what other people say and do as well as what I'm capable of doing athletically. 

But I don't want to resign myself to mediocrity! I need to understand what's up with my fitness. I'm not thrilled about today's performance. I have tomorrow off. Maybe I can ride trails early and then the road bike later in the day.

I have signed up to do this fun thing in March with a fellow lady Rogue-racer. I need more base miles to prep for it (as well as the racing season ahead). Sub9 Death March is going to be a FUN thing. plain and simple. two-person teams riding 50-60 miles on fire roads, single track and pavement searching for cemeteries. Maybe I should take the cross bike back up to Deam Lake. If the ice melts.



maggie said...

thanks for being real sherri! this is how i feel when i ride w/ faster better riders than me. this is how I feel the day of or before or after my...special friend visits. when i was racing yesterday i cussed so much, got passed a lot. was totally down on myself asked why i do this. but when it's all over (whether it be the hard ride, the race, the whatever), I ask....when can i go again?!?!

You had a set back w/ your fall. you are doing something you have never done in your life....pushing yourself to the edge. i admire you for what you're doing. you inspire me to do better too.

Sherri said...

Thanks Maggie. I just write how I feel mostly. Riding bicycles, all kinds of bicycles, is the 2nd best pleasure I can get out of life. The whole time I was riding I refused to get discouraged and I'm not going to quit. I will keep pedaling, but doubt very seriously that I'll ever shut up. :)

We should all get out there and have fun! as much fun as possible

Mary Sunshine said...


I know the feeling about wondering WHY when I try so hard, do I struggle so hard to keep up with others???

It hurts and then driving home alone where nobody will offer any comfort, hurts even worse.

Shake it off if you can. There are plenty of other groups where something like this would note happen.

Next long weekend, let's meet halfway and I'll see if I can borrow Karen's mountain bike...maybe snag Debbbie...and you guys can both laugh hilariously at my inability to stay upright....but I'm in for two significant crashes and then we switch to the road bikes. OK?


Heather said...

OK, Sherry. You are bad ass for going out there in the cold and snow, ESPECIALLY with a bruised bum!

You describe my MTB rides to a tee.... I am always the caboose and as soon as I catch up to the group, they take off. I've been told that this is how one becomes faster, by riding with faster people and not getting any breathers. It makes me mad and discouraged too... but I push on because I LOVE riding my MTB. Am I any faster? hahahahaha, not really!

Also.. since we are a team for the SUB-9... you HAVE to wait up for me and my non-climbing self. LOL! Any clue what kind of elevation we may encounter in those 50-60miles?

Sherri said...

Mary, I'm willing to meet you guys somewhere. I'm not sure what is half-way. Will have to research that. Maybe Butler State park? But no lasting sour grapes about this group. They are good peeps. I haven't ridden enough and was struggling more than usual today for sure.

Heather, we will ride together because it's a team event and we are doing this to have F.U.N. !!!
I do not know about total elevation, but we will suffer together. How about we try to find a Sat or Sun soon that we can go ride some of it? We have the map, doesn't need to be the entire loop or maybe we do. There are still other cemeteries not on the map that we have to check in so we won't have much advantage.