Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The Bike Ride: An Analogy
This is me with my bike...and my girlfriends that also rode with my last Saturday. It was suppose to be a simple 50 mile bike ride through a pretty flat area around Richmond, VA. I say simple because last year I rode 100 miles for the same race, not so simple. Also, everyone touts how "flat" it is.
We took off on time but before we were even a mile out we hit the two toughest hills that were on the course. Now, I knew these hills where here because we started from my half way point last year and I remember them. But, my riding partner didn't encounter these last year because we started on the other side of the race course. Why do I ramble so...well this can be a shock to your body when you're not warmed up. When I finished the two hills my legs were not happy and I was breathing heavy. I slowed my pace warmed up and moved forward. There was a stiff breeze but we were moving.
We stopped at the first rest stop, took on water and moved on. By this time the wind had picked up and the trees where whipping around. The next area we rode through was a beautiful park, however because of the wind there were small branches falling all over and most of them you could not avoid. Sharing the rode does not allow you to swerve to avoid all things.
At mile 27 we stopped at our next rest stop. I had just refilled my water bottles and had 1/2 a pj&j. I was talking to the other girls when you heard a VERY LOUD POP. Everyone heard it...and it sounded like it came from the area over where I had laid my bike. As I walked my way over there I found out that my tire had exploded. This is VERY unusual. It's standard to carry a tube and air in case you flat on a course but people don't bring spare tires. The mechanics on site didn't have any but said they thought someone out on the course may but they didn't know which mile marker. I thought my day might be through. The SAG support car took my car back to the start and I rode with my friends husband who was at the rest stop with her kids.
Don't stop here there is more. So when I got to the beginning I find the mechanic that was set up as support for the 50 mile rest stop for the 100 mile riders come from the other side. After a little bit of confusing the realized that I was from out of town and really wanted to get back out on the course and finish my ride. And that's what I did.
I called my friends to tell them I was going back to the rest stop I had ended but they asked me to come meet them at the next rest stop they had just got to. It's a good thing I did. It was so windy that we needed each others help to finish the race.
So here is my analogy. There are several things I could have done that I didn't. Sometimes when I'm first faced with a challenge or trial that is hard I just throw the towel in and give up. Some people may have seen that first hills and thought are you kidding me I just can't do it. But guess what. Sometimes you just have to get started to get headed towards your goal.
I could have stopped at mile 27 and said. My day is done. I'll do this another time. I've had so many days that I've eaten something I should have and said oh well and then just started chowing on anything I could get my hands on. I'd tell my self I'd start tomorrow again or next week instead of forgiving myself, thinking mmm that was good but stay on track for the rest of the day. No, I forged forward fixed my problem and got back on the course. Yes, I missed part of the race but I didn't quit. Even if they would not have been able to fix my tire at least I tried.
The last 14 miles of the race were brutality windy. We were all getting whipped all over the place. After we dropped one of our friends I felt the need to go back and get her. It's not easy to ride in the wind alone and when you are trying to do something that is challenging you need support to keep you going. When I got to my friend I told her to ride on my wheel and let me know if I got to far ahead. She stayed right there. We were one anothers support. Could we both have finished on our own? Yes, but were were more successful doing it together, Just like this blog...yes, we could do what we are doing on our own but with each other we don't feel alone and are less likely to give up when it's hard.
I only finished 41 or the 51 miles but I did it. I could have stopped. I still burned over 2100 calories and felt not a single bit of guilt eating the cookies they provided along with BBQ pork sandwiches at the end of the race. I also didn't feel guilt eating cheese and bacon on my baked potato that night or the small bowl of ice cream I had at 10pm to keep me going until midnight. Sometimes hard work reaps it's rewards.
I had been thinking about this analogy when I stumbled yesterday. It was my son's 5th birthday and I had been preparing myself to take him to CheeBurger CheeBurger for his birthday dinner. He had been asking to go there since October and we don't go very often because there are very few healthy options, it's a bit more expensive and in my opinion the healthier options are not very good.
Everything was going well until I ate one of those large chocolate chip cookies from Costco. He had taken them to school and their were left overs. I had a little panic and then thought well I should just take a free day and start eating, but then I thought about my little analogy again and didn't. I stopped right there and didn't have another thing. We went to dinner and I had a small hamburger with no fries.
I knew with a killer workout I'd be within my calories so I put the boys in bed and got on the trainer and rode for 1 hour 15 minutes. I didn't sabotage myself with one cookie and I didn't start to beat myself up either. I took a minute to think and made a new plan.
I hope that when you all have moments like this you can move forward and not quit. You're body and your mind will thank you for it.