I want to ride my (mom’s) bicycle, I want to ride my (mom’s) bike!
I have been on exactly three runs in the last month – the Just A Short Run half marathon, one short, early AM run alone, and a 6-mile run with friends on Saturday. This has totally sucked for a bunch of reasons.
For one, I’ve been frustrated that I haven’t been able to run consistently because I still have to take off the weight I gained over the holidays. (We’re now more than 25% of the way to reaching the holidays yet again, so this is decidedly not good.)
Next, as I’ve mentioned, running is my stress reliever. So my mood has been anywhere from mediocre to just flat crappy.
Finally, my 5:00 AM runs with my friends get me moving several days a week. This might be the very best benefit of my running routine for me. When I run at 5:00, I not only get up and moving earlier, I have time enough to get showered and all ready before the kiddoes get up. Often, I’m able to even squeeze in some work (either in the house or otherwise) before I have to get the girls started on their days. I get so much more accomplished on running days. Yes, the extra time in the morning helps, but something about getting up and getting a run in at 5 o’clock in the morning makes you feel ready to kick the day’s ass. It’s more time and more of the right attitude that makes these days among my best.
These last few weeks that I’ve not been able to run, I’ve been sleeping later and moving more slowly through my days. Even before I got instructions from the orthopedic doctor that I can’t run for an additional three weeks, I’d intended to buy a group fitness pass for classes at the Aerobic Center, so that I wouldn’t have to worry about paying by the class, but I could get back to doing something. I finally did pick up a pass the day I went to the doctor. The good news is that there are classes I can attend – and participate in while wearing The Shoe – on Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. That will definitely help. But I was still itching to get out some more.
Here’s the rub. The time available to me for (consistently) working out is 5:00 AM until about 7:00 AM, when Bob leaves for school. So even though I now have access to a bike, since I’m not a seasoned rider, I can’t simply head out of my house on a ride like I can for a run. And I can’t wait for daylight, when I’d feel safe hitting the Five Star Trail, because that’s when I am either with Cora or I have other activities to attend to. So I had this Eureka! yesterday, that I could take the bike to Lynch Field at 5:00 AM and ride (like a Shriner) ~1700 laps around the little, inner bike track. (It’s maybe ~1/4 mile in length ) Brilliant solution! Perfect for a bike-riding beginner, right? Not so much.
At 4:55 this morning, I knew that it was raining. What I didn’t know, until I backed out of the garage, was how hard it was raining. But I was up and in the car already, so I went, anyway. (A woman who was walking the track said to me as I was walking my bike over, “I thought I was brave!” I said, “Yeah, you are brave – I’m flat crazy!”)
***For an image of a completely different flooded bike track – and a good laugh – please click here.
It wasn’t quite that bad. Or that funny.***
Let me just add that when weather.com says that it’s 60 degree and it feels like 60 degrees but it’s raining, weather.com is lying. Sixty degrees, wet, in the dark of 5:00 AM does not feel like 60 degrees. More like 40. Forty-five, tops. Also, I learned that the dinky little bike track has lots of dips along it that collect A. Lot. of water. (Why didn’t I take pictures?) But again. I was already there, so what the hell.
I don’t know how many times I went around the track. Maybe a dozen or so. But it didn’t take me that long to determine that 5:00 AM biking on that track is not an effective Plan B. Even without the rain, which left me with feet that were completely soaked, the track is too flat and too short to be an effective workout. With the bike set on the “hardest” gears (the only way I know how to identify them right now), it was barely any work at all. And the straight-aways aren’t long enough to build up any significant amount of speed. (Also there’s this little series of ripples in the track just before one of the turns that would certainly injure my butt if I rode over them going very fast.)
The good news is that, if nothing else, the biking idea got me out of bed and moving this morning. The bad news is that I now need a Plan C.
Which is making me reassess my level of crazy.
I want to get up and work out in some capacity so much that I am really considering where else I might be safe to ride at 5:00 AM. Do I feel confident enough to ride around my neighborhood? I do know from running that there is virtually no traffic. But even if automobiles aren’t an obstacle, what if something else goes wrong? What if I screw up while shifting and knock the chain off the bike or something like that? Is there anywhere else I might feel safe riding, like the parking lots around the nearby shopping centers?
I’m actually caught off guard by 1) how quickly I got interested in riding this bike, and 2) how anxious I am to get up early and exercise while I have a pretty solid excuse to sleep in and take it easy. I guess that makes me pretty proud of myself. It also makes me feel confident that I will come up with some effective solution.
I’m hoping to get on the trail to ride this weekend – possibly with my dad. Maybe if I’m feeling really crazy, I will try some non-level surface, as well. Kind of anxious to see what the future holds for me and my (mom’s) bike.
I really am a half-wit.