Terii’s Cycling Babble

By the Skin of My Teeth
March 2, 2015, 7:12 am
Filed under: Day Rides

I made the goal. After my last post, I pushed myself out the door for the 24, 26 and 28th. It was hard and frustrating.

See? A pretty day

See? A pretty day

Not much to say about the ride on the 24th. It was a pretty day with temps around 38 F and moderate winds. The kind of day I would have loved to spend further out into the countryside and give Loke a real work out.

River Loops for him are tedious walks really. He’s bored with them if he’s on the trike. If he’s walking with Jens in these areas, he gets to run forward and back on an 8 meter flexi-leash while sniffing around for interesting things. My average speed on the trike is probably comparable to Jens’ pace on foot, only Loke is stuck right next to me. Some moments, I hit 10+ mph, but then there are times when it’s just so hard to keep moving and it drops to 3-ish mph or worse.

The fact I pushed it for 4.4 miles was down to determination. When my legs feel exhausted before I’ve finished the first mile, it just sucks the joy and willingness to go right down the drain.

Bizarrely, on the morning of the 25th, I hurt all through the muscles from the waist down. Can’t remember the last time I felt that level of overworked muscle stiffness and ache. Pre-stroke, I think I would have needed a vigorous 30 mile ride at my top speed without Loke followed by about 50 squats. Baffled me to no end. Certainly it couldn’t have been the measly 4.4 miles.

If it lingered, I wasn’t going to let it stop me though. Even if all I did was pedal around the block for 1 or 2 miles, I was going out that door to make every-other-day this week.

Thankfully, very little of the mystery ache remained on the morning of the 26th. It was another pretty day with temps apparently bouncing around between 38 and 42 F. Still no improvement in how I felt while riding. Legs exhausted before the first mile was even up. Loke, bless his furry little heart, did his best to help, but average speed still hovering around low end of the 4 mph range. Ended up, again, with just the 4.4 miles of the river loop.

It left me feeling very low. Jens asked how the ride was when I staggered back in the door. He blinked when I replied, ‘It sucked, it blew and every other description of bad.’ He asked worriedly was something wrong with the trike? (No.) Something happened with Loke? (No.) Then what was it? I told him the primary engine was crap. He gave me a hug and suggested maybe I needed more than 1 day rest before the next ride. Maybe I’m not eating enough protein and other suggestions.

I told him maybe I would take a 2 day break, but only after I did the ride on Saturday. So often I set goals and fall short. This shouldn’t have been the struggle it was, but there was only one left and short of hospitalization, I was going to make it.

Friday, Jens helped with the rest day as much as working from home allowed. I only had to take Loke for one very short walk while he was mired in conference calls. He even went shopping for the fixings for our steak dinner. Came back with prime cuts of beef sourced locally with potatoes au gratin for him and fixings for a nice salad for me. My usual potato sides to such beefy meals has been curtailed for a while until I get my cholesterol down.

Saturday came around. I remained in a low mood, but dragged myself out the door around 9:30. Jens drove us to the storage as parking in the area scarce on weekends, especially in the mornings.

He hung around as I got the trike out.

Loke was thrilled to be out. Me, less so, but felt better for doing it from an accomplishment level. I decided we’d go to the American Food Store. Jens loves the bagels Charles has been stocking and we were out. I took a wrong turn. It would have been less than 3 miles if I’d gone that way, so I looped around to head the ‘longer’ way.

Not to be a broken record, but it’s unavoidable. It was hard. Again, my legs just felt out of strength and stamina before the first mile, blah, blah, blah.

No way I was gong to be able to push through the 7 or 8 mile Uppsala Loop. Thankfully, it’s not like there are only a dozen streets in town, so there were ways I could cut it shorter than pushing off toward the city forest, but longer than a directly there and back.

New angle on an old landmark.

New angle on an old landmark.

I’m sure there are better ways through that section of town which wouldn’t have added that much distance, but I managed. I bumped down curbs and rattled over cobbles.

It was a relief to get off the trike outside the shop. Much to my surprise, Charles stepped out to give me a hug in greeting. We chatted as much as we were able. I was heartened to see the shop so busy. Busy means money to be sure it stays open. Charles considers me a friend and I feel the same way about him. I kept the visit short as I didn’t want to be in the way of his income…. and I didn’t want the bagels to thaw before I got home. I’m not sure how well they’d stand up to being refrozen.

My Garmin showed 5.26 miles when I rolled to a stop outside the storage. It was more than that. I’d paused it for some reason and pedaled quite a distance before noticing it. After plotting it out on MapMyRide came up with 5.7 miles which sounds more like it.

I keep telling myself, ‘At least it’s not the excruciating muscle pain any more,’ but that’s wearing a little thin. I’ve never had this much difficulty in improving my distance and stamina. By now 10+ mile rides should be snap. I’m beyond frustrated. It seems so little to ask and yet impossible to accomplish.

My determination to push on baffles me. Even now, I’m looking out the window and feeling antsy to ride, to continue the every other day. It’s only on an emotional level though. I’m sure as soon as I pushed off with the trike, there would only be a replay of every ride of the past 2 weeks – struggling to push through the River Loop.

I’ll go tomorrow.

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

What happened that you are working on getting your legs back. Thanks for the advice on the Kenda tires. Think I’ll get the Marathons due to not having to fix flats on a trike.

Comment by Robert

It just was never this hard before. The amount/frequency of rides I’ve been doing, I should be cruising through 20 miles or more without it being such a struggle. Granted, I am getting older and I suppose it could be one of the side effects of my extended hypertension and stroke. But still frustrating.

Comment by Terii

I kind of understand. I am 61 and it seems every year it takes me longer to reach my stride. And I ride year long but winters are hit and miss. Now I am recovering from neck surgery and can’t ride for another month at earliest. And it will be 4 months total. I just purchased a SWB and trike recumbents as it looks like that’s what I’ll be riding due to loss of neck range of motion but I am fine with that as at least it is riding. Hope you get back to yourself in speedy time.

Comment by Robert

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