Since my race is tomorrow, I wanted to work out a bit so that I wasn’t stiff and lethargic, but I didn’t want to wear myself out by running. I decided instead to take a long-ish bike ride. Typically, I ride about 6-8 miles in a day if I am commuting, but it is split in 2 and most of it is done very very slowly, so I wasn’t sure what “long-ish” would really be for me. I decided to do 10 miles because I was able to complete that distance not long after getting the bike, so I knew it wouldn’t be overly difficult, but it would still be longer than I typically ride.
It went really well! I probably could have ridden longer, but I didn’t really feel like riding on the street and I had run out of trail. The first time I did a 10 mile ride it was really difficult. Today, other than my legs feeling a bit weird to be standing on solid ground for a few minutes afterwards, I was fine. I was a little hungry afterwards (biking always makes me hungrier than running for some reason), but I don’t feel overly tired from the adventure. I was also able to maintain a much faster pace than that first time out. When Kris and I rode 10 miles the first time, it took something like 1 hour and 12 minutes; today, it took me about 55 minutes! I knew I was getting slightly faster on the bike but to have such a substantial difference really meant a lot to me, because going slightly faster for the mile-ish of my commute where I’m not dealing with weird campus issues that slow me down doesn’t actually decrease my commute time, so I don’t get to really see tangible improvements much.
I am really glad I got the chance to do this, because I tend to be really hard on myself. One of my friends recently picked up cycling and he is already WAY faster than me. But I have to remember that he bikes every single day like I run every single day. This is why I make so many improvements in running, and not as many improvements in biking. There are also less tangible things I should be measuring to remind myself I am improving at biking. I am WAY more comfortable with riding on the road, using hand signals, and in general moving my hands off the handlebars. Today I even got my water bottle out while moving (though, to be fair, I couldn’t get it back in)! I need to stop being so hard on myself about everything I do and remember that as long as I’m taking tiny steps forward, things will eventually improve.
I need to remind myself about this especially with my race tomorrow. I am nervous about it being my first trail race and my first race in the rain. I need to remember that the worst that will probably happen is that I slip in the mud and get dirty or that I have to walk some of it. I don’t want to chicken out and not do it, because I want to wear the shirt that I went to pick up! I get so nervous about races though, and for no reason. I was even nervous to go pick up my packet today! I was afraid that the people at the store would know I wasn’t a “real trail runner” because I can’t even pronounce “Wabash. “I was afraid I’d need to say something like “Is this where I can get the packet for the Wabash Heritage Trail race?” but I didn’t even have to do that. They were just like “Are you here for the race? Ok, here is your stuff.” It was that easy. I don’t know why I let myself get so stressed over silly things. I just need to keep moving forward, even if it’s slowly, and I’ll get there. I shouldn’t worry so much 🙂