When I was a runner...
Ok, wait, hold up a moment. I can't believe I just typed that. Didn't even think about it, the words just came out of my brain and fingers. So. I guess I don't consider myself a runner any more. This is not good. I am not happy about that. At. All. =(
In the past years when I was on a run I'd wave at runners - some would wave back. I'd wave at cyclists - some would wave back. Some wouldn't even see me. I'd have conversations with other runners, "What's up with cyclists being so miserable and not waving or smiling or anything?"
So it surprises me that I have become That Cyclist.
With my inability to run much I've had to get my endorphin fix some other way. That other way is cycling. And I've always got to be pushing it. Always have to be going faster, harder, stronger, better.
At first my goal was distance. This year it's been speed. Over the winter I went from 12mph avg to 13. When I reached 14mph avg speed I was all "WHOOOT!"
This spring I got back on the road (Thank goodness! The trainer is a stinkin' torture device worse than the dang treadmill.) and was thrilled when, by really pushing it, I could get up to 15mph avg speed.
So, of course, I set my next goal at 16mph - mainly because if you enter 16mph on My Fitness Pal it gives you mega calories which means I can eat more chocolate and peanut butter.
And I tried. I pushed it. I wiped myself out. I'd come home with laboured breathing and fall off the bike...and I wasn't able to make 16mph. It was so frustrating.
The DH was given a pleasant bonus from work this year, and so as a treat he got some new tires for his Bianchi. Which meant I got his old tires. And they are awesome.
The first time I went out with them I (once again) had a 16mph goal. It just so happens that I was chased by a couple of women which put a fire up my...uhm..anyway, it made me go faster. They passed me, of course. So what did I do? What any self-respecting cyclist would do. I hopped on their tail, rode in their draft, and let them pull me along what is usually the slowest part of the ride. WHOOT! It gave me the boost to really push the rest of the ride...ET VOILA! 16mph avg. YEAH BABY! =)
In order to keep a 16mph avg on the 25 mile route I ride I need to push it from the moment I leave the house. I know what speed I need to go along various points on the route. At this particular point I need to be at 20-23mph. At another particular point I need to be no slower than 7mph. At this point it's a slight downhill so I need to milk that sucker for all it's worth, engage the quads, and fly. On this hill I need to go as straight as traffic allows, pump it over the crest of the hill to really fly down the other side. 30-40mph is the goal.
There is usually not a smile on my face. I grimace. Occasionally I groan out loud. The floaters in my eye become quite prominent. All I see is the road in front of me and the garmin. The garmin tells me if I'm going to make that 16mph. It's me, the road, and the garmin. Nothing else. I don't care what I look like. I just need the speed.
So that's how I've become That Cyclist. "All I see is the road in front of me and the Garmin". Nothing else matters. There have been times when I realize that a cyclist or runner has waved at me...and I've wanted to wave back, but by the time the information has reached my brain it's too late. And then I feel like a scumbag cos it probably looked like I was ignoring them. But I don't feel like that for long because my focus is quickly brought back to the road and the garmin.
So I'm really sorry to all the cyclists and runners out there who I've ignored. I didn't mean to! I think you're awesome and totally appreciate your friendly waves and smiles. I'd really like to wave and smile back.
Next goal: to improve on the hills. My speed (or lack thereof) on hills really drags down my overall time. I need to get over my fear of maxing my heartrate (ew I really hate doing that) and just bust out the effort. It'll be me, the hill, and the garmin. Nothing else matters. Don't get in my way. I'm on a mission.
I am That Cyclist. I feel bad about it...but not too bad. Feeling bad about it takes away focus, and I just don't have time for that.
Hmmm. Feel the need for some Salt n Pepa....