Friday, October 12, 2012

Return of the BIKE!!

Before I start this post I feel that I should warn you I'm currently on a bit of an exercise high, lol. Sometimes I make blog posts immediately after exercising and then I go back later and laugh at how hyper they sound. If you've ever been high on exercise endorphins you know what I'm talking about. :)

Ok, so first of all, I've been having a super crappy diet and exercise week. I'm not going to get into the whole saga of my bad attitude this week but sometimes I just feel burned out on it. I get sick of logging every bite that goes into my mouth, I get sick of killing myself on the stupid treadmill every morning and I'm just over it. Then I eat one non-diet food, decide my day is ruined and just decide to screw it all and eat. I ate cookies yesterday. A lot of cookies. That's all you need to know about that, lol. Plus, I've been super busy this week and when I get off my schedule I miss my exercise window and then it just doesn't happen.

When I have a few days like that I start to get really down on myself. I revert back to the old me who felt like I wasn't measuring up to the impossible expectations I put on myself and when it feels impossible I just want to give up on the whole thing and go back go bed. There are some days that I really have to push hard to pull myself out of that way of thinking. I think that's something I will always struggle with to some extent, but I know that about myself now and I'm working on it.

So I woke up this morning feeling blah. The kids are home from school today because of a teacher work day or something so it's a bit chaotic in the house and I was still feeling blah and unmotivated.

Then I looked outside and realized that it was a beautiful day and Josh was home to watch the kids if I wanted to get out. For the first time in weeks I could actually take a bike ride if I wanted to.

My bike has actually been in the basement hooked up to the bike trainer and I haven't even been on it in a really long time. There was a haze of smoke in the air for the whole month of August that I couldn't ride in and then the boys went back to school and there was no one to watch Clarissa while I went on a ride. I had big plans to use the bike trainer, and I still do, but the treadmill has been working for me and I've been making such good progress there that I haven't really thought that much about the bike.

But today a bike ride felt like just the thing I needed to reset my brain and pull me out of the funk I've been in. Shawn helped me get it back upstairs on his lunch hour and I took off on a ride.

Again, I haven't been on my bike in close to two months. I was taking daily 5 mile rides every day and it abruptly stopped. I wasn't sure if it was going to feel hard to get back on or how I would do.

What I wasn't expecting is how much the treadmill has done for my fitness level! I got on the bike, started going down the street and immediately had to gear up two levels because the level I had it set on from before wasn't hard enough. Then I looked down and realized that I was easily going 2mph faster than I used to go. It. felt. Awesome. :)

I made it to the park, got on the bike path and started the first lap. Right around the first corner there is a bit of an incline that always used to kill my legs when I first started biking. You'd laugh if you saw it because it's barely a noticeable incline, but my legs could feel it every time! I geared down like I always used to, because that was the only way I could make it past that part, and then realized that there was really no need to. I felt the incline but my legs handled it just fine.

I flew threw the park with a gigantic smile on my face, going faster than I've ever gone. Now, remember, we're talking out of shape soccer mom fast, not like professional cyclist fast, but I felt awesome! The first two laps felt amazing. I kept checking my speed and I was just jumping up and down on the inside, celebrating how great I was doing!

And then the asthma attack hit. My asthma has greatly improved over the past few months, but it will always be there no matter how healthy I get. It's just something I have to live with, unfortunately. Most of the time it's fine, but I haven't exercised outside in a while. The smoke in the air has really improved, but it's not gone and they were also mowing the lawn next to me at the park and I'm allergic to grass and everything that gets kicked up into the air when the lawn is mowed. I would have been fine if I had been breathing normally, but when I'm exerting myself and I breathe in all the crap that irritates my lungs it's just no good for me.

So I took my usual halfway break and sat in the park bench and had a crappy asthma attack for awhile. Thank goodness I had my inhaler with me, so it was just a matter of waiting for it to pass. I was a bit disappointed because before that I had been doing awesome and feeling better than I have ever felt on my bike. Most of the time my asthma is a minor annoyance, but today I super extra hated it for getting in the way of my fun.

But the asthma attack passed after a while and I enjoyed sitting on the bench. I love that park.

I got back on my bike and went to do the last two laps, like I always do and I was back to feeling amazing. So to put it into perspective, in the past my usual routine was to ride to the park, do two laps, take a break, do two more and ride home. That is a five mile ride and at an average speed of around 10ish miles per hour it would take me a half hour to go five miles.

Ten miles per hour is not fast on a bike, not even close, but that's what I could handle when I first started riding. If I could keep my speed at 10, and even push it to 11 at times, I considered it successful.

Today my cruising speed was 12mph and I was pretty easily getting it up to 13 and 14 mph at some points with not too much effort. Impressive? Eh, not really, but it's a huge improvement for me. Thirteen miles per hour didn't feel any harder than nine or ten did a few months ago. That was really exciting to me! It used to be that 10mph wore me out. Like want to get off the bike and lay in the grass and die worn out, lol. I was breathing hard and my blood was pumping today but I didn't feel like it was going to kill me the way it used to, and that was at a higher speed!

I did my forth lap and as I got near the exit to leave the park and start home I realized that I wasn't ready to be done, so I took a victory lap, lol. I did that last lap with a big smile on my face. I felt like the queen of the land today. :)

On the way home I took the long way through a back street and I hit 6 miles at 29 minutes. It used to take me thirty minutes to go five miles. Today I went six miles in less time than I used to do five.

I got home and I was on the biggest exercise high ever! After feeling down for the past couple of days, proving to myself that I really am getting somewhere and reminding myself that all my hard work is paying off was exactly what I needed.

Making a big life change is hard. I have never been someone who has really great willpower or super great confidence in myself. I make changes slowly, and usually with a lot of complaining along the way, lol. I crash and burn a lot, I take a lot of detours and I want to give up on a regular basis. But today reminded me that no matter how many detours I've taken over the past several months, I'm still on the right path. I may be the slowest weight loser ever and it may take me a year before I finally complete that darn 8 week couch to 5K program and finally run for 30 minutes straight, but I'm trying, and that's what matters. I'm going to fall down on a regular basis and then I'm going to pick myself back up and keep going.

So that is the story of my week. I ate cookies, I missed a few days on the treadmill, I felt like a failure and then I got back on my bike and reminded myself that I'm really not a failure. In fact, I've come a really long way and I'm not stopping now. Yay me.:)

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