All rides are good rides, right?

You know the phrase in riding that “all rides – even the rough ones – are good rides when they are done”? Hard rides, difficult rides, I’ve used that phrase in the past. Then, there’s yesterday’s ride.

I am wondering about the “wisdom” of dragging myself out to the trails for a ride, yesterday, b/c the experience was so dreadful that the “voices in my head” have been screaming at me ever since. Oh sure, I was still really tired from Friday night’s storms [woke so much, it reminded of when my boys were newborns], and yes, I was surprisingly still a tad sore from Thurs evening’s weight training workout. Yep, I’m a bit out of shape (off season and all), too. Furthermore, my rear brake, now, is rubbing so much that it’s humming for most of the ride (basically whenever I’m not pedaling), and lastly, my rear tire was a little low on air. Yep, those are all great excuses. Still though,it sucked, and I sucked. It hurt, and I was @()#(!)(% slow and weak. I knew I was a little out of shape but have been working back toward where I was. That has meant plenty of weight training, some spinning and some mountain biking. I’ve put in more workouts in the past month than I have in past two months COMBINED. Yet…I did not expect – NOT AT ALL – to be weaker than I was a month ago. No.

So if you’ve ever read any of my stuff, you know that the “voices in my head” can really mess with me. They can be quite loud when the reigning thoughts are dark. (I rather prefer them when they say sunny things.)

I even went back and re-read one of my blog posts from last July, titled “Luck and Magic Potions” just to use my own thoughts and my own “voice” to straighten my brain back out. Alas, the struggle is harder than expected.

There’s a part of me that wants to get right back out for a ride, after some rest and proper adjustments to my bikes b/c both of my mountain bikes’ rear brakes are rubbing & humming. I want to see how much of a difference clearing the field of “excuses” will make, if any.

Aye, that’s the rub. What if there’s no change? What if I really DO stink that badly?


Another part of me does not want to know, b/c if there is no improvement, it will make me feel as if all the hard work over the past month has been for naught, a complete waste of time.

Would I stop riding if I did stink that bad? Probably not. If nothing else, I HAVE to get “out of the house” and be outside. Exercise helps clear my head [heh well normally, it does]. Although, it would greatly reduce the field of folks with whom I’d ride, lest I felt as if I was holding them up. (That’s another misery, altogether.)

So…what to do.      ?

I guess, I’ll have to bite the bullet, get out for a ride and just see. Otherwise, I’m caught in a not-so-merry-go-round, which is a complete waste of time (and precious sleep). However, it won’t be tomorrow. I’ve got an appointment with a personal trainer for another kettlebell workout. So, it will be a few more days. ITMT, I’m digging around for the MUTE button.

  • You sound like you know your body pretty well and that is always a good thing :)

    The culmination of “everything” that is going on for you right now is more than likely the factor contributing to how you feel on the bike and I am sure it wont be long and you will be ripping up your local trails and all this will be forgotten :)

  • After I wrote that, I figured that it might be assumed that I was over-training. However the previous two months definition should be expanded. Dec – I had only 5 rides, 2 of which were SUPER easy b/c of going w/friends were are completely new to mtbing…and riding in general. That’s it for Dec. Jan, I had 4 rides, 2 hikes, 1 spin and 1 weight training (WT) session for the entire month. From Feb 5 to Mar 4, I’ve had 1 hike, 4 spins, 1 demo day [short road rides on 4 bikes], 5 WT and 4 mtb rides. That’s 15 items for the month (not including foam rolling/stretching), whereas I had 5 for Dec and 8 for Jan [which equals 13 for the two months]. The 15 might sound like a great deal, but some of those items were not particularly straining.

    However, there is one more “great excuse” I forgot to mention in the pile above, and that is “I’m female”. ::achem:: (Yep, you can fill in the blanks from there.) It isn’t often mentioned “out loud”, but many of us, girls, are weakened a bit for a few days or a week each month.

    Truth be told, I tend to think that some of Sunday’s experience is an “epic storm” of stuff all happening at once. Having all those things happen at once can’t help but factor into the equation…at least a little. The rest…? We’ll have to see.

    As for the mind making me think I stunk when I didn’t actually, there was no doubt in it. I was having to get off and walk sections I hadn’t needed to walk since I first started mtb-ing a year and a half ago. I was also panting like a Saint Bernard in triple digit weather, and I would lose my steam far, far quicker than I normally do.

    So while it might not truly be over-training as the cause of this, some rest is certainly in order, regardless. Especially after yet another night of challenging sleep (last night). ::grimace::

    So, I’ll do the KB workout today (b/c I’m paying for it – LOL in 2 ways, now) and maybe do an easy spin tomorrow if I’m up to it. I will likely skip Thursday for a WT session and do another easy spin, or maybe, I’ll just foam roll and bake in the sauna at the gym, instead. We’ll see. Think I’ll just take it a step at a time, and then re-assess how I am this upcoming weekend. If I still feel weakened then, it had better rain! ;) Otherwise, it will be hard not to get outside on 2 wheels for SOME kind of ride.

    Oh…and I need to dig out my magnesium supplement. I just realized I hadn’t been taking that, either. For me, it makes a difference, too. I’m going to get some, right now.

  • Hmmmmm twice as many workouts than the past 2 months, more weight and strength training, more mtbing and tired etc. Sounds to me like you could be in need of some recovery training/time.

    It would seem like your body and mind may need a little rest from the strength training and a little more of the “what the hell I am just going to ride EASY and ENJOY the ride” training?

    Sometimes when we try to get our fitness back we forget to take some time for recovery to let the body and the mind catch up to where we are, not where we wish we could be.

    If it were me feeling like this I would have a couple of days R+R or do some REALLY easy training to spin the crap out of my system/mind and unwind.

    The other thing we quite often forget is how well we are actually riding compared to when we started, especially when riding offroad. There have been times when riding offroad I have thought to myself “geez I seem off today” or “my riding really sucks today” or “bloody hell I can’t pick a line for s*^%” and then I remind myself to look ahead and enjoy where I am, clear the mind and think how lucky I am to be able to cycle when others haven’t got the choice or haven’t made the choice yet.

    Somehow I feel your days will improve as will your fitness and riding as with a passion as big as yours you can only “suck” for so long before turning the corner :) :) :)