I’m back in the saddle, literally and metaphorically. After nursing my mysteriously sprained and painfully non-operative ankle for more than three months, I went on my first ride today. It was somewhat pitiful for someone who’s personal motto used to be “Pain Builds Character.” I managed 15 flat miles and a 15.5 MPH pace, at a mid-zone 2 heart rate (averaging 173, peaking 188). I rode on my brand-spanking new frame, a replacement from Cervelo due to a factory defect of my old frame.
Nearly every mile of the 15 was a struggle. I’ve forgotten proper bike posture and cadence, and constantly had to fight my traitorous toes, which seemed to want to point downward in my stroke. My hands and wrists complained about the quality of our roads. And it was hot – even though we made it out about 10 am, it was already about 90F. I’m not sure if the geometry of the 2015 Cervelo frame is significantly different than my trusty 2011 model, but I missed my old Green Machine.
I fought my way through the ride, and lived to write about it. Today I iced my ankle, but I’m holding out hope that tomorrow will be just a hair easier and every day will be an improvement. I’m back in the saddle — for another year of Training Ride Leader in Aids LifeCycle, and for another year of riding with friends and bike family. I’m more than ready to start enjoying the positive effects of regular exercise, endorphins, and the road less traveled.
It’s just be great if I could manage more than 15 miles next time. Pain builds character, right?