May 31, 2010 in Uncategorized
Rightyho – it’s been two weeks now and my cold has finally cleared up leaving me with just a little cough – which is mildly irritating as it’s not a ‘real’ cough but more of a dry tickle. I have caught a few of the “WTF?” looks being thrown at me across the office so I assume it’s moving from ‘mildly irritating’ to ‘bloody annoying’.. but alas there is nothing I can do about it.
I went back to gym last week and even managed two short runs which were very pleasant. I didn’t want to overdo it because I had been on some rather potent antibiotics and I do worry about the effect they have on my body, so I wanted to make sure they were all out my system before I embarked on anything too strenuous.
The second run wasn’t as good as the first one though, my calves were quite tight and sore and the air was so cold my lungs were on fire, but I pushed through it and felt much better afterwards. My aim is try and run further each time and to try run more often a week. Weather permitting of course…
However, on Sunday I hauled out the old mountain bike and dusted it off and headed off to Koeberg Nature Reserve with Aimee as she promised to take it easy on me for my first proper bike ride in years. She is quite the rider and I was a bit worried at first because I really am a novice, so I wouldn’t be able to go as fast as her and I am nowhere near as fearless as she is.
I had a nasty fall off my bike at the beginning of the year when I went for a short ride and ripped open half my hand which was VERY einah! I had to hobble home literally with chunks of flesh hanging off my hand and it took ages to heal, so when I saw my first downhill I admit I was more than a little nervous.
Fortunately however Aimee is a very patient teacher and the longer we rode, the more hills we came across and the bolder I got with the downhills. I was also wearing gloves this time so felt a little bit braver!
One thing is for sure, riding is hard work! Especially the up-hills! There were a few that for love nor money could I get up… it was ridiculous. I woudl like to think I’m pretty fit, but I’m clearly not ‘cycling-fit’ cause halfway up a hill the bike would just stop and I would teeter on it for a few seconds before realising that short of a miracle, I was just not going to make it up the hill. So I’d have to get off and push the bike.
And of course AS IS MY LUCK the reserve would be EMPTY until I got off my bike to push it up the hill and then dozens of cyclists would come pouring over the hill… like they’d been WAITING for me to dismount. Uncanny really.
Although I can’t fault them for their manners, not one cyclist gave me a dirty look or was anything short of friendly and encouraging. They’re a WAY friendlier bunch when you’re on a bike than when you’re in a car!
However, I should have known Aimee would not let me off easy – and it was only after she told me we’d only ridden 10km that the reality of just HOW LONG 21km really is hit me. It’s FAR!
It was also about this time that my toosh started hurting. Mostly because it’s not used to balancing precariously on a small bicycle seat for any amount of time, bouncing up and down on rocky roads, but also because I wasn’t wearing proper cycling shorts with that lovely padded bit to cushion the blow a bit.
I do have a pair but it was SO cold when I got changed that morning that anything less than long pants seemed ridiculous. So there’s another lesson learned…the hard way…
Yet again my body proved that it is capable of a lot more than my mind believes it is and I finished the route (not in record time of course, but in one piece and with a smile while is what should really count anyway, right? :-)).
And although sitting is not much fun at the moment, and I’m sure gym later will be an interesting experience with my aching muscles, it was fun to try something different for a change and I would really like to do more riding as that’s really the only way I’m going to get any more confident on the bike.
If you haven’t been to Koeberg Nature Reserve though I do highly recommend it, it’s a beautiful place with lots of wildlife (I only saw a mouse but that doesn’t mean they weren’t in the bushes pointing and laughing at me…) and there are hiking trails as well. Aimee and I hope to attempt one of the trails there for a run sometime as well. Although the goal is to one day cycle the long route and run the short one. But that’s just crazy talk… right?!?!
Unfortunately the nature reserve is now closed until the end of the world cup for security reasons….. at least my derriere can recover and I’ll have to fill the gaps with running and gym until then.
Which reminds me – my gym timetable (Virgin Active) now has a class titled “Streaker training” which sounds intriguing… anyone tried it?