Lessons Learned; Insight Gained

Lessons learned:

  1. Bike seat height is crucial!!! I realized when I rode my cushy bike the other day that it was comfortable, and not just because of the cushy seat. So I measured seat height between the two bikes when I got home from my ride and what would you know… two and a half inches difference. I lowered the bike seat for my ride yesterday and it was much, much better. Got the seat a teensy bit too low now, but it was way better. I’ll readjust again and it’ll be perfect.
  2. Unless there is electricity bolting out of the sky, there is no reason to NOT go outside for a workout.
  3. Trust science.

Insight gained:

  1. I have a HUGE mental block regarding the uncomfortable seat on the bike. As I was returning from a difficult ride I began focusing in on each part of my body (learned that little trick from yoga). What was comfortable? What was uncomfortable? What was working well? What needed improvement? I realized that my legs were not tired, even though I was going painfully slow because of the headwind. I wasn’t breathing heavy. And yet I was struggling. Why? The headwind made the ride difficult, but it was not inhibiting me from riding. So why was I struggling? As I went through each sensation I was feeling throughout my body, I realized that the ONLY thing that was uncomfortable was my butt. The seat is uncomfortable. there is no lying about that or getting around it. But does an uncomfortable butt stop me from being able to complete the task at hand? Is this discomfort going to affect my quality of life? It’s not. There is no long term physical damage that is going to be done because of sore sit-bones. It seems simple, but I chuckled out loud as I was nearing the end of my ride at the realization that I was just being a big old whiny butt. Literally.
  2. My race is going to be NO PROBLEM! The trail last night was soggy, which made pedaling difficult. The headwind was horrendous, which made pedaling difficult. The route I rode is a 45 minute route if I’m lolly-gagging and doing a leisurely ride. It took me an hour and three minutes to finish it yesterday. but you know what? I finished it. My race can’t be worse than that because even if I face a ridiculous headwind, I will be on blacktop on a road bike, not a mountain bike. There will be no waterlogged road to ride on. Bring on the headwind, Utah! You are no match for what I deal with on the Katy Trail.
  3. I am too quick to cancel a workout when obstacles appear. I had my bike in the truck and my old running shoes for biking and my new running shoes for my run. Then it started raining and my first thought was “Welp! there goes today’s workout!” I knew that with the rain I’d end up at the Y to do my ride on stationary bike and my run on the treadmill. I knew that when I workout indoors I get totally bored and end up cutting my workouts short. So I knew that my workout was shot with the rain. But then I heard my sister’s words:  “If it’s just wind, I would still ride outside…LOTS of mental practice opportunities. Rain, I weigh the safety risk.” The lightning risk had passed and the rain would eventually, so I went outside. Even though it was a difficult ride (and then a difficult run), it reaffirmed to me that I get a better workout when I do them outside because I LOVE the outside. It’s beautiful. It’s peaceful (even with the wind). And yes, plenty of mental practice opportunities.
  4. I have a difficult time reconciling heart and head. I have been struggling with weight loss, hence my participation in the biggest loser challenge with my co-workers. I know the mechanics of calories in/calories out. I know the science behind basic metabolic rate. I know the constant war between low fat/low carb/whole 30, etc food plans. As a child of the 70s, fat is bad! BAD, I tell you! It was ingrained at a young age that we are to eat low fat diets because fat is bad. But, but, but….SCIENCE! Science says that our bodies need fat to function at optimal levels. Science also says that if we don’t eat enough calories that our bodies will go into starvation mode and start storing fuel (in the form of body fat) for lean times. But you guys!! Everybody knows that the only way to lose weight is to eat no more than 1200 calories a day! Everybody knows that! So, yeh. Reconciling what I know (scientifically) to be correct with what I have had drilled into my head over year and year and year of diet gurus throwing information at us is difficult for me. Two weeks ago I bit the bullet and changed my data on MFP goals page. I increased my daily calorie goal to 2200 *gasp* (Hold me now, I’m scared.) And I changed my macro percentages to 45% carb, 30% fat, 25% protein. And guess what? I’m losing weight. Weird, I know. There is a reason they say “You’ve got that down to a science!” Trust it. I’m trying to let go of all the clutter that has been crammed into my brain for decades.

It’s been a difficult week. But with difficulties comes growth. I’m trying to take those lessons that life is handing me and learn from them.

These are the type of things I think about while I’m riding in the rain and wind. Beneficial, yes?


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