Tuesday, August 31, 2010


We had a great time on our trip. I wrote about on our travel blog if you are interested in reading it, here's the link. Surprisingly, I injured my left calf on our 7ish mile hike on Friday. (I say surprisingly because I have been entertaining the notion lately that I am actually in shape). All the cycling I've been doing did a great job preparing me for the 2.4 miles of up (1900 ft), but left me quite lacking for the longer nearly 5 miles of down that we did. About two miles from the car I could tell that my calf was done. But, what do you do? You are in the middle of nowhere...you have to keep walking.

I've been taking Saturdays off of all activity (I spent the afternoon sipping wine and making dolmas - lovely), but when Sunday came around I was disappointed to discover that my calf still really hurt. I did a short two-mile errand on my hybrid just as a test. Clearly, riding was out of the question for the day. Damn.

Two years ago, I injured this same calf really badly and it took months to heal. So, when I woke up Monday morning and my calf was much improved I rejoiced. It was no longer a stabbing pain, but more like a needling pain. Time for another test. I rode to the grocery store to get some supplies for dinner. My heart sunk as I felt with each pedal stroke that my calf was just not ready. My mood plummeted as I wandered aimlessly around the store. The lack of endorphins (and no promise of a dose for today) left me blue and cranky. To console myself I bought sushi and chocolate for lunch. Riding home I tried to pull myself together. "Sara!" I say. "It is not going to kill you to go three days without doing cardio. If you make the same kind of improvement tomorrow that you made today you'll be on your bike tomorrow for sure."

This morning I woke up and my calf just felt like the slightest ache. I can ride on that. I plan out a flat, easy spin ride around the east side. With virtually no hills I ride pain-free for 21 miles and mostly just feel so happy to be back on my bike. It's raining but I pass many other cyclists out in their colorful jackets enjoying what must surely be for all of us the highlight to our mornings. It wasn't a great workout, but it was gratifying. There are lots of other ways I could get in 90-minutes of cardio. Believe me, I've tried them all. But, with all of those, my cardio time was usually preceded by a sigh and the words, "I need to get my cardio in." Riding is just so different and this minor little injury just reminded me of why I love it so much. Because whether today's ride had been a 21-mile spin ride or a 60-mile hill ride, I've got a grin on my face. I got to ride my bike today.

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