175 Miles: Reflections About Another Strong Week in My Cycling Journey

Biking 25 miles in one day can be challenging or easy depending on your abilities and how you feel. Then there’s the weather like wind, rain, cold or heat to contend with. Traffic can be very scary even if you’re used to riding in it. Also important are the quintessential questions that come up riding a bike like: what to wear, what to eat, where to go? I must have figured all that out because I managed to make it another seven days in a row for the 10th week. This past week I totaled 175 miles, which is huge – 25 miles a day if you’re counting. Or a mile for every hour of the week (168) plus seven. So what follows are some thoughts on my pretty stupendous week (or stupid, depending how you look at it; maybe it’s a little of both.)

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Overcoming Resistance to Exercise: How I Do It & You Can, Too!

It’s happened to most people who exercise at some point. It’s time to go to the gym/yoga/karate/spin class or for a walk-run-swim-bike ride, and you’re just not feeling it. Maybe you didn’t sleep enough, you had a stressful day at work, forgot to eat enough or well, or all of the above. There could be a plethora of valid reasons to take it easy and park your butt on the couch. And some days, that’s exactly what you need (see my posts Rainy Day Blahg: The Value of Sleep and Rest Days for Cyclists and The Rest of the Story About Rest Days for Cyclists).

But when your tiredness is mental and you still have some gas in the tank, you should go for it. Getting yourself moving may feel like climbing Mount Everest, but it is doable. And you won’t even need crampons. Because those pointy shoe things look dangerous and probably give you cramps. Come on inside this post to find out how I make myself bike, walk and do yoga even when it’s the last thing I want to do. And Happy Spring Equinox and Super Moon, y’all!

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My Recent Bike Riding: Stats and Feelings

After a number of bike news posts, it’s time for a personal update. This blog is meant to educate, inform, inspire and motivate. But it is also to shine a light on one bicyclist’s journey (literal and figurative), not just the good, but also the bad and ugly. Regarding the latter, lately the engine room has not been firing on all cylinders. But truth be told, it’s been that way since I can remember, just different degrees.

As I recently told a fellow rider on Strava, “I’m only as good as last night’s sleep.” Since that generally isn’t great, my biking suffers accordingly. There are plenty of reasons for that, and while some are under my control, most are not. So I do my best. The question is what to do about it, besides the obvious: stop blogging late at night and do what those celebrities like Jennifer Garner said in hilarious videos of a book with the same title: “Go the F*(& to Sleep!” However, if I did that, you wouldn’t have anything to read.

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Keep Walking Even if It’s (Apparently) Not Doing Anything for You

Do the Walk of Life

walk of life
Source

Today I went on yet another 30 minute daily walk.  I try to go early because it’s so friggin’ hot and humid here in Austin, Texas in late June. Summer came early this year (thanks, global warming!).  While there are strategies for dealing with the heat that I outlined in a previous blog, acclimation – getting used to it – is inevitable if you want to keep up a fitness routine.  (Thanks to Julie78787 for reminding us of this important step.)

But I’m finding my walking is getting a little stagnant.  I’m not a morning person but that’s the best time to go to get some Vitamin D without too much harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.  It’s not led to any weight loss, noticeable gains in strength, or huge uplift in my mood.  But I keep doing it because I believe that it will pay long-term benefits.  Here are some: Continue reading

Coaching Your Self With Compassion Instead of Criticism

The other day I had a rare headache, and someone near me said, “Why not try some alternate nostril breathing?”  I did, and it helped.  Then the little voice in my head kicked in, and I started kicking myself.  “Why didn’t you think of that before?” it mocked.  “Why don’t you do more pranayam every day?” it jeered.  And so on.  If you’re at all like me, the inner critic is never far from bursting through the front door of our conscious mind and raining on our parade, to mix metaphors.

Have you ever noticed that we don’t have a name for the inner compassionate person?  But we should.  Our inner Dalai Lama, perhaps, or whatever spiritual teacher may appeal to you.  But after my last post about yoga, I’ve been thinking about the other limbs of the yogic path, and self-compassion is a big one.  So here are some thoughts that might help you, whether it’s starting or maintaining a regular practice of writing, walking, yoga, cycling or whatever, just being better with your self.  Or maybe becoming the next President of the United States, a job which should be coming open pretty soon, from the looks of it.  A Dude can dream. Continue reading

Wowza! A 40-Mile Ride Makes My 4th 100-Mile Week in a Row

It was a very lazy Sunday.  I hadn’t done anything much save read Sue Grafton’s penultimate novel, X, and lounge around listening to classical music.  I wanted to see a movie, but it was a hot 18-mile round trip, and I could just stay home in the safety and comfort of my little rented casita.  Pages were read and turned, the phrases “page-turner” and “couldn’t put it down,” both applied.  Meals were eaten.  Time ticked by.   “What was I going to have to blog about Monday?” crossed my mind more than once.  It was 6:00 pm.  The temperature had gone down, and the light was turning softer.  I was 10 hours too late for the group rides.  But like a cat starved for food or affection or both…  Continue reading

It’s Late on a Sunday, and You Haven’t Met Your Goal. What Do You Do? (Day 7)

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Check out this cool short map video of my Sunday night ride:  https://www.relive.cc/view/1346454488

It’s Good to Know Your Limits, So You Can Exceed Them

Dragon fruit at Wheatsville Coop. Not as smoky as expected.  For dragons.

It’s late on a Sunday night, cool and windy outside.  You’re tired after a long week.  But you haven’t met your bicycling (or running, blogging, yoga, walking,  crotcheting, or whatever) goal.  What do you do?

Well, you could stay in and rest, get ready for the week, and try again next week.  Or you could drag yourself out the door and go for it.  Only you know what’s best for you, but I can tell you what I did:  I went for it.  Why?  Because I like to push myself to see what I can do.  And I wanted to start the first week of the year meeting as many goals as possible.  Looking deeper, I can see that my motivation came from a desire for consistency in my bicycling practice, especially since I have cut my goal in half from two years ago to 50/week (although I may raise it again). Continue reading