One of the nice things about starting from scratch with a new sport is that you can get better really, really fast.
I did my first bike ride in years on July 24th. I rode for just over 4 miles in about 30 minutes. I wasn’t dying or anything on that ride, but I certainly felt like I was making an effort.
Today I rode my bike for just under 2 hours and covered 23 miles. Hello improvement!
The ride today was good, both in terms of getting in the time on the bike and in terms of what it will do for me psychologically during the tri. I think conquering those 15 miles will be a little mentally easier knowing that I’ve now ridden longer than that a few times.
I’ve mentioned a couple of times that my husband is a runner. He’s run a half marathon and two full marathons (his third marathon is next month). He is a serious and dedicated runner who will run 19 miles tomorrow. Sometimes when I think about that, I think “I could never do that”, but the thing is…he didn’t start out thinking he could do that either.
Michael started walking in January 2006. At the time, he went to a school across the street from our house and did laps around the play ground. The first couple of weeks he just walked and, had you asked him at that time, I’m sure he would have said “I could never do that” about a marathon.
He sometimes says now that he doesn’t think he could do the tri that I am going to do next month. Maybe a flat one, he says, maybe I could do that one but not this one.
I think he is totally wrong, just as I suspect that I am totally wrong in thinking I couldn’t do a marathon. I think I, and Michael, and you and most people, are really physically capable of a lot more than we think we are. I don’t think I’d ever be fast at a marathon but I think if I was smart and followed a good training plan, maybe in a couple of years I could do one ( still not sure if I’d want to do one).
I feel good today, flush with the quiet satisfaction that, for me, comes after pushing myself to go a little farther than I’ve gone before.