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My Adventure

30 January - 5 February 2006

30 January 2006 Questions: Nope, donít own padded biking shorts, yet. I donít see the point as Iím losing about 5 lbs. a month right now, and I havenít added the weight program back in yet, not for 2 more weeks. I do have padded gloves, but using the ski gloves right now because itís so cold. Iíve actually discovered that the padded gloves donít make as big a difference as stretching my fingers out. Instead of curling them around the handle bars, I Ďrestí them on the handle bars with my fingers stretched over the brakes. After about 15 miles they start to tingle and go numb, so I have to slow down and shake them out a couple of times before Iím home. Iíve asked Jim, a guy I know who HAS done century rides, for fun, and biking vacations, and he assured me that thereís no trick to improve that. A recumbent bicycle is definitely out of the question. I canít even sit back in a regular chair. I perpetually lean forward. It isnít too bad short term, but it does get tiring. Going out to eat isnít too much of a problem because I can lean against the table but sitting in a meeting can be unbearable inside 20 minutes. Movies work out all right if I go early in the day, when my back is more relaxed, and have my pillows behind me and my feet up on the railing in front of me. A helmet is a no brainer. LOL! In this house, we call them brain buckets. If you donít have a brain you donít need one, otherwise you better have it and wear it properly. Biking shoes, nope. Iíve only just learned to walk correctly. LOL!! Really! That was something Craig had to teach me when I was working with him last spring. After tearing the ligaments in my ankle when I was 18, the ankle healed incorrectly and I walked with my right foot perpetually turned out. My poor horse was trained to second level dressage, which means he responded to leg commands, so he was constantly drifting to the left and I was constantly correcting him. It was two years before I took a good look and realized my right leg was pressing against him. He was desperately trying to obey my command, and I was Ďpunishingí him for it. We did finally work it out, but only when I was on him. I couldnít translate it to the ground. Craig showed me a very simple exercise that taught my muscles to hold the leg right. In fact, he guessed that the whole back problem was a direct result of the ankle injury. Muscles that were supposed to be tight were loose and muscles that were supposed to be loose were tight. It was only a matter of time. Last year really was about starting over. Now itís time to continue to move forward. I will talk to Craig this Wednesday about a training program of some sort. Team in Training also provide training, but Iíve assured Craig that I would clear it with him first. Another weekend is over, and survived. I never thought Iíd hear myself saying I dread the weekends, but there you are. My usual 8 miles this morning but worked with the gears a bit more. Also did the physical therapy, which Iíll need to do a few more times today. Walked MissB but was much more aware of my posture and the way I walked. The song ďI Hope You DanceĒ just played, and I feel a renewal of my spirit. I love Godís little gentle proddings. :-)

31 January 2006 I biked 20 miles today and feel it. Iíd love to simply vegetate all day, but that isnít an option. There is DrS, DrR. and DrL. to type, though I think Iíll save DrR until tomorrow. It doesnít appear to be particularly long. My sister will help me deliver DrL this evening. It is a very short tape. Itís good to be able to talk out things Iím thinking about. Reading Manís Search for Meaning, I came to realize that MissB has been my meaning for many years, but the time is coming Ė when I do not know Ė then what? I always planned to marry and have children. Now what? Even if I married today, I could not carry a child. I could barely hold my grandniece the other day. Iíd rather write than breathe or eat or sleep, but it frequently gets put on the back burner for other responsibilities. There is also a part of me that wonders if I could really make it as a writer. Iíll need to be more careful about ensuring I have a little writing time every day. And this bike ride? What is it to me? A part of me simply wants to know I can do it. I have to put in the miles anyway; it would be nice if it could count for something more than just picking up work every day.

1 February 2006 Saw Craig today. He gave me exercises for my back and for my shoulder. Heís a little concerned about how tight my shoulder blade is and explained that it isnít serious at this point but he wants me to start loosening it up. As he was showing me how to the exercise he was physically moving me into the position he wanted me to be in. Being the Princess and the Pea, I found it uncomfortable. Then he asked me how I was feeling. I forget sometimes how much I can say with a look. I glanced at him over my shoulder, and he laughed. ďAll right, I know my fingers are pressing pretty hard and digging into you, but your shoulder, how does that feeling?Ē I laughed and said it didnít hurt. He was satisfied. Heís not sure if I can actually bike 111 miles all in one day. However, he approves of my training plan for myself and thinks it is possible. I also assured him that when I sign up with Team in Training Iíll clear the program they set up for me through him before I start it. I definitely donít want to jeopardize all the work weíve put in so far. Iím feeling fairly good today.

2 February 2006 Biked 20 miles today. I find it amusing that I canít think of it that way until after Iím home. When Iím getting ready to go, I break the trip down into segments. First, I go to Dr.S office, then DrR and then home. Even home is broken up into segments, from one major street to another. Then Iím home, and then the 20 miles doesnít seem so daunting. LOL! Physical therapy is quite an undertaking. There are exercises Craig would not require of me, and yet I find they help, so I know heíd tell to go ahead and do them. The new exercises really do help me feel better.

3 February 2006 Easy work out day today but Iím feeling considerably better. I like the new physical therapy Craig gave me. I have to work a little harder for it. With the long work days, these new exercises are really helping. The new doctor made me laugh today. It isnít often that they actually talk to YOU when theyíre doing the dictation. In fact, most of the time Iím quite certain they forget some else has to listen to what theyíre saying (mumbling!). After spelling the word he apologized and confessed that he didnít know why he couldnít say it, he just couldnít. It made me LOL and it made the frustration evaporate. I do like working with this doctor if he can just learn to talk into the machine! Sigh... :-) Iíve worked for worse. Think Iíll make an early night of it. Iíve been eating a lot. Sleep will help so I donít feel so overtired.

4 February 2006 No biking today. Got DrL done this morning. Iíve not had brain enough to do much of anything. It was actually quite nice taking it so easy. It was a successful day health wise in that I was able to get my eating under better control today.

5 February 2006 What a blessing. I have the next few hours home alone with my sweet MissB. I slept well, unlike the night before when I was awake from 12:30 to 3:30 a.m. Itís been a long time since Iíve not been able to sleep like that. I did some thinking and finally pulled out Brother Cadfaelís The Leper of Saint Giles. Itís time to reassess. The swelling and discoloration on the right side is almost gone. Iíll still wait another week before increasing my activity level again. Iíll up the biking first to 10 miles on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Iíll do that for a couple of weeks to see how itís going and then add one pound weights to my physical therapy routines. Itís a grey overcast today. A perfect day for making cookies, but I think Iíll let myself rest instead. Itís going to be a busy day with family and friends as the folks are hosting an open house for my nephew before he leaves for the mission field, on Tuesday. Iíve added writing to my daily routine, no matter what, even if it is only a few lines or simple tweaks. It feels good.