Friday, May 09, 2008

Getting Back Up

On Friday, I fell off my bike on the way to work. It was totally stupid; I tried to follow another biker through a very small space -- to the left, a car, to the right, a curb, and me on the bike with approximately a foot of space in between. Being the inexperienced rider I am, nerves got the best of me and I teetered a bit in the saddle while I attempted to decide which way I should be leaning. In that moment, my front tire scraped against the curb.

It was one of those falls that happened in slowly -- slow enough that I convinced myself three or four times that I could stop the inevitable. I couldn’t. Eventually I had no choice but to give in to gravity, and landed right knee first on the sidewalk. Another biker stopped to see if I was OK. I was fine -- on the verge of tears due to the shock of all it -- but fine.

On Friday, I fell off my bike on the way home from work. I stopped at a red light while riding in traffic, put my left leg on the ground to steady myself, and subsequently felt an intense pain shoot through my calf. Leg cramp. A bad one. Like, my-calf-was-sore-for-two-days bad. I attempted to hop off my bike, but in the process, I just crumpled to the ground.

I went around like a five-year-old for the next 24 hours saying things like, "I hate my bike," and "I'm never riding again."

You know what scares me about triathlons? It's not the swim. I know how to swim. I'm a decently strong swimmer. Sure, I'm going to have to learn how to make my way through open water, but I have confidence in myself as a swimmer. And it's not the run... obviously. It's the biking. The thought of having to be in control of something other than my own body scares the hell out of me. Why? Plain and simple, I'm afraid if I go too fast, I will lose control of the bike and crash. And mess up my face. I really don't want to mess up my face. And the truth is, I really don’t get it. I don’t understand how to train on the bike. How fast am I supposed to be going? Does my six mile ride to work count? Can I just take a spin class? What if I ride a stationary bike at the gym?

Other than the whole biking head fuck, the other part of the training is -- dare I say it? -- not terribly taxing. Easy if you will. I’ll probably be kicking myself when I actually do the triathlon for putting that statement down in black and white, but the truth is the truth. I imagine that two years worth of distance running has given me a decent base for all this nonsense.


Tonight I have my first swim lesson. I am doing this partially because I want to capitalize on what I think has the potential my strongest sport in the triathlon (I mean, let’s face it, I’ll be lucky to run the 5K at a 10:30 pace after biking 12 miles) and partially because I want to have someone who knows what they are talking about say, “Yes. You’re doing it right,” or “Fix this.” Tomorrow, I’m going to a lecture for first-time triathletes. This weekend, Meg and I will be attending a morning long seminar about our marathon training program. It’s all training, all the time ‘round these parts.


Kendra said...

I fear skateboarding, ice skating, roller skating, roller blading and bikes. I guess I just hate wheels. I'm also a bad driver, so maybe its all related.

Lindy said...

:( Sorry you fell. Falling sucks. I wouldn't want to mess up my face either, so your fears are warranted. Well, they're warranted in my world, if that counts for anything.

:( :( :( :(

Funny thing is, IF I were training for a triathlon, I would fear swimming the most. By far. I mean, I'd survive it, but I know I'd be incredibly slow.

heidikins said...

Bad News Bears! I'm sorry! I fell off my heels once, and I felt like a complete arse... sigh.


Will said...

Get on the bike. Having done one of these, you want to over train your weakest area. Also, get out of the pool soon. I personally spent the most effort training in open water because it was my weakest leg of the triathalon.

Jaime said...

lo siento chica!

Glad you are ok and not hurt.

L Sass said...

Ha. This is exactly why I rarely ride on the street--too timid.

Also, my most recent bike crash was trying to get my bike out the door of AS's apartment building, so... I'm pretty pathetic.