LOST LUNG – Reward if found…

8 03 2010

Well, I had “one of those” weekends. You know the kind – where you really think you’re going to have a great day and then it comes crumbling down you. That was my Saturday. This past weekend was supposed to be about the riding and the great weather. It was supposed to be the weekend of over 50 miles and two days straight of riding….{sigh}.

I awoke at 6:15, had my breakfast, did all my pre-ride routine, got my bike ready to go, and headed out the door. I rode to the ride location as I live only 1 mile away. I was excited to see a lot of my friends, team mates, and fellow Corinth Cycling riders. This was a milestone for me. I was moving up from the C group to the B group. I had it in me, I was ready. Nerves started to hit me a little when the ride leaders started discussing route options. Into the wind first? Down to Grapevine and back? Fast riders leading us out? Ok, I started to take deep breaths in. It was time to go. I’m not sure what it was but I felt like I was getting an asthma attack. I’ve never had asthma nor have I ever hyperventilated, but I felt short of breath. One of my fellow riders rode alongside me and we started out.

It wasn’t too long into the ride when I realized that maybe, just maybe I’d bitten off more than I can chew. It truly hit me when the tandem passed me. Yes, the tandem. Even I laughed at first thinking, there’s more behind me. Nope. Just me. I had another rider but he was a sweeper (he didn’t say it, but Johnny, I know you were). He consoled me saying his legs were burning as we headed alone into the wind and up and down rolling hills. Lucky for me, a traffic light stopped the group of about 27 riders and as I rolled to a stop in the hopes of shot bloks and Gatorade, the light turns green. The numerous sounds of clipping into pedals and “green up!” brought me deeper into a feeling of defeat. I had the sweeper and a fellow team mate (Erika) with me. At this point, we had lost the group altogether. Not even yellow specs (jerseys) in the distance could be seen.

Somewhere near Grapevine, we made a right turn and I saw a familiar face – it was Sam, the ride leader. As he greeted us, I looked beyond him to see a crazy hill ahead of us. The hills were killing me! I took off, trying to steady my breathing and relaxing my grip as I headed upwards. We proceeded through a stop sign and into the park at Grapevine. I didn’t want to go in. I was ashamed. I was coming in dead last, into a group of 24 other riders waiting for me….waiting for a long time for me…I rode in, head hung low, and spirits gone. I had to force a smile and a wise crack about stopping at a Yard Sale in the neighborhood.

I got off the bike and did my break/rest stop routine – bathroom, water, shot bloks, bar, Gatorade, new gum, took some pictures and remounted the bike. The group was discussing breaking into two groups – faster and slower. I was with the slower. Four others stayed with me – ride leader Sam, sweeper Johnny, team-mate Erika, and another rider (I didn’t get his name). We rode back through Flower Mound and back towards Corinth. It was a long and quiet ride for me. Yes, I was letting my frustrations get the better of me. I got worse on the hills and couldn’t hang on the pacelines. It was ridiculous. My cough had returned with a vengeance. If you didn’t know me, you’d swear I was a smoker. I think I left one of my lungs in Argyle. We managed to squeak out 40 miles at about 15 mph (My computer showed 14.9 but I hadn’t reset it from earlier – so it could have been higher OR lower – not sure).

At the finish, the A group came in right after us, having ridden over 50 miles at over 18 mph. A rider from the faster B Group came in with us with 45 miles and about 16 or 17 mph. Some of them went back out to do intervals. I was exhausted. I was defeated. I was humiliated and embarrassed. How can I be that bad? How can I call myself a captain, a cyclist??! I stayed a little longer and talked with some of the guys and with my teammates Erika and Vin. Sam came by and told me I had a great ride (Really? Did he not see my struggles?). I waited for everyone to pack up and then I got back on my bike and rode home.

Admittance is the first step, right? I admit it. I cried on the way home. I had come to the realization that I was not ready for the B group. I was embarrassed by the fact that I couldn’t hang with the riders and I couldn’t ride alongside my teammates who had showed up to ride with me. I went home and moped some more. I’m really affected emotionally by “bad rides”. I wasn’t looking forward to Sunday’s ride because I was afraid no one would show up to ride with me because I was so slow. I felt this overwhelming pain all over my body, my chest, my head, my back….I took some advil and went to bed. My son, who was feeling under the weather, slept with me. We slept from 2 until about 6 that afternoon. I woke up, had some dinner and proceeded to do some laundry and housework.

Again, I woke up at 6:30, and did all my regular stuff. I couldn’t ride my bike to the shop, so I drove, picking up a fellow rider, Marsha, at her house. We sat in the truck and I discussed what had happened the day before. I told her I was scared to ride. By the way, she’s a great listener and a fellow mother of three very active girls and a traveling husband so we can always relate. Two other team members showed up (Bob and Chris). At start time, it started to rain. Instead of riding in the rain, we headed over to Rudy’s and had breakfast! I still managed to get home, take a shower, and meet the family at church.

Afterwards, I started to reflect on the weekend and on the upcoming week. No riding for me this weekend. I have to take the kids over to South Texas for Spring Break on Friday afternoon, my husband is spending the week in California starting Saturday night and I’ll be home alone until about Thursday of the following week. I still have my classes and time trials are starting up after the time change. It’s going to be strange for me to come back from this.

Right before I started this blog, I had read and commented on Rodney’s blog. A triathlon with MS is a big challenge and accomplishment. I commented to him, telling him that his blog had motivated me. I’ve got to face my fears and be ready to accept whatever may come from my next time on a bike. That experience, I hope, will make me a mentally stronger rider. I know I can do it. I’ve done it before. I’ve just got to find that confidence again. It’s in here somewhere…hopefully I didn’t leave it with my lung in Argyle….



2 responses

10 03 2010
Daily News Roundup March 9th – Texas Bicycling « Texbiker.net

[…] LOST LUNG – Reward if found… « Connie’s Bike MS: Sam’s Club 2010 … by connie98 I have to take the kids over to South Texas for Spring Break on Friday afternoon, my husband is spending the week in California starting Saturday night and I’ll be home alone until about Thursday of the following week. … […]

10 03 2010

HEY SIS!!! GUESS WHAT?! I FOUND YOUR LUNG OVER HERE IN SOUTH TEXAS!!! Get back on that Bike and Suck it (lung) UP!! AND RIDE ON! I Believe in you! You are a great rider and if I had someone as anthusiastic as you Spinning our South Texas Classes ….YOU WOULD HAVE CLASS PACKED EVERY TIME; including me! You are not alone! MAny rider’s have been in your shoes and that’s how they made it to whatever level they are. You are doing well! Keep up the good work! For being my lil sis…I look up to you! 🙂 YOU ARE A FIGHTER! DAMN PROUD! HAVE A GREAT WEEk …And SEE YA THIS COMING WEEKEND!

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