The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Today was a day of very high Highs’ and very frustrating lows’.
I rode today with a club I just joined. A ride planned at 52 miles over roads I know very well. I was prepared, loose, ready to ride. The first 20 miles went very well. One long hill that convinced me that it is time to change the gearing on my bike to accommodate the difficult hills in this area. Otherwise it was rolling hills, light traffic and good camaraderie in a group of 15 or so riders. The ride leader is experienced and really did a good job of keeping the group together..
Then it happened.
On a short but steep hill I had to come up out of the saddle to hammer up the hill and the chain jumped. I lost all momentum and had to pop out of my pedals. I smacked my right knee on the bars or something and I twisted the same knee when I landed. I felt it at the time but was not really aware that it was anything more than a bump on the knee.
A couple of miles up we stopped for a deli rest and I had a bagel, light on the cream cheese. I kept walking around trying to get my knee to loosen but it wasn’t happening. No one on the ride mentioned that I was bleeding… The blood was the least of it.
After we mounted up and started to ride the knee really let me know it was really unhappy with me. Every incline, no matter how minor, had my knee screaming in pain. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain. I have ridden with much worse cuts and bruises on me than the cuts on my knee from this mishap. But it was the joint that was hurting, not the cuts. Every push of the pedal sent a stabbing pain towards the pain centers in my brain. My speed dropped from an average of 15 miles per hour to eight, even on the flats and downhills’ offered no reward as I couldn’t hammer the pedals to get up to speed.
As we came to a turn I went straight, knowing that the ride would come out on that street again and I could take the flatter route and meet the group when they came out. Only later did it occur to me that I was now riding alone and if the knee really gave up the ghost I would be on my own in an area known for no cell reception… It did save me 3 miles.
After rejoining the group I rode another 4 miles with the group, barely able to keep up, and then coasted down the longest downhill of the ride, right to the bottom of my street. I said my goodbyes to the group and rode the hill back home painfully and slowly. I had cut 17 miles off the ride but I could not have finished the ride. Missus and the boys went with me to pick up my car at the starting point of the ride. We did have a nice family lunch….
So what started out as a day with great promise turned in to a day of pain and frustration. I KNOW my fitness is sufficient to make the ride. My bike let my body down and my body in turn let me down. This is so frustrating for me.
My goal of an 80 mile weekend will not be met.
I took some aspirin and I will ice everything down and I will see how the knee feels tomorrow. If still painful I will make a doctor’s appointment…
Now I have to worry about being able to ride going forward. Cycling is my exercise. I don’t know what I will do if I cannot ride…
On the Plus Side
On a positive note, when I stepped on the scale this morning I was 223 pounds. This is the lightest I have been since the early 1980’s. I can certainly feel the improvement. Being down this low makes me feel better. Body parts hurt less (recent knee issue not withstanding), I am more energetic, I look better and I am sleeping better.
I discovered I have ribs, cheekbones, a collarbone, and HIP BONES!
With 13 pounds to go to my target weight I am feeling excited and energized. I have a real chance of hitting the goal weight by late July is I can continue to exercise. I know I will stay with the eating plan, I have no desire to eat any other way.
Tonight’s dinner was vegetarian. Greens and squash and sweet potato and Black Rice (yum). All in all right around 700 calories. For the day I am at 1600. I will have to eat more tonight but I will keep it light.
Of course, even though I didn’t finish the ride, I did burn 1800 calories on the section I did. So I am actually well better than my normal in-take Vs burn.
The big goals are still in site. I am on a good pace to make my goal of 210 pounds. I am down 82.6 right now. The progress on fitness continues. The knee may or may not be a set-back, we will see.
I remain optimistic and excited by the Journey, even 180 days in.
When I tell someone I have lost XX pounds I get looks of astonishment. When I tell them when I started the looks turn to uncomprehending shock. Today I was again asked if I had surgery… I understand that. We have a belief that weight loss is near to impossible without drugs or surgery. I am untouched by either.
I don’t know where this will all lead. I could fail ultimately. The battle is a hard one and the war is not nearly won. But I know I do not want to travel this path again. I will continue to fight the battle… Have to. It is the only way to stay lean and fit. I have to fight it. Always. Every day.