Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dancing again

After returning from a two-week vacation, much of which was spent sitting in a car as my wife and I drove down south to visit friends and relatives, my back started giving me problems. I knew the prolonged sitting would not be good for my back, but I wasn't consistant with my stretching while we were gone, and so I paid the price when I returned to my regular training schedule. To add to the problem, I made the mistake of trying to make up for lost time by being overly-aggressive with my stretching. That in turn stressed out my back even more. Last week was a bit discouraging, as it seemed I couldn't get on my bike for more than a few miles before the discomfort would set it. This past Sunday was the same. I had hoped that the next day, the day that I was planning for a long training ride - longest yet for the year - would be different. It was.

Yesterday, I began my ride heading north, with steady winds out of the south. Because I knew the day would be relatively long, and my return ride would be directly into the wind, I purposely kept the pace very easy. My goal was to ride pain free. My small chainring saw a lot of use on the ride, both on the way out and the way back. But there was one thing I began to notice at around the 45-50 mile mark - I was feeling better and better with each passing mile. Not only was my back feeling fine, I began to realize I was entering a new phase of training for the year as I headed towards my longest ride since the fall of last year. The ride finished with 70.2 miles.

When I returned home, I thanked God for giving me the strength to complete the 70 miles. And then I thanked him again for the feeling of a new strength and hope I had experienced during those last 20 miles of the ride. The bike and I were working together again. We were dancing again.

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