Remember my 2014 Race Plan? A few things have changed….I won’t be doing the Looney Challenge, but I did have a PR setting Half Marathon in April!
While my running hasn’t been regular, my biking has been! The local multisport group has a no-drop ride every Tuesday morning at 5:30 am. It requires leaving my house no later than 4:50 am, but its worth it. Last week I rode with them for the first time and loved it! I was coached on pedaling downhilll and taking the free speed that is available to me.
With learning something new comes a few new fears that have to be conquered. I didn’t have training anxiety with running, but biking has been a completely different story. Here are my top fears, and how I’m working on them!
Clipping: While many people are afraid of clipping in, this is the least of my problems. I have definitely swerved and leaned a bit far a couple times, but my feet always manage to unclip when I need them to.
Flats/Mechanics: What does scare me is getting a flat and being stranded on the road. Sunday I took a leisurely ride to work on that fear. I told myself I was going to ride for an hour, I have been wanting to ride a road called Cedarbrook, as it has little traffic and decent pavement, however the middle of it is fairly desolate. I set an alarm to go off at the 30 minute mark, once I was there I pulled up my GPS, and realized I could turn around and get home in 6.8 miles, or I could finish the loop and be home in 7.9 miles. I decided to brave the full loop!
I made the trip safe and sound with no incidents. I had a little break to wait for a train on the last mile, but it was nice to get a selfie to prove my accomplishment!
I was feeling really good about my riding on Sunday, and was excited to meet everyone yesterday morning. Because I’m with a group my fear of flats/mechanics is gone, and instead I get to work on my form, power, and speed!
“The Horns”: Prior to yesterday I had never steered from “the horns” aka the curved part of the handlebars. 5 minutes into our ride we started doing intervals, and I was told to go into the horns, I didn’t listen, but leaned lower so I wasn’t as upright. Farther into our ride I felt comfortable enough to reach down. It may only be a 3 inch difference, but it feels like 3 feet!
Downhill: When I was 6 I went head over the handle bars while riding a hill, and I still have a slight scar on my knee from it. Since then I have always braked on hills.
During yesterday’s ride I was in the horns, low enough that my knees were by my chest, and any slight move I would make seemed to send the bike wobbling. Then a dreaded downhill comes. Now I’m being told to pedal faster downhill, take a free speed, while holding onto the horns. And bonus! There’s a curve to this downhill.
I didn’t totally lose control. But it wasn’t good. It especially wasn’t good that I had someone riding on my left. The turn was to the right, and I almost knocked the guy over. Thank goodness he’s a legitimate athlete and could handle my rookie freak out. I didn’t cry, I don’t think I even swore. But I was not comfortable. I didn’t fall, and I survived the rest of the ride, which included more hills and more turns. But I was not comfortable.
Tonight is open water swimming. I’m going, without a wetsuit. Pray for me. I bet I have a whole new post about swimming fears in a week or two!
(edited: I didn’t go swimming due to rainy weather, but I swear, I will get in the darn water soon!)
What fears do you have? Do you avoid them, or conquer them?