And now, to reverse what I said in my last post.
Around these parts, training seems like a bad word. When I mentioned that I was training for the next brevet, a friend remarked, “I hate that word– it sounds like work. Riding is supposed to be fun.”
I do agree that riding is supposed to be fun, and it can be for me, when it’s wandering around the city, leisurely trying out new routes and trails, or riding to fun destinations. But right now, hilly brevets are not fun for me. There is always a point where I’m trying not to cry, and although I’m fine (and ecstatic) at the end of a ride, the day after seems to be a day of reckoning for me where I’ve discovered I’ve physically gone too far and am doing some harm to myself.
When I tell folks how I feel, the answer is always that I need to ride more. I don’t disagree with that– as I’ve discovered through Strava, I ride considerably less than my Bike DC friends, even those who don’t participate in randonneuring. I try to ride when I can, but carving out time is difficult for me, especially now when I’m in school.
Mike W. sent me a thoughtful email with tips on how to train off the bike as well as on. He suggested I work on exercises to strengthen my core and leg muscles. So I’m doing stuff like plank pose and burpees. I’m not exactly enjoying this, but I am already noticing a difference. I feel stronger.
So, I’m training. I’m training to not get beat up by brevets. I’ll be at the next one, and we’ll see how it goes.