Sunday, 10 November 2013

Back in the Saddle again

Do you ever get a song in your head when you are riding your bike (or running, walking, skiing, gardening or doing another activity that you love?)  I often do.  With any luck, it will be a song that gets me excited and inspired to ride a little harder, a little smoother, a little better.  I remember vividly the song that was going through my head as I raced down Ned's in the B.C Cup race in 2010.  It was the first race of the year, and I was the defending champion.  I was listening to my iPod as I waited at the starting gate, and the last song I listened to before my run was "Bulls on Parade" by Rage Against the Machine.  I'm not really a "Rage Against the Machine" kind of a girl, but I chose that song because of the awesome segment in the movie "Seasons" where Steve Peat is doing his race run at Mount Saint Anne.  It's an awesome run, and the music is perfect for his aggressive riding.  So I as I bust out of the start gates, I was in the zone, listening to my own personal soundtrack and imagining myself riding just like Peaty does.  I was having an amazing run…. until I crashed and broke my collarbone.  Oops.  But despite that misadventure, if I hear "Bulls on Parade" while I am riding, I notice that I go a little faster & I little harder.  So I try not to listen to it, in case I hurt myself again!

Getting ready for my race, watching Seasons.   I call this Dansualization.  (Dancing while visualizing)

I love music, and often have something rolling around in my head while I ride.  The other day I had a very new experience: out for a mountain bike ride with Raffi in my head.  Not to say that "Just like you and me" isn't a lovely song with a beautiful message, it just doesn't quite  stoke me up for a ride quite like "Bulls on Parade"!

Riding Wonderland to the tune of Raffi
It was a short ride, on pretty mellow trails, and I was singing to myself "Janet lives in England, Pierre lives in France, Bonnie lives in Canada…" But it was still glorious!  How could I complain when I was out on my bike on a gorgeous November day, while my awesome hubby looked after Finley?

A few weeks ago I was complaining; I was frustrated by how little I was doing.  I had envisioned myself trail running and mountain biking by 6 weeks after delivery, maybe 12 weeks at the most.  That definitely did not happen!  Up until last month, my activity was limited to walking and swimming.  I've been seeing physio every two weeks, as well as frequent, much-needed massages.  I was finally given the green light to bike about 1 month ago, and I was to stay on paved or gravel roads only for 30 minutes max.   That was not what I had in mind, but it was a step in the right direction.  I wish I could say that I always follow my physio's recommendations, but I am bad, and sometimes I push the limits.  This time 'round, however, it did not take me long to notice that when I pushed the limits, I paid for it with back pain, hip pain, and worsening of my core stability.  Not worth it!

Newsflash to me: carrying a mega-baby for almost 42 weeks, then delivering the same super-sized baby is hard on the body!  

Kind of massive
The message was pretty loud & clear, but it took me a while to absorb it.  It didn't seem fair that I kept myself so fit and healthy during the pregnancy, yet my body was still a train wreck afterwards.  I was so jealous when my mommy friends would meet for bike rides, or go out for runs.  I was even envious when they went to the gym!  I was starting to feel like I would never get back to my normal self again.   But I'm happy to say that I've been working with a great physio & great massage therapist to increase my strength, core stability and reduce my pain.  I've been very diligent with my physio exercises.  In the past 2 weeks, I've noticed that I am doing better and I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I've stuck to rides that are mellow and short, but I've enjoyed them immensely!  And, most importantly, I've felt great after the rides!  My goal is get strong and fit for ski season & I hope I will soon be allowed to start running.

In the meantime, I am spreading the word to moms: go easy on your body, it just went through a heck of a journey!  I live in a town of uber-fit people, and it's not uncommon for moms to be hitting the trails within weeks of delivering.  I knew I wanted to take it easy and not fall into this trap of overdoing it, but I did let myself get sucked in a little.  I now know that the body needs to heal & if you don't allow it the space & time to do so, you will only prolong the process.

My trusty little Nomad: I look forward to spending some more time together!

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