Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tour de Cure Training and Life Lessons

My training for the Tour de Cure bike ride was going really well... that is until I could run again.  Now that I'm back to normal running, it's hard to get myself on the bike.  However, it's for a great cause and I've already signed up, SO I guess I better get my rear back in gear to be able to finish this thing.  And the Tour de Cure button on the right side will take you to the donate page.  If you can, please help me out!

It started out great.  The bulk of my training was done on my trainer in my basement.  I rode for an hour and a half the first time.  Then an hour and 45 minutes.  Then 2 hours.  Then 2 hours 20 minutes.  Then 2 and a half hours and finally 3 hours on my bike.  I was getting used to sitting on the seat without my butt completely hurting for the rest of the day and it was working.  I was also attending 2 spin classes a week that I feel like have really helped me keep my cardio up during my injury.  

I rigged up the iPad so the I could watch the Biggest Loser without disturbing my family early int the morning. 

Since it's been nice outside I've put away the trainer for the year and have been enjoying the wind in my face.  Literally. I've forgotten how every time you ride it seems there's wind.  I'd like to say it's because I'm so fast but that's just not the case.  It always baffles me how it seems like there's wind against me both ways even when the trees or bushes or weeds aren't moving one bit!
I went out with the bike club a couple of Saturdays ago.  That morning it was visibly windy and was predicted to only get worse as the day wore on.  I've never ridden with a crowd.  It was a learning experience as to the hand signals and drafting principals.  But we rode 36 miles that day, a new record for me.
If you've read my blog for a while, you know how I love life lessons that are learned through running.  Who knew that I could learn them while riding as well?!!  I learned a great one that day that I've carried with me close to my heart since then.  Even explaining it doesn't do it the justice that the feeling that accompanies it deserves.  It's deep and personal and I hope I can impart some of that feeling to you.
When drafting on a bike, whether directly behind or to the side, the object is to have the front person block the wind a little bit and make the effort easier while maintaining your same or slightly faster speed.  On this particular day we were dealing with a steady crosswind and so we were lined up slightly staggered on the road.  There is a sweet spot when drafting.  You have to work hard to get close to the bike in front of you.  Almost scary close.  And then you feel it.  An immediate sense of relief.  The effort is instantly easier.  You legs and lungs get a reprieve.  You still have to work.  You can't slack off or you'll get out of that sweet spot and have to work hard to get it back.  But if you maintain that effort, the speed is faster, the effort is not unbearable, and you are able to go farther and faster than you could on your own.
After we got home, in fact several days later, I was thinking about that principal.  It is easily relatable in lots of situations.  When we have hard times in our lives- when the wind is blowing against us- it gets hard to keep going at the same speed.  We start to tire, to wear ourselves out trying to keep up with it all.  But we all have people that are there willing to break the wind for us, to help us keep going.  Whether it is a friend who's willing to listen, or a spouse who picks up the slack for us, or a blogging buddy who leaves an awesome comment; we all have people around us to help us through those hard times.  And even when we think we're alone, we're not.  I know that the Savior Jesus Christ is there to help us through.  He is willing to shield us from the storms of life.  We have to do our part to get close to him, but he's willing to go any speed we need to keep us in that sweet spot.  Unlike our friends and even our family, he never asks us to take a turn at the head of line.  He's always there to pull us through. And there IS a tangible sense of being pulled when you're drafting.  Sometimes we don't realize that we've been drafting with the Lord until the wind stops blowing.  I hope through these little life lessons I am learning to be more grateful and more aware of the times that He is helping me.  And I hope that I can be a good drafting partner to my friends and family, that I can help them through the storms of life as well.

15 comments:

Mallory said...

Great job biking! I have a big ride coming up in June and I am doing my best to spend more time on the bike!

misszippy said...

Nodding my head in understanding about signing up for an alternate sporting event when injured, then losing enthusiasm once back to running. Same deal here for me with the 4.4 mile swim I thought I was going to do. But you are sticking it out, so kudos! Keep it up.

susette said...

REALLY, really loved the life lesson. It's a good one.

Kiley said...

Jen - thanks for sharing that testimony! Hey, you just commented on my blog...but it wasn't me that volunteered at the Teton marathon. Wish it was me, because that sounds like a sweet marathon. Sorry I can't help!

Audrey said...

You constantly amaze me with your life lessons and how they apply to daily life. I love them!

Julia said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. your life lesson literally spoke to me and is something i want to remember forever! you are the best:) loved chatting with you the other day!

Mamarunsbarefoot said...

Excellent advice and post my friend.. I love your biking!!!! You never cease to inspire people, God def works through you.

Coy Martinez said...

What a great lesson! I often think the same. I use to fight the wind and let it get me down but now I learn to go with it and learn from it. Go with the flow :)

Life After Swimming said...

Love the Ipad hookup ... how convenient! :)

Rachelle Wardle said...

Absolutely beautiful Jen. Thank you so very much for sharing this experience and relating it to life. You are such an amazing and inspiring person and I truly admire you in so many ways.

Laura Boll said...

I am inspired by how many runners openly share their faith through their blog- thanks for sharing your thoughts! What a beautiful analogy for our spiritual journey. I've definitely felt God drafting me along at times in my life. And I hope to do the same for others!

Michael said...

Oh Jen, you continue to amaze me. I know the pelathon well and I know what you speak of. The sweet spot, the effort, the draft, the spirt of may working as one... yes I know of what you write. Another amazing post. I will click on over to Tour De Cure right away... do they accept canuck bucks? :>) M

Michael said...

... darn typo... should read "many working together" not "may.." Sheesh, man! :>) M

christinadoesitall.com said...

love this blog! you're awesome! :)

Neon Blonde Runner said...

Yeah I definitely need to work on some extra padding in my shorts, it makes such a difference in being able to stay on the bike for longer...