This week has been a bump in the road for training. My knee started hurting on Thursday in a really bad way. I can train through uncomfortable knee pain, but I know when I need to stop. Out of the blue, my knee went from feeling perfectly fine to shockingly painful… so I went home and took a few days off. Last year, I had this kind of pain, but it would twinge every once in awhile for a second. This time, it was every pedal stroke. I’m guessing it’s tendinitis of some kind, because I am very prone to it. Today, Saturday, it felt fine so I headed out on the bike for 2 hours… especially because I’ll be off the bike for the next 6 days.
Sometimes, where the pavement ends is where the real journey begins… it can be a journey of the outdoors, or a journey of the mind. There’s a reason we love to ride our bikes or be active, and part of it is the processing and cleansing of our minds.
When I can’t ride singletrack, I’ll take gravel roads. Today was really beautiful. It was windy and chilly, and the light was amazing. I barely even noticed that I was fighting a headwind because I was so in awe of the beauty around me that is so easily overlooked. The sun was shining, and the light seemed very white and clear. I smiled to myself because I felt happy and alive, and best of all, thankful for everything in my life. I have been trying really hard not to take things, moments, and people for granted, because the truth is you never really know how much time you have in that moment…whether it be on your bike, with a friend or family member, doing something exciting and new. In high school, I was a huge fan of the Transcendentalists. …particularly Thoreau (and Walden). “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life…” insightful.
I am trying hard to live deeply. It’s so easy to get caught up in being busy that we put our heads down and just get it done. I mean, sometimes you have to. I’ve been trying to live with intention more often and not be on autopilot. Doing more than just breathing in and breathing out, but savoring what I’ve got. Anyways…
My knee didn’t hurt at all on the ride today. Funny how something like an injury can make you appreciate a simple 2 hour zone 2 ride when just the week before I was thinking, “Ugh… no more! e.g. the Carter Lake day” Unfortunately, my knee twinged again when I went from a sitting to a standing position from the floor this evening. So weird… It’s back to feeling fine. R.I.C.E. for now. I have forced time off the bike which is actually a good thing due to the injury (not so good that I rode my bike 5 hours total this week, but what can do, eh?) After all, it’s still winter time!
So! I am off to LA in the morning. To quote Pretty Woman, “Welcome to Hollywood!! What’s your dream?! What’s your dream?!” I have many dreams! Jeff and I will be doing a lot of bike shop visits around the LA area. It’s going to be busy, but a great way to see SoCal. I’m just excited to see and HEAR the ocean, dig my toes in the sand, and feel the waves wash over my ankles.
I’ll try to get some sort of update to ya from the big CA. See ya on the west coast!