“Train” – ing, overcoming bicycle fear, and a New Diet

President’s Day weekend, both Eric and I needed to get out of dodge. Thus, we looked for the warmest place within driving distance that might be free of rain. We were both itching to get on our new bikes in some decent weather. Enter: Chattanooga. Of course, I immediately looked up the IM courses so I could plan our training. Running and biking – check.

Well, things didn’t go exactly as planned but we still managed a great “train”ing weekend. We went to the run course only to find out it was flooded in several spots and we couldn’t complete it. BUT we kept choo-choo-ing along. Being unfamiliar with the city, we ran as much of it as we could (turning around when the trail was closed and backtracking) before it started downpouring on Saturday morning. The sunny day was supposed to be Sunday. It didn’t get warm until about 2 in the afternoon so we went out to the bike course. Traffic was quite heavy and there wasn’t much of a shoulder to ride on. IMG_4367We ended up finding a high school and parked to try out our bikes. After a few country roads and some mega hills, we ran into a lovely (by lovely I mean obnoxious) bunch of weiner dogs. One of the dogs ran in front of me on a steep downhill and I had to throw on my brakes fast. In the process, my back wheel fell off (guess it wasn’t fastened tight enough). Somehow managed to not fall, but was pretty rattled by the incident. We went back to the car and I cried. I love biking and after that I was afraid I wasn’t skilled enough to handle it should something like that happen again. To go from loving biking to wanting nothing to do with a bike in a matter of minutes….let’s just say my stupid brain was not dealing well with the situation. Enter: Bike Trust Issues.

I suggested we just go hike for the rest of the day so we could enjoy the sun. I wanted nothing to do with my new bike. I hated it. I knew there would be a learning curve, but after that experience, I just wanted my old clunky bike back under my legs. I was regretting the purchase and regretting trying something new. 2 miles down the road were the Chickamauga Battlefields…we started hiking and found a gaggle of cyclists! Cyclists of all shapes and sizes! Children, adults, athletes training, and just people out for Sunday rides! All of these people cycling on roads with relatively few cars and a whole lot of space. Eric said we needed to get back on the bikes, and after several minutes of convincing me, and him remarking that future-Jacque would be very upset if we left the area without biking, we went back to the car and unloaded the bikes again. I insisted I was not going to clip in though. I needed my feet free…but afterwards regretted not using the shoes. 🙂 It was really fun. We spent time getting to know the gears in a much less stressful situation and in the warm sun. I only wish we would have found the battlefield 2 hours earlier. We ran out of sunlight.

We got back to the car and I was all smiles. It will still take some good time on the new bike before I am comfortable, but this was a start. I’m hoping by 100 actual road miles, I’ll have more confidence. Future-Jacque was indeed pleased that she had been convinced to get the bike back on the road.

Fast forward to the return. It led into a recovery week where I was starting the Whole30. I chose to start on a recovery week early in the season because I knew my energy levels might be a little low and wanted a little buffer if my workouts struggled. I’m now a week in, and it’s going well. I didn’t have much energy for my runs last week, but other than that, I had a solid bike FTP and swim test. My body seems to be adapting well as I enter week 2. I have no cravings or ups and downs with hunger/sugar crashes. While I don’t intend to continue the diet once I have finished, I’m curious to see how my body reacts to certain foods as I reintroduce them. I’ve figured out how to fuel for my workouts but don’t think I would use this for longer training days. We’ll see how the next few weeks go. I am really happy without the sugar, but see myself going back to using the Feed Zone Portables for fuel during long training days. I am just really liking the constant energy throughout the day.

I am still liking the minimalist training. I feel rested. But more importantly, I feel accomplished that I can get all my workouts in and successfully complete them as prescribed. I still get down if I miss one, but am working on that not bothering me so much. March is looking like a good solid month of training time with a pretty clean schedule. Now that life is settling down, I am looking forward to being a bit more involved with District Tri.

Goals for the next 3 week chunk of training (aside from – keep killing workouts like a boss):

  • Focus more on foam rolling and stretching. We generally watch at least one episode of the X-Files each night and I am making it my goal to use this time to work on healthy recovery and injury prevention.
  • Have strong meal prep as I continue the Whole30.
  • Continue using nice days to get out on the new bike for at least a few miles of handling work (even if just in the parking garage).
  • Make time for conversations and catch-up with long-distance friends and family. — A non-training related goal, but still a very important one!


Also – my new bike still does not have a name. I’m not looking for suggestions, but I need time to love and learn it. It will come and so will the handling skills.bicycleSoul