Sunday, August 12, 2012

Two Weeks Until Venus de Miles

Exactly two weeks from today, I will be well on my way in the Venus de Miles ride. Today, however, I am taking my first day of complete rest since July 8 (that's 34 days, if anyone's keeping track), and I have to say, it feels great to do nothing. I think I almost forgot what it is like to know that nothing needs to be accomplished today (well, at least as far as working out is concerned). I am taking this day to plan out the next two weeks of training and exercise though, because I don't want to wear myself out right before the ride, nor do I want to be lacking in energy. Still, I got a late start in training, so I need to find time to get in some long rides, and I still plan on doing kickboxing belt testing this month as well. Unfortunately, that testing falls the day right before the ride, so I'll need to figure out how that factors in to training for the next couple of weeks.
Find the fatty in the photo... Riding the Venus de Miles in 2010
For some reason, I have a lot of anxiety before this ride. There are so many things that run through my head. My biggest concern is always my hands. I know they are always the first thing to give out simply because of injuries to them, and I know that I will have to stop frequently if I intend to make it the 51 miles. I've never rode 51 miles in a single ride, and it's scary to think that I may not make it to the end. My second concern is in regard to climbing in the mountains. I don't climb (certainly not well anyway), although I have pretty much put my mind at ease about this by reassuring myself that I can either walk if necessary, or simply pedal very slowly. It's not the end of the world though if I have to get off and walk.
Find the fatty #2... Riding Venus de Miles 2011
Another worry is one that is complete vanity. Every year I end up being in some kind(s) of photo(s) (either one that Sam takes, or that one of the course photographers snaps, or a combo thereof), and I hate it (I'm not even sure why I'm putting them up here, other than I hope to be able to look back at them one day and know that I'm no longer that person). I know I'm fat - well aware of this fact - but I think seeing photos of me on my bike (something that I love) and realizing just how horrible I look riding, makes me miserable. Every year when I see the photos I swear to myself that I'm never getting back on a bicycle (of course, this lasts about a day, and then wears off as I love my bikes far too much). Admittedly, I spend a good chunk of an hour (at least) crying about how bad I look after seeing the pictures... No one should look like they are going to crush the bike they're riding.
Oh yes, they get worse... this one is about 15 miles into the ride (I was already tired)
*Image from Sullivan Studios
I always know that I'm the biggest rider out there, and I guess in some ways, I've just come to accept that it is what it is. However, I've also come to the realization that it doesn't matter what I look like. I'm not doing the ride for a photo, and I shouldn't be depressed about seeing these images of myself riding. I know that I'm doing everything in my power to improve my physical well-being, and while it may not show in photographs just yet, I should be proud of all that I'm doing to improve me. So, to my future self, in two weeks time, when you're finding the photos that have been taken of you, remember that you work hard - every damn day - and you are worth continuing to fight for, regardless of how you feel about seeing yourself in pictures. Ride strong sister! I can't wait to see that you actually finished the ride.


  1. We truly are the hardest critics of ourselves. Scott took some video of me riding the C8 and I was HORRIFIED by the vision. But riding is too much fun to shelve the bikes.

    I look at your photos and see a strong, happy woman riding her bike and making a difference in the world. You're awesome and you're kicking ass in so many ways.

    1. Ugh, video! At least I don't have to endure that sort of personal hell. I'm sure you looked great in yours, but I can certainly commiserate with you on the feelings of seeing such things. Thanks for trying to make me feel better. I just hope to one day look at the photos and note be quite so horrified. :O)


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