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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Hollywood, CA
    Posts
    138

    Not my best day (I just need to whine).

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    Today was a tough day. In the past few weekends, I've ridden much longer and more difficult rides during which I've felt miserable, but I've never stopped and given up. I gave up today and I don't know why. I'm so mad at myself and irritated by my attitude. I started out fine and kept up on liquids and food. However, I was on a huge hill that I climbed just fine last week, and it absolutely sucked and kicked my booty. I felt tired right away and then I felt like crying. My legs never got heavy, I was just not motivated and was going slow (but that's usual for me). Then I kept having to stop (I made it fine last time) and after one stop, I toppled over while trying to start up again. It just broke me. However, I really don't think it was hydration or fuel related (I had just eaten some bloks and loaded up on water).

    It was so discouraging. I got super-negative. All I could think about was how hard I've been working and how I'm still so slow and I'm passed constantly, and although everyone is nice and supportive, it gets old being the slowest and so on. My mind just kept going along these lines and I got very emotional and negative. I just kept getting more teary and tired. I ended up just stopping and turning around (which made me feel even worse). I tried to explain it to my BF, but I don't think he entirely understands how I feel sometimes (he's also new, but is in much better shape than I am and is doing great on the bike). He also just did his first ride without me where he added 20 miles to our longest ride and added a couple thousand feet of climbing. I think this might have gotten me down a little, since I had prided myself on having done just as much as he had (albeit at a slower pace).

    I really don't know what happened. It was pretty hot out, but not the hottest it has been. I slept well and felt prepared, but just couldn't do it. The ride was only a fraction of what I did last week. Hopefully this was just a bad day. I didn't like feeling this way at all. Now that I'm home I feel better, but I'm still mad at myself for "wasting" a weekend ride. Really, I know I'm doing very well and am proud of the riding I've done- I'm generally pretty positive and not like this- I don't know what got into me today. Hopefully next weekend will be better.

    Thanks for letting me whine.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Olney, MD
    Posts
    3,063
    Try not to get too down on yourself. Some days the mind and body just don't click together. It's a beautiful thing when they do; it can be miserable when they don't. Chalk it up to experience and get out there again as soon as possible.
    I'd rather be swimming...biking...running...and eating cheesecake...
    --===--

    2008 Cervelo P2C Tri bike
    2011 Trek Madone 5.5/Cobb V-Flow Max
    2007 Jamis Coda/Terry Liberator
    2011 Trek Mamba 29er

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Tigard, OR
    Posts
    439
    This happens to everyone once in a while. Give yourself a couple of days to rest and you'll be stronger for the experience.

    On the worst ride I ever had, I was alternately screaming at the wind and rain for blowing in my face and slogging down the road staring like a hypnotized chicken.
    re-cur-sion ri'-ker-shen n: see recursion

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    627
    Why do you ride...is it to beat the next person (then race) or is it to enjoy what you are doing. I AM A SLUG. I admit it. I, too, get very discouraged with myself at times, because I don't seem to improve in my speed. But then I think, and my DH reinforces, WHY DO I RIDE? I ride for me...what riding does for me personally (fitness wise and mental) is give my mind a boost, while burning some calories. I will always be passed by someone who is faster. Some days, I surprise myself, and ride hard and fast. Other days, I have a difficult time just turning the pedals. But, usually, when I have completed my ride, I feel I have done a personal accomplishment. So, WHY DO YOU RIDE? I enjoy club rides, but I know I usually 'lag' behind those who I really want to ride with. I am a slug up hills. I use to 'beat' myself up over that (and yes, I still do), but then I remember, I made it. I am too old to worry about beating so and so. I am out there, DOING IT, and I am thankful that I CAN do it. Aly, give yourself a pat on your back for just doing it....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
    Posts
    4,193
    I think you just need a little mental break from cycling. You are working hard and you were prepared for your ride--just didn't have it all going at the same time.

    Would you feel better riding solo for awhile? Or cycling in a smaller group of ladies who want to just enjoy the ride?

    Sometimes you performance will suffer during your monthly cycle and during a full moon. Don't know why, but it happens. Just remind yourself why you enjoy cycling and while you ride, take in the spectacular scenery and fresh air. And know that you are not alone in this. I had a bad ride not too long ago too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    2,716
    Quote Originally Posted by aly View Post
    T
    It was so discouraging. I got super-negative. All I could think about was how hard I've been working and how I'm still so slow and I'm passed constantly, and although everyone is nice and supportive, it gets old being the slowest and so on. My mind just kept going along these lines and I got very emotional and negative. I just kept getting more teary and tired. I ended up just stopping and turning around (which made me feel even worse). I tried to explain it to my BF, but I don't think he entirely understands how I feel sometimes (he's also new, but is in much better shape than I am and is doing great on the bike). He also just did his first ride without me where he added 20 miles to our longest ride and added a couple thousand feet of climbing. I think this might have gotten me down a little, since I had prided myself on having done just as much as he had (albeit at a slower pace).

    Thanks for letting me whine.
    Been there. Thought that!

    Sometimes... mentally... you lose it. Plain and simple. Stuff starts to accumulate and finally you GIVE into it.

    Don't beat yourself over turning around. You did what you MENTALLY needed to do. It's OK. Take a couple of days off the bike... be lazy. You will get a clearer frame of mind.

    Trust me, back in August I had a mental break down from all my training. I finally said, "I give", and I took an easy week. Mentally it really recharged me and got me back on track.

    Don't be so hard on yourself... take a break and a deep breath. You will be more positive in a few days.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather, to skid in broadside thoroughly used-up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW WHAT A RIDE!!!!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Limbo
    Posts
    8,769
    +1+1 for Sundial
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
    2009 Jamis Aurora/Brooks B-68
    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,131
    Everyone else has already given you wonderful advice. Sometimes you have to give yourself a break both to refresh yourself mentally and physically. Remember that your muscles need time to repair themselves too.

    I can totally relate to your experience. I've had a rides like the one you describe. The longest ride I've done so far ended with me bawling the last few miles home. Luckily I was all alone. I was questioning my sanity for wanting to ride and why was I doing this to myself when I could have been comfortably sitting at home. It took a couple of days of moping to get over it. Looking back on it, I think it was kind of a good thing. It quickened my resolve that this IS something I want to do. For me, I don't want to go back to being an unhealthy (physically, mentally, and emotionally) person.

    I'm also very slow. So far I've ridden with wonderfully supportive people who are very encouraging. But it doesn't stop me from sometimes feeling bad for keeping everyone else back. I've come to realize that that is my own issue to deal with.

    I don't think it's a good idea to compare your progression with your BF or anyone else for that matter. As others have said many, many times on this board: You have to ride your own ride. For me that means doing the best that I can and pushing myself to MY limits, not someone else's.

    Also, it helps to think about all that I've accomplished as apposed to my failures. I started out this year with the goal of doing the STP. Well, I hadn't trained adequately enough so I decided to forgo the ride (the right decision for me BTW). I felt so discouraged and spent a couple of weeks depressed for not meeting my goal. Then I started to think about all that I have done this year. I've ridden more this year than the previous 7-8 years combined. My longest ride is 53 miles. A big deal for me. There's also the three days of ~25 hilly (for me) miles in row I did Labor Day weekend. I never would have imagined a few years ago that I was even capable of that. I now feel confidant that I'll be able to meet my goals. Some may just take a bit longer than I thought. I'm still learning how to be patient with my self.
    Everything in moderation, including moderation.

    2007 Rodriguez Adventure/B72
    2009 Masi Soulville Mixte/B18
    1997 Trek 820 Step-thru Xtracycle/B17

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,821
    Maybe you had a headwind. That can make a hill seem steeper and your speed slower.

    Don't get discouraged. You're not the slowest person on a bike. We all get passed sometimes. Ride at your own pace, and try to have fun!

    I say go for another ride, but don't ride that hill again for a while. You won't have fun knowing it's coming up. Don't add more miles. Ride a scenic ride that you think is fun.

    When bad thoughts come up, focus on your breath and your cadence. Try to spin as effortlessly as you can. Know you're getting stronger.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,365
    It will make you stronger next time round.
    sounds trite, but, it really is true.
    I can do five more miles.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Middle Earth
    Posts
    3,997
    Quote Originally Posted by boy in a kilt View Post
    On the worst ride I ever had, I was alternately screaming at the wind and rain for blowing in my face and slogging down the road staring like a hypnotized chicken.
    I had one of these days about 3 weeks ago. I was crying at times too - sometimes in despair, sometimes with rage... the wind and rain was inside my head though, but I was still yelling, muttering and whispering to myself... as well as the hypnotised chook thing...

    Aly, like the others say. Give yourself time, don't write yourself off... we all have days of despair and self-doubt. Look at my sig below, and dust yourself off for another day.


    Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,
    "I will try again tomorrow".


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Hollywood, CA
    Posts
    138
    Awwww. You all are so great. I really needed a hug and I feel like you all gave it to me. I appreciate all of the advice and support. It always helps to know that others have felt the same way.

    I feel much better today. My BF and I talked and I think part of my problem is that I've been pushing too hard and only have time to ride on the weekends. Therefore, I end up working way too hard and crashing. So, I'm going to try to fit in some indoor cycling classes during the week- I think they'll help me with my riding and I'll be able to be on a bike without others passing me- I'm also going to try to take it a little easier and not push to jump my miles and climbing up every weekend. We'll also start riding seperate routes sometimes, so that I won't feel the need to keep up and get down on myself when I can't. I can't wait to hit that hill again, but I will wait a week or so...

    I will not give up cycling... my legs are just starting to look really good! But, just for today, I'm going to watch some TV and play with the goodies I just got from Nashbar. Thanks again!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,150
    Um, another thought: were your tires fully inflated? YOu checked 'em right before, maybe even during the ride?

    I had a pretty sucky century yesterday - my friend's first. I even thought we were going to bail because I am basically the stronger rider... if I felt this crappy, he must feel worse, eh? I checked the tires after the first loop because when I feel like I'm working too hard, usually it's the tyres. They were *fine.* He was the one who said "we're not done yet, " not me. (Um, usually I'm the cattle prod )
    Now, I was getting over a cold, too... but as we took my bike off the car, the tire was seriously soft (yes, flat by a.m.). No wonder those last 15 miles were so long!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    317
    Ouch! I'd go nuts if all my riding was during the weekend.

    I'm slow. I am ok with being slow, because slow on a bike is still faster than walking. Also, slow on a bike still feels like flying . I'm also a wee bit more competitive than is good for me, and an introvert. So I'm not a big fan of group rides or racing, and I love commuting and utility biking.

    You'll find your own space on the bike . There are lots of options, and not everyone is cut out for every kind of biking. If you have a bad ride, it's ok. Sometimes a break lets you pull out of the negative, sometimes it doesn't. And a fall always leaves me a bit wobbly right after... usually then I want to go home right away. (and so far, going home right away has been a good call... I always manage to end up with impressive bruises that need ice)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    1,253
    You've already been given some fabulous advice already, which I won't repeat. What struck me the most with your post was this part:
    Quote Originally Posted by aly View Post
    It was so discouraging. I got super-negative. All I could think about was how hard I've been working and how I'm still so slow and I'm passed constantly, and although everyone is nice and supportive, it gets old being the slowest and so on. My mind just kept going along these lines and I got very emotional and negative.
    Do you generally have issues with negative self-talk? I had a riding partner who really struggled with self-esteem and negativity, and this reminded me a lot of her. What I find is that being in positions of extreme distress brings out all of my usual "demons". Having an incredibly challenging ride can get you to that point of meltdown alarmingly quickly. They're there with me every day of my life, but they really rear their ugly little heads when I'm on the edge. Anyways, this might be something you want to explore in therapy/counselling. It's helped me out a lot.

 

 

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