Archive | June, 2016

Event wrap?

20 Jun

Well I always do a post event wrap up blog, to think about what I’ve learned from each event I participate in.  Seems a bit strange to do an event wrap on an event I didn’t really participate in, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Sunday 19th June – the “Brissie to the Bay” raising funds for Multiple Sclerosis. I signed up for 100km and in the process added Dave’s name to the registration so he could do it with me. I have a couple of friends with an MS diagnosis and I wanted to do my bit to support them.  Our goal was to raise $250 each towards this cause. I’m thrilled to say that after the generosity of a few remarkable individuals we made this goal and the “Nutchey Duo” successfully contributed $500 (with the donation that got us over the line coming in the afternoon of the ride!).  In a true example of “together everyone achieves more”, our $500 has combined with others, and $1,336,500 has so far been raised from this event.

Saturday afternoon we laid out all our clothes, packed our nutrition, and ensured our bikes were prepared for the 100km ride.  We only live about 7km from the start line so were also riding to the start.  We had been closely watching the weather forecast with a low pressure system heading for Brisbane likely to dump 20-60mm of rain.  Forecasting on Saturday night indicated that it was not likely to come through until the afternoon. So, considering we would most likely get most of the ride in, in the dry, with potentially the tail end of the ride getting a little wet we decided to get an early night and get ready to get up, out and on our bikes first thing in the morning.

The 0500 alarm actually didn’t wake me… the rain did… just before 5 I heard the rain start. Nooooooo!  I reached blindly for my phone, looking for the 4am update from event organisers about whether the ride was still going ahead… nothing posted…. Next stop in my browsing – the bureau of meteorology.  There were showers coming down the coast fairly continuously… and that was ahead of the actual significant rainfall planned… back to the website and facebook pages to check for further updates. I saw I was not alone with many others posting questions about whether the event was continuing with many noting rain at their place that morning.  Simultaneously there were many posting their withdrawal from the ride due to conditions.  It was then that Dave and I had a serious discussion… this would be Dave’s first 100km ride, and his longest on his road bike.  I could count on two hands the number of 100km rides I’ve done – I’m not very experienced either. I could count even less instances where I’d cycled in the rain – occasionally while I’m out there has been a passing shower, but I’ve always reverted to the wind trainer when it is raining. My experience on wet roads is limited – although I have tried to slip on line markings before…  We began to consider the possibility of constant rain over the 100km (and predicted we would probably be out for 5-6 hours including breaks at rest stops).  While discussing this the rain got heavier, then stopped, then started again…. What do we do??  I really hate pulling out of events. But in the end we made the decision, that as novice riders, with wet roads and many other cyclists and normal road traffic (roads were not closed for this event, it was riding on road as normal), the safest thing to do was to withdraw from the event.  Once that decision was made there could be no second guessing no matter what the weather did.  We made what we considered the best decision at the time and we therefore had to stick with it.

I sent a message to a couple of friends to let them know not to look out for us – a few pulled out, a couple changed distances, but still a few continued with the original ride. As I sent that message I also made the decision to do my 100km that day regardless, on my wind trainer. People had sponsored us, and supported a great cause, I didn’t want to quit, regardless of reason.

So, fast forward a few hours and I set up my bike on my wind trainer. For those unsure, a wind trainer is simply a device that lifts the back wheel of the bike off the ground, locks the wheel in position, and applies some resistance to the back tyre (which can be altered by changing gears etc). While it isn’t the same as road riding, it is a pretty good substitute.  You can still create hills (by increasing the resistance and having to push harder), and you can focus on turning your legs over. You don’t get the benefit of any downhills – if you stop pedalling on the wind trainer the wheel stops… so there are no periods of occasional rest that you might get out on the road.

I moved the wind trainer and the bike into the living room (yes, Dave was thrilled) so that I could set up the TV… see, where the wind trainer and road cycling differ is mainly in your head. It is far easier to forget you are out riding when there are places to explore, things to see, roads to concentrate on, and friends to chat with. On a wind trainer there is you and the bike… and if you’re lucky, your husband coming in every hour to see how far (or not!) you have gone…. So, I set up in front of the TV and decided to pass the time with some chick flicks… Letters to Juliet and Music and Lyrics got me most of the way through my ride… I lined up drink bottles on the kitchen bench (in arms reach), and grabbed a couple of towels (the other more slightly gross aspect is the wind helps dry out the sweat on a ride outside…. cycling stationary leaves me dripping!!). I started and stopped a little at the start, getting “comfortable” and ironing out a few stability issues, but then I was away. Time to turn the legs over.

An hour and a half passed without too much drama – one movie finished and I quickly jumped off, changed my DVD over and refilled my water bottles, then back on the bike (I figured if the real ride had rest stops then this was okay to do).  By the end of the second movie I wasn’t travelling quite as well. My butt hurt! If you google this it is a fairly common phenomenon… I can ride for hours outdoors and not notice my butt, but on a stationary trainer it is a whole other story.  The theories vary but mainly focus on the static position on a trainer – on the road you vary the weight of your body through the bike for corners, you stand up hills, or to get power, you’re constantly moving around – this isn’t quite the same on the trainer.  I also found my knicks were rubbing something fierce (I’d already reapplied chamois cream). Dave suggested a change of attire, so at about the 3 hour mark I also changed into a fresh, DRY set of bike pants. Back on the trainer…. It wasn’t until about the 85km mark where I actually started to feel the weariness in my legs.  I was pretty happy with that actually – another indication that my training in recent months has been paying off!  So then it was just a matter of toughing it out until the end.  I admit though, I was super pleased to get off my bike at the end of the ride!!

So… the stats for those that are interested. Time elapsed from start to finish was 4 hours 8 minutes. Moving time to do the 100km was 3 hrs 49 minutes.  Average speed of about 26km/hr. HOWEVER this is likely faster than I would have done it in real life… any hill on the road would have knocked my speed considerably (although I didn’t get any downhills). I also only had enough resistance for a smooth ride, without so much that I felt like I was pushing super hard the whole time.  As I say, I did have to have a couple of breaks to relieve the saddle soreness so I didn’t ride a continuous 100km – although I didn’t have to stop at intersections and traffic lights so I’m hoping it all evens out…

So, while not the official 100km MS Brissie to the Bay, I was able to still complete a 100km ride.  It sounds like the ride was wet at the start and then dried out – although the roads remained wet. A majority of the rain hit from about 2pm at home – and we had 110mm… so we probably would have made it home before that hit… however, we made the best decision for our safety that we could.

Oh, and I will still get Dave out on a 100km ride… but it may not be for a while… we’ve got a few half marathons and he has work trips coming up…  but we will still do 100km ride together! But I won’t be recommending he do 100km on the wind trainer… it was a fairly crazy idea….

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Worry…

6 Jun

I’m a worrier. I’m not proud of it, but I worry about all kinds of things….

For example… some of the things I’ve recently worried about are (this isn’t an exclusive list – trust me!):

  • My postgraduate study – assignment results and an upcoming exam… Can I actually do this… how do I fit it all in around what already seems to be too full a life… why did I sign up for this?
  • The health of my family – a few members in particular! Terminal diagnosis’ suck.
  • Will my patient still be alive at the end of my shift? Sometimes I feel like I clench my teeth and do everything I can for 12 hours… it is no wonder I am completely exhausted at the end of a shift…
  • Will I make my fundraising goals this year for the event’s I have signed up for? I’m almost there, and I’ve still got some time, but what if I don’t get there?
  • How am I going to complete a half marathon in a few weeks’ time? I’m sticking to my training plan and I’m following my coach’s instructions but can I really do this? Will the shin splints I’ve been having get in the way, or can I keep pressing on?

But worrying about these things has achieved absolutely nothing. Nothing!

Well, that is not entirely true… worrying has resulted in me being

  • Anxious
  • Sleep deprived
  • Less patient
  • Less tolerant
  • And often feeling so close to breaking point that I wonder if there is something that day that will result in me “breaking”… I just have been feeling quite fragile

Just yesterday I heard a quote – Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere… How true is that?? You go backwards and forwards, thinking, stressing about an issue over which you likely have very little to no control… and for which the outcome may or may not even eventuate. Sounds like an exercise in futility!! Yet, I find myself picking up my burdens again every time I put them down! I have so much to learn!

The last couple of weeks I’ve been able to get to church and I’ve been encouraged by a couple of verses in particular.

Of course Matthew 6 talks straight into the futility of worrying! I find it incredible that back when the Bible was written, thousands of years ago, God knew that we would worry – and He gave me some words to challenge me, and remind me that He’s got this! Can worrying add a single hour to our lives? Unlikely – in fact I’d suggest that worry subtracts hours from your lives…. why do we worry, we have the creator of the universe taking care of us! I have to remind myself that God has a plan. His plans are to not harm me but to give me hope. Therefore, while we live in a world that is full of pain, sickness, brokenness, and a world that is far from perfect, I will continue to remind myself that my small view of the world falls far short from the view of the world that God has. He sees a much bigger picture than I ever could, and he’s working all the challenges of my life together to make an incredible picture.

1 Peter 1: 6-7: “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed….” I’ve got to tell you that it is hard to rejoice when you are worrying, grieved or in a trial.  However, that also depends on where I put my focus.  When my focus is on the circumstance I do worry, grieve and experience all the negative effects that these things bring. BUT when I focus on my Creator, the God of the Universe, how can I possibly consider worrying? He calms a storm… He breathes life… He creates, guides, loves… He brings PEACE.

When Abraham was tested, right back in Genesis 22, he found that the Lord. Will. Provide. He saw this over and over again in His life. When I take the time to think about it, I see it in my life too. Time and time again I can attest that in good circumstances, and in bad, I have seen the Lord provide.

So, again, as I have recently been reminded, I’m going to make a more conscious effort to stop worrying! In times when I feel worry creeping in, I’m going to remind myself that there is no need to worry about life – worrying undermines my trust and faith in my God – a God who I believe created the universe and all that is in it. A God who already knows me intimately, knows my thoughts, and knows what concerns me. In times where the temptation is to worry – I am going to refocus my attention on the character traits of my God, and in doing so, remind myself that I can have confidence in God’s ability to take care of me.

If you have a problem with worrying – I’d challenge you to do the same.

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