Sunday, June 17, 2007

Lead legs

Date: June 17
Mileage: 35.4
June mileage: 379.7
Temperature upon departure: 54

Shortly after heading out for a ride this morning, I noticed a sensation that I haven't experienced in months: sluggish strokes, blood pumping like peanut butter, invisible weights wrapped around my shins ... lead legs.

Sure, it meant I was going to have a rough morning. But beyond that, I was pretty excited about the development. Lead legs without knee pain mean I have finally hit a point in recovery where I can tire out my muscles without overtaxing my joint. That they were tired out at the beginning of the day means I've been riding too much overall, but still ... that's training! Actual training. Oh happy, oh joy.

Truthfully, I haven't had any major knee pain since just before the calendar turned over to June. Weight training and stretching finally earned me the range of motion I need to turn pedals, and since then, it's just been a matter of doing so. My recent mileage spike might make it seem like I've gone trigger happy. But in reality, I've just used cycling to replace my menagerie of lower-impact cardio exercises (indoor swimming and the elliptical machine ... who wouldn't want to replace that?) My overall activity has only increased ... well ... it hasn't quite doubled. Actually, it's a fair amount lower than double. Still, I do deserve the lead legs.

Of course I'm not fully recovered yet. I'd be an idiot to believe that I am. During my quad stretches, I still can't pull my right heel all the way to my butt without some pain. The invisible barrier still springs up when I walk down stairs. But I am so, so close.

(The ski resort is one of the few places on a summer Sunday I can go to be alone.)

Now that I've made my health case, this is the part of the blog entry in which I admit that I just signed up for the solo female category of the 24 Hours of Light. I mulled my different options, including not riding at all, and decided that I'd have the most fun if I had the freedom to decide when (and whether) to ride.

I know it sounds crazy. But you know, despite the implications of a 24-hour race, there's nothing in the race rulebook that stipulates that you have to ride straight through those 24 hours. You could ride for four. Or eleven. Or one. That's the beauty of a race against time. Everyone's a finisher. (Not unlike life itself, one might say.)

I feel like I should do something special, like wear a costume or commit to only eating Lucky Charms, just to illustrate my true intentions with this race. Any ideas?

And despite the voices of reason and common sense, I honestly believe that my worst worry will be lead legs.


  1. I'd eat nothing but Take 5 bars, but that's just because they're delicious. And you should dress like a pirate.

  2. Let me think on this...we have friends who do these on costumes all the time!

  3. Congratulations on earning your lead legs! Who would have ever thought that would be something exciting?

  4. Thanks for useful information!! :) Rob

  5. Beautiful pictures; again! It would be tough to go to work and not just ride with that scenery all around.
    More power to you for electing to do the the 24 hour race; you can ride it any way you choose.
    I would suggest a black bear costume (from your sketch); might give you an edge in the finish sprint!

  6. Jill, I have to admit that it's been painful to watch your recovery (not the same kind of pain you've been going through). The reason it is painful is because it's a reminder I'm always just one injury away from having my passion for cycling taken away from me. We all hope it never happens to us and hate to see it happen to someone else. So happy to see you finally coming back, riding again, and entering endurance events.

  7. love the photo with the hint of sun behind the mist clearing over the glacier

  8. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts.


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