"Dad, I don't want you to be a cyclist. I like you better as a runner."
These words were spoken to me by my youngest daughter today, who is never one to pull punches. She has also complained about my slightly larger-than-usual belly the last several weeks. Hey, I'm working on it! Reducing it, that is, despite obvious dietary choices...
Well, to indirectly respond to my blatantly honest daughter, I like me better as a runner, too. The thing is, I just can't run right now. I've tried. Over and over and over. Whatever is going on in my right leg shows no signs of improving anytime soon. And more physical therapy and/or any other "treatment" isn't financially feasible at this time, unfortunately.
So...I'm currently a cyclist. I intended to become a cyclist earlier this year. However, we were in the midst of packing and moving across the state, so I had neither the time nor energy to devote to time in the saddle. Thus, I pulled the plug on my plans to do the Seattle to Portland (STP) ride back in mid-July.
Now that we're getting settled into our new home, I've gone for a few rides and, actually, I'm starting to enjoy it. While I was hitting the weights pretty heavy earlier this year, my endurance and cardio fitness were suffering. I'm slowly starting to get some of that back, and that feels good. I don't worry about riding too frequently (if/when time allows), since there is no impact on my joints. Well, until I space out and smack into a car, tree or another cyclist.
Building a base is my goal now. Not a lot of hill work. Not too much speed. Just gradually building the mileage, both per week and per ride. I have yet to do a ride over 20 miles, but I know I'll take care of that soon.
There's a big cycling club here in Spokane. I'll probably ride mostly on my own the rest of this summer and into fall (and on my trainer during the winter) before joining the club...which I'll probably do. I'm looking forward to doing some organized rides and...finally...getting my first century under my belt.
As for running...I'm not officially "retiring" just yet, but it's going to have to sit on the backburner for a while longer. I know the itch will hit me again eventually, but the fact that my injury seemed as fresh as a daisy when I first ran earlier this month after taking 5 months completely off tells me there's something seriously wrong, and perhaps more than just a few months off is necessary, sadly.
But, like I said earlier, I'm starting to dig the bike. And that's a big step (pedal?) forward for me.