Sunday marked my first ride after oh, I don't know, 6 months? I'm still giving my knee a break (no running and no stairs) and I'm going bonkers. I feel like a teenage girl whose boyfriend just broke up with her. I think about it all the time, I wonder why my knee is betraying me, I get excited about group runs I see forming only to remember that it's not in my life right now. I'm trying to bear this grief silently; well, sort of silently...I'm sure E is tired of my "but I want to ruuuuuuuun" whine.
Anyways, the original point of this was getting back on the bike. I was exciting about getting cardio, but a little wary about how much this ride was probably going to blow. I remember last year, when I also went all winter without riding. That first ride back was miserable. Mostly just because making it event to 15 miles an hour felt as hard as a long uphill climb. But I was pleasantly surprised. It was a great way to see - or feel rather - the benefits of marathon training. My legs felt great. Sure, it was tough at certain parts, but I was in it mentally and physically. My quads were screaming at me in certain parts, but I pushed through. I was overall really happy with the ride, glad to be back on the bike and most especially, glad to be getting my heart rate pounding.
I also had an interesting experience during my swim last week. The pool I'm in now is a lot smaller than the pool I used to use - this one is a junior olympic size. About mid-way through my swim this pack of big guys came into the pool area, very obviously dedicated swimmers. One wound of sharing a lane with me. After warming up, they started doing drills, fast. And the combination of their high speeds and the small pool meant suddenly I felt very much like I do when I'm swimming in a tri. There were people and choppy water all around me and I immediately reacted like I do in a tri: all thoughts of a proper swim stroke left me and I started flailing, doggy-paddling almost, with my head jutting out of the water like a dog, gasping for air. I'm actually pretty happy this happened - I think a smaller pool where i have to share a lane sometimes and sometimes am surrounded by big swimmers might be a big win for my anxiety!