Monday, February 04, 2008

Sunshine and Rainbows!

I'm walking on sunshine (whoa oh)
I'm walking on sunshine (whoa oh)
And don't it feel good (HEY!)

lyrics by Katrina and the Waves

For those of you not in the know, SUNSHINE is the name of my road bike. The name came from all the songs I would sing at the start of those long training ride days back when I was doing the DC AIDS RIDES with Team Love. Longer rides started early in the morning and even in the summer, some days would be overcast. As the sun peaked through , I would pick my favorite "Sunshine" song and sing it loudly! Sometimes it was "Walking on Sunshine" some times it was the Beatle's classic "Here comes the Sun" and when if it was late in the day and the sun was no longer a welcome sight, I'd sing "Sunshine go away today, don't feel much like dancing..." It could also be because my bike is bright YELLOW but that is only part of the reason for the name.

So why wax poetic about my road bike in my blog? Simply because yesterday was the FIRST TIME SINCE AUGUST 2007 THAT I RODE MY BIKE! Goodness how I missed my old friend!

It didn't even matter (much) that by mile 5, I was getting that all to familiar burning sensation down my cervical spine (that we are still trying to pinpoint). I was so happy to be on my bike, on a beautiful, rare 50 degree February morning. I wish I could put into words how I feel when I am on my bike. It was my first *sport* - long before Triathlon...and it remains my favorite leg of the 3-sport race.

Being on my bike makes me feel powerful, confident and free. Even a bad day on the bike is better than ANY good day at work. I'll take the steepest, longest climbs if it means that somewhere down the road is along sweeping downhill or a flat ribbon of road rolls through the farms and fields. Jim and I dream of our someday vacation to Italy. To spend the days riding our bikes and the nights enjoying the food and wine. Those are the kinds of moments we work to enjoy.

So back to yesterday, 17 miles along the well used bike paths along the Potomac River. The trails were not packed, just the occasional runner or fellow cyclist. My ride headed out to Crystal City, where I stopped to stretch my neck, shoulder and back as best I could and then the return trip home. No pace goals, no worries about how fast or slow I was going. Just me and my bike, getting reacquainted before we head to Myrtle Beach 30-Miler in 2 weeks. I even had to stop once on my long climb home (Bell Haven Drive) but I didn't walk one inch of that climb - merely took a breather before I resumed climbing. By Summer, I *KNOW* I will be powering up Bell Haven Drive. No doubts in my mind.

The nerve pain is a little unsettling. It's not my rotator cuff that is aggravated by the bike ride but some possible cervical disk issues that we saw on the MRI. I'll be seeing a Neurologist later this month to address these concerns. In the mean time, it seems that the sensations slowly ebbs away once I am off the bike (or done running) and by morning I am usually feeling better.

Time, patience and some medical expertise will tell but for now, it's pain I can live with - especially when it means I can ride my bike!

Onto Rainbows!

This morning on my way into work, I was treated to a rare sight. A beautiful full spectrum rainbow that lasted the entire 5 minutes it takes me to walk from the shuttle bus stop to my office door! Now if that is not an omen for a GOOD WEEK AHEAD, I hardly know what one would be!



Carver said...

Beautiful rainbow and a great omen. I hope the disc issue can be addressed and you can get some relief. I'm glad you're back on your bike and get that feeling of power, confidence and freedom.

solarjo said...

Yr. first bike ride of the season sounded lovely! we are jealous up here in snowy NH!

Hope your neuro sheds more light on the cervical disk pb. I have disk issues, too. Acupuncture helps!