They Can’t All Be Winners

This weekend was far more about beer than it was about anything remotely related to outdoor activities. It was also far more about beer than it was about laundry, cleaning, regular showers, cooking food, eating at appropriate mealtimes, or any other things that go along with, y’know, adulthood. I adore San Francisco Beer Week, but thank goodness it’s only once a year.

Still, I couldn’t let another mostly lovely (where is winter?) San Francisco weekend go by without some kind of workout besides the one I got lifting glasses of Cuvee de Tomme and Sour Cherry Stout to my lips. (Certainly a fine workout.) Somehow, I managed three.

They were all kind of meh. But it was good to just be out there. (Right? Right??) The frustrating thing is, every single one would have been better if I weren’t such a head case.

On Saturday morning, I ran for the first time since January 24. It was lovely to put on my Adrenalines again, lovely to pay a visit to the Panhandle path, lovely to remember what running felt like (even if my body was sort of like “whoa, wait, what IS this weird motion we are making?”). I ran three miles at whatever pace felt comfortable, and when I looked at my watch data later, I was pleasantly surprised. And nothing hurt. But I still spent the next 48 hours in a state of minor panic about what my leg was going to do next. I wanted to be happy I had run; instead, I kept thinking, “did I ruin everything by running?”

(For those interested in the progress of my leg gremlins: for the most part, things seem status quo, though on Sunday I was getting weird zips of achiness up and down my shin and calf. They weren’t that intense but they were constant. It was the first time in this whole process that I thought, “If it’s going to be like this, I don’t think I can handle it.” Then I woke up this morning and they were gone. I have a bunch of theories — of course I do — but my next move is retiring the red Adrenalines and seeing if that makes a difference.)

I chased the run with a mediocre trip to the climbing gym. I made a dumb choice of a warmup route (not helped by the pair on the neighboring climb not being honest about their skill levels) and only got a few moves up before deciding it wasn’t worth waiting until I could safely climb higher. So then I had to find another warm-up, and we’d already been there for 20 minutes and it didn’t feel like I’d done anything. I did climb one good route — an easier grade than what I usually climb but on a part of the wall that involves overhanging terrain and more upside-downness than I prefer — and I came out of that thinking I actually could have handled a slightly harder version. But then I tried something that should have been just above my base level and almost from the start, it felt completely out of reach. I got halfway up, had no idea how to accomplish the next move, and just quit. And then we left. Climbing is like that sometimes, but it left a bad taste in my mouth after a few visits where I’d finally felt like I was finding ways to translate my strength and endurance from other sports onto the wall.

And then I let what would have otherwise been a lovely bike ride on Sunday get spoiled by a jerky kid who veered in front of me. Before that, I’d been jamming — I’d managed to practice some super-short stretches of steering with one hand and of coasting (rather than instantly reaching for the brakes) downhill. I even chased some people down on the uphill. But then this kid whizzed in, and I have no idea how I didn’t hit him or fall off — and then I was so shocked at not having fallen off that I almost fell off. I pulled over until I could breathe like a normal human again and then headed home, but I was rattled enough to do some stupid things — for example, getting in the path of my own pedal as I walked my bike to my door and bruising the hell out of my ankle. I’m learning that I have no sense on the bike of what is actually a real obstacle and what I can handle; I’m still stuck in this perpetual state of OMG DANGER DANGER!

The cheery version of me is all “but they’re learning experiences! And that’s how you grow and really appreciate the good times!” The grumpy version of me just wants another beer.

Favorite cure for meh workouts? More cowbell workouts?

4 thoughts on “They Can’t All Be Winners

  1. Kristina says:

    Getting back after an injury always turns me into a bit of a headcase as I keep expecting my leg to fall off. Hope that you continue to heal!
    The bike is hard – I still feel like a total newbie and am constantly expecting to fall while clipped in (something that hasn’t happened for almost a year – yay! ). You have to be far more aware on the bike than while running because there are so many things going on. I don’t know if you’ve considered a bike clinic, but a few years ago, I actually went up to San Francisco for a women’s only clinic organized by Velo Girls. It was an awesome experience.
    Good luck getting back in the saddle!

    • Kimra says:

      Ooh, I’ll look up Velo Girls — thank you! I was supposed to go to an REI clinic that was sort of at the “advanced beginners” level but it got rained out, which is all the more frustrating now that we’ve had such a dry winter! I’m hoping there’s something beginner-level with my triathlon group. They’re really good at coaching swimming beginners, from what I understand, but maybe there are some newbie bike lessons too.

      I haven’t clipped in yet. I really, really should try soon, though. Biking feels so much like learning to drive to me — like, how can I ever possibly pay attention to all of these things? I do at least feel like I’m (slowly) learning.

  2. Katie says:

    I am really diggin your love for beer. Beer Week sounds awesome! Sorry to hear about the jerk on the bike. I would have really freaked out, too! Glad to hear your leg gremlins are mostly gone!

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