Friday, December 17, 2010

Baby steps!

It's been just over 1 month since I started training with Matt and learning to ride. I am having some growing pains. Lot's of physical changes are starting to occur. I am getting fatigue and soreness in unfamiliar territory. Along with all the physical changes I am getting a good dose of humility. I am really excited to see changes in my body. Who isn't? As ultra runners I feel like we have some of the strongest legs around when it comes to muscle endurance. All the large muscles are generally well developed and most of all many of our auxiliary muscles are ready to roll at a moments notice. Given the opportunity to show their strength at the slightest ankle roll or toe clip they tend to be there ready for action. Not many sports offer that. I am learning not all my leg muscles are ready to work or at least work very hard for very long. Both my center quads are surprisingly lazy. I guess my lateral quads pick up a lot of slack. With the help of some seriously over defined abductors my two most frontal quads have basically been on vacation. My medial quad gets a bit of work on the downhills while running but it's not super developed either. With the addition of cycling my 2 most frontal quads are pissed! It's like they are having a fight with my lateral quad who seems to be the dominate reliable force in the relationship. The one who always ends up carrying the load. I am certain this relationship is dysfunctional and the co-dependency needs to end. My frontal quads need to man up and do their part. Fortunately I have a brain and I plan to use it. It's as if I'm the counselor who is gently trying to sort this relationship out. In the process of unraveling and retraining this cast of characters I need to tread lightly because at any moment both my frontal quads will just shut down, turn they're back on me forcing my lateral to do all the work. When this happens my poor lateral quad which is used to be the dominate, steady partner gets really tired and tight. This is all really interesting to me. I can feel it all happening while I ride. Everything is as smooth as silk for about 1.5 hours but beyond that my frontal quads ask for a smoke break and leave my lateral to do all the work. That's when I have to counsel them back in game and be vigilant. I always wondered why I have no definition in quads. The answer is now clear. I only have 2! My lateral and medial quads have depth but my vastus intermedius and rectus femoris are lazy and underdeveloped. This is really good news because better running and better riding will occur once they realize their vacation is OVER! With that said I am finding myself having to practice some serious patience. For those of you who are parents you remember all the times you needed to bite your tongue or remove yourself from the situation before you lost your cool. This is similar. I can't bully this process. I need to be mature and practice patience as the muscles mature and adapt to being used. I am beginning to get some useful data on my riding ability. I want to see serious improvement. I want to ride more efficient, faster and with more power. Instead of just going for it I am practicing patience and humility. I am trying to listen to my body and work on my pedal stroke and forget about power and speed. I feel I can't skip this step. I don't want to create bad habits that will ultimately cost me in all areas. It's hard to be so new. It makes me so pissed when I can't generate more power. That's when I have to step back and remember my long term goal. Why? Because the only way I can generate a lot of power right now is by just mashing like a mad woman with my strong glutes and lateral quads. Bad idea for me!

Not only am having some great physical changes I am getting a mental shift. I am going from knowing exactly what I need to do to be successful in an endurance run to being a true beginner. I will admit it's super frustrating and annoying. I am constantly reminding myself to be easy and open to the process. Now I know why people bail when things get hard. It would be much easier to abort the mission. However, I can't. I even gave it some thought but it's not in me. I want this. The vision is sometimes crystal clear. When I get frustrated the vision becomes cloudy. That's when I have step back and remember where I am coming from. Just because I can run 100M in the mountains does not mean I can MTB it. This is going to be long but prosperous process filled with many days of frustration but many days of success. I need to be able to handle both.

1 comment:

  1. Ronda, I can just see you pouring over problems and stumbling blocks with your head down:) Way to be! Exactly why it is dificult to start new things when you are profficient in another. Feels so weird to be at the level of a toddler, and so annoying, and so easy to drop it. Great attitude!