Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Muscle Fatigue

Sunday's 5-mile triumph has left me with a renewed sense of hope and in turn an overflow of enthusiasm. Not wanting to do too much too soon, I decided a trip out on the bike would be a good balance for Monday night activity, and I needed to pop into the grocery, so why not combine the two?

I started out on the North shore trail, my own little cross town highway. It was cool but sunny and I moved along at a pretty nice clip. I headed across the 31st street bridge, pleased with my time, feeling relatively good. Then, I hit Liberty Ave. Liberty Ave has a dedicated bike lane and a slighly less sharp grade then Penn -- which makes it a good choice for a bicyclist descending into the East End. I started up the hill, a little tired, but determined. It only took a few minutes for me to lose steam. I stopped and considered my plan tentatively deciding to proceed at a slower pace. About a minute later I decided my ambition did not match my steam, turning around and enjoying the fruits of my labor with a smooth ride the opposite direction.

Turns out I failed to take my muscle fatigue from Sunday into account, as well as my overall lack of bike conditioning. Mentally I feel as though I can do most anything, but my physical limitations serve as reminders to not go too far. Marathon training played around with my concepts of real versus perceived limits. It stretched me further than I ever thought I could go. A good and healthy stretch based on months of effort and attention. Now as I pick back up I must respect my limits, pushing too far or too hard too fast could leave me burnt out, injured and even further away from my goals. One pedal at a time. I have no doubt that in my own time I will be able to scale Pittsburgh's hills.

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