So as you may or may not know, last weekend I did a big bike ride, in order to raise money for cancer. The bike ride was over 200km, from Toronto to Niagara Falls.
I had been training since January for this ride, and I’m not going to lie I was extremely anxious about the race. I was really surprised when I realized I was maintaining a solid 20-25 km/ h pace. And believe it or not, other than a pretty mean sunburn, I’m not in too much pain (I was expecting to not be able to walk Monday), but I guess I’m stronger than I give myself credit for at times.
1. DO relax. I was so stressed about this ride, but once I got on my bike it was a fun ride! Of course its nerve racking, but if you trained and are committed to the ride (or whatever your event may be), you’ll be fine. Part of me kept saying, ‘maybe I should have trained more’ but sometimes I just need to remind myself to let it go, and accept what I have done, and be proud of that.But as with any new experience it is a learning process. Here is a bit about what I learned, and the DO’s and DON’Ts for any long endurance event:
2. DONT let you ego get the best of you. There were definitely parts of the ride where I wanted to speed up/ pass people/ not let people pass me, but I had to constantly remind myself that finishing the ride is what was important. I knew I had to keep a pace I could maintain and not get caught up in the excitement. I also had to remind myself that I was faster than a large group of people and that I wasn’t going to be last. I know it sounds ridiculous, but this is literally what I had to talk myself through.
3. DO trust in science. As much as I wanted to just relax on the downhill portions of the ride or take a break at the top of a hill, I didn’t let myself because I knew it would cause my muscles to build up lactic acid, making the rest of my ride harder and more painful. See!? I did learn something in Exercise Physiology…. So when I felt like stopping I just sang myself some good old Finding Nemo Tunes “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming”.
4. DON’T forget to reapply sunscreen. Multiple times. Because only once will get you some sexy tan lines like this… and I mean you don’t want to be too irresistible….
5. DO bring some quick energy. Morgan was lovely enough to give me a little bike ride care package, with Clif Shot Turbo Energy Gel and and Clif Shot blocks. Basically they are quick carbs so when you don’t want to stop, but you body is short on fuel you can eat some of the energy blocks or energy gel, and feel restored. Friggen’ life saver, people.
6. DO be proud of all that you’ve accomplished. I tend to always think of what I could have done better, instead of being proud once I cross the finish line. But it’s important to just take a breath, and be proud that you committed to training, and you committed to completing your event.
I am so grateful to all those who were generous in donating to this amazing cause. I am grateful that my body kept up with me during this event. And most of all I am grateful that everyday people are really making a difference in the live of cancer patients by riding, donating and putting on events like this. Tato & Papa would be proud. Missing them each and everyday.