Sunday, June 02, 2019

Fears: the incredible way it affects our workouts

We had another busy weekend.   We took time to relax but we also continued on with working on our quests to get and remain active.  I think we succeeded!  While we were out there working it though, I had to come to terms with a big fear that I have....or at least accepted its presence in my life and it’s effect on me. 

On Saturday morning I woke up and immediately headed out for a run.   I am working on the C25K program again.   I started with week two and Saturday was my first day to do week three.   It was a piece of cake and I didn’t feel as if I worked hard at all.

I completed it and added in about two minutes extra running.  I am toying with jumping ahead to week 4....but then again if I complete week three maybe it will help my speed increase. Hmmm decisions!   

This past Saturday was our bi weekly shopping trip day, so we spent a good portion of the morning with those tasks.  But shortly after lunch we were ready to head out....and that is where the fear reared its ugly head!    Jason has been wanting to go ride the trail by the lake.   Uhhh. Yeah.   This is the trail that I had a mental breakdown on last fall, if you have a desire to read about it and see pictures of me sitting along the trail fighting tears you can check it out here .   But the end result is that  I have a very real this fear of the place!  Dread coursed through me all morning as I anticipated this trail ride!  When we got there it was packed!   We went elsewhere!  Whew...dodged that bullet!  And I was so happy and relieved! But....while we had said that if it was busy that we would default to the flat canal, I did decide to push it and we went to a different trail.  It is also a trail that I have previously been on.   In fact it was a trail where I had incredible victory last August when I pushed myself to conquer the trail, which you can read about here .  I wasn’t dreading this trail...even though I was still concerned about my diminished fitness levels AND this pinched nerve issue.   

We completed the trail and while it was difficult, I didn’t hate it!  I also didn’t end up sitting on the edge of the trail crying!  (That’s a win!). Jason rode with me (of course) and he just laughed at me and my willingness to ride that particular trail but not the lake trail.   Why?   Because the trail that I was happily attacking (it was rough...for sure!) is ten times more difficult than the lake trail that I fear!   The lake trail is very flowy and smooth.  Short inclines followed by short downhills...and a pretty smooth path.   The one that we rode had some longer downhills...which meant a LOT of climbing!   Yet there I was pushing through.   (Ok yeah, so I got off the bike and walked four  times...for about 1-2 minutes each time!).   

Fear of that stupid lake...it’s all mind over matter. I know it...I know my fear is somewhat irrational!  Yet it is debilitating.  I can go to another trail without the dread. I can ride a a tough trail (not the lake) and take the negatives as points to work on and as a benchmark for improvement.  Yet I think of the lake and I tense up in fear and absolute certainty that it will be an absolute failure!  Fear really affects everything.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that if I headed out on my bike on that lake trail on Saturday that it would have been a failure.  My mind would have worked against me and MADE it a failure!  It is a self fulfilling prophecy!  I experienced it on my run from last Tuesday when I went out thinking it was going to be a rough run....and it was. No Matter what happened, my mind would have turned any ride at the lake into a failure. Every negative would have been magnified 100%!  Because, the  key to success with exercise is all in our mental state!

 So what is the plan?  Are we going back to kill that demon of a lake?  Of course!    But not quite yet.  We are going to hit up the harder trail that I don’t fear for a few weeks. First of all, it is not at all crowded (probably because it is more difficult...the only other bike rider we saw was on one of those assisted motor bikes).  But secondly we will stay there for a bit  because it is pushing both of us.  The plan?  Ride that consistently for a few weeks and when I conquer that I can head to the lake with confidence and riding high on that confidence AND on my improved fitness levels.   The small climbs on the lake trail will be ‘nothing’ .....in theory!


Sunday I woke up and my weight was up a bit.  I did indulge in a milkshake on Saturday...and I had sore muscles so I wasn’t too concerned. (I was up 0.8 of a pound to 248.0).  I decided to not run so that my legs would not be shot before I eve got on the bike!  I did howeve have a vague idea of going for an evening run if I had the energy. 

On Sunday we headed out to the same difficult trail that we rode on Saturday.  My leg muscles  were already super wore out when we started....but I pushed through.  I pushed so much in fact that I actually had to get off the bike and walk less times then I had just the day before!   It was hard but I did it!!!  I was still slow, in fact I joked that my speed is negative 3 mph.  But while I was slow....I could see improvememt!!

I was whipped...that’s why when I got home I didn’t go out running!  But while I wanted to run....the ride was more than enough activity!   I still totally ‘won’ in terms of my activity for Sunday.

It wasn’t until Sunday evening that I realized I failed though!  I failed to snap any pictures!!! It is a fail for this post (luckily I got a running selfie) and it is a fail for our yearly memory book that I put together!  Hmmmm....must improve!!!  A memory book?  Every year I create a book (I use blurb) with a combination of pictures, paragraphs depicting our activities and even written stories remembering crazy things that happen. It runs from each anniversary  of our first date...November 20th and I print it (and save a digital copy for both of us).  That is always one of Jason’s Christmas gifts.   When we moved in together he very clearly said ‘that isn’t stopping now is it because I want to keep doing it and I can help!  It’s the best project ever!  And yes we both go back and read the books!

So I had a super active weekend. I ran and rode my bike...hard difficult riding!   And while I haven’t conquered the fear, I have come to terms with it and come up with a plan to prepare myself to conquer that fear AND succeed when I make that attempt!!!

12 comments:

Sarah said...

After rising the harder trail and getting mentally prepared, you'll have no problem conquering that lake trail!

And that definitely goes in the memory book!

Jen said...


Love the idea of your memory book....

MaryFran said...

It works out so well!

MaryFran said...

That is my thought! Give me a few weeks on the harder trail and I should be a rock star on the lake trail…

*Sweat and Sparkle* said...

There are parts of the trails here where I have had bad runs, and just going back to those parts makes me feel tired and agitated. I figure if I just run them enough and have good runs there instead, eventually the dread about them will go away.

Shelley said...

I think it's good that you were fearful, and then got a reprieve from that trail. Maybe next time you won't be so scared since you already went through that process?

Mrs Swan said...

Good Gravy you two are active! My activity is walking out to the car or minor yard work. I am not comfortable on a bike anymore at this age much less on a trail. You rock you know that? You would probably adore all the bike trails near me. We walked one once and how in the heck do you deal with riding into spiderwebs?? We were knocking them down with sticks! LOL (only the ones across the path in our way- we were not just being jerks)

Tanza Erlambang said...

hope, you success to publish a useful book …
have a wonderful day

MaryFran said...

Exactly! I know though that right now there is no such thing as a good mountain bike ride because of my fitness level...so I figure if I build the levels on a trail I don’t abhor that when I go back I will conquer the bad trail and eventually that dread will go away!

MaryFran said...

I sure hope so! And in the meantime I’m going to work hard to prepare myself for that trail!!!

MaryFran said...

We have the problem with spiders here too. When we hike I also use the stick menthol. When you ride through them...just keep brushing them away!

MaryFran said...

Thanks.