The Process of Learning

Fast forward 3 weeks from the last post, in which I announced plans to do a duathlon, followed by a century ride. Since then, I've done ten rides and four runs. Because the recovery profile from riding is so different, that number surprised me when I looked it up. Honestly, it doesn't feel as if I've been training that much. Not that it's a lot... For a guy used to working out 6 out of 7 days per week, this averages out to 4. But still, the lack of joint fatigue makes it seem even less.

More than anything, I think I'm learning to become a cyclist. I've had more flats than you can imagine, mainly because I've finally committed myself to learning how to fix them and sometimes what I do comes back to bite me a few days later. In fact, two rides didn't happen because when I went to start things up, I had mechanical failures that burned up my precious lunch hour. While frustrating in some ways, I'm trying to comfort myself that I'm learning how to properly maintain my bike.

On the bike, I'm not getting much faster, yet. My best rides are barely over a 17mph average and most of them are mid 16's. Even if you take into account that I've got some in-town riding that drives things down, no one is going to confuse me with a Tour rider anytime soon.

But even so, there are areas of progress. According to my Strava segments, some days on some roads I am getting faster. And on the bike, I'm developing more handling skills every day. I found myself on a treacherous downhill last weekend and I don't think I'm lying when I say a month ago I might've wiped out on the same road.

The long rides are getting longer, too. My furthest, yet, was a 55 miler and I'm confident I can build up the distance to do the century next month. I'm enjoying the long rides, cobbling together sections of roads and towns I know by taking roads I don't.

Truth be told, for the runner I am, this is humbling. It's humbling being a guy who can offer opinions about virtually any running shoe on the market but can't get through 4 rides without blowing out a tube or breaking a tire lever or struggling to adjust a derailleur. It's humbling to be a guy who picks up an age group award at most runs and then sees his Strava cycling results be in the bottom fifth. It's humbling starting over and not knowing where the finish is. But I find myself drawn to it, right now, so I'm listening. And hopefully learning.

Diabetes-wise, my cycling profile is very similar to my running profile. I'm consuming about 40g per hour, and turning my pump down to about 85% basal rate. No doubt about, cycling jerseys are way more diabetic friendly than running shorts. And if cycling IS definitely new to me, I'm happy that being a diabetic cyclist hasn't been much different for me than being a diabetic runner.

In general, the diabetes has behaved, too. A month ago, I decided to take a break from my CGM. Being summer, getting them to stick through the heat and sweat was proving difficult for me, so I decided to go without. Low and behold, I had my A1c last week and got a 5.9, which ties the lowest I've had in 3 years. So I'm encouraged that I can take a break from the CGM and have things not go to hell in a handbasket.

I have 2 weeks to register for the duathlon, but at the moment I don't necessarily feel an intense desire to do so. Whether it's because my workouts are providing enough of a challenge or because my ego doesn't want me to, I'm not sure, but I'll figure it out in the next 2 weeks. The century ride - which is a ride, not a race - is a definite for me. I'm looking forward to it and for what comes beyond it.


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