Thursday, July 24, 2008

Back on the bike

I have indeed been back on the bike and zooming all over the place. It's been hot this week (by British standards, anyway) and I'd no doubt have been very sticky were it not that I now have a cycling top.

I've had it for a while. It came from a shop called Mountain Warehouse, and was reduced to about tuppence in the sales, possibly because it says it's a size 18 but fits me (generally a size 14 or 16 on top) pretty well. It's grey and a darkish fuchsia pink; possibly not the colourway I'd have chosen first, but it makes me nicely visible to traffic, and (as I said), it was cheap. I've also acquired gloves, and I've been wearing knee-length baggy shorts this week and feeling almost like a proper cyclist.

I've noticed that I seem to be a lot more noticeable than usual when I'm wearing the "proper cyclist" kit. Over the last few days:
  • Several waves and smiles from other cyclists, mostly togged up in much more impressive cycling gear
  • Happy hen-nighters leaning out of the windows of a pink limo at one in the afternoon, calling "Keep pedalling darling!"
  • Smiley young man at traffic lights with Afro hairstyle and American accent: "Live strong, lady!" (This is really not the sort of thing people tend to say to each other on the streets of Edinburgh.)
  • Wolf-whistle from guy in van.
This is all rather a mystery to me, especially the last two. It's not as though the cycling kit is remotely revealing or anything. It must be the fuchsia. Or maybe it's the warm weather making everyone uninhibited.

I haven't been feeling all that attractive lately. Over the last few weeks, I've had to accept that the numbers on the scale have gone up a bit, and it isn't just a random fluctuation which will go down again next time. It's not very encouraging.

I know that some of it could be muscle from all the cycling - my bodyfat percentage has stayed much the same, and my thighs and core seem to have firmed up a bit. But my eating hasn't been fantastic, and there is definitely squidge on top of the muscle. Things have been a bit stressful* and busy lately, and there's been chocolate at work, and that's not a very good combination. I need to take in grapes or something to nibble instead, but I keep forgetting because I am pathetic sometimes.

On the other hand, I have now had my last podiatry appointment for a while, and my feet seem to be working well with the orthotics. Unless I develop another problem, I don't have to go back for four to six years - and I don't have to go through my GP again if I do. I can just phone the clinic and make an appointment directly.

In preparation for the Last Podiatry Appointment, I got myself to Run and Become and bought myself some new running shoes so I could get the podiatrist to take a look at them. Unlike the last pair, these were properly fitted; they have a neutral footbed (not one designed to correct pronation) but the insole lifts up and the orthotic fits underneath. As with the ordinary shoes I've bought, it was a bit tricky to find shoes that were both deep enough to take the orthotic and wide enough for my duck-like feet, but I'm fairly confident.

I have yet to take them for their first run, partly because it's got to be a trial run on the treadmill just in case they aren't right and I have to swap them. The plan is to pay for a single session at my old gym and see how I do, and then join the beginners' group in the running club I used to belong to at work. That's if I haven't lost my ability to do this in the year I've been off. Wish me luck.

*The stress probably deserves a post of its own, but the short version is that J is still having problems with depression and OCD, not sleeping well, and finding it very hard to leave the house to go to work in the mornings. Not good. I am pretty busy with work and coursework, and I'm not able to provide as much support as I want to. No doubt this too will pass...


Tanya Brown said...

Congratulations on getting back on the bike! I admire you for doing that. I'm so glad the orthotics are working out well, also.

I'm sorry about J's health issues. The things you mention can be ghastly to endure, and they're no picnic for one's family members either.

Loth said...

Good for you for getting on the bike and fingers crossed for the running shoes working out. If they do, we will have to meet up for a run around The Inch sometime! And you know I am sending J my best wishes. I am acutely aware of what he is going through and how much your splendid support will mean to him.

old_black said...

"...Over the last few weeks, I've had to accept that the numbers on the scale have gone up a bit...I know that some of it could be muscle from all the cycling..."
Ha! I weighed myself this morning and saw another half kg increase, confirming a long term upward trend to the weight graph. My first thought was "maybe it's muscle" too, but in my case a moments reflection suggested that the regular consumption of high energy sweet desserts might be a more significant factor!!

Re: J. I often sit here composing something which attempts to be supportive in a meaningful way, but it ends up being just trite and trivial and I delete it. However, despite my lack of comment, I do think of you a lot. If only such thoughts could actually do something useful...

Isabelle said...

Hello Sweetie. A post. Splendid.

I think you look very attractive indeed. What's a pound or two compared to your beautiful eyes, hair, skin and nature?

Anne said...

If you are prepared to try anything with J. Please go on the Net and goggle EFT. (Emotional Freedom Technique.) I tried everything to conquer panic attacks and was a little cynical about this therapy but it was the one thing that worked.

PastaQueen said...

It's the fuchsia, definitely the fuchsia :)

Stomper Girl said...

Sorry to hear about your stresses with J. I always find riding my bike a great stress-reliever, it fills some happy childhood place in my soul! And I always seem heavy on scales for my size and I'm sure it's all my dancing muscles and nothing to do with my love of chocolate

Isabelle said...

It's September, o darling daughter. Time for another post?