Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cycling for Sanity

I have travelling a fair bit lately and have been lazy about working out while I am on the road. When I got home from my trip to Florida for the Rookie test, I was pretty tired and didn’t have a lot of energy. Also, I have been struggling with higher than normal blood sugar levels. So finally yesterday afternoon I went cycling and it reminded me how important exercising is for so many reasons. Firstly, it brought my blood sugar numbers right down into range and made my carb counting a lot easier at the next couple of meals. Secondly, while it was a 2 hour/40 mile ride, I came away from it with a lot more energy than I started with. And thirdly, it gave me a great chance to get out of the office (or hotel room or off the airplane) and spend some time outside. The sun was shining and while it got a little cool on some of the descents, it was all beautiful. Before the last couple of years, I have never had a proper road cycling bike and it makes such a difference! I have a good friend at Rocky Mountain Bicycles in Canada and he helped me get the perfect bike for my size and needs. I ride the Rocky Mountain Solo 50st (which they don't make anymore!) and it is just right for me. Now I have upgraded to good shoes, good pedals and finally a new jersey and bib-short set. I have been riding in just regular cycling shorts and the bib made it a lot more comfortable so that by then end of the ride, it was just my legs that were hurting. The jersey set was part birthday present from my parents and part Christmas present from my grandmother. Here’s the photo of me in my gear with my bike. I am definitely going to take this to heart and when I am feeling down, frustrated, or just overwhelmed, I will get outside and go exercise. It is the best sanity check I have found yet!

Also, for those of you that interested in what my heart rate monitor says about my cycle rides- here is the graph from my ride. The red line is my heart rate, the blue line is my speed and the dark red line with the grey beneath it is altitude so you can see my climbs and descents. Some of the time when the speed drops to zero, I am waiting for red lights to change. I had to stop and check directions on my iPhone once too!

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