Weekend adventures

This past weekend, I spent in rural western Virginia (not to be confused with the state West Virginia) on a bike trip with one of the Meetup groups I'm in. I had been working closely with my therapist and dietitian to train for the event while both maintaining recovery and eating appropriately. It was very challenging at times, but I really wanted to do the trip, and so I pushed through the resistance and it was ultimately successful.

Originally, we had planned on splitting the trip into two segments: from Impossibly Tiny Town A to Impossibly Tiny Town B on the first day, and then the reverse on day two. Our hotel was in Impossibly Tiny Town B, we would leave the cars at Town A, which made everything work out well. But the weather forecasts were looking worse and worse for Sunday, so we decided to park at the hotel and do the entire round trip on Saturday, riding from Town B to Town A and back again.

I had not trained for this, not by a long shot. But other people weren't going to do the entire round trip, and there was no way to get lost, so our leader reassured all of us that we could turn back whenever we wanted.

I was surprised that I was at the front of the pack for most of the time. I did start to run out of steam near the halfway point (a mile or two east of Town A), and someone else was ready to turn around, so we both went at the same time. We stopped for Gatorade in the Not-Quite-as-Impossibly-Small-Town halfway between Towns A and B, and I chugged 32 oz. of grape Gatorade in under 5 minutes. I brought another similar sized bottle at the same time, which I drank before I got to the hotel. Despite having nearly four liters of fluid just in the afternoon, I didn't really pee until the next morning.

Keeping the calories up was tough, especially since I really wasn't that hungry after lunch, in part because I needed to drink so damn much to keep from getting dehydrated. It was hot, and I tend to sweat pretty profusely. So I focused on drinking Gatorade and little chocolate milk thingies that had calories and then I ate more when I got back to the hotel, had a huge dinner, was still insanely hungry, ate more back in my room, and then collapsed.

The trail we rode on was packed gravel, which was really rather bumpy. I have a hybrid fitness bike, which means the shocks aren't as good as on an actual mountain bike. I ended up with a ulnar nerve injury in my right wrist from the long trip and bumpy terrain (aka cyclist's palsy). My muscle strength in my right hand is definitely weakened, and I have trouble moving my pinky. But it has definitely improved since Saturday night, so it's going in the right direction.

I hope to go on more trips, but I think I need to let my wrist heal first. It took a lot out of me- it was probably more intense than running a marathon. I know it took a LOT of energy because I've been eating for it. I'm more than a little weirded out by all the food I've been eating, but I need to do this if I want to do more of these trips. {{The rule was that any weight loss or compulsive exercise behaviors meant my training was off.}}

It's something I never could have done without being in a strong place in recovery. The physical challenge was really serious, as was the mental part. More on that in a later post. But I had a really fun time, and I'm glad I could make it work.

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Luna said...

That is so awesome, Carrie!! Congratulations are most definitely in order. Keep fighting the good fight :)

hm said...

Wow! Congrats! Sorry about the hand thing. Perhaps in the future an investment in a mountain back would be in order!

My husband has training seminars a couple times a year with martial arts, and his sensei always tells them that if they have to pee, they're not training hard enough. They go for hours just drinking and drinking and training and sweating it all right out! So if you didn't have to pee, that means you were working pretty hard! :D

I love how you planned this out so that it would be safe, physically and mentally, for you. Great job on that. :)

@icedgem27 said...

Congratulations! This sounds so good, and it's even better to read that you not only made it happen, but that you are happy with yourself that you did.
I'm really sorry to mar a comment with a question but, please can I ask how you manage to deal with the resistance as you called it? I keep coming up against the same brick walls in my recovery and as yet haven't mustered the will or the courage maybe to fight on through. I can go so far, but it's not far enough, and if I do make it a bit further (higher) then it doesn't last because that resistance makes it so unbearable.

Cammy said...

Wow, that's awesome! It's so fantastic that you were able to manage your eating/training in order to be able to participate in something like this, with the attitude going in focused on fueling yourself to do your best rather than trying to push yourself to a breaking point. You rock!

Laura said...

Awesome to hear stories like this!!!

wendy said...

So So Happy for you Carrie - taking on this challenge, having fun, and keeping up with your nutritional needs to train. Great going

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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