Yes, it's true. Even though I am a certified triathlon coach and have been racing 6 years now, the intricacies of bikes somehow allude me. It's not that I don't want to understand, it's just that my mind does not like to work that way. It doesn't like to think about ratios or numbers. My theory is that there is just not enough room in there for stuff like that, but really it probably has to do with the fact that I really have to think very hard to understand mathematical concepts, even easy ones, and that is just...too hard. I even struggle with 2nd grade math homework.
Anyhoo, there was this whole discussion about compact cranks, which, as I found out, make climbing hills easier (or so some people say), and have nothing to do with the length of the crank arm but the number of teeth on each of the front rings. (Just in case you don't know, and, trust me, I am not judging, the crank is the thing the pedal is connected to.)
Now this was a fortuitous conversation because it was just the day before that I had been lamenting to Coach Mary about how difficult climbing was for me, and how I thought I must be doing something wrong because I struggled so much up hills. This is what our email conversation looked like:
me: "When I am climbing I am almost always in my lowest gear. Relax, relax, relax...this will be my mantra."
After the whole crank discussion, I emailed Coach and asked her if I should get a compact crank. (I had, in fact, already priced them out and was going to rush it so I would have it in time for Rev3Quassy.) She emailed me back and said, "
So today I went out to Green Lakes again to ride the hills. I did two loops of the Green Lakes Tri course which I will be racing in two weeks. The first loop was with a group of my athletes from the Y. The second loop was pretty much on my own, since I was riding tempo. My goal both times was to just clear my mind of judgement, not get all amped up by what was ahead, put my head down and ride.
And ride I did.
I'm not saying those hills weren't hard, but I just didn't let them beat me today. Before I would see a hill and just try to attack it, then my heart rate would spike up, I would start gasping for air, and get all mad that I wasn't able to climb as well as so-in-so or whats-her-name. Today, I just let them come. I felt them, I adjusted, I kept moving, and before I knew it, I was over them! It wasn't about me or anyone else. It wasn't about how fit or not fit I am. It wasn't about how much weight I need to lose. It wasn't personal.
It was just about riding.