Today I was having a day. One of those days. I looked in the mirror and didn't see an athlete looking back. I missed old me. I felt sluggish and heavy and listless.
I had all day to do anything I wanted - and I knew I wanted to go for a bike ride - but the only problem was, I didn't feel like moving.
With a nice Saturday and plenty of time, the old Lorena would have chosen to escape the city early in the morning and go ride somewhere with good, long, open country roads, nice scenery and some fun hills. (Well, really the old Lorena would have been racing.)
About seven hours after waking up, I finally pulled on one of my few remaining cycling kits I still fit into, my pregnant belly singing praises to the inventor of the *bib shorts (no waistband - hallelujiah!). I laugh every time I kit up these days, because the bib's shoulder straps form a straight line from my belly to my shoulders under my jersey top, hiding all of my beautiful pregnant curves - and I look more like the consummate beer-bellied "weekend warrior". (I say "weekend warrior" to myself with two fists in the air the way Steve Holt in "Arrested Development" would chant out "Steve Holt".)
And then I found myself riding through the city on the Custis trail, instead of the nice country roads of Poolesville. No self respecting cyclist uses the Custis trail for a proper work out and speedwork, especially on a Saturday. It is more for commuting or recreation. And that is precisely why this trail was perfect for me today. Pregnant, heavy, and listless, I could still pass lots of bikers on that trail. It didn't matter to me that they were not the spandex wearing type of cyclist. Or that they came in all ages, from 7 to 70. Or that a couple of the actually athletic-looking guys I passed were riding hybrid bikes and wearing basketball shorts. When you no longer spring lightly up hills you used to secretly scoff at for being called hills at all, it really helps ease the pain when you pass by someone else who is walking their bike up that same hill. I was seeking these people out, and I knew I could find them in droves on this trail. It was shameless, really, but every one of them made me feel better. Even though I know in my head how pathetic it is to be out on my carbon race bike and still feel any sort of smugness about passing recreational riders on the Custis Trail, today I choose to revel in it shamelessly. I made a smug, obnoxious remark in my head every time I passed someone.
"Yeah, that's right, you are getting passed by a fat prego chick."
"Fatty coming through - make room!"
"LEEEEEEEEEFFFFFFFFFFTTTT!!!! Notice this big belly while I pass?"
"Weekend warrior coming through!"
I came home with renewed life, and that is pretty much what all my bike rides are about anyway.
*bib shorts: think wrestling unitard. Overall-style spandex biking shorts. I now can appreciate the functionality in their comfort since their is no elastic waistband, but when I was initially introduced to this attire, it seemed that their main purpose was to give bike snobs/racers just another distinguishing mark from the common folk out on a bike. It is not uncommon to be the subject of ridicule or scrutiny in the racing community if you are found to be wearing shorts that are not bibs. Why a waist-band makes you a wussy racer, I have yet to uncover. Kinda funny. But now that my belly is too big for all my bike shorts with a waistband, I am very happy that I gave in to the way of the funny race culture.