Back on the Bike: Rolling but not moving

Back in August, I sold our old recumbent stationary bike to a friend, so that I could a) begin to set up the downstairs computer/exercise room as an office, and b) get an upright exercise bike with a smaller footprint. The old bike took up the entire wall which now houses my desk. My friend and his brother came for the bike, moved it out of our basement, and away it went. Easy. (Pro-tip for selling an exercise bike: Sell it to a strong friend with a strong brother with a truck. Pro-tip 2: It is even better if a blind friend buys said bike, as they can effortlessly carry the bike backward upstairs with nearly the same instruction as going forward.) In early November, we finally went out and bought a new bike—it was of course not in stock, so here we are a month later. The bike has been brought to my house. Saturday: my mom and I assembled it 1.5 times (we had to take a thing apart briefly, and then we forgot to reconnect two cables leading it to require partial dis-/reassembly again on Sunday).

Indoor Cycling – An Asthma-Friendly Activity

Cycling—especially in a controlled, though boring, indoor environment is one of the more asthma-friendly activities I’ve stumbled upon. Today, Monday, was ride day for the first time in a long time. I pre-medicated with Ventolin, had a phone conversation (that’s not part of the performance psych process, by the way ;), it just happened), and then pressed 800 beeping buttons to navigate set-up. I then pressed 50 more beeping buttons and did the fitness test thing which then gave me this useless number at the end with only the people of Yahoo Answers interpreting it after the fact (note: if they are right, it means I am super out of shape). I then set a “quick ride” or something to 5 kilometers and started pedaling, thinking it would take me like 25 minutes or so given that I am totally out of shape because neither goalball (which I played for like 45 minutes while coaching yesterday) or planking are stellar cardiovascular workouts.

Except like 15 minutes later I was feeling like I was not getting anywhere. I was like the sort of short of breath in a non-purely-exercise-y way and like why is this so hard and why does this suck and why am I not getting anywhere and did I pre-medicate too early and my goodness, I am more out of shape than I thought. (By the way, the manual says that if you are short of breath you should stop riding and consult your doctor before resuming. Hahaha, this asthmatic ain’t got no time for that! I’d stop for chest pain, thanks, but not dyspnea.) And then 4 minutes after that I realized that the teeny tiny print beside the number that now said 3-point-whatever read miles. Not kilometers. Miles.

Beeep.

4.0 miles.

Hmmm! That explained so much regarding how slow and out-of-shape I felt. So it wasn’t just me or my asthma, it was that I was going way farther than I actually thought. 4 miles? That’s 6.44 kilometers, nearly a kilometer and a half over my “I’m just going to ease back into this thing” goal.

Just like back in the day at the university gym: check the unit of measurement. I guess the perk here is that in Canada, I’m more likely to go farther because I think I’m riding in kilometers and end up in miles. I can imagine I’d be less pleased if it happened in reverse, where a 5 km workout is only 3.1 miles. Oh well, I got more miles in than I’d aimed for, which is always a plus. Now just to hope I avoid any delayed post-exercise asthma symptoms (although those usually pop up with longer workouts) and get back in the pattern.

Oh, and go through the series of beeeeps to switch that machine to kilometers!

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