What does it mean when I don’t even feel hot until the 28th minute of my 30-minute workout?

Does it mean I should pedal faster, or pedal longer to get the cardio I need, and to lose the dreaded extra pounds? My short-lived goal of ten miles in 30 minutes has been, oh, so met.

I had decided that for the sake of consistency, I would limit the time on my stationary bike to 30 minutes and do it at least three days a week. Once I’m on the bike I revel in it, but it’s the getting on it that sometimes gets lost in the course of the day. There are so many other things to do! So I told myself: It’s only 30 minutes!

But the deal was that I couldn’t just meander through my bike ride enjoying the blue skies and puffy white clouds seen through my patio’s screen enclosure. I had to make it count. I had to make it comparable to my Tai Chi exercise, if not in length, then in sweat equity.

Tai Chi class is an hour and a half long; granted we do break for tea and cookies, and live chatting. And we spend almost half of the rest of the time watching the instructor go through the moves, which we then try to copy. She is poetry in motion; we are discordant verses.

Tai Chi is a real workout even though it’s slo-mo martial arts. By the end of class I’m usually sweating and my legs are crying out for a chair. Any chair. I used to get the same workout reward from my bike. The endorphins would fly as the sweat would pour. It was awesome.

But apparently, the three-minute mile is not good enough to even get a bead unless I do a whole lot more of them. Lately, I’d been having fun just increasing my speed, beating my personal best, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 miles per hour. Whooeee! That was fun; now it’s time to get to work.

I’m feeling good and as usually happens, when I feel good I tend to work out more, or should I say, harder. Which then makes me feel even better, a win/win. For I see exercise as money in the bank. If I put in a little bit each day, or almost every day, I will accumulate a mighty reservoir of health to dip into now and then as I ride this roller coaster called RA.

4 thoughts on “Ride

  1. carlascorner

    Irma: I’m so proud of you (read “jealous”) for sticking to your goal and even working harder at it than you had initially planned. I have goals, but that’s as far as they seem to get. And you are so right, everything good you do for your body — eating right, exercise, rest — does go in that bank account. And hopefully RA doesn’t overdraw!

    1. Irma

      It’s a poke in RA’s eye! If I pedal faster maybe it can’t catch me. My rheumy is very pro Tai Chi so he encourages me and it’s really so much fun. Thanks, Carla. Sending good thoughts your way!

  2. Wren

    Whoa, Irma! I’m very impressed with your exercise accomplishments! 10 miles in 30 minutes sounds great! And your mentioning tai chi caught me, too–I’ve taken a couple of classes that I didn’t continue because I felt lost most of the time (and incredibly awkward and oafish). The teacher’s accent was so heavy I couldn’t understand him. But I remain intrigued by the beauty and benefits of it. I’ll look for another class, and maybe I can find one with an instructor I can understand. Then, I’ll just be awkward and oafish. 😉
    I think you should be very proud of your exercise accomplishment. 30 miles on the bike a week–and tai chi too–is quite something for a woman with RA. Yay you! 😀

    1. Irma Post author

      I know what you mean by awkward and oafish, Wren. Sometimes I still feel that way and I’ve been doing Tai Chi off and on for four years now. It’s great for meditation. Meditation in motion. I’m sorry you had a bad experience but maybe you can find a class near you here: http://usa.taoist.org. I had a major turnaround when I started exercising on a regular basis. I became addicted to that endorphin high. Then I got shingles and that put the breaks on things for a while, but my legs remembered how to pedal. What do they say, it’s like riding a bike? Oh, yeah!


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