Finally, finally! I was able to start biking to work again. After being pregnant, then recovering from the c-section, and finally breaking my wrist, this feels long overdue. But I'm recovered from it all, the wrist brace came off, and the snow is mostly melted now. I hopped on my bike Monday morning, elated, and by the time I got halfway to work my legs were burning and my lungs were working overtime. What the heck? This was before the hill I had to conquer, too. I had thought I was in pretty decent shape once again. Sure, I've been avoiding push-ups while my wrist was healing, but I've been running on weekends and doing what I think of as my "baby weight exercises" on weeknights. That is, on weeknights I've been doing any and all exercises I can do while holding or at least involving my daughter: squats (60, with the 14-15ish pound weight of my baby), lunges (30-50, each side, again with the baby), leg lifts that I could do while smiling at and talking to my girl. She's enjoyed these times more than I have, since she wasn't pushing herself to do more. :)
So I was very surprised when I found myself so out of biking shape on Monday. As soon as I started up the hill, I was gasping for air. I downshifted, I pushed through even though my thighs were burning. And I did make it to the top, but my legs felt like jelly. Over the course of the day, my rear end got saddle-sore as well, but that was expected. I kept telling myself not to feel bad, that I'll get back into biking shape again soon. I mentioned on Facebook that I'd started biking again and a friend reminded me that that hill gets easier pretty fast.
It wasn't until the end of the day, during my ride home (I get to go "Wheeeeee!" down that hill) when I was trying to take my mind off of how sore my butt was that I realized: the first summer I got this job, when I first started biking up that hill, I couldn't make it. I had to stop halfway up and walk the rest of the way. I got better quick enough, but still. The fact is, I couldn't make it all the way up for nearly the first month of biking that hill. I further realized that, though my legs had felt rubbery that morning, that went away quickly. By the time I rode home, other than my sore backside, I was feeling great. Even after everything I listed in that second sentence (having a kid, recovering from an emergency c-section, breaking my wrist) I'm in better shape than I was five years ago. This is something that most people can't say, even without throwing in major abdominal surgery.
I felt like crap riding in that day, but I rode home smiling and feeling proud of myself. And my friend was right, by the next day I already had an easier time getting up that hill.