I try not to complain too much, really I think I have it pretty darn good, but I just had a massive discouragement and am hoping I can write it out of my system.
It is, alas, a most beautiful day for a bike ride; Lauren arrived at my place at 11 and we rode up towards the bridge. First bit of the ride very relaxing, certainly I was feeling a bit anxious as we turned off Riverside Drive and negotiated the medical school area due to hills, cars; but as we headed up the little ramp onto the bridge bike path, I was completely overwhelmed.
I got off my bike when we came to a cluster of pedestrians that I couldn't see how to ride around safely, and then just couldn't get back on; in fact it was a full-blown panic attack. Lauren saw that I wasn't following and came back to see what she could do, but really there was nothing - I sent her on, and walked back off the bridge with my bike, trying not to alarm passersby with my physical distress!
Ugh, ugh, ugh - I was hoping I would make it over OK, but clearly this was quite unrealistic.
I am going to have to adopt a multi-pronged attack. These problems with bicycling have been crippling me in my triathlon training for the last 3 years, and I am sick of it, I have to find an accommodation: and now that I am on sabbatical, I have the resources to try and deal with it.
1. Start doing runs up to the GWB and practice going over it on foot. Walking at first, perhaps, as I think the elevated HR from running confuses the issue, but there is no reason I should not have that be my REGULAR run for the next couple months, it's about 3 miles up there from here and perhaps a mile across the bridge - good eight-mile run, or 3 run plus 2 walk plus 3 run. This is the desensitization the CBT types recommend - it will still be absolutely horrible, but certainly much less awful on foot and with no bicycle than riding.
2. Get a Metro-North permit for my bike and choose a Hudson line station to take the train to and ride from there. This is something I could have done last summer, but didn't have the gumption; now I think I have enough confidence, and also increased flexibility due to sabbatical time (it means taking subway to Grand Central and train from there - although I guess I might be able to get the train from 125th St. now that I can actually face the notion of riding through streets over that way?), that I must just figure out what would be a good one to go to and make it happen. Will consult with internet sources on this. It is just too bad that the subway doesn't have a stop in Fort Lee, NJ...
As for today, I'm going to go to the library for a couple hours and write what I hope will be the last few pages of the little book on style (holes still at beginning, and more work needed throughout, but it will be excellent to have the full draft), and then go for a run later this afternoon. I think the groin muscle is pretty much better - I tested it on whip kick yesterday and decided that was still contraindicated, but it should be OK for running, I'll just do 6 if it's still feeling uncomfortable after a couple of miles but it would be nicer to have a long one.