So I rode with Eric today. I haven't been looking forward to our weekly rides as much lately, probably because 3 weeks ago or so he finally got fast enough and fit enough to start to pass me on hills. A little background...he's 51, was one of the first people I rode with when I got my bike 2 years ago, taught me a LOT, was very patient (though I got fast quickly and could keep up pretty soon after we started), we used to go out on 40+ mile rides 2 summers ago that were so much fun. He had cancer (melanoma) the winter after that, and when he did start riding again our rides were slow and short. I liked them anyway, even though it wasn't much of a workout. So, now that he finally is faster than I am, I had a few weeks of pouting. Today I said look, this is a social ride, no more than 20 miles, and be prepared to go slow! He was totally ok with that of course, and we did 15 miles (he went on to do another 5 or so after we got back to the cars) and it was fun again.
Still, I have ridden twice this week with people who are still slower than I, and I will admit that I had a LOT of fun on those rides. No pressure to go fast, and also (more importantly?) no pressure or guilt from myself that I didn't WANT to go fast. So, now I think I'll keep riding longer than the end of July I'd sort of mentally set as my limit when it was getting less fun. They may not be long or fast rides, but I'll be on my bike having fun. I do give myself permission to quit, guilt free, when it's no longer fun at all. But I also have to remember that different things can be fun now. It's all about change, and rolling with that change, and accepting it. Which hasn't been nearly as hard as I'd feared. Especially since I can feel the little bugger inside me kicking and stuff now...!!