Saturday, October 10, 2009
Yesterday I cycled with my co-worker again. I dropped my bike off at the shop for it's well baby checkup before an upcoming weekend bike/camping trip. I rented a road bike to use in case mine wasn't ready.
I knew I was faster on the road bike but didn't know to what extent because it doesn't have a computer on it. The first 13 miles, I was able to keep up with her, a definite change. At that point, I decided to play more with the gears. Once I engaged the ones on the left, I felt like I'd just ignited a nitrogen boost. My speed was increasing without increasing my energy. I was already at or above 80% of max HR for much of the trip.
I was on my first biking high (you've heard of runner's high). According to her computer, we finished the 26 miles a whole mph faster than we've ever done before. I'm convinced we would have done better had I played with the gears earlier.
I left her, went to another Greenway where I biked another 16 miles alone & without a computer again.
I love my hybrid for biking with my family. It has the capability to hold lots of gear. One trip, my granddaughter even straddled the back for 10 miles when her pedal fell off and we didn't have the equipment with us to repair it. It's heavier and only has 8 gears which doesn't help when climbing hills but it makes me stronger doing it on my own.
When I'm with serious bikers, I need all the help I can get. I have a 30 mile biking event on Halloween morning. I'm renting the road bike again. Hopefully by next spring, I'll be the proud owner of my own. One more way to mix it up and have the best of both worlds.
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Yesterday was my first organized half marathon. With 5 hours of sleep I was up @ 4 am for the 90 minute drive to make sure I was there with time to pickup my packet and be at the start line @ 7 am for walkers. Runners started at 8 am. The races included a half marathon, marathon, & 40 miler. The trails began at the same location and overlapped but were different courses.
It was a bit chilly, perfect for a long walk. I tried to strike up a conversation with another walker close to my age but she was definitely not interested. They blew the whistle, about a dozen of us took off for probably 1.5 miles of road & greenway before we hit the trails. The lady I spoke of, took off at a very fast clip. I figured she didn't want me along because I'd slow her down. I later passed her on the trail.
I was disappointed in not being able to use my ipod for company. Soon after I was on the trail and realized there wasn't anyone around I elected to do so until 2 hours into the walk when runners began to pass. At that point, I put it away so I could hear them coming and move to the side. Most of the trail was narrow. For the next 75 minutes, passing runners were intermittent.
The trails were marked with yellow signs & arrows. At one point I misinterpreted the signs. I ended up backtracking for 15 minutes. Fortunately another walker happened by saving the day for me.
"The terrain is rocky & rooty & can be treacherous. Fallen leaves conceal rocks, roots, sticks, & holes" was advertised and definitely true. I tripped multiple times but only fell once. I was glad no one was around to see. I was more embarrassed than hurt. It was beautiful being in the woods but there weren't any particular beautiful scenes to enjoy. I carried my camera for not. To have shared it with another would have made a huge difference.
The volunteers seemed to have a good time. No signs indicating direction were at the water stations. I almost missed the trail at the first station, they called me back after walking past. I heard one guy say "we can't let any others get past us" to the gang.
At around 10 miles, I was huffing along when I presume an insect stung the heck out of my left middle finger. It was such a shock, I instinctively threw my water bottle being held in the same hand. It looked as if a "stinger" was still in the finger, I squeezed until I thought I had it out. It was very uncomfortable, my finger swelled until I couldn't bend it, the top of my hand blanched.
At the next water station, they offered me Benadryl but the last thing I wanted was to be sedated not only for the remainder of the walk but also the drive home. I was at 11.7 miles into my walk, less than 2 to go. Other than my finger, I felt good. I used the potty and asked which direction for the half marathon. I don't know if they gave me the wrong direction or I misunderstood but off I went on the marathon trail.
I kept walking and walking and walking wondering when the trail would end. After all, I had less than two miles to go, right? The mile markers had changed, that was my first clue. At the next water station, I questioned whether or not I was on the right trail. The answer, all the other half marathoners have passed through here. I wanted to give up, ask for a ride back, but I couldn't.
I hadn't eaten since my oatmeal for breakfast. I decided to eat the apple I brought with me, it would pick me up and distract me for awhile. I looked at my watch. I'd been walking over 5 hours. Initially I was averaging a 15 minute mile. If I had indeed gone less than 13 miles, my time was now over a 23 minute mile. I had slowed but definitely not to that point. I had not taken any breaks except the quick potty at the one stop. Something was not right in Denmark.
At the next water stop, I'd had enough. They listened and agreed, I'd gone 19 miles at this point. Once I realized I had 7 miles to the end of the marathon I thought about going on but I don't believe I had it in me for another 2 1/2 hour walk. I hadn't trained for it and was not only physically spent but emotionally spent as well.
I accepted a ride back to the finish line. There was no way to document my time, apologies were made, changes will be made for next year's walk/run because I wasn't the only one who had problems. I didn't stay around for the festivities & pizza, I had an obligation in Raleigh at 3 pm. I drove to the nearest Chick Fil-A for a healthy lunch then home to the whirlpool tub for a very long soak.
I will post an objective evaluation of the event online to aid in making this event the best it can be. I had a wonderful workout, received a lovely shirt and medal (all finishers receive). I know what I need to do should I elect to participate in that trail event again. Today I don't anticipate that happening.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
My first swimming class was tonight. I've always loved the water, I used to cry & beg my parents to take us swimming in the river. There was only one public pool in our area, I don't remember ever getting the opportunity to swim in it.
On vacation, we swam in the ocean until I was a teenager. At that time, my parents started camping. We went to Myrtle Beach every year on vacation. The campground had a pool with a diving board. My sisters and I thought we'd died and gone to heaven.
I could "swim" enough to keep myself afloat and get where I needed to be but it wasn't necessarily pretty. I took a couple of free swimming classes my first year of college. My strokes improved but I still feel self conscious and definitely don't have long range endurance.
Tonight I took my first in a series of swimming classes to improve my stroke and begin work on endurance.
There were four of us, that's as large a class as they allow. One lady started the class without being able to go underwater without holding her nose. She left not holding her nose and producing primitive but effective strokes. I praised her off and on during the class and especially at the end for her progress. It felt like a spark rally. The other two had been to classes before, I don't know to what extent but definitely need more work. They're not necessarily after fitness, they're interested in learning to swim.
It felt great. The instructor was easy on the eyes, confident, funny, patient, and seems to know what he's talking about. My gym has a pool so I'll be able to get in practice between classes. My goal is to continue classes with this instructor as long as I am learning and advancing. I want to work up to one hour on either the treadmill or elliptical followed by an hour spinning or stationary bike followed by an hour of swimming laps. I will compete in a triathlon in 2010.
So, happy steps, pedaling, & stroking to all!
P.S. I went off the high dive twice on Labor Day weekend. I love being a "hot" grandma!
Get An Email Alert Each Time GUIN0001 Posts