Saturday, November 16, 2013
I've been having a lot of fun cycling the past 2 weekends! And, I hope to ride tomorrow... just hope the rain holds off!
Last Saturday, I FINALLY went to the park and joined the cycling group I've been a member of for about 9 months. Yep! I did it! There are probably about 150 or so riders and they divided into 6 groups. They divide by pace and by whether it is a "drop" or "no drop" ride. Since I didn't know they route & tend to get lost easily, I went with a "no drop" ride. I chose the longer distance - 40 miles at a 14-16 mph pace.
It was a chilly day and I dressed appropriately. There were only 5 in our group, where other groups had 40+. This was my first 'clipless' ride, and I did great! Well, until I had a flat at mile 30. There was no one behind me, so I pulled over... and forgot to unclip (since my mind was on my flat) and promptly fell... into the grass... which was actually sticker bushes! So, I had to pick out over 50 stickers from my shorts & jacket. Thankfully I had those on so the stickers weren't in my skin! My hip was a little sore, but not bad. Anyway, we changed the tire (well, someone changed it while I picked out stickers) and it immediately went flat again! We had checked the tire & didn't find anything. In the end, we had to call for someone to pick me up. We were all out of spare tires! But, it was a very nice 30 mile ride.
The following day, I joined my usual group which does either 18, 22 or 28 miles. I was sore from the first pedal! But, I kept going - just a little slower than usual. There was another lady there riding clipless for the first time and she was quite scary! She fell over before we started (which I can totally understand!), but every time we stopped she was screaming & falling. I steered clear of her! I finally got a second wind at about mile 15 out of the 22 we were doing. It's such a crazy feeling... to go from where it is a struggle to where everything feels so wonderful! It was a wonderful ride - and a prettier day than Saturday.
I did a spin class on Thursday. I worked so hard my legs were wobbling when I left! Yep... that's the way to get stronger!
Today I went back to the park where my group meets. I went with the same group but there were 11 of us this time. It was a GORGEOUS day starting in the upper 60's. I know some of you can't imagine that temp at this time of year! Anyway, I felt so much stronger than last week! We ended up doing 36 today, though I could have went off with 2 others who did the 40. But, they were faster & I was enjoying my group.
I didn't even know rain was in the forecast, and it started raining on us! Like a REAL rain! It was a little painful and it was sure a mess on my sunglasses. But, it only lasted about 5 minutes. I had to stop and clean my sunglasses.
Well, awhile later, I was leading our group and went across some railroad tracks - this is the first ride I've done that but it was our second set of tracks. I heard something metallic hit the ground and someone yelling to someone that they dropped something. I was yelling back asking if I needed to stop. Then I heard someone hit the ground. I pulled over immediately (I hope I signaled, but don't think I did - I was out in front by a bit, though). THANKFULLY, I remembered to unclip!
I sat my bike down and ran back to my new friend, Sheila. She was lying on the tracks and a truck was parked behind her and he was asking if she was OK. Thankfully, no, she was NOT hit by the truck. He'd just stopped to help. I grabbed her bike & he helped her up and we got off the road while asking again how she was. She said she'd hit her head hard and her ribs hurt, but otherwise she was fine. I had her give me her helmet and it was cracked pretty badly! I asked if she'd ride back with that guy - we were only about 3 miles away. And, thankfully, she agreed.
I went back and asked the guy if he'd take her back. Well, it turns out he was from our group! He was in his cycling shorts and had his bike in his truck. So, he took her back.
I was thrilled to see Sheila when we finished our ride. She was doing well, but her side really hurt and she was afraid she'd cracked a rib. We were also afraid she had a concussion. Since then, I've heard she did go to the ER and got checked out. Nothing's cracked or broken! (They checked ribs and head.) So, she's doing well - just sore! I'm so thankful!
Yes, cycling can be a dangerous sport. But, it can also be so much fun. We just have to do our best to stay safe out there! Happy riding! (or happy running!)
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Over the past 3+ years with SparkPeople, I am continuing to learn that momentum works both ways. When I'm exercising regularly, it is easier to exercise regularly. But, when I'm eating poorly...even just a few bad choices... it is easier to continue down that path. But, when I'm eating healthy, it is easier to make more good choices!
Also, when I'm eating well & exercising, I feel good about myself! It's partly because my clothes feel better & I feel like I look better, but I'm also proud of myself for how I'm taking care of myself. And, exercise releases those good endorphins that just make you feel better!
When I'm not eating well & exercising, I feel worse & worse about myself. It's partly because my clothes fit worse or I'm having to go back to bigger sizes. It's also because I'm disappointed in myself & I'm not getting releases of those endorphins.
I've once again slipped into that 'bad' place. And I'm feeling it. And seeing it. It started with the dog attack and the fear of running outdoors which led me to a place where I knew I couldn't train for my half marathon season. I just can't do those kinds of miles indoors. And, even running with a group wasn't helping.
But, I've GOT to change! And, I need to forget what's past and press on towards the future. So, here I go again! I ran on Saturday - my first outside run in about a month. That was a first step.
Today, I got up early & went to the gym & ran for 30 minutes. And, I'm going to do a few other exercises this morning. AND.... I started tracking my food this morning! So far, I've had 2 glasses of water & I'm working on a Muscle Milk.
I KNOW what works. I've DONE this. And, I CAN & WILL do it again! My goal at this point is a century ride in the spring!!! I CAN DO IT!!! And, I WILL! (And, I appreciate all of the support & encouragement here at SP. And, I know it doesn't do me any good unless I'm ON SP! So, I'm back!)
Friday, September 27, 2013
I have been faithfully riding my bike with my 'new' group each Sunday morning. We had been riding 22 miles each time, but bumped it up to 28 miles two weeks ago! Until a few weeks ago, I was also riding two mornings a week for about 10-12 miles each.
I need to be home by 7:15 so my husband can leave for work, and it has just started getting light too late. So, I haven't been riding except on Sundays for the past 4 weeks or so. And, I can tell! The rides are getting harder!
As I struggled to keep up last Sunday, I made a commitment to myself to do two morning spin classes this week. The sad thing is that these classes meet at 5:45 so I have to wake up at 5:15! But, I DID IT!! I did both spin classes! And, to make it even better, these classes were both a full hour! Every other time I've done a spin class it has been 45 minutes.
I also did a back-to-back ride about 4 weeks ago where I did 22 miles one day & 33 the next. I'm enjoying bumping up the mileage... and the speed! I have a ride I hope to do in 3 weeks that will be 40 miles. And, I plan on building & building & being able to ride a century this spring.
I'm loving that the weather is starting to cool just a bit. We've had a few cooler mornings, though most days the temperature still hits the mid or low 90's. But, I see 80's temps coming soon! What a beautiful time to ride!
Saturday, August 10, 2013
If you have been reading my blog this week, you know that I've been having lots of 'nagging' little issues with pains in my body. I knew I needed to do something different, and for awhile I was just prepared to quit running & cycling! But, that didn't last long. Instead, I needed to figure out a way to do what I love without getting hurt.
I was researching a race I am interested in running & came across a blog where this lady talks about getting passed by someone who is doing a timed run/walk. Then I read another of her posts where she mentions the same thing and how amazed at how strong this other lady was at the end of the race with her steady run/walk.
Just this morning it hit me.... up until this year (so, for the past 3 years) I have always trained doing a run/walk! This year I thought it'd be great to learn to basically 'run' it all! (Well, stop for water stops when I raced, but try not to really walk.) I was so proud of myself for running 2 miles without walking... then 2.5.... & then 3 followed by another 2! But, I was also running great for the first half of my long runs and then getting slower & slower during the second half. Not only was I needing to walk more & more, but I was also just running slower & slower.
Last week's long run was the worst. We did 6 miles for the first time this year. I was doing GREAT for the first 3 miles or so. My first couple of miles were under 11:30. But, I started walking more & more during those last few miles and my pace dropped significantly. By the end, I think my last mile was a 13:30! Overall I averaged 12:30, but the individual miles were all over the place!
I run with a group on Saturdays for the long runs. And the group runs... they don't do a run/walk. But, there are 3 other runners who have been like me and have to resort to a lot of walking by the end. Today I told the coach (my new duathlon training buddy, too) that I would be doing a run/walk. Not only because of the pace but because of all of my 'injuries'. She suggested I do 10:1 or 8:1. I decided to go with 5:1 which is what I know.
There was a lady who was just starting back after a month off and the coach suggested she run with me. I told the lady my plan and told her she was welcome to join me if she wanted. She did! We actually had a nice time chatting and I enjoyed my planned breaks.
As far as pace, we were so steady! When we were running we were going between 11:20-11:30. And each mile then averaged out to be about 12:20. Very steady! And, I felt GREAT! Unlike the other weeks, I felt good at the end of the run and wasn't ready to fall over!
Of the 3 I have been running with lately, 1 of them wasn't there today. The other 2 took off with the group but I had a feeling I would catch up at some point.
Lady #1 we finally caught up with at about mile 3.5. She was walking and said she was just going to keep walking. I think she just didn't have much more to give today!
Lady #2 we caught up with at about mile 4. She was walking at the time. I told her she was welcome to join us but we were walking in 30 more seconds. She jumped in with us and did great! In fact, she told me she knows she has trouble going off too quickly and then struggling at the end and she asked me to hold her back next time. So maybe she'll join us next time!
Our last walk was scheduled at about mile 4.75 (out of a 5 miler). We decided to just keep running! It felt great to finish strong! I have a tendency to give up at the end of races & often walk even within the last half mile. But, this was great training to know I CAN keep going at the end!
So, I was very pleased with my run and that I might have at least a couple of run/walk buddies in my group! And, I'm happy to be feeling so great after my run... although I did get my blister back from last weekend! Oops!
Bottom line is that we need to take care of our bodies and do whatever works best for ourselves! Happy running! (Or whatever it is that you do!)
Thursday, August 08, 2013
I got a blister while running 6 miles on Saturday. I thought it was very strange as I was wearing my usual shoes & have only gotten blisters a few times... those were during actual half marathons. So, I was kind of baffled.
I had my new running coach/new friend join me today for a brick workout as we are preparing for a duathlon in a week & a half. We did a full mock du - 1 mile run, 11 mile ride, 3 mile run. I really struggled on that last run, but finished! (And, the heat index was already over 90!)
I mentioned the blister to my coach & she asked if I'd been sweating an extra amount that day. Well, I always sweat, a LOT, but it didn't seem like more than usual. She said that when your feet get wet you sometimes blister....
Oh, yeah! I had pulled my socks out of the dryer that morning. One felt totally fine but the other was slightly damp. I thought it felt 'dry enough'. Oops! Guess that's where my blister came from!
So, here's a tip: wear dry socks when you run!
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