Saturday morning I woke to rain. This was not a surprise, as I went to sleep to the sound of rain on the roof, and rain was in the forecast. I contemplated another day with kettlebell drills for cardio, since it still looked like a bad idea to walk for distance.
What with one thing and another, the usual Saturday routine tasks were done and we had sunshine by 2 PM. And I was tired. So I took a nap. Got up a bit past 3, and looked at the lawn. Yeah, I *could* mow it; but there's some patches that are still wetter than I like. And I'd rather ride my bike. So I set out for a bike ride just before 4 PM.
I started out feeling weak and took it easy, but warmed to the ride. Wind wasn't very strong, and was mostly from the north, which gives me a little bit of a tailwind on the last stretch home. This was a good day to ride the Erie Canal Trail to the east, where it's flatter than to the west. I don't usually ride past Pittsford, for several reasons. The biggest one is that the trail turns to stone dust, and I have to hose down the bike when I get home. But I reasoned that this morning's rain would make that more reasonable than on a truly dry day, and I felt pretty good, so I rode about a mile further down the trail. I turned around just when RunKeeper told me I'd gone 12 miles.
On the way back, I passed a tour boat. Mostly I'd been riding and not stopping for pictures, but I stopped and waited for the boat to catch up so I could take one for the blog:
As I rode, I reflected on my pace, biking, and running. This was one of my longer bike rides. The speed was working out to between 12 and 13 mph, like it usually does on long rides. On shorter rides earlier this week, I'd had an average speed between 14 and 15 mph. That just happened naturally, because I wanted to get more work into a known shorter time frame on the short rides.
Why do I have a problem with doing this while running? I don't have a problem starting out slow biking when I know I'm going to be out more than an hour. I don't have a problem with finishing slow, or with the speed being variable depending on conditions while biking. Maybe I should make long runs feel more like long bike rides, more leisurely than the short runs? Food for thought, but since I'm not running at all right now it will be a while before I can test the mental gymnastics needed to make it happen.
There was one minor glitch on an otherwise pleasant ride. About 3 miles from home, I got a flat front tire. Stopped, pumped up the tire. Turned the bike over. The tire isn't firm any more. Pump it up some more, pay attention. Yes, it's leaking too fast to just pump up and ride home. Stop, and change the tire. It's been a while, but I manage to remember how to get the tire off the rim. Checked the tire, and found a small stone chip that just barely protruded on the inside of the tire. Picked it out from the outside, got my last inner tube installed, and got back on the bike. My rhythm was broken, so I rode home at more of a pace like I started out than the quicker pace I'd been at for most of the trail distance; but I rode home. This is important, because my foot wasn't in shape to walk 3 miles to get home.
Oh, and that stone dust . . . it accumulated in the occasional puddle on that mile of stone dust trail I rode. When I changed the tire, I noticed that I was going to have to hose down the bike anyway. So I got that done when I got home.
New items for the to do list: Buy a couple inner tubes. Get the bike in to the local bike shop to get the tire replaced. Past experience tells me that there is a weak spot in that tire now, and if I roll enough miles something sharp will find that weak spot. Better to just have the tire replaced now than deal with multiple flats on future rides from the same weak spot.
Still, even with the flat, I feel a lot better for having got that ride in. There will be time to mow the lawn tomorrow, if it's dry enough.