Yesterday, I decided that today would be a brick workout day. My bricks are still pretty wimpy, but I'm the type that prefers to start slow and work my way into things. Last night, I put the clothes I thought I would need for the run next to the front door. That way, I could get home from my ride and be off on my run pretty quickly.
Other than briefly being downwind of the waste water treatment plant, the ride home was lovely. I averaged nearly 15 mph on my round-trip commute. That pleases me. The best thing I saw on the ride home: a woman riding her bicycle wearing a backpack designed to hold a small child. In the backpack was a small dog. Its paws were on the woman's shoulders. It appeared to be having a grand time. That's a devoted pet owner!
Upon arriving home, I timed my transition. It was about five minutes. Not bad, considering it involves me securing the bike in the garage. I've learned a way to switch over much faster: instead of trying to swap out bras, I put the running bra on over my medium-impact bra. I also went with the FiveFingers Bikalas instead of the KSOs for the same reason: much easier to get onto my sweaty body!
So, fuel belt on, out the door I go. I started running immediately. And almost immediately, I started to feel a cramp in my left calf. Not a debilitating one, though. I ran through it. It was a little cranky the entire time, but it didn't screw up my stride, and the pain lessened. I'm pretty proud of myself for that. Once I decided to keep running, my inner coach started whoopin' it up. You are a warrior! You are an athlete! Good on ya!
I switch between running and walking at about equal intervals. My interval is about 90 seconds. Last time I did a brick workout, I looked at my watch between 43 and 45 seconds every time I was running. EVERY TIME. Tonight, I made it a minute before checking my watch. I view that as progress: I'm getting stronger and fitter. Yay, me!
At about 1.4 miles, I started feeling a weird pressure/pain sensation between my second and third toes on my left foot. I kept wriggling my toes, hoping it would move something around and make that sensation go away. It didn't. I ended up talking off the left shoe and walking the rest of the way wearing one shoe. It was interesting experiencing one bare foot and one foot shod in a FiveFingers shoe. They are NOT the same! It gave me an appreciation for how much cushioning there is on the balls of the foot of those shoes. It felt like a cushy layer compared to the natural cushioning in my bare foot. Clearly, I do not anticipate being tempted to try running truly barefoot. The asphalt in my neighborhood is in pretty good shape, and I didn't encounter any dangers to my unshod foot, but I did not like it.
I'm pretty happy with my mini brick. I'd hoped for two miles, but I ended up with 1.9. (My first 5K is in 9 days.) I'm really proud of myself for running through the cramp. If the pain had become severe, or it messed up my stride, I would have just walked the two miles. But I trusted my body, and I tuned into what was going on. My instincts were right. I've been rewarded with a sense of accomplishment, instead of a wistful "what if..?" feeling.
I still have a long way to go before I'm ready for a triathlon. But today was one of those little milestones that keep me motivated. So yeah, I'm pretty pumped.