Sunday, February 09, 2014
Tuesday at lunch I went for a lunchtime run with others from work. The Activities Committee is trying to make this a regular event, a running club. We started off OK, but after 5 minutes or so I was lagging behind. By 10 minutes I was really behind. My relay partner from the race in October stayed back with me, the rest of the group disappeared from sight. I had to walk several times. All in all it took 68 minutes to go just over 5.5 miles.
Pathetic, considering what I used to be able to do.
BUT...considering I have barely run a double handful of miles since the race at the beginning of October, and precious few for months before that, I am amazed that I completed 5.5 miles in 68 minutes.
I think I need to go back to my Brooks though. I've started in the Asics I switched to and every time so far my right instep starts rubbing at about 2.5 miles. Not good. I will try putting my orthotics in the shoes next time to see if that helps; if not then I will have to spend the money on a new pair of Brooks, essentially wasting these. I dislike waste.
Today a different group from work went biking, training for the Raid in April / May. This was just my second time on a real bike in more years than I can count, and my first time trail biking. My "first" bike ride was 2 weeks ago, a 15 minute ride on the streets of the village, which hardly counts. Everyone else had mountain bikes. I had my daughter's Trek, which I had understood was good for riding on surfaces other than pavement - to my ignorance of bikes that meant it would be OK for trails.
Because today was on the biking trails...and up the trails, and up and up and up. It rained here yesterday, and earlier this week, so there was some mud too. Not too bad because there were a lot of leaves on the ground, but some. Again I had to walk up several stretches of hill, keeping the rest of the group waiting.
And, of course, what goes up...eventually goes back down. Very fast.
Did I mention that this was my first trail bike ride ? And apparently my Trek is not quite the same thing as a mountain bike.
After a deep breath and a refusal to think about what I was about to do I pushed off down the hill. I made it half way down the very steep (at least to my novice eyes!) and very muddy hill before losing control and going flying over the handlebars, with the bike flipping up and over my head, kind of like a game of leap frog. Something smacked into my right thigh pretty hard but it seemed that the bike and I more or less survived. My pride was shattered but better that than my leg!
Had to walk up almost the entire next hill (but this time I wasn't the only one; it was very muddy & steep and extremely rutted, almost like a mini-ravine running down the center of the trail). Once at the top there were mostly flat trails for a few minutes, but trending downhill.
I was...somewhat concerned (because I refuse to admit to terrified) because the trail was narrow, right next to the edge of the hill, and trending downhill around curves increasingly more. If I lost control there I assumed I would wide up reaching the bottom of the hill somewhat faster and harder than planned! And since I am more than somewhat accident prone and have no idea how really to ride a bike in these conditions...this was a distinct possibility.
But...I made it most of the way. The bottom was in sight, I was basically riding my brakes until I lost it again and went flying, skidding front first through the mud. I figure I pressed the brakes a little too hard and the bike stopped but I kept going. Again I was lucky, no real damage other than another blow to my pride and the handlebars needing to be straightened.
But it was enough for today. I headed back to my car with another rider, who had to leave early, instead of continuing with the training ride.
9.57 trail miles in 84 minutes. We reached an elevation of 741 ft.
Pathetic, considering that The Raid has a total elevation of 5 miles. And a 30-40 mile per day biking component.
BUT...completely amazing that I did 9.57 miles with almost 750 feet elevation coming from a biking base of essentially zero and an inappropriate bike. And without serious injury!
Granted, I now have an ostrich egg growing on my right leg, and 2 other bruises I don't remember getting on my left. Walking tomorrow, and running again on Tuesday, will be...interesting.
Don't get me wrong, this is not a downer blog and I am not discouraged. I have no one to blame but myself for not keeping up with my training over the last number of months. That's the pathetic part.
Now, though, I know where I am starting from, my baseline, so I can plan how to get to where I need to be in the next few months. I can do it if I want to. That's the amazing part.
Now...inquiring minds want to now...I have biking pants, with padding in the groin area. That I understand.
But there is also padding on the outside of the thighs / hips...areas that are not in contact with the bike.
So...other than helping cushion my fall when I go flying through the air, which I suspect is not something that should be a regular part of the biking experience, what is the purpose of putting padding where it does not contact the bike ?