Archive for January, 2008|Monthly archive page

Wednesday run and gym

Had a nice 33 minute run today, covering about 2.9 miles; I’m still dogged by some foot pain, and so am trying not to push too hard or to run far. I’ll stick to my half hour runs until it gets better. It was fun testing out the Garmin a bit more; I still don’t have it calibrated right, but I’ll try to take care of that this weekend. The data is fun to look through, though, even if it’s not perfectly accurate at the moment.

Lifted weights in the gym and did some yoga this afternoon; my hamstrings are loosening up — yay! If only I stick to yoga for a few weeks straight I notice such a difference. I’m excited about how much stronger and more flexible I’m becoming.

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Racing

Now is the time when I need to register for the spring race series that takes place in my town (1 1/2 miles from my house — so convenient!), and I can’t figure out which race to register for. My first race ever was at this series in the women’s field, and I lasted about three laps (less than 3 miles) before getting dropped, at which point I switched to the men’s category 5 field (beginning racers) and did much better. I raced with them the rest of that first season and last year’s season as well.But maybe it’s time to try the women’s field again. The women’s field has racers of all experience levels, and so is faster. I’m in better shape than I was last time I rode with them, but I’m not sure I’m fast enough, and I’m not sure I want to work that hard. Here’s what I’m thinking:

Reasons to ride with the women:

  • Maybe it’s just time to try something harder, and if I don’t do well I can probably switch back for the rest of the series.
  • I did ride in a women’s race last summer and managed to hang on to the end, and so maybe I can do it in this spring series too.
  • If I don’t, I will probably feel wistful when I see the women race and will wonder how I would have done.
  • Riding with the women will be hard, but that means I will get in shape faster (assuming I can hang with them at all).

Reasons to ride with the men:

  • I’m more likely to be able to stay with the men’s field the whole race and will therefore get more experience riding in a pack, which I need.
  • Last year I was finishing in the middle or even towards the front of the pack (the best I did was 13th place, I think, out of maybe 40 starters). If I can do this again, I’ll get experience being in the finishing sprint, something that has only happened to me a couple times. I don’t know well enough what finishing with the sprinters is like.
  • The category 5 men on my team are my buddies — they love it that I race with them, they encourage me, and they are really happy for me when I do well. The team captain recently encouraged me to ride with them again this year.
  • I don’t like early season races because it’s just way too early; I’m not in my best shape. Nobody else should be either, but I get the feeling people train specifically for these races and there are lots of very strong people out there. I prefer to focus on races that occur later in the season, which means that I’m only now beginning to train hard.  So why not ride with the easier group?

The series doesn’t begin until March, so I have some time, but I really don’t know what to do! I feel unfocused in my training this year, as I’m thinking about competing in triathlons, but I’m not ready for them yet, but I’m also not fully focused on the cycling either. It’s like I’m not really giving my best to anything this year. But that’s okay — I feel like I need some transition time from one sport to the other, and I’m not in all this for the competition, really. I’d just as soon train and not race, except for the fact that races give me something to work toward.

Tuesday ride

An easy one hour ride today, as a sort of recovery from my hill workout yesterday.  I must be getting used to riding in the 20s; it felt perfectly fine today.

Monday cycling and yoga

And now the challenge begins: how to fit in my workouts around my teaching schedule.  Most of my riding I’ll be doing in the mornings, from, say 8:00 to 9:00 or 9:30, and I’m grateful to have the time — but it will be cold!  This morning I left a little before 8:00 and it was 27 and windy.  The ride was okay, except for getting blown around by gusts.  It’s just hard to ride when it’s that cold — my heart rate shoots up and my muscles don’t want to work hard.  But whatever.  This will make spring riding seem heavenly.  Rode for 1:15 and did a few hills (I mean, I’m always doing hills, but I did a few more than usual, and some longer ones).

And this evening’s yoga class was great; I was feeling exhausted after my early ride and then my teaching, but the yoga class woke me right up and now I feel much better.

Weekly round-up: 1/21 — 1/27

A restful week, 6 1/2 hours total:

  •  4 1/2 riding (65 miles)
  • 1/2 hour running (3 miles)
  • 1 1/2 weights and yoga

I don’t count all my yoga sessions in these numbers because some of them are so quiet and restful they don’t quite feel like training.  Yoga class is another story, though — I mean, it’s quiet and restful too, but I work hard.

The end of the rest week

Yesterday I got a Garmin Forerunner 50 for my birthday, and I’m pleased with it.  I’d been debating for a while what kind of device I wanted for keeping track of my running — one of the GPS devices sounded cool, but I think they offer more than I really need and are more expensive than I liked; the Forerunner is perfect because it’s simple but gives me the basic information I want.  I tested it out on my loop through town and it was pretty far off uncalibrated; it thought I was covering a lot more distance than I really was.  So I got the bike out and rode a half mile and then ran it to get the calibration right, although I’d like to use the local High School track to make sure it’s as accurate as possible.  I like the way it tells me the number of steps I’ve run as well as average cadence.  The associated website is a little strange, though; I’ve had some trouble getting it working, and now their Garmin Connect site seems to be down entirely.  But I’ll get that worked out…

Today I walked in the woods and did yoga, and that’s it.  I’ll be back on the bike tomorrow, ready to work hard.

Friday ride

I had a very nice 1 1/2 hour ride today; it was in the low 30s, which, while pretty cold, was bearable. Being the obsessed weather forecast watcher I am, I can say that as of Sunday, the average temperature in my area will start rising. Spring is on the way! I know that averages can vary wildly from the day-to-day actual temperature, but still, we’re starting to dig ourselves out of the depths of winter. The average high at its coldest point here is 35 degrees. By the end of February the average high is 42, and by March it’s 54. Much better!

Thursday weights and yoga

I didn’t exercise at all yesterday — it’s been quite a while since I’ve taken an entire day off — but it wasn’t much of a rest day, as I was at work the entire time, from about 8 in the morning until 7 in the evening.  Ugh.  Today I had a very good weights and yoga session, but no riding or running.  I’m holding off on running for a while because I want my foot to get perfectly better — I’ve had some lingering pain.  By the time Monday gets here and my rest week is over, I’m going to be itching to work hard again …

Tuesday ride

A cold two hours today.  I swear this is a rest week, and the rest begins tomorrow ….

Monday cycling and yoga

Just got back from a very nice yoga class — the Level 1 vinyasa class this time, which suits me pretty well, although last week showed that I can make it through a Level 2 class if need be. I’m so pleased with how lately my hamstrings have not been sore the day after class, and my arms and core muscles only mildly sore. I used to have such hamstring tightness afterwards, it was very unpleasant. But my body is getting used to regular practice …

And a ridiculously cold hour-long ride today; it was 24 when I left and 26 when I returned. I’ll be doing the same thing tomorrow (yes, it’s a rest week, and I’m not riding more than four hours the whole week, but I need to squeeze in the hours whenever I can, so it looks like the end of the week will be the time to rest). I want to get out on the road well before the snow moves in, so I can’t wait for it to warm up a bit.

At this point, with this weather, riding indoors on the trainer would probably give me a better workout, but I just can’t bear the trainer …