Archive for the ‘Yoga’ Category

This week’s riding

My riding didn’t get started this week until Wednesday; after the race last Sunday I wanted a day off, and then Tuesday was rainy.  I did some yoga that day.  On Wednesday I rode for 1 1/2 hours doing anaerobic endurance pyramid intervals — it’s a workout from Joe Friel’s book The Cyclist’s Training Bible where you ride hard intervals (I was aiming for a HR in the upper 160s/low 170s) following this pattern: 1-2-3-4-4-3-2-1 (in minutes) with a rest period as long as the interval.  I started off able to get my heart rate up high with no problem, but as the workout went on, my HR seemed more and more sluggish.  I’m not entirely sure what this means.  It felt like a good hard workout, at any rate.

Then yesterday, Thursday, I rode an easy 1 1/2 hours, and today I rode for 2 1/2 hours on a hilly course.  I felt pretty beat today and was slower than I would have liked, but I have been been training and racing hard over the last week.  I suppose doing a hard ride like today’s when I’m feeling fatigued is good training — I’m not as good doing lots of hard hours each week as I would like.


Saturday ride

Yesterday I took off, partly because of the rain and partly because I needed a day off, but I did do some yoga at home.  This afternoon I rode for an hour, trying to take it easy — which is always made hard by the hills and today was made even harder by the wind.  But tomorrow is a race, so I don’t want to be tired for it.  The race will probably be cold and windy, unfortunately.  The high tomorrow is supposed to be 46, but when I race at 10:30, it could still be in the 20s.

Wednesday yoga and foot update

I did a half hour of yoga this morning, and it felt great. I need it so much; if I don’t do it three times a week or so, my muscles get tighter and tighter, and it feels awful. It’s just so hard to find the energy for it sometimes.

My timing has been all off this week with the riding; I thought today and much of the rest of the week was supposed to be rainy, so I rode the last two mornings, even though the temperature was only in the 20s. But this morning was sunny and warm, in spite of the forecast, and unfortunately I needed a rest too badly to get out there. So I missed what was probably the best riding day of the week. Damn.

I went back to the podiatrist today, who suggested a custom orthotic, which sounded fine to me until I learned that my insurance wouldn’t cover it and it would cost $450. So we’re trying a non-custom insert, and if that doesn’t help, I’ll pay the money. But I’m feeling optimistic — my foot has been better lately, and maybe the cheaper ($40) inserts will do the trick.

Riding and yoga

Let’s see — I rode for two hours on Tuesday, took it fairly easy and had fun. Yesterday was off except for yoga (I haven’t been to class in a while and wasn’t practicing for almost two weeks, but I’m getting back into practicing now, at least at home), and today I rode for about an hour and a half, working hard this time, doing some intervals (seven minutes of work with one minute of rest five times, “work” meaning HR in the 160s). I started off feeling okay, but as the intervals went on, I could feel myself wearing down a bit. I mean, I guess that’s the point, to wear myself down a bit, but I was getting more tired than I should have been and my HR kept dropping. I think I’m still dragging a bit from my cold. Plus it’s difficult to ride hard when it’s super windy out — spring winds drive me crazy!

No race once again

My race today got canceled because of snow that didn’t actually materialize — which is fine with me because I’m feeling sick.  I’ve got a sore throat and have felt tired much of the day.  I’m hoping to be all better by tomorrow, as I really don’t want to miss a ride — I’m on my spring break now and have time and the weather will be nice.  If I’m not perfectly better, I may go out on a short easy ride anyway … I can’t bear to stay inside another day.

I rode for an easy hour yesterday (but was still fast, thanks to the warm weather) and did yoga last night.  I’ve been bad about yoga lately, as I’ve been just too stressed and busy to make it to class.  I’m hoping to get back in the swing of things now.

Thursday, Friday rides

Let’s see — Wednesday I took off completely; I should have gone to yoga class that day, but I wimped out.  I was feeling too busy and too stressed, and just couldn’t bear to get out of the house again and couldn’t make myself practice at home.  I know, these are precisely the circumstances in which yoga is most beneficial, but sometimes it’s just too hard.  I hope to get back to class next week.

Thursday I rode for 1:15, pretty easy, trying to work on fast pedaling.  Friday’s ride was the best; I needed to drop a car off for Hobgoblin at his university campus, so I put my bike in the car, drove there, and rode home.  I took a longer route than was necessary and rode for 2 hours, working moderately hard, HR 148.  It was fun because it’s one of the flattest routes available around here and I felt like I was zipping along the whole time.  Plus the temperatures were in the upper 40s, which feels balmy these days.

So tomorrow is another race, but I’m worried about the wind.  Last week the wind was bad in spite of there being no wind warning in the forecast; this time there is a wind warning in the forecast, so I’m expecting it to be miserable.  And I’ll be lucky if the temperatures are out of the 20s when I race at 10:30.  It promises to be an experience …

A quiet weekend

So far it’s been a quiet weekend as far as exercising goes — actually as far as my life goes too.  We got a big snowstorm yesterday that kept me inside, and today, while the roads were starting to improve, it was still too treacherous outside to ride.  Tomorrow, though, I should be able to get out, and I hope to ride for three hours or so.

This morning I went to yoga class — the second class I’ve attended this week.  That’s the bright side of this bad weather — it gives me more time for the indoor forms of exercise I enjoy.

Wednesday ride

A cold and windy ride today, with a dramatic encounter with an ice patch; I very nearly went down and I’m not sure how I prevented it — I felt my back wheel slide around and I began to tilt over and then somehow I righted myself and went on.  I bet it was dramatic to watch, although I don’t think anyone was around at the time.

I’ve felt okay about riding in the cold for most of the winter, but now it’s beginning to get to me, mostly, I suppose, because spring isn’t too far away and I keep hoping it will get here early.  It’s this time of year, when I’ve been riding in the cold for so long and the end is in sight, that cold-weather riding begins to get more difficult.

If I can drag myself out of the house, I’ll be attending yoga class tonight; I also practiced on my own yesterday, the only exercise of the day.

Sunday ride

I went on an utterly miserable ride today; it wasn’t the weather that caused the problem this time, but rather my saddle. I’m trying out new ones — my bike shop has let me borrow two of them so far so I can test them out — and today’s saddle hurt. Thank God I was only doing a quick out and back ride to recover from yesterday’s workout because I’m not sure I could have stood anything longer than the 40 minutes I was out there. That saddle goes back to the shop tomorrow …

Also did weights and yoga this afternoon.

I’m considering trying to run again this week; my foot is mostly back to normal (I have some pain in my big toe joint that has hit me before and it goes away pretty quickly). But when I do run I’m going to take it slowly, as in doing workouts that are mostly walking at first in order to build up the endurance I need. I don’t care how long it takes me to build up a running base — I’m in no hurry, and so if it takes me two or three months to work up to running three miles, that’s fine. I just don’t want my foot to start hurting again. I’ll probably follow one of those couch to 5K training plans that are out there to make sure I don’t take on too much too soon.

Thursday ride

I went on my hardest ride of the winter this morning — not hard meaning I was training hard, but hard meaning I was battling horrible weather the whole way. One of my first thoughts as I headed away from my house was that I shouldn’t be out here at all. I didn’t listen to myself, though, and spent an hour in terror, first of the ice on the roads and then of the wind.

The problem is that after all the flooding from yesterday, there was a lot of water left on the roads, which froze last night and left patches of ice everywhere. And the other problem is that I could see none of this from my house, situated as it is on a section of road that drains well and therefore was dry. I knew the patches of ice were likely to exist somewhere, but as I couldn’t see them from my windows, it was a little hard to take them seriously.

But they were there, in particular abundance right at the place where traffic was fairly heavy and where I was heading downhill and so was reluctant to turn around and slog back up the hill to head home in defeat. I got lucky, though; every time I came across a patch of ice that covered my side of the road there was no traffic in sight so I could swing over to the other side to get past.

The middle of the ride was okay — I even had fun practicing holding my balance as I rode over ice patches — but the last five miles or so I was out on a road that’s a little more open than the rest and where the wind gusts hit me hard. The gusts were coming from all directions, so I never knew where I’d get hit next or how to compensate for them. I spent the time hoping a gust wouldn’t hit me right at the moment when I was between a car and a guardrail on a section of road where there was no shoulder, so that I’d get knocked over with no room to spare and have a horrible accident. At one point, heading downhill on a section of road with open space next to it so that the wind could really pick up some speed, I got hit by a gust so hard I stopped for fear of toppling over. Once the gust died down I was on my way again, riding my brakes the whole way down the hill.

That was no fun! So far I’ve been lucky this winter to have reasonably good weather to ride in; I don’t mind the cold so much (although 20 degrees is my limit — at least for now), which means that it’s only rain and snow that keep me inside, and the rain and snow have generally fallen on days or parts of days when I’m not planning on riding. But I’m bound to have a horrific ride or two, especially since I’m also bound and determined not to get on the trainer and ride indoors unless I absolutely positively have to. I simply can’t stand the thought of riding on a bike that goes nowhere, and so I’m willing to put up with a horrific ride or two instead. And I’ll admit I enjoy going on rides that I probably shouldn’t go on, at least once I’m home and can feel triumphant in the safety of my own living room.

Oh, and I’m probably going to race with the women in the upcoming race series, with the idea that if it goes horribly I’ll switch to the Cat 5 men’s race. I’m not exactly looking forward to how hard I’ll have to work to keep pace with the other women, but I want to give it a try just to see what it’s like. I’ll spend too much time wondering about it otherwise.

One more thing — I went to a great yoga class last night but now have sore hamstrings.  I thought I was practicing yoga often enough to keep the soreness from hitting me, but I guess that’s not the case if the class emphasizes hamstrings or is particularly vigorous.