October training summary

All right, this run-nerd just put her Strava data into Excel and has a nice discussion section to share with you all that goes along with this super spiffy table 😉

table

Running actually went much better than I thought prior to the arrival of the calf (re?)strain. Even with last week being essentially a half week and this week totaling <2 miles, I hit 90 miles for the month, which is my 2nd highest month this year and about 5 miles more than last month. I’ve been able to start assisted calf raises (performed on a wobble board for slightly limited range of motion and some assistance from the see-saw effect of the wobble board) and can do normal bent-knee calf raises, confirming my suspicion that my soleus is not the issue. I’ve also had the good fortune to have a gorgeously sunny, relatively warm weekend, so I’ve regained sense of athleticism after several cooped up, lazy days*.

I used my unexpected extended riding season to hit a couple Strava segments that I’ve been eyeing, but not going after, on group rides and got a QOM (Queen of the Mountain) on one climb yesterday and another leg-busting climb this afternoon. That 2nd one was hard earned, and required me to drop my time on the 0.6 mile 8% grade by 20 seconds. I actually overdid it a bit, cutting off 50 seconds and nearly losing my legs to lactic acid overdose in the process. Considering that this was done as the first of a set of hill reps the rest of my workout was a little painful. It feels so good to be able to push that hard though! I may not be able to do running workouts, but at least I can take my frustrations out on the bike 😉

Speaking of the bike, my mileage did take a serious nosedive this month in spite of a slight upturn this week. I only rode 90 miles, or my 4th lowest month since I started riding somewhat seriously last January. However, I have an indoor bike trainer arriving soon so that will let me keep at least a few bike miles in my legs during the long winter and will give me an additional cross-training option for when it’s too dark or nasty out to ski or snowshoe.

I ended up only doing 18 hours of running/biking time this month, which is about half what I did last month. That’s definitely not a habit I want to get into for the winter, but it was probably good to have a lower transition month between the end of the summer riding season and the long, dark, motivation-draining winter.

Overall, I’m feeling much more positive about the calf since seeing that my mileage was still decent, and being able to start some rehab. Hopefully the bike trainer will keep me in check this month and will help me avoid overdoing it so that the calf issue will just be a brief setback.

Love this bike :)

*I should mention that I only got myself out on the bike because MM got sick of my injury-induced grumpiness and whining and basically kicked me out cause he knew I needed the endorphins. He’s pretty awesome even when I’m being a whiny little turd ;P

50 miles 

Turns out a 50-mile ride is just enough longer than a 40-mile ride to make the whole ride mentally testing (will I make it? Or have to walk the last 5…) and result in the last few miles being overwhelmed by leg aches/death and very tight shoulders. 

 

20 miles out – those mountains in the backgeound are where i started out.

  

10!to go…so close!

 

I made it, but am feeling particularly unmotivated to move from my coffee-drinking perch on the comfy, carpeted stairs. 

I’ll just stay here thanks 😛

#30daysofbiking – final week

  
#30daysofbiking ended this past Thursday. I rode 242 miles total and finished up with 71 this week (with a few May rides). 

This 71 mile week is definitely a lifetime PR. I had some summer months in college where commuting from my parents’ to the lab I worked in probably gave me 60 over the course of the week (which, on top of 50-60 miles of running, was utterly exhausting), but I’m fairly certain I never exceeded 65 til now! Woohoo for a new weekly-mileage PR 🙂

More importantly, I’m actually really enjoying riding my bike! The only biking I’ve done in the past has been either commuting, or biking because I’m injured and can’t run. Commuting tends to be a drag – I guess I don’t like sweating and suffering when I’m just thinking about trying to get to work on time. Forced cross-training is miserable because of the whole Not Running part. 

Some of my recent riding has been commuting, but it’s a short commute and I often add on some fun/workout type riding on my ride from work, so the focus is more on riding for fitness rather than just trying to get from point A to point B. I’ve also done recent rides on days that I didn’t run due to pain/twinges. But I’ve been running often enough that my rides feel more like complimentary workouts than dull substitutes for running workouts.

I’ve actually managed to keep going right through the 30-day finish line and have ridden every day so far in May (just 3, but still!). I’m enjoying it, and do want something to supplement my relatively low running mileage, so I’m planning to carry on into summer. The plan so far is to throw in a few rest days, a couple workouts, and some longer rides when I feel like exploring. 

I haven’t fallen in love with a non-running sport in quite some time, but I think I may be finding a new passion in flying along over my two spinning wheels!

I may need to find some warmer cycling gear…

I just signed up for 30 Days of Biking (30daysofbiking.com) with a pledge to ride my bike every day in April. For every thirty pledges the group plans to donate a bike to Free Bikes 4 Kidz. It looks like a good cause and I needed some motivation to get back on the bike for some cross-training.
However, this might be a little tougher than I expected, as the weather the next few days is supposed to look like so:
IMG_1465
I may regret this decision shortly…

Getting back on my (running) feet

Things are looking up! I enjoyed a 3-mile run yesterday with no pain and hit 10 miles total for the week. I still made sure to get in a few nice bike rides to keep the injury blahs at bay and to spend some extra time outdoors.

Lessons of the week:

1) Wearing white clothing on a bike ride = mechanical problems and subsequent freak-outs about the undesirable combo of white technical fabric and greasy/grimy fingers.

IMG_1108

Weak little thumbs 😦

2) Cyclists are impressively generous with offers of help and spares when you’re dealing with a flat on the side of the road. Luckily I had a spare tube, hand pump, and tire levers with me, but I was extremely grateful for the assistance of one cyclist with much stronger thumbs than mine! Getting those tires back on the rim is quite the struggle for my little wimp-thumbs.

IMG_1110

I may have wimpy thumbs, but I am quite capable of patching a tire (even got to teach my husband how!). Very helpful skill with all the goat-heads strewn about every empty lot :-[

Total for the week: 66 miles (10 running, 56 bike) of freakishly warm February weather on clear, snow-free roads. Very unseasonal, and concerning as far as the Summer/Fall fire forecast goes, but at least I squeezed some joy out of the uncharacteristic weather…