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Posts Tagged ‘bike ride’

On a fine November day last year, Joel and I decided to sign up for the Sehgahunda Trail Marathon Relay. We ran it as a four person relay two years ago, which was fun, so we thought that it was a good idea to run it as a two person relay. Hmm…

The official training started in February. Luckily for me, Joel figured it all out. Run two short runs during the week and then a long run on the weekends. Seems easy enough. I quickly realized that running two days a week was not very feasible. Working full time and taking care of our daughter, the house, etc. kind of put a damper on my training plan. My weekday runs were 5 or 6 milers, so they worked well enough to run longer during the weekends. But once I hit the 9.5 mile mark, I also realized that I did have to run two days a week, otherwise I would not be able to start increasing my mileage without risking an injury. Luckily for us, my parents live in town so they have been very helpful with watching Julia for us so we can do this thing. I am super grateful for it! Even our neighbors helped us one weekend… so grateful!!

The 9.5 mile run was not too bad. On that run I surpassed my longest distance that I have ever ran since I started running about 5 years ago. Then two weekends ago, we ran 10.5 miles. “That was crazy!”, I thought. I felt super good and it gave me more confidence that I will be able to do this race.

Then, as I was running mile 10ish of my 11.5 mile training run on Sunday and Parachute Youth was blasting in my ear “Can’t Get Better Than This…“, I thought to myself… “Oh yes it can, actually!!”. At least I was in the woods and the song distracted me a bit and made me think of the mountain biking video where I discovered the song.

I remember after riding for a few years, a bunch of my friends were asking me why I was not racing. “You would do well!”, they said. My answer was always that cycling would become work. You have to ride a lot of hours to be able to have the stamina and fitness to be a racer. I ride because I love riding and because I love to explore the area on my bike. It is not my job… it is my hobby. The same goes for running. I love being in the woods and exploring our parks.

I recently read this article, which made me laugh but also resonated with me. It was called “I Hate Running” and the writer’s statement after finishing a 50 miler was on point. When someone congratulated him for finishing the race, his answer was something like “I just ran 750 miles… you just saw the last 50 miles!“. (Another great article to check out is “People Who Say That Running Is Fun Are Lying To You“.) Although my feat is not as great as his, this idea of running three times a week in order to complete a half marathon is kind of a chore. It has become work.

I am not sure why it feels this way. Perhaps all those years that I spent on the bike riding thousands of miles burned me out and this is starting to feel that way. Or perhaps the fact that I love to ride, run, hike, and other things makes me feel like I am stuck with this one thing. I guess that is the downside of having multiple hobbies. Ha!

Nevertheless, I am glad that I signed up for this race. I never in a million years would have thought that I would be able to run 10 miles, 11 miles, or even a half marathon. It is a good challenge and I do not want to stop. The race is on May 20th, so I am almost there. I guess that this race also made me realize that long distance running is not for me and that I am happier if I am able to do everything that I love instead of only one single activity.

As I write this, the weather forecast is calling for rain for tonight, on Thursday, and on Sunday. Another reason not to sign up for a race in Spring. Hooray for training!

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It is that time of the year again… the salt has washed away and the weather is warmer (although, not today), which means that the biking season is finally here! My first ride of the season was last Wednesday. I rode my usual Wednesday night ride with the Rochester Bicycling Club. My friends Brian and Cindy joined me for the ride, which was great! It was nice to see them and catch up. It is kind of funny how we do not see each other pretty much at all during the winter and then we spend so much time together all summer. It feels as though we just saw each other yesterday. I love it!

The ride felt great! I was unsure what to expect since I have not ridden since last September or October. The first rides are usually pretty painful. The endurance is out the window. But I was super happy with my ride! I rode 20.6 miles at a 14.6 average. Ever since I started running, my first rides of the season have felt so good. It amazes me!

When I first started riding, that is all I did. I rode 3 or 4 times a week, sometimes logging as much as 200 miles or more a week. It was my thing. And I loved it. I loved wandering through Mendon, Victor, the Finger Lakes. I live in such a beautiful area! My favorite was the big ride of the season… the Highlander. I always finished the bulk of the season with a century and the Highlander was it since it was an easy century due to the rest areas. I did the ride 6 years in a row (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011). The ride itself was not easy at all, since it took us through the hilly Finger Lakes. But it was SO beautiful and all that pain was super worth it. Ha!

Then I had Julia so I had to find another thing, since riding took too long, especially the riding that keeps you in shape. So I took up running. I did not love it at all. It was fine. But I have grown to like it over the years. After much reservation, I now consider myself a runner. Haha! I can be both a rider and a runner, no?!? I am pretty ok with it.

I am happy that I can bike and run. I find them to complement each other really well… perfect cross training. In fact, I went for a run on Sunday and I felt great! I ran 5 miles at a 9:48 pace in the hilly Powder Mills park. That is pretty fast for me especially for a trail run.

I do miss those long rides though! I really love wandering on my bike. This week is not looking so good weather wise and I signed up for a run race, which is on Sunday, so I need to do some running. But I look forward to logging some miles in the saddle. The season just started after all!

 

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I have been riding my bike a bunch lately. I have mostly been riding by myself from the house towards Mendon Ponds Park and back. Since the weather was going to be nice today, I asked my mom and dad if they can watch Julia for us so Joel and I can ride together. They agreed… so riding we did!

We decided to ride the Powder Puff. It is one of my favorite Rochester Bicycling Club rides. It contains plenty of climbing (Railroad Mills, Blazey, Bluhm, Thayer, and Steele), lots of fun descents (Garnsey, Fishers, Lane, Steele, and Vineyard Hill), and a bunch of super fast flat sections (Modock, Cork, Gillis, and Blazey). In fact, I reached about 39 mph on one of the descents and 32 mph during one of the flat sections. So fun!! The climbs on the other hand… I have nothing to boast about there… oh those hills! They still do not like me and I still do not like them. Ha! Also, the ride is only 22 miles so it’s a good somewhat short workout.

I love riding with Joel since he helps me push myself. I especially love riding with him on the flat sections. He usually takes off and I try to draft him so I can stick with him. It’s so fun! Riding with him definitely makes me work harder, which in turn helps me get stronger. I am lucky to have him as a riding partner. I look forward to riding with him again.

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I have been running a lot. Ever since my doctor has given me the ok to exercise, I have been very excited to get back in shape. So I have been running a lot. My first true run was awesome! I felt so good! It was the perfect day… not too hot and being in the woods on the trail is always a favorite. I also felt so liberated! It was nice to do something on my own. When I finished my run, I could not stop smiling. It was the best run I have ever had.

Après first run…

After my initial run, I ran 4 days in a row. My sister was in town so she watched Julia for me. Then last week, my mom watched Julia so I was able to run twice. I felt good every time, which kind of surprised me, really. I was not even sore. I guess staying fit during the pregnancy helped.

Then yesterday, Joel and I went for a bike ride. That’s right… a bike ride! A date bike ride, that is. :) It was so awesome!! I forgot how much I love riding! We decided to ride from home to save time, so we rode towards Mendon Ponds Park. Riding from home means descending down Garnsey Rd. And descending I did… my speed topped at 42.8 miles per hour! So fun!!

I felt pretty good on the bike. Of course the rolling hills were not too friendly to me, but I managed. My favorite part of the ride was drafting Joel on Cole Rd. We were just flying!! :) Of course riding from home means ascending up Garnsey Rd. That was a different story. I felt ok, but had to take the cut on Hardwood Hill, which is not as steep. It was still difficult nonetheless. I guess I did not totally lost it.

The stats: 13.1 miles, 13.9 average, 42.8 max speed. Not bad for the first ride 6 weeks postpartum. :) I look forward to the next ride.

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As Wednesday was approaching, I asked Joel if he would like to go for a bike ride. Wednesdays are usually our riding evening. He agreed to go, so I was excited.

The ride was pretty good. The route was 24 miles, which ended up a bit too much for me. I got really tired around mile 20 and I was ready to be done. Also, I really miss my regular cycling shorts and I can definitely feel the pressure of the new weight. I was getting pretty uncomfortable on the saddle during the ride, even though I stood up a bunch of times.

Also, since the bike fit is pretty aggressive, I was bent forwards a fair amount. The girl was pushing on the right side of my belly in the beginning of the ride, so I had to stretch a few times. I also kept massaging the side and telling her to move over a bit and she eventually did. She is so nice to me!! :)

Nevertheless, it was still a good ride and the weather was perfect, so I was glad to be out. In the earlier stages of my pregnancy, I kept thinking and hoping that I would be able to ride as much as possible during the pregnancy. So here I am at 7 months and I am still doing it… I am excited about that, since I really love cycling and miss it. I hope that I will still be able to ride as the weeks go by. I will just have to limit the miles to about 20.

The stats: 24 miles, 14.1 average. Not bad for being 7 months pregnant.

Après-ride…

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