Sunday, July 19, 2015

Running and Biking

6 solid days of exercise this week, 3 runs, 3 rides.  That's the kind of exercise schedule I would like to have every week!  The runs are still leaning towards the shorter and slower side for the most part, but I am hopeful that distance and speed will come, especially if the pulmonologist helps me out with the asthma issues when I see him in early August.

This week:
M : run 6.5 
T : bike 21
W : bike 16.6
R : run 6.2
F : run 3.6
Sa : bike 65.2

run total : 16.3 miles
bike total : 102.9 miles

This week in running was the first time I ran 3 times in one week since the last week of April, and the first time I ran 6 or more miles at once since the middle of May.  I have been icing my foot after each run, and so far it seems to be going well.  Monday's run was slow, but not so much on purpose.  Since it was a struggle to keep up the pace, I purposely jogged on Thursday.  That ended up feeling even more miserable overall, although my lungs were happier.  After all that slowness, I was feeling a need for speed, so Friday I went out to the flattest neighborhood in town and did two, one mile sprints, around the loop.  I would say the sprints were somewhere around 90% effort, and my "recovery" in between them was somewhere around 75%, and about 3/10 mile.  So, not much of a recovery.  The second mile sprint was a lot harder than the first breathing-wise.  I was really struggling for oxygen by the time I finished it, but I didn't ease off the effort until I had reached the end of the mile.  The mile loop only has an elevation gain of 30ft.  I ran the first mile in 6:36 and the second in 6:52.

I kept my first two bike rides relatively short and easy this week, because Saturday's ride was the annual Wheels of Hope ride and I didn't want to burn out my bike muscles before my longest ride ever.  This ride last year was a mostly miserable experience thanks to lots of rain and my back not being even remotely strong enough for the 58 mile ride.  The course was different last year because of a bridge being washed out, but this year it was back to it's intended 65 mile course. 

I woke up to thunder on Saturday morning, which was not promising.  I had told myself that this year I would let myself wimp out if it was raining.  I checked the weather many times in the 2 hours between when I woke up and when the ride was supposed to start, and every time it had a different percentage chance of rain.  The ride was scheduled for 8, and at 7:40 it still wasn't raining, so I got ready and went out the door.  At 8, the ride was on, and we headed out hoping for the best.  I didn't know of anyone else riding the 65 mile, so I was on my own.  Then, about 10 miles in, two people I know passed me.  They were riding with a couple of other people, and we got a pace line going for the long stretch down into Alderson.  We ended up staying together for the whole ride.  I tended to pull away on the climbs, but since riding with a group is far preferable to riding alone for 65 miles, I always stopped to wait after the climbs.  We pace-lined most of the flats, which made them fly by easier.  We stopped at a rest stop around mile 36 for some gatorade and snacks.  We ended up finishing the ride in 4:46:14, with 3:46:10 of moving time.  7 miles longer than last year, but only 5 extra minutes of moving time.  And we climbed over 5900 ft! Thankfully, it only rained for a few minutes of the ride, and the sun came out for most of it.  It ended up being a gorgeous day!

Overall, I was very pleased with my ride.  I broke a bunch of my personal bests on Strava segments, and even stole first place on the leaderboard for once section of the 5 mile climb on Snake Run Rd.  My lower back did not give me any trouble at all, which was a huge plus.  My neck did cramp up pretty bad, and is still a bit sore, but this discomfort is far preferable to the back trouble I was plagued with last summer.  

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