Monday, April 2, 2012

Let the Bike Training Begin

At my soccer game on Saturday morning, my friend Jamey asked if I've been riding my bike a lot now that the half is over and I've got my summer ride to train for. Sadly, my answer was no. I had had plenty of sweat sessions but only one of them was done on a bike seat. And that one can hardly count as a workout because it was a short little ride down to the tidal basin for a picnic under the cherry blossoms. I did wear my cherry blossom jersey though so at least I was sweating in style.

That afternoon, after the game, I set out with some friends for a 24 mile ride to Old Town, VA and back. The ride out was smooth, fast, and a little too cold. We rode hard and talked little. We picked up paninis at a little sandwich shop and ate by the water.

View from our lunch bench.

On the way back, we rode directly into the wind the entire way and drafted each other. About halfway, I moved to the front and cut the wind off for the group. My legs began to burn hard and it felt good to just keep pushing through that. I got back on a bike yesterday afternoon to ride to a friend's house less than two miles away and my butt was incredibly sore from the seat. All signs pointed to the fact that I need to start training more seriously.

Ingrid and Josh on our windy ride back.

Tonight, because I am a firm believer in pushing through the pain and making my muscles scream, and because I was in the mood for a walk with Joshua, I decided not to run in this beautiful weather. Instead, I walked to the gym to ride a stationary bike for 45 minutes.

View from my bike seat.

The only thing remotely resembling a stationary bike that I've ridden in the past 15 years is my own bike on a trainer so I wasn't sure what to expect. It was somewhat annoying to sit on such a fat seat and I felt a little too upright. But it was definitely advantageous to spend all 45 minutes engrossed in book two of The Hunger Games, distracted from the very real burn in my legs.

Post-workout, kindle in hand

It has been about eighteen months since I've gone on more bike rides than runs in a two week period. But, over the past 16 days, I've run only 3 times, and I've ridden my bike five. Running has dominated my athletic life for the past year and a half and I have loved every minute of it. But I will admit that I was getting a little burnt out by the end of this last training cycle. I was distracted by my next big adventure, my 3,000 mile bike ride, and I'm excited that I'm free to focus my energy on that now.

Next time I get asked if I've been biking a lot, my answer will be "hell yes!". And, in the process of training, I hope to share more of my plans, my dreams, and my fears for this summer's ride on Sweating in Style. Stay tuned!

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