Monday, August 20, 2007

Can I Please Ride a Stationary Bike in the Triathlon?

Rain, rain, go away! Take a day off and come back on Wednesday. Geez!

Instead of running the Perfect 10-Miler on Sunday, Neil and I headed out to the baseball fields next to our apartment and started building an ark. So, pair up and come over!

Actually, near early evening I had had enough of sitting around waiting for a break in the rain. I jumped in my [new] car, which had trouble starting and needs a new battery, and was about to head to the rec. center track when the universe gave me a break. It stopped raining. Without hesitation, I jumped out of the car and started my 5-mile run for Sunday.

It was drizzling when I started running and only picked up 2-3 times for a few minutes during the workout. Only after I went inside did it start to truly pour. Good thing it was a quickee!

I was still pretty jazzed from Saturday’s race, which pretty much canceled out the rain discomfort. I took out the first two miles with stretched legs and a steady pace around 9:00/mile. For the second two miles, I tried to pick up the pace while maintaining control of myself. It was steady again at 8:35/mile. Then I cooled down with around a 9:00 mile.

And that completed my first full week on a training plan. Not only have I felt more motivated to run because of the plan in itself (if I have something solid and written down, my guilt will never let me leave it undone), but because it offers me the variety that I was too running dense to realize I needed… or at least how to incorporate it.

This first week was pretty simple: about 20 miles total. But it’s helping me kick and scratch my way back to the 25-30 miles I was completing pre-sciatica June.

So, I’m sticking to that plan and have establish a pretty good strategy (for now) for swimming. What’s next? Cycling and diet.

On the cycling front: I took lunch to cycle 12 miles across vaulting and plunging hills on a stationary bike. It’s wholly different than real cycling (especially since it only took 30 minutes for me to ride the 12 miles… we all know that’s not accurate!), but it helps with my general muscle groups and reinforces the idea that I need to constantly pedal.

Sounds silly, doesn’t it? I’m hoping that and a new bike frame (to go with the racing tires that have been sitting in my dining room since… April?) might get me out of the cycling dungeon in future triathlons!

Now, when I say diet, I don’t mean it in the trendy sense. I’ve been a lifelong healthy eater and fish-a-vegetarian (I just don’t dig meat texture, it’s not an ethical thing—sorry!), but I think everyone needs a little training-diet-introspection. For instance, I hadn’t realized until recently how lacking I was in protein and other bit vital to rebuilding my body. Ouch!

For the next several weeks, I’m going to keep track of what I’m eating, how much and when. It’s a process I’ve regularly undertaken for most of my life (a habit I picked up from my dad, haha), but one that I can use to understand what foods affect my training and performances, when it’s best to eat and how much. Right now my eating habits are almost always based on general good judgment, but nothing targeted. We’ll see how it goes.

But I’m not going to lie to you: having cupcakes in your diet is not a bad thing. Did you see how well I ran (for me) on Saturday?


JenC said...

It is true that the only way to improve in cycling is to spend time on your bike. I too hope the rain stops, so we can go outside instead.

My diet has fallen along the wayside and I can't seem to gain control. Mozarella sticks should definitely not be on the menu - especially when you have high cholesterol. Maybe I can use you as inspiration. Good luck to both of us!

kelsalynn said...

I'm impressed that you've kept some sort of food log for a while... that's amazing to me b/c it's something I've never been able to do consistently. It sounds like you have a plan, though, so I'm excited to keep hearing about it to see how it progresses!