Tuesday, August 16, 2011

No Escape

So, I guess I was built for long distance running after all …

I am what I am
If you’ve been following along at home (and that’s a huge assumption on my part) then you’ll be familiar with the troubles I’ve been having recently with my running. Since the latest comeback attempt began, my runs have been in the order of 4 to 8 miles long with most being right around 6 miles. And, the vast majority of them have been awful. When I say “awful” I mostly mean they were awkward, slow and not at all enjoyable. In fact, they were so bad that I recently considered a change of hobby - as seen here.

Biddeford Pool
Anyway, last week (while away on vacation) I attempted my first "long" run since early April. Of course, heading into it I was expecting much more of the same – except that the suffering would last twice as long! However, once I got going (much to my surprise) it was great! And, I’ll give you three guesses (and the first 2 don’t count) as to when it started feeling great. Yup, you’re right! Just past mile 6!

Fortunes Rocks Beach
I don’t know what happened, but after about 45 minutes of bumbling along the winding beach roads of Biddeford Maine, my body loosened up and everything just felt better. My stride lengthened, my turnover increased and my pace quickened. In short, I got into a regular running rhythm for the first time since the accident. Of course, with the lack of any real distance training, by mile 12 I was toast, but at least I know I can work on that.

And, now that I know what I am, it’s time for me to get back to the track and work on improving those first 6 miles!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Time Trials

So, it seems I’ve become a bike racer …

After 12 weeks of “serious” bike training (and almost no running) I decided to enter the Charlie Baker Time Trial. It’s a 9.75 mile bike race series that takes place in Concord, MA every Wednesday night in the summer and is put on by the Northeast Bicycle Club. And, conveniently, takes place on the very same roads that I bike on during my lunchtime rides from work.

Not me
Now, I have no misunderstanding about where I stand as a bike rider. I’m a novice with a capital “N”. I’ve been riding off and on for a little over 2 years - mostly when I’ve been injured from running. And, lately, that's been quite a lot! I love watching the Tour De France and the amazing riders that survive it. But, I have no idea how to maintain my bike and can barely name its various moving parts.

Nevertheless, I’ve been considering jumping into bike racing for a some time now. It’s been 4 months since my last running race and the competitive juices from doing road races still course through my body - even though my running fitness does not. And, the idea of doing a time trial (as opposed to an actual circuit race) appealed to me mostly because I wouldn’t have to worry about crashing into other riders around me. It’s just me, the road and the clock – What could go wrong?