August 31, 2010

Ride n' Run

Since E.T. last weekend I've slowly been easing back into training, and surprisingly it's been smoother than expected. I took a few days off to recover (also due to long days at work) and went for my first post-race run Thursday night. My legs felt great and I felt energized, so I pushed the pace a bit and did a speedy 4 miles. Although I felt great during the run, afterward I had a nagging soreness behind my left knee that caused me a bit of worry. But after rolling it out the following day at work it's felt fine since.

This past weekend I was able to get in my first real bike ride and a long run, too! Saturday evening after work I set out for the bike trail on my bike, hoping to get in as many miles as I could before dark. More importantly, however, I wanted to start getting comfortable on my bike. There weren't too many people out on the trail thankfully - I didn't want to embarrass myself! But it actually went better than I expected and I ended up getting in 7.5 miles before it was way to dark. I averaged just under 12 mph, and I'm hoping be around 15 mph at my race, so I think it's a good start. I'm still trying to figure out the whole shifting thing, and I definitely had to stop in the middle of a couple steep hills before I started rolling backwards, but I really enjoyed it! It's such a different feeling than running, too. In many ways it felt easier, but I definitely felt the burn going uphill and I could tell how tiring it must get on longer distances. I think my least favorite thing about riding will be the sore backside - holy cow, no wonder bike shorts are so padded!

Sunday morning I was up early to squeeze in my long run before work. Just coming off a marathon I only had 11 scheduled, and I planned to take them pretty easy. I decided to go the opposite direction on the bike trail for an out-an-back to get a little change of scenery. It must've done the trick because I felt fantastic during the whole thing and it actually turned out to be my fastest long run ever! In fact, with just a couple more miles I would've had an unofficial half PR! The route was really nice and I think the fresh sights were a big contributor to the faster pace. The first part covered a bit of the course from the American River Parkway Half that I ran in May (my current half PR) until William Pond Park. From there it was completely new territory to me! I found myself crossing the river on a footbridge I never knew existed, and then ran into (not literally) an entire flock of wild turkeys! There were tons of runners and bikers out there, too, but once again those on wheels were assholes. Seriously, what gives? Anyway, here's the details: 8 out of the 11 miles were at sub-10 pace, my average for the whole run was 9:51, and my last mile was the fastest at 9:19! Afterward I even had time to eat a real meal before heading out to work, which is a big accomplishment for me (I never give myself enough time). It was a great way to start to my Sunday.
Lovely morning for a run.
 William Pond Park
The Jed Smith footbridge I "discovered" : )
The gorgeous view of the American River from the bridge.
Today I didn't have to be at work til noon so I took advantage of the late start and got in my 5 mile run this morning. The construction on the Sac State bridge is finally done so I can now resume my usual routes without any inconveniences. It was warmer than I liked, even at 9:30am, and it didn't take long for me or my pup to feel the effects. I kept up a strong pace and felt good until the last half mile or so when it was a bit of a struggle to maintain that pace. In the end I completed 5 miles with an average pace of 9:40. You know even though I definitely consider myself an evening runner, it's been nice to get my runs out of the way before work and just be able to relax when I get home. Plus, with it gradually getting darker earlier, it's been harder to get a workout in after work. Who knows, maybe I'm slowly evolving into a morning runner...?

1 comment:

  1. Morning running rocks! I love- love- love it!