Saturday’s Bike Ride and Run (10/02/10)
Yesterday, I had an important realization: if I am going to train for a half-marathon scheduled for March of 2011, I am going to have to learn how to run and bike on the same days. For the past month or two, I’ve had some schedule-related setbacks in my half-marathon training, most of them due to the fact that I have to go to work every weekend to attend to experimental obligations. It’s a drag, this whole working-on-the-weekend thing. The bike rides I’ve been doing to get me to and from work have been the highlight of my working weekend experience, but I’ve been rather hesitant to add running on top of all the biking.
Well, friends, the time to add that running is now. I think I’ve had sufficient time to build my biking base such that my body will be able to handle short runs on the days when I’ve biked about seven miles to and from work. Right now, my runs are only 20 minutes, though I plan to bump them up to 30 next week. With exercise, it’s hard to find that sweet spot between too much and not enough. My new biathlete status will push me to find my sweet spot. It’s a worthwhile pursuit because I am all about balance—this is just a new challenge in the fine art of finding balance in life.
Yesterday’s biking+running combo went well. In the morning, I rode the bike to work, took care of my flies, then rode it over to the hippie grocery store to buy my weekly groceries. In the late afternoon, I laced up my sneakers and went for an easy, 20-minute run around the neighborhood. I’m not going to lie: this 20 minutes was kinda hard. I didn’t run fast, but my legs and my lungs were saying, “Hey, what happened to the thing with two wheels? I thought that’s how we got around these days!” I’m not discouraged by the difficulty of this run. It’s going to take some time for my body to get used to the new routine.
That being said, I am going to do my best to make sure I have some rest days with no biking or running—maybe some yoga to stretch things out, but nothing too taxing. I have to be careful because I know how easy it is to overdo it, to not listen to your body in the interest of sticking with a training schedule. Training schedules are meant to motivate and guide you. They are not meant to grind their followers into the ground. In the end, work-outs and races are supposed to be fun, and rest days are an important part of staying healthy and injury-free. There’s nothing fun about not being able to get outside and run, especially now that fall has started and the weather just begs you to run underneath sunny skies while the breeze kisses your skin. In the end, that’s why I run: because it feels good.