Monday, March 31, 2008

First bike ride, and a run

Sunday morning I met Bree over at the parking lot of the Alameda Ferry. I'm used to going there for runs but this morning was different. Instead of running shoes I had my cycling shoes. Instead of a running cap I had a helmet. And instead of taking off on foot I had my bike. Our plan was to go no more than 20 miles, legs and wind dependent. It was cool out, not quite 50 degrees yet, and a cold wind was coming off the water.

I haven't been on my bike for 2 years and that was one little ride. Before that I've maybe been on the bike a half dozen times since I started this marathon business back in 2001. The most spinning I've done has been on my exercycle and the fastest I've gone under my own power recently is around 5 mph while running. I'm used to warming up quickly and under-dressing for the weather.

What a difference going faster makes! I had on shorts, a short sleeved cycling jersey with arm warmers and a bright (very very bright) yellow jacket. Fingerless gloves and normal air-holed shoes completed my outfit. Brrr and brrr again! It's not as much that I'd forgotten how cold it can be to cycle, I just -- umm -- ignored my memories. My big toe still hasn't thawed out and possibly never will.

We hopped on our bikes and made a quick spin around the parking lot. It felt ok so we headed out. My game plan was to just follow Bree wherever she led; I'm not that familiar with Alameda and didn't want to get lost. We wanted an easy ride, as sheltered from the wind as we could get.

We had a nice little Tour de Alameda, going back through a couple of areas just to get in some miles. We ended up with 15 miles and that required one last loop through the parking lot. It was a good welcome back ride. It was mostly flat with one little hill (actually an underpass) that we took in both directions. We were on main roads and through neighborhoods and along the water. Very lovely this time of year with wildflowers and green grasses. Also leading to a bit of achooing and wheezing.

My bike felt very good. The adjustments David made were great. I need to readjust my cleats (and I'll probably be readjusting them every ride, until I find perfect placement). I couldn't get my computer to work, and I'd left Mr. Garmin home because I hadn't charged the battery recently, so I didn't have my stats that I love so much. I fiddled with the computer once we finished and wouldn't you know it, I got it to work.

I was tired afterward but not sore anywhere. I don't know if that's because of all the legsercises I've been doing or because the ride really was short and flat. I felt much better afterward than I did after Saturday's run.

Speaking of which, I ran on Saturday, YAY! Well, it's way too soon to celebrate. I met my peeps out at the Lafayette-Moraga Trail. Sandy, Anita and Mary Ann planned to run 10 miles but my goal was a simple 3. I ran 1-1/2 miles with them, doing 9:1 run:walk, our old pattern. The first mile was slow as molasses, even though it felt to me as if I was going fast. I have no endurance after 3 months of not running. At 1-1/2 miles I hugged everyone good bye and sent them on their way. We all know how tempted I was to continue with them but my better sense prevailed. Didn't know I had better sense, didja?

As I ran alone I kept looking at my watch to see if the pain would strike again at the magic 28 minute mark like it had the last couple of treadmill runs. 27. 28. 29. 30 31 32 and no shooting pains in my knee. I was thrilled and kept running, trying to keep my pace slower than I normally do on that last, downslope section. I got back to the start and although the shooting pain never occurred my knee was pretty sore. I walked back to my car and stretched for a while, then went home and iced.

My knee got more sore as the day went on, including when I was called to work to taste wine (don't ask) and when I went shopping. I iced again in the evening but it was so sore I skipped my legsercises entirely. I ended up having to get up after I'd gone to bed to get some advil since the ache was keeping me awake. It felt better Sunday morning and surprising well even after the ride.

I don't know what my plan of attack will be for further knee rehab. I'm thinking of just discontinuing the legsercises and only doing my normal workouts (swimming, running, cycling, abs and the odd strength training here and there). I need to do the regular workouts just to maintain what little aerobic conditioning I had now but I'm afraid the reason my knee didn't hurt after cycling was because of the therapy. Oh, decisions, decisions! I would just take it a day at a time and do whatever I feel like but we know the result of that would be lots of sofa time. I don't know what to do, but I know that Saturday morning out running with the girls was one of the best times I've had so far this year.

I'll let you know what I decide!

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