Time for an Update
Ok, so its that time again…another month has gone by, so I figured I better write an update.
It’s just now over a month into 2012, and I can’t figure out where all the time has gone. Looking at my calendar, I soon can figure out where it went, to lots and lots of doctors appointments and one very enjoyable vacation with the husband.
So besides boring you with all of that, what have I really done in 2012? Well for starters, I still have not ran, even 1 mile. Even though, I hate running, it’s been harder than I thought to heed the advice of my PT and not run at all. We’ve had some gorgeous weather this winter, and there were quite a few days when I didn’t have enough time to get me and my bike ready to ride outside, I had thoughts of going for a quick run in the warm winter weather. As much as I hate it, there is no better activity then running when you are travelling, have limited time, etc. It gets you outside quickly and with minimal gear needed. As I continue my transition to JUST a cyclist, I think this is something I want to work on achieving on the bike, simplicity.
So speaking of biking, how has that been going you may wonder. Actually, I am happy to say I am biking both more and less then I ever had, AND I can actually see results. Overall, I have focused on 2 types of training for this year. I started the year still in a decent amount of pain from the accident, so I focused on just getting in 30 mins of riding every day on the bike. I didn’t care how hard or easy it was, I was just focused on riding every day. This allowed me to recover and heal, without pushing my body too much, but I think it also did a great job of just giving me a base. By the third week of January when I went to Arizona, I not only felt stronger (but without the burnout), and I felt like I had actually accomplished something. Planning to do something every day (even if only for a week or 2 or 3) and actually sticking to it (without skipping a single day) has a great feeling of personal achievement.
During my week in Arizona, I moved away from the every day biking and began “training camp,” as I called it, with my husband. With nothing else to do every day, it was such a great feeling to wake up, bike, eat lunch, bike some more, then eat dinner and head to bed early. Even after riding more than I had in months, I woke up refreshed every day and ready for the challenges ahead. Getting to mountain bike in the red rocks of Sedona was a great opportunity for me as well. I was able to work on basic skills and learn to be less afraid in baby steps. The trails we rode had something for people of all levels, so I was able to progress through harder terrain as I gained confidence. Also, there was one trail the led from the local bike shop out to many of the connector trails, which allowed me to do the same thing many times over the couple days we were there. This allowed me to see a measurable difference from my first ride to my last.
Once back from the trip, I have worked on riding less, yes I said less. What I’m really trying to do is ride smarter. I’m trying to make every workout or effort worth my time. Instead of wasting time just pedaling and not really putting much into it (just logging miles), I am now focused on interval training to maximize my benefit in the least amount of time possible. I think this is huge for a number of reasons (which anyone can benefit from), but for me personally the big one is more time for rest and recovery. As someone who definitely needs her sleep and down time, I think this has been a problem for me in the past. To get to a higher level, I have had to put so much time in, that I end up feeling burnt out quickly and get frustrated or sick or give up. Allowing both my body and mind plenty of downtime means I am fresher and have more to put into those workouts I do do.
The strangest thing I have noticed so far is I actually feel my legs hurting at times. This may seem like a normal reaction to training on a bike, but honestly it is a new one for me. In the past, I’ve always felt like my lungs were holding me back (in fact, that is one of the reasons I took up running to improve that). I still haven’t figured out why, but I have some thoughts. One is maybe this new way of training is really working and I am starting to see results already. Then the negative side of my brain jumps in and says, no its just because you aren’t running anymore (using legs) and took off too much time from the accident. At this point I don’t really have an answer, but moving forward this is something I am planning to pay more attention to (if it continues) and try to figure out why.