In an effort to get back to moving around again, I had a cross training extravaganza on Saturday. I swam and biked my little heart out. It was fantastic! Probably helped that the weather was pretty and that I was feeling a tad guilty for sitting on my booty all week. Either way, I did it and I am quite proud of myself.
Oh, and I took pictures on the bike ride, but not on the swim. I mean, really, gym pools are just not that scenic… and I am not sure I want to cast a picture of me in a swimsuit out into the internet. Stop picturing it!!!
The original plan was to bike and then swim. I ended up flipping that around and it worked out wonderfully. I started at the gym right after the morning session of Aqua Aerobics completed. I did not partake in that, but the lap lanes are shut down for that. My original plan was to do 1600m (about a mile): 400m freestyle, 400m kick board, 400m breast stroke, 400m freestyle. I use pennies to keep count of my laps and since Ithought the pool was 25m long, I would put one penny in for every four laps (100m) and do four pennies for each segment. Well. I finished my first 400m and was in the middle of kick boarding and looking around when I saw it. The white board in the pool area said it was 23m. Ugh. I started doing crazy math in my head and realized that my original lap numbers were not going to get me to 1600m. I started trying to compute how many laps I needed to complete now, but I never got there. So I just added one more penny to each set. At the end it was 1840m, which is a tad more than I was going for, but good enough! At least it wasn’t short.
Another thing I started attempting was the fancy flippy-turnaround-kick-off thing. I started doing it when I got to the end of the pool with my pennies on the laps that I was not putting a penny in, so every-other lap. That was also the deep end of the pool. I was afraid of cracking my head. By the end, I was getting pretty good at it and next time I think I will attempt it on the shallow side, as well. While I am still a bit shaky on it, eventually I should be able to do it without much thought. Right now the main thing I have is timing it so I am not too close to the wall.
After swimming, I came home and loaded my bike up. The day was so pretty and I wanted to take advantage of it so I avoided the stationary bike. I ended up going out to The Western Maryland Rail Trail. It was beautiful! I parked in Hancock, as I had the last time I went out this way, but I rode in the opposite direction. The weather wasperfect for biking! It started off a little chilly, but by the time I was going, I was feeling great. The trail was super nice, too. There was a spot near I-70 that was less than beautiful, but other than that, it was a nicely wooded trail. Periodically, you could look out and see some of the C&O canal, too. While the trail was not packed, there were people here and there, which was nice since I was alone. Once, when I stopped to adjust some gear, a man rode past and asked if I was broken down or resting. I thanked him and was glad that he asked, just in case. Last weekend, I rode with Kerry and we did right around 15 miles. I was hoping to get in between 20 and 30 on this ride. My body had other plans.
I made it all the way to one end, which was about 9.5 miles, and felt good. I drank some water and powerade, turned around, and headed back. In hindsight, I should have eaten a granola bar. I started off strong, but after about 5 miles, I started to feel it. I was getting a bit tired and my crotch hurt. Yes, crotch. Biking smushes it, even with padded pants. Although somehow it gets to be less of an issue if you bike more often. Not sure what kind of crotch muscles get built up, but there ya go. I started to drag and could feel that I was getting ready to bonk hard. Ugh. I pulled over to the side in a nice sunny patch and ate a granola bar (Cliff Mojo, if you want to know… pretty good and without that nasty protein bar taste). I downed some more water and powerade and pushed on.
I waved at a nice pair of boys on a bridge I crossed and then they caught me when I stopped to look at a cemetery. I would have taken pics, but the grass was so high that you couldn’t really see much. The boys caught me there and were talking about how it had been kept up last year. I guess it was just still early in the season and nobody had bothered yet. I departed before they did, but kept seeing them behind me. I think that is what kept me going. I did not want them to catch me. I stopped once when I lost sight of them to stretch a bit, but once I sighted them down the way, I mounted up and kept going. The carbs in the granola helped, but I was hitting a wall. On my way out, I had noticed that a bridge was close to where I parked. Those were my goals: no break until the bridge and don’t let the boys catch you. Ifinally made the bridge, walked around a bit to loosen my legs and take a break, chugged some more liquid, and then departed.
When I got to the parking lot, I thought that I would keep going. I was just over 19 miles and wanted to get to 20. Then I realized I was done, so I turned around. On my way back to the parking lot again, which I’d past by maybe 50 yards, I passed my pacer boys. They smiled and said I was hard to catch. I laughed and thought that was nice. When I got back to my car, my bike-ometer thing said I had gone 19.6 miles and my runkeeper said I had gone 19.9 miles. I am not sure which is more accurate, so I split the difference and figured about 19.75 miles. Not quite as far as I wanted to go, but still very good.
The last few miles were very tough. I am not sure what played into it the most, the pre-swim, the failure to carb during the ride, or it being early in my biking season. Maybe they all played equal parts. Not sure, but I still consider it a successful ride and a very successful day!