Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Today was the first day I've gotten my bike out--the trail near my place reopened so I now I can ride to the gym when I want to swim. My estimate was that it should take me about 15 minutes to get the bike in shape, 15 minutes to bike there, 30 to swim, and 15 to bike back...which puts me at about an hour and 15 minutes for the whole ordeal. Annnnd....three hours later, here I am.

Stuff that didn't go according to the plan:
  • Couldn't figure out the air pump I borrowed from Sam; began by completely deflating each tire on accident, stumbled around and eventually got it to inflate, then accidentally deflated the tire when I tried to put the cap back on it
  • Couldn't find gym locker lock
  • Had to get off bike and carry it over several obstacles on the trail (it's open, but not unobstructed yet apparently)
  • Had to figure out how to work the bike lock I have, which is also borrowed from Sam
  • I got back and was going to lock my bike in the basement instead of carrying it up 2 flights and storing it in my bedroom. I carried it down this little awkward outdoor 3-stair stairwell and I'm holding the bike up with one hand while fumbling with my keys, and the door won't unlock. I try and try and finally I look up and to the right and see a sign saying they changed the locks to keep out "intruders" and we should enter through the front doors. So I awkwardly maneuver my bike back out of that tiny stairwell, around the building, and into the front door where I have to carry it down a full flight of stairs (at that point I may as well have just carried it up 2 into my apartment). The dumbest thing about this is that it's not like our building's front doors are secured in any way, nor are they any more public or well-lit than the back doors... so I have no idea how they think this added inconvenience is going to keep intruders out at all.
  • In the basement the bike rack is completely full. It took me a good 15 minutes to maneuver my bike into position at the end of the bike rack, and I'm really afraid that the way I locked it the lock will scratch it and/or so will the person next to me when they try to get their bike out. There MUST be a better way. I'm really tired of having my bike in my bedroom and tripping over it constantly, but if I don't lock it up downstairs I don't know what I'll do instead. I decided to put it downstairs because I figured I bought it to use it, not to polish it and maintain it, so I should suck it up and let it get some marks of usage. But even though it's not even that nice of a bike, the thought of it getting beat up still makes me cringe.
I'm hoping some of these were first-time problems and once I get a routine it won't take this much time, but I'm not sure.

Anyway, biking. I like how fast it gets me where I want to go. The ride to the gym was indeed about 15 minutes, so not bad at all. I'm unsure about biking in general, though... while I used to be pretty serious about distance biking, this is a different (newer and better) bike, and it moves easily along with me, and I'm always startled by how responsive it is. Sometimes I feel like I'm careening along and will at any moment hit a small stone or groove in the pavement and completely wipe out. Also, while my last bike was also a racing bike, this one has ridiculous tires--the woman who sold it to me was bragging about them being european or something, but they're SERIOUSLY insanely thin. You inflate them with 120 lbs, and like probably 1/6 of an inch touches the pavement, if that, so I feel like I'm precariously balancing atop the thing. I have to get over my biking cowardice and get comfortable again. I also need to buy a helmet.

Swimming: I haven't been in the pool in probably 2 or 2.5 months and I think I've somewhat forgotten some of the stuff I learned in January/February. I can still do the basics of swimming, but I can tell that my form is a hot mess because it really seemed like a lot of work to get from one end of the pool to the other. I wish M. would make time to come help teach me again, because it's so helpful to have someone watching me and telling me what to correct. Maybe some of it will shake out and I'll stop feeling this awkward in the water if I go more often again. I'm just hoping I don't go back to where I was before: terrified of water and unable to do anything.

I did my first "ladder" workout today... actually a baby ladder since I'm such a beginner.
25m x4 to warm up
then 25, 50, 75, 75, 50, 25
then 25 x4 to cool down
Total of 500m

I'm going to be following this program, which I'll post about in more detail once I integrate it with my marathon training plan.

This was my first ever bike-swim-bike! I don't know if it counts since the bike there was only 2ish miles, and the swim was 500m broken into tiny baby pieces, and the bike home was 2 miles...buuuut it still feels kind of awesome to do biking and swimming together. And even with that little amount of biking, in the wind my quads felt like they got a heck of a workout. It's quite windy here today.

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