Monday, July 27, 2009

New Bicycle!

Since I'm on a temporary leave from running due to an injury to my thigh muscle, I thought I'd begin biking in earnest. I biked a bit last year when I had a stress fracture, but quit when I joined a gym and started pool running & using the stationary bike there. I had been using my daughter's old bike, which is a boy's bike and has off road tires. So I thought I'd look for a new one. What a hard job!

I just thought I'd go to Walmart and get one there, but looked and realized I had NO idea what kind of bike to buy. So I decided to go to a bike shop and looked online to find one in my city of Salem, Oregon. I found one downtown and went to look. Well, that was a brief look since they were all WAY out of my price range. Hey, I just want a bike that will last with me using it 3 times a week for cross training. I don't need a racing bike or a mountain bike or a $1,000 bike, ok? I talked briefly to the sales guy & then left, disappointed.

From there I went to Sports Authority and talked to the sales person there. He was very helpful and showed me a hybrid (women's) bike that was on clearance for $280. It was even pink! He suggested I look at another bike store also downtown to see if they had a better selection so I put off getting the bike that day. I should have just bought it then because after looking at the other store (AND circling the block & parking a block away, walking there on crutches!) I found they didn't have any bikes even close to that price or that kind. So it was back to Sports Authority where I got the same sales guy and purchased the bike. He was able to get it into my PT cruiser so I took it home that day. Here's a picture:

Here is a picture of the one I was using before:

Now, here they are side by side:

I realized after I bought this bike that my daughter's bike wasn't even a full size one, plus the tires needed air! Shows how much I know about bikes. lol

I went for my first ride today and made it 20.42 miles! I DO like the bike and am SO glad I got it. My leg did pretty well as long as I was pedaling hard, but if I tried to pedal downhill with no pressure it hurt. My route has lots of hills, one being a 14% grade uphill so my quads got a good workout & will probably be sore tomorrow, but it's ok. I'm just so glad to be outside exercising again.

I can't wait until I can run again, but will continue to bike 3 times a week for cross training. I am finding I love it. And YES, I do have a helmet - wouldn't run without one. Now I need to buy a kickstand (it doesn't have one???) and a lock so no one steals it from my front porch. I'm all set!

I've found it is important to be prepared for whatever you do, but you HAVE to have the right equipment or you can't maximize your experience!

And NO, don't expect any duathlons or triathlons from me. I'm happy just running races. Biking is for fun & cross training and as for swimming - not my sport! :)

Have a blessed day!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What? Injured AGAIN?

You've got to be kidding? Another summer injured? Whats up with that? lol I guess I should listen more to my body and quit running when I am having pain. DUH! I have injured a muscle in my upper thigh and will have to be off road running for a few weeks. All is not lost, though. I can still do my marathon in October. All I have to do now is start pool running & biking next week so I'm still on track. I am so thankful I didn't do something really stupid and end up being out for much longer.

I wanted to run the Salem Run for the Arts 5k so bad that I just ignored the signs of a possible injury and ran anyway. I actually didn't do too bad either - 37:21, but couldn't put weight on my leg right after the race; not a good sign.

I've GOT to stop pushing myself so hard and really listen to my body. I've also purchased a pair of Newton running shoes that should help with my foot strike. Read about Newtons here. I am bummed that I can't try them out for a few weeks. I ran in them for the race and they felt good on my feet, but my leg hurt so bad I couldn't focus on how they performed otherwise.

This means I can't do Homer's Classic 8k race in August, but should still be able to do the 5k in Corvallis at the end of that month. That's an easy way to start back into road running. I will just run it for fun.

This reminds me to always stay alert for signs of injury and STOP running before it occurs. It's just like in real life - we need to stop ourselves BEFORE we do something stupid. Then we won't have to try to fix it.

1 Timothy 4:16
"Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers."

It's easier to prevent something that to repair the damage after it's done. Make sure you stay close to God and His word and follow His teaching. Then you will not regret what you should have done.

Have a blessed day!


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Stayton Old-Time Runs 10K

What a HOT day to run! I knew it was a gamble when I signed up for this 10k on the 4th of July, but was hoping it would be a cooler day. It didn't happen! This past week has had our area in a heat wave, with temps the last few days in the 90s. I really debated about running in the hotter temperatures, but decided to buck up and just do it!

I've never run this race before, so I wasn't sure of the course; if there was shade, etc. Turns out there wasn't! At least not much, maybe a spot here & there, but nothing to brag about. So, no shade, no breeze, just lots of hot sun. The temp at the start was probably only 65, but at the finish, closer to 75, but with the sun beating off the asphalt, it seemed A LOT hotter.

I appreciated the two water stations, at miles 2 & 4 and just soaked myself with the wonderful ice water, but it didn't last long. :( Still, I ran the best I could and finished not last, but the second from the last! I managed to sprint to the finish line though, just to look good in the picture, of course. :)

My time was approximately 1 hr 16 minutes, with a pace of 12:10. It is interesting to notice how my 10k times get slower as the temperatures get hotter. My best time was in April, with the temperature at 42*, 1 hr 10 minutes; a pace of about 11:18.

The Jeff Galloway run/walk/run plan says you should slow your time by 30 seconds per mile for each 5 degree temp increase over 60, so I guess I'm still doing great work. It's just hard to see my time slow down.

I'm still very pleased with my results today. It was a fun, well organized race and I will probably do it again next year. I placed 2nd in my age group again, but there were only 2 of us! The proceeds from this race benefit HOPE for the Kidney Foundation - it was a great way to have fun & support a good cause.

Next race is Salem Walk or Run for the Arts 5K on July 18. I've got 2 weeks to rest up. :) It starts at 7:45 AM so I hope to be done before the heat hits.

Have a wonderful day and God bless you.