You know it’s spring when…

The snow is gone. The crocuses are in bloom. Baseball season is underway. That can only mean one thing:

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Though I don’t mind winter, my mood has brightened with the weather these past couple of weeks. It’s so much easier to get out of bed in the morning when the sun is shining and you know you’ll be able to feel your fingers when you go outside.

But the end of winter also means that I have no excuse not to be on my bike. I spent the past few months pedaling on a trainer in my second bedroom while watching Netflix. Last weekend, with temperatures forecast in the 50s, I bundled up and went out for my first real ride of the year.

It was 38 degrees when I set off, dressed in ski socks, long pants, a base layer, wind proof jacket, gator, hat and gloves. I thought that might be too much, but it turned out to be the perfect outfit. I started my ride heading towards Castle Island, then rode south to Quincy, past Marina Bay, around Squantum, down Quincy Shore Drive and then home. It was a nice, leisurely 26 miles. I felt pretty good on the bike, but I was SLOW. Like people run marathons in the time it took me to ride one (about two hours).

I got a new bike computer last week, and once that’s installed I expect I’ll pick up the pace a bit. It’s hard to push yourself when you have no idea how fast you’re going.

Aside from that, there have been a few other signs of spring lately:

1. I went to my first Red Sox game of the year Monday!
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2. I rode my bike to work on Wednesday.
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3. I didn’t blow dry my hair after my swim workout yesterday.

4. I ran in a tank top this morning.

These are all good things.

While we’re on the topic: this week’s swim workout focused on increased distance. I also incorporated fins (or flippers) into it. Swimming with fins makes you faster, but it also requires you to push more water, and hence exert more effort. If you swim at a pool that has fins give it a try, I was surprised at how challenging it was.

warm up: 200 swim, 200 kick, 200 pull

main set: 4x 400, 30 seconds rest between each, try to keep an even pace throughout the 400
1. freestyle with fins
2. freestyle without fins
3. alternate back/free each 100
4. alternate back/free each 100 with fins

cool down: 2×150 pull

Total: 2,500 yards

I’ve got a long bike ride and a race on the calendar this weekend, and it’s supposed to be in the 70s. Bring it on!

 

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