After a slow start to the biking season, I feel like I can finally report some progress. Getting back on the bike has been tough, both because I lacked strength, and because I knew what I once was capable of. It’s been really humbling.
That said, earlier this year I signed up to ride the Charles River Wheelmen’s Spring Century. But with my longest ride to date just 35 miles, I was pretty sure I didn’t have it in me to do the full 100 Sunday, so I downgraded to the half-century.
Communication meltdowns and my lack of memory on how a century works (i.e. it’s a rolling start, not a firm one), meant that I ended up riding the event alone. I was a bit bummed at first, as I looked forward to being with a small group of friends to motivate and encourage me. At first, I felt like I should have just taken off from my house and ridden to the South Shore, rather than driving the 30 minutes or so to Wakefield. But then I met up with a group of cyclists, and just being surrounded by other people on bikes pushed me to ride harder to try to keep up with them. It wasn’t long before I was glad to be out there.
I rode with packs when I could and would eventually get dropped and be on my own. It was a lovely day with birds chirping, plenty of sunshine, and gorgeous bucolic views. The roads were pretty good to ride on (especially compared to Boston!), and the course was well-marked. Well, of the most part; I never did find the water stop at mile 25.
My legs were generally ok, though I definitely felt like I was waking up muscles that have been asleep for years. The backs of my thighs started to ache after mile 30, and miles 35 through 40 were tough, so I stopped to stretch my glutes and felt much better the last 10 miles. Recalling the days when I could ride 50 miles the day after riding 80 I kept thinking “I can’t wait for the day this doesn’t hurt.” Good motivation.
All in all, I’d say the day was a win. I’m definitely more motivated now to make sure I get the long rides in.
I have a feeling I am going to be spending significantly more time on my bike this spring and summer. My hip seems to be getting worse, rather than better. Rest, ice, foam rolling, and stretching don’t seem to be helping, and extensive internet research has convinced that I have everything from tendonitis to a stress fracture. Running more than a quarter-mile results in searing pain across the side of my hip and upper glute. Just walking hurts. I finally went to the doctor today, and he seemed puzzled. He ordered x-rays and referred me to an orthopedic doctor. I have an appointment tomorrow, and will hopefully get some answers.
With that, my workouts haven’t really been what they should be:
Monday: Run 4
Wednesday: ride hills, 10 miles/ 60 minutes, run 2
Thursday: cross training workout on Esplanade, bike 15
Friday: abort run, walk 2 miles
Saturday: swim 600
Sunday: ride 50/ 3.5 hours
Totals: Run 6, bike 75, swim 600