Well, I seem to be making up for lack of long rides lately. Last weekend I headed to Jaffrey, NH for a Wicked Awesome New England Adventure (W.A.N.A.) weekend, hosted by my new friend Lily. Most of the 25 or so folks attending were triathletes, though some were just there for the fun, and some were there with triathletes. Lily grew up going to this area, and her parents graciously hosted a large group of us for a weekend of riding, swimming, and general shenanigans.

I drove out there Friday after work, and arrived almost at the same time as Katy, which was fortunate as she was one of the only people I knew there. Friday night was pretty low-key: eating, a few beers, and meeting the other folks in the group. I was having so much fun talking with people that I completely lost track of time and didn’t head to bed until midnight (super late for me!) I was up at 7 the next morning, and after a delicious breakfast, 16 of us headed out for a bike ride. There were 30, 50, and 60 mile options, which all started together and then broke off, depending on the size of the loop. Five of us did the 50-mile option, a hilly route through western New Hampshire.

photo-003view of Monadnock/ in-motion selfies

I had kind of a tough time on this ride. The hills were hard… I always have a tough time with hills, but I felt like I had nothing in me Saturday. Nutritionally, I was ok, but my legs just felt generally weak. I’ve been amping up my running a bit, and wonder if that’s making biking harder? Fortunately, I was with a great group of people. We chatted, took some selfless, and admired the scenery along 54 miles of (sometime dirt) road. It really was a great day to be out.

photo-004covered bridge/local residents

When I got back, I wanted nothing more than to lay in the grass and eat a plate of food the size of my bike helmet. Instead, I put on my shoes and did a quick three-mile run. My legs felt pretty good, and my splits were decent, which was nice after the way I’d felt on the bike. I rewarded myself with lasagna and a beer.

Later that afternoon we headed to a lake near Lily’s house, where we did a quick swim across the lake and spent the rest of the time taking advantage of the diving board, slide, and floats. It felt like summer camp.

I headed out soon after, as my little brother arrived Saturday to visit for a few days. Even though the bike was kind of touch, I’m so glad I went and did this. It was a beautiful way to spend a day.

The rest of my week looked like this:
Monday: run 8
Tuesday: swim 1,000
Wednesday: ride 15
Thursday: swim Walden
Friday: run 4
Saturday: bike 54, run 3
Sunday: REST

Totals: swim 2, bike 69, run 15

I had my eight-week assessment at PT last week, and while my right hip is still weaker than my left I’ve made a lot of improvement. It’s unclear whether my insurance will approve another round of physical therapy, even though I still don’t feel 100 percent. My therapist told me that the chances are slim, given that I was able to run 8 miles last week. But, I know what exercises I need to be doing, so I just need to be good about incorporating them into my routine to avoid more injuries. Less than three weeks until Timberman!

Road to recovery

The upside to having an injury is that when life gets in the way of your training you don’t feel quite so guilty. Harvard’s Commencement was last week, which is always a busy time at work. This year, however, was extra busy, as my sister Nicki received her degree from the Harvard Kennedy School.

IMG_5437With the graduate

It was a big family time. My dad came in for the week, as well as several aunts and uncles. There were lots of dinners out, champagne toasts, and sitting around enjoying one another’s company. I felt a bit bad about not training much, but figured that 1) my hip needs the rest and 2) I should savor the time I have with people I enjoy and don’t get to see too much. I rode 25 miles Saturday instead of 50 so I could join my dad and sister on a beach walk. I ditched my ride Sunday so I could have breakfast with him before he flew out and I headed to my mom’s. I’m ok with that.

photo-3panorama at Gloucester Harbor

And while the week was full of indulgences, I tried to be smarter about a few things, nutrition-wise. For example:
– I had dinner at Sweetgreen one night before meeting my dad, so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat at the steakhouse we were meeting at.
– At family get-togethers I only had seconds of vegetables, and small portions of dessert.
– I offered to drive folks so I wouldn’t be tempted to drink anything but seltzer.

commbeach at my aunt’s/headed in for an “ice” bath

After a whirlwind week, I’m ready to jump back into training. The highlight of my week is that I started physical therapy yesterday. My therapist, Malia, is also a triathlete, and gets that I want to be back on my feet as soon as possible. After doing some tests, she determined that my hips and glutes are generally weak, but that my right side is MUCH weaker than my left. She stepped up my glute strengthening regime, and gave me a resistance band to do my exercises with, which makes things much harder.

I’m committed to doing the swim and bike portions of my tri on June 15. The jury is still out on whether I’ll run, walk, or sit out the third leg. I have to see how much progress I can make. Malia warned me that I may be slower overall because the strength training will take a lot of of my legs.

“It’s not optimal to be strength training during tri season,” she said. “But it’s also not optimal to be injured during tri season.”

I left with a plan, a resistance band, and star of kinesio tape over my glute. (Jury is still out on whether the k-tape will do much, but it seemed worth a shot).

My plan for the week is something like this:
M: ride
T: glute work
W: glute work, aqua jog
Th: swim
F: ride, glute work
S: long ride
Sun: swim, glute work

I’m glad to have a plan, and the support of a therapist who understands my goals. I finally feel like I’m on a road that will lead not just to recovery from this injury, but hopefully to increased core strength that will minimize injuries in the long run.

D.C. weekend

I’m generally pretty low-key about things, but I was so excited at the prospect of leaving town, seeing old friends, and enjoying some nice weather that it was tough to curb my enthusiasm. I counted down the hours and minutes until my plane took off on Thursday the way a kid counts down to Christmas.

Finally, I was touching down in DC and my friend Emily was picking my up at the airport.

It was muggy! Spring is just getting underway here in Boston, but it’s almost summer in D.C. I hadn’t been in that sort of weather in a long time, but it was a welcome change. After a delicious dinner with Em and her husband, I tucked into bed with the windows wide open to let in the night air.

While the sun in Boston rises at about 5:30 these days, it doesn’t make an appearance until almost 6 in Washington, D.C. I rose in the dark and was out the door at dawn, headed to see the November Project, D.C. tribe. The workout was a quick mile away, but I wanted to give myself plenty of time in case I got lost. Fortunately, it all went smoothly and I was at Union Station well before 6:30.

2014-05-09-06.59.48-768x576D.C. Tribe

Steve and Danny has a great workout planned. After a short run over to Lower Senate Park, we started a circuit that included bear crawls, bunny hopping up stairs, burpees, and then stair-a-manders- crawling down stairs head first on your hands and feet, and doing a push-up on each step. We did the circuit for twenty minutes or so and then did another, shorter circuit-type workout with partners. It was a great start to the morning, and fun to see how what two guys started in Boston a couple years ago has become a life-improving movement for people in 16 cities.

My morning was far from done after NP. Instead, I hopped a Capitol Bikeshare and rode to Adams Morgan to see my friend Tracy. Tracy is an avid swimmer, and the outdoor pool at her health club just opened for the season, so I headed over there with her to swim a quick mile before she had to head off to work. It was so fun to be able to swim outside. Everyone was complaining that it was a bit chilly, but I was just happy to see the sky and breathe fresh air while doing my laps. Tracy and I had time for a bit of catching up while we walked to her office, and then I kept walking, eventually ending up at the White House.

photo-9I loved these bike lanes.

I could have wandered all day, but I had lunch plans and needed to get back to Capitol Hill to change my clothes, so I hopped on a bike again and headed back to Emily’s. Five hours. Ten miles on the bike. A mile in the water. A few more miles on foot. A circuit workout with the Tribe. I wish every Friday could start this way.

The rest of my week looked like this:
Monday: Run 4, #destinationdeck with November Project
Tuesday: Run 2 at track. Bike to and from track.
Wednesday: Bike 10, hills.
Thursday: REST
Friday: Run 1, bike 10, walk many, swim 1
Saturday: Buff Betty <– more to come on this soon!
Sunday: REST

Total: Run 7, bike 25+, swim 1,700