Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Back in the Saddle

Well, after two weeks of not getting up at the crack of dawn to swim, I’m happy to report that I’m feeling a bit more rested. Not back to my usual self quite yet but much closer. In fact, on Monday morning, my body was itching to do something.

Our Masters swim classes are now finished until 2014 and I didn’t feel like heading across town in the cold just to swim on my own. (Running is something I can do without external motivation - swimming goes better when I pay to have someone yell at me.) I also didn’t want to add more days of running to my schedule so close to a race. So I bit the bullet and headed downstairs. Not downstairs to the kitchen but downstairs downstairs – to our spider-filled, stone-walled, low-ceiling’d basement to spend some quality time with my trainer.

Yes folks, I’m back in the saddle again. 

I tried to remember my well-honed routine from last spring but my memory failed and it took a few trips back and forth to the trap door before I had everything I needed. The pile consisted of my laptop, my bottle filled with water and my other bottle filled with NUUN, two packs of fruit chews in case of emergencies, Dexter to keep me posted on how I’m doing (he's a new addition to the supplies this year), some tissues because my nose runs when I’m down there, my iPhone in case my bike falls off the trainer and I end up in a heap, buried under bicycle parts, clipped in and unable to scream loud enough to be heard two floors up.

I realized after I finally dragged everything down that I forgot a small towel to mop up the sweat and also forgot to set up the fan to keep me cool. Oh well, there are plenty of cold cycling mornings left for me to get the details worked out.

As this was my first time on the bike in a few months and my first time on the trainer since probably April or May, I decided to hold off on my beloved Bending Crank Arms workout. Instead, I settled for a 45-minute ‘calorie-burning’ workout and focused on encouraging my legs to just keep spinning and my rump to toughen up a bit. I promised (or perhaps threatened) them that I would be bending crank arms on Wednesday so they had better shape 

Compared to running and swimming, a hour of spinning never feels as tough a workout, no matter how hard I bend those crank arms. After the video ended, I climbed upstairs thinking that I felt energized (which is good) but not really drained the way I do after a good swim or run (not so good).

The next morning, as I bent over to tie my shoes on for my early-morning run, I noticed more than a few achy muscles. Aching in places that only a good bike ride can find.

Makes me think that my Wednesday morning return to Bending Crank Arms is going to be tougher than I thought...

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