Thursday, June 9, 2011

sleeping in and an accidentally good workout

This morning's storms kept me in from my walk/run, which was no big deal since I already got 3 runs in this week and still have tomorrow as a potential bonus.  I'm not gonna lie - I loved getting to stay snuggled in bed, listening to the thunder and lightning and not exerting myself!  

Tonight, though, I accidentally gave myself a pretty good workout.  The weather was chilly and gray but no sign of impending rain, so I practically RAN for Lulu when I got off work.  Off we went, down the bike path.  I noticed some blustery breezes on my way there, but then once I turned onto the path, they seemed to disappear.  Oblivious in my happy little Karen-on-a-bike cloud (yes, I actually ride with a big dumb grin on my face), I pedaled gleefully away.  I rode faster than I have ever ridden before.  I ZOOMED the whole 5.5 miles to one of my usual turnaround spots.  I was amazed at my speed.

My boss had complimented me on "shrinking" right as I left work - I think I was still high on the fumes of that one.  So I was 8 years old all over again, pedaling with all my might and thinking WOW at how fast I could go...I really must be getting into good shape!  And not noticing that part of the reason for that was:  a very strong tailwind.

I generally take a break or two or sometimes even three when I ride, to greatly lessen uhhh "bike seat pain."  So I stopped at the turnaround point, sat on a bench and watched the crazy waves crashing and smashing on the shore (I NEVER get tired of watching Lake Michigan) and checked out the people walking, jogging, and biking by.  

I noticed a lady on a bike wearing a windbreaker jacket.  Watching the way it billowed as she rode, the reality finally dawned on me:  I'm going to have to ride home in some pretty strong headwinds.  Hoo boy. 

Pedaling the bike homeward, I felt like someone had attached a giant bungee cord to my back tire and was holding it steady.  I shifted down from 7th gear into 6th...then 5th...and finally 4th.  I felt like I needed to stand on the pedals sometimes.  On the slight inclines that cannot even truly be called "hills" I had to downshift again to 3rd, and still came almost to a stop.  In some of the "out in the open" spots I almost felt like I needed to get off and walk the bike, but I kept pedaling.

It was a good workout.  Had to practice good breathing, and even worked up a bit of a sweat despite the chilly weather.  Tonight my knees are talking to me about that ride.

But that's the fun of bicycling - even a workout that kicks my butt is a total joy.

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