Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Road Less Travelled

Wow, its been quite a while since my last post.  Life over the past few years has gotten in the way, as it does for many of us.  I have been finding time to run, but not as often nor as long as I had before.  As a matter of fact, I have only run in one race in the past two years, the Mountain Goat in 2014.  I trained three days a week, by running short (4 or 5 miles) twice a week and once long (6+).  I pre ran the Mountain Goat course twice to find a comfortable pace.  I needed to know that I could finish without being in pain, which leads me to this post.

I have decided to reduce my running even more.  Although I was able to complete the Mountain Goat race feeling well, the pain of running is becoming unbearable for me to run without several days in between each run, no matter how short or slow I run.

I ran two days while in Myrtle Beach.  It was an awesome feeling running barefoot along the ocean for 4 or 5 miles.  The sun was warm. The sand was cool under my feet as the waves rolled in then out and provided the necessary splash to cool my body.  I walked on the two days I didn't run.  Unfortunately, I cannot run the beach in Syracuse, NY; there isn't a beach worthy of running.  The forgiveness of the sand allowed my body, my knees and back, to feel less of an impact although my feet took a slight beating from the packed sand.  I developed a blister on two of my toes.

I will run.  I will always run.  However, my primary workouts will be cycling.  I can ride a road bike 5 or 6 days every week and feel significantly less pain in my muscles and joints.  The only drawback to cycling is that I must go further and use more of my time, and time is in short supply these days.  I shall do my best.

I purchased better cycling shoes and a supply bag to carry some CO2 cartridges and a spare tube with a few tools I may need on the road if something happens... Oh yeah, something did happen.  The reason why I had to get those items and why I never really cycled more in the past.  After planning my ride, I left the driveway and started for OLP; I really wanted to get some miles in and check out the new trail.  My trip was short, thank goodness.  My tire blew out a mile and a half in.  I ended up walking home in my socks because you cannot walk in cycling shoes.  I did run the last half mile when I finally hit smooth pavement (no rocks or stones on the street).  It really sucked, but it is a story for the ages and a lesson learned.  Be prepared and choose your roads more wisely, straight, smooth roads make for an enjoyable, safe ride.

Yesterday's ride was perfect.  I drove to the OLP and rode 16.5 miles.  I rode each side of the lake.  The new trial is beautiful. Its shady, its close to the lake. Its straight, but not flat.  The trail rises as you ride closer to the Fairgrounds.  The views from the several rest ares along the trail are spectacular.  The lake and the city are breathtaking.  However, while riding you must be aware of the others who are on the trail.  There are many walkers (not zombies), runners, and children on bicycles.  Its necessary to watch your speed, especially riding around a curve in the trail when your cannot see what may be in front of you.  Its very important to tel the walkers and runners, and the small children< that you are approaching.  Tell them, "I'm on your right." or "I'm on your left."  It will make for a safer ride for all who want to take advantage of this new trail.

One more annoying thing about cycling the OLP, you must walk your bike over the one lane bridge.  I found this annoying.  Getting off the bike stops my groove and forces me to walk, which as I said earlier, walking in cycling shoes is not a good idea.  I rode over the first time since no one else was on the bridge, and I walked over the second time because there were several people walking over in the opposite direction and the fit would have been to tight.

So, run bike or walk.  Have fun out there.  Get some exercise and eat well to be well.  And maybe, just maybe, I will see you on the road.  
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