Jun 242015
 

MUCH BETTER!

My second ride of the season was a lot better than my first. My back was much happier for some reason and didn’t feel tight or sore. I decided to drive to the Park and Ride and bike in from there instead of Sellwood. Last time, even though my body felt fatigued,  I felt like it wasn’t quite long enough of a ride. Just as I was getting warmed up it was over with.

Not this time. Even just adding a little under 2 more miles was just right. I wore my arm-warmers this time because it was a little chilly that early in the morning. I biked through Sellwood, on the Springwater, and then crossed the Hawthorne Bridge. Thankfully it wasn’t overly crowded on the bridge. This time I was cyclist #875 to cross the bridge that morning (at 7:30am) according to the bridge counter.

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My ride was decent and my body felt really good and strong. It made me happy that I was able to bike and not feel knee or back pain. YAY ME.

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And my calories were a little bit better this time around, too:

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Morning Stats:

Miles: 7.81

Time: 36 minutes

Calories Burned: 370

My goal for the rest of June and July is to bike once a week. Running is still my priority right now because I want to be trained for my two 5k’s later this summer but I love being able to combine my workout + commute. Hopefully in August I can bump it up to biking twice a week to work.

For lunch I got a rare treat and went out. I met Michael and a friend in Director’s Park for a lunch date. Since my lunch hour is only 30 minutes Michael kindly picked up food for me too. They went to Addy’s and got the kale salad he’s been raving about for months!

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Kale, quinoa, pesto chicken, sunflower seeds, red cabbage, hard boiled egg and half an avocado. It was DELICIOUS! Small, but filling. And a calorie bomb. I’m guessing it was around 700-800 calories for the whole thing (and I ate the whole thing). I was so famished and it tasted so good. It was all good, healthy things but definitely higher in calories than I’d like. It was a nice little break from work, though, and I don’t go out to lunch very often (I usually walk or read my book during lunch).

Afternoon Ride

It was another great ride! Body felt fantastic. My sit bones weren’t too sore (not like last time) and the ride felt comfortable and dare I say, easy…I huffed and puffed up the Morrison Bridge but thankfully it’s a short one so I can coast once I get to the top. Ooof. Biked by OMSI and caught the Springwater. And I saw some wild raspberries along the path! I SO wanted to stop and pick some but…ick. Who knows WHAT has been on those berries. No thanks.

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Since I parked at the Park and Ride it was a bit longer of a ride than the last time. My body felt good, though, so I didn’t mind it. In fact, I was tempted to keep going up to Johnson Creek and then turning around. I decided to play it safe, though. I did see that they are building a new path that connects the new Max line to Milwaukie.

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Got back to the car, feeling good and strong and had the urge to high-five myself! YAY BIKING.

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Afternoon Stats:

Miles: 7.55

Time: 32 minutes

Calories Burned: 326

Total Miles: 15.36

When I got home I took a hot bath with epsom salts. Seems weird, especially on such a hot day, I know. But I didn’t want my muscles to tighten up or get sore and my right hamstring was feeling a little bit of a strain. Not sure what happened there or when it happened. I didn’t feel anything while I was riding and it seems like a weird muscle to pull when riding a bike, so who knows.

Since it was such a nice night Michael suggested we get sandwiches and go to the park. I got a Subway sandwich (ham on flatbread) which was pretty low in calories, so that was good after the high calorie lunch I had. After our picnic dinner we walked over to the fenced dog park area of the park.

We’ve been trying to go once a week lately to help Bella with her social skills. She’s pretty good with other dogs but she’s nervous and jumpy and sometimes sudden movements (i.e. playful dogs) can make her scared. She’s getting a lot better with it at the dog park. And we are seeing some regulars there! So she’s making friends. :)

Bella is usually the fastest dog in the park. Seriously, her zoomies are epic. But she met her match last night when an adorable little whippet beat her!

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Go Bella! Go!

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Jun 152015
 

First the update.

My back: it’s finally feeling better! (I sure hope I don’t jinx myself.) I’ve been going to physical therapy, massage therapy, and chiropractor. I got a standing desk at work and I was taking a break from certain activities (no yoga since this all started, so 3 months I think?). It was really really frustrating but I think I’ve turned a corner.

The week before I went on vacation my back was cranky. Flying didn’t help it; but once I got to Arizona my back felt really good. (Actually most of my aches and pains went away in Arizona.) When I got back I had a really good week with no back pain and then last week was even better! I am able to move around and sit for longer periods without feeling pain–there are even days where I even FORGET I had back pain. YAY!

A little while ago I decided to test out kettlebells to see how it felt. The first time I did a traditional swing with a 15 pound kettlebell – 3 sets of 10 reps. I did my PT stretches in between each set. First, the 15 pound kettlebell was worthless. Too light. But I didn’t want to push it. Second, I didn’t feel pain while doing it. Third, I didn’t feel any pain afterward. The only thing I felt was normal muscle fatigue. The next day I gave it another try with a 20 pound kettlebell and same. Feeling good!

I am starting to incorporate the swing back into my weight lifting set. Not doing too much yet, but easing into it. My goal is to get back to the Warrior Room this summer/fall. I may have to modify a lot of activities in the classes but I am going to try!

The next thing I wanted to test out was cycling. I’d talked to my physical therapist and chiropractor about it a month ago and they were both like….meh I’d wait. Since I have a road bike and will be a little bent over while riding, they didn’t think it would be a good idea yet. The therapist said I should wait until I was pain-free for 10 consecutive days. Well, it’s been several weeks now so I am trying!

I am LATE TO THE SEASON this year. :( It’s a bummer. But it is what it is. Usually I start biking to work at the beginning of May.

Morning Ride

So…here we are, almost mid-June and I had my first ride to work. I drove part way and parked in Sellwood.

It was a little cooler that morning that the previous mornings in our first summer heat wave. As I set out on the bike I was a bit cold! I wished I’d had my compression tights on but I tried to suck it up and once I got out of the shade it was tolerable. Chilly but not miserable.

I biked up the Springwater Trail, which was pretty empty. My back felt a little tight in the beginning and I thought Oh no, maybe this wasn’t a good idea… :( But overall the back felt okay once I warmed up. Perhaps I should have done some stretches before getting on the bike (but I felt rushed and late and anxious!).

I biked by the new Max station! It’s not up and running yet, supposedly this Fall. It looks shiny and new!

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Feeling pretty good thus far: back okay, knees okay, trying not to push myself too hard and just bike. I felt slower than I ever have in the past, but that’s ok. I think it’s been since August since I was on the bike!

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I decided to cross the Hawthorne Bridge because I thought I was short on time (I wasn’t in reality) and didn’t want to take the Steel Bridge. I hate biking across the Hawthorne Bridge. It gives me so much anxiety. It’s absolutely crazy. Super busy, aggressive bikers, crowded with runners and walkers and just chaos. It feels dangerous so in the past I always biked that little extra way and crossed the Steel Bridge instead. This time, it wasn’t too bad. I think it was early enough that it wasn’t that busy yet.

ride2You can’t tell from the picture but the cycle counter was nearing 700 riders for the day by the time I crossed! Here are my stats for the morning:

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Morning Stats:

Miles: 5.39

Time: 23 minutes of active cycling

Calories Burned: 252

I felt good when I got off the bike at work.

Afternoon Ride

All day I was hungry. It’s weird, it’s not like I burned a ton of calories on my morning ride in but I felt like I was chasing food all day long. I was hungry at least an hour before each snack or lunch time came around.

I spent the majority of my day standing at my standing desk and tried not to sit too much, just to be sure my back was okay for the ride home. When it came time to go home, I was a bundle of nerves and anxiety, which is typical when I first get back into riding.

I biked across the Morrison Bridge and made it across the river in no time. The ride back on the Springwater was pretty easy. I was a tad on the slow side, my sit-bones were SORE (being saddle ready is not something that just comes easily), and my neck and shoulders felt a little tight.

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Despite that my knees and back felt decent and I was able to bike back to the car without any issues. It was weird…even though my body wasn’t quite ready for a long ride, my mind was. The closer I got to the car I kept thinking, maybe I should turn around and do it again…Just add a few more miles. But alas, I knew my body wasn’t quite ready for that. So just as I was getting into my groove, the ride was over.

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Afternoon Stats:

Miles: 5.05

Time: 22 minutes

Calories Burned: 218

Total Miles: 10.44

Almost 10.5 miles roundtrip! It was a good decent ride for my first time out. I’m looking forward to doing it again next week and slowly building up my mileage again!

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Dinner was leftover chicken with steamed snap peas and a green salad on the side. I iced my back and knees, I took some advil, I did my PT stretches for my back and called it an early night. (Michael was just as exhausted as I was but he did twice the miles as me and they were all hills!) I should have used my foam roller before I went to bed but forgot. The next day my body felt pretty good other than the usual soreness after a new activity. My thighs, neck and shoulders were sore from riding and my hips were a bit tight and achy.

But I would call this a success!

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