Hawthorne Bridge

Biking Legs

Friday Friday Friday!

Usually I run at lunch on Fridays but this Friday I decided to bike in to work. It was going to be such a nice day and I hadn’t been able to bike in earlier in the week so I switched my workouts.

It might be hard to see but there were people swimming in the Willamette (Gross)! There was a spotter in a kayak with them. I wonder what they were training for?

I was running late and had to really book it. I decided to take the Hawthorne Bridge even though I hate that bridge (it’s crowded, bikers are super aggressive, it’s hard, it sucks). It wasn’t too bad this particular morning, though.

Since I went over the Hawthorne Bridge, I got to check out the “Better Naito” bike path. They closed down one lane on Naito and made it open to just bikers (going both directions, which was slightly weird and unnerving) and walkers/runners). It’s awesome! You feel very safe in the new bike lanes and it’s a lot faster than trying to navigate the waterfront (which is currently closed anyways for the Blues Festival).

This post has better information and photos, if you want to check it out. The ride in was pretty easy and quick.

Lately I’ve been trying to bike into work once a week. I’ve noticed that I do not have my “cycling” legs back yet. It’s a struggle. I’m in ok shape right now–I work out a lot, but cycling fitness is very specific and I am so out of practice, it’s definitely harder this year. My legs just feel REALLY fatigued when I ride. 🙁

My calories were pretty low for the morning, which was weird.

Afternoon Ride

My decision to bike to work instead of drive was a good one. A few years ago I remember getting stuck in holiday traffic trying to leave work before the 4th and it took almost 2 hours to get home. It was such a nightmare!

Biking home from work was a new challenge this week. First, the Morrison bridge is closed (all summer!). So I can’t use that one. Second, the Blues Festival was going on so the Hawthorne was crazy, the waterfront was crazy, and I considered trying out the new Tillicum Bridge but I’d have to go through the chaos of the Blues Festival to get to it, so that was out. I decided to go a different route and take the Steel Bridge to the east side.

It was a hot day, too. 85 degrees!

Soooo going over the Steel Bridge was annoying in the afternoon! It was SO CROWDED!!! Like obnoxiously crowded. It took forever to get around other cyclists, runners, people walking 4 people wide, those stupid NikeTown bikes that people can rent were all over the waterfront but it was people who had clearly never been on a bike and didn’t know the rules of the road…god. It was a nightmare. I already miss the Morrison Bridge!

Once I got to OMSI it was fine. But dang, I need to find another route home!

It was a nice ride from there. I felt okay. I had leftover pizza for lunch and a protein shake for snack at work and I am kinda thinking the carbs had something to do with my better ride. My legs didn’t feel like lead or like the muscles didn’t work. It was just…better.

I got to Sellwood and back to the car and then picked up Logan. It was a good ride home despite the rocky start.

Total miles for the day: 12.75.

It was a good bike in and I missed all the bad holiday traffic, which was nice. I’m a bit frustrated that it’s taking so long for me to get back into “cycling shape” this year. I know I took almost 2 years off from biking but, still… in the past it only took a few weeks or a month or so of biking half way before I was ready to commit and bike from home and back. It could be anything…lack of desire this year (biking isn’t really the priority like running is this year), getting older, recovering from pregnancy and birth, doing a low carb diet…I don’t know. It’s hard to figure out. But I’m going to keep going! I’d like to be able to bike from home soon.

 

Park and Ride

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!