Jul 142014
 

I think it’s been like a month since I biked to work, or close to it! I was focusing more on running and then I had a knee flare-up that stopped a lot of activities for about a week and a half. Michael threw out his back last month and while he’s getting better it’s still not great. He hasn’t really biked much, either. He went from doing 100+ miles a week to none. He was starting small getting back into it and the other day we biked into work together.

We parked at the Park and Ride and rode in together. Even injured Michael is still faster than me. At one intersection Michael made it through the light before it changed but I didn’t. So I fell behind, party because I’m slow and partly because I was waiting for the light.

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We rode through Sellwood and caught the Springwater Trail. I caught up with Michael and was able to draft off him for a little bit, so that was nice! It was pretty warm out–I was wearing arm warmers but really didn’t need them. It was humid and kind of gross out, actually.  The closer we got to downtown the more the clouds burned off and there were blue skies.

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The Hawthorne Bridge was really crowded. I hate it when it’s that busy. At the end of the bridge Michael and I split off. He went to his office and I took the waterfront to mine. Here is the morning ride in:

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It was a gross, sweaty, muggy ride in but I’m glad I did it. I preemptively iced my knees just to be safe. I miss the old days when I was able to bike to work a few times a week and not have any issues. It was such a nice way to get to work and save some money on gas, stay fit, and free up my evenings…

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The day warmed up and the skies were clear. Sunscreen sunscreen sunscreen!! I set out after work, crossed the Morrison Bridge and met Michael at the entrance to the Springwater Trail so we could bike the rest of the way to the Park and Ride together. But that wasn’t before I had a very negative encounter with a car who almost hit me downtown. At first the guy was stopped at the light in the MAX lane (which clearly states NO CARS) and he was trying to turn right on a one-way street. Then he backed up and moved to the proper lane, behind me. The light changed and he sped up around me, cutting me off and almost hitting me. I yelled at him that we was an asshole and he pulled over aggressively and asked what he did wrong. I said, “You cut me off and almost ran me over” and he said he didn’t then responded with “I’m a tourist.” Um, what? Does that mean you can’t follow basic rules of the road and common courtesy?! What a jerk!

Anyways, I met up with Michael, a little shaky from the experience and we biked together on the Springwater. He ended up going ahead of me once we got to Sellwood. I tried to go faster to keep up but that ended up irritating my knee so I backed off. Oh well.

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Wow, my morning and afternoon calories were almost the same! Total Miles: 14.64 and Total Calories Burned: 709. After we got cleaned up we decided to go out for dinner. I had planned on being “good” and making something healthy for dinner but the prospect of cooking with a broken dishwasher and I was hungry and gave in easily…

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We went to Iron Horse in Sellwood, one of our favorites. The service is always great, the food is good and there are healthier options. It’s not your typical greasy Mexican restaurant with congealed cheese and super fatty foods. The portions are also fairly reasonable. I ordered a Boneyard IPA–my favorite beer!

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I ordered the special. It was some salmon encrusted with chile (so basically blackened salmon), saffron rice, a small salad and black beans. The salmon was topped with a chile sour cream sauce. Everything tasted so great! I ate half of my dinner and saved the rest for leftovers. When we got home Michael worked on removing our old dishwasher so they can take it away when the new one arrives.

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I played with Bella outside and then enjoyed a 100 calorie creamsicle. It was so good! It tasted just like those little dixie cups of orange and vanilla ice cream I used to get as a kid. I loved that it was only 100 calories, too. The next day my knee was “ok” but not 100%. I had an amazing massage to help work out the kinks and tightness.

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Mar 242012
 
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Saturday was supposed to be sunny and 60 degrees! Woohoo! 60 degrees in March? I’ll take it! I was so excited about the prospect of some warmer weather and getting some vitamin D. So when Michael suggested we go for a bike ride, I said definitely.

Then we played the oh-so-fun game “What do we wear biking today?” It’s a sometimes frustrating game because until summer time, it’s really hard to gauge how cold it will really be outside on the bike. We both rode around our cul-de-sac while we decided what to wear. I settled on no cycling tights, just my super-pale bare legs in shorts, and a short sleeved cycling jersey with my arm warmers. I wore one of Michael’s base layer tank tops underneath my new cycling jersey.

It was cool in the shade and the wind was strong, but once we were in the sunshine we were comfortable. The arm warmers were the right choice. I ended up taking those off later. Michael and I biked from our house to the I-205 Bike Path and headed North. There was a headwind the entire way but I didn’t mind it.

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know it’s been a long time since I was out on my bike for reals. In fact, November was the last time I ventured out on my bike outside. For the last four and a half months or so I have been faithfully going to Spin class once a week. My goal was to increase it to twice a week but I still haven’t done it because that would mean giving up one of my weight lifting days and I don’t want to do that.

My hope was that Spin class would keep my base steady throughout the winter. Saturday was my chance to see if it worked. The verdict was not quite what I was expecting. The first medium sized hill I came to almost killed me. My THIGHS WERE ON FIRE. I kid you not. I got to the top of the hill where Michael was waiting at a stop light, my heart rate was 170 (that’s high for me) and I was out of breath. Damn.

Each big hill was a challenge for sure. I was starting to feel discouraged about all the time I’ve put into those Spin classes. And then the hills got easier. Maybe I was just rusty? The hills got a little easier, my recovery time improved, and my energy was just fine. I did not feel tired at all, even with a headwind.

The even better news? I did not feel fatigued in the saddle at all. I think Spin class has at the very least has kept my comfortable sitting in the saddle. Plus, all the weight lifting and core work kept my upper body, back, and shoulders  from getting fatigued.

The downside of the beautiful spring day as that my allergies really wreaked havoc on me. I’d also forgotten to take any Claratin before the bike ride.

We turned around and headed South on the I-205 Bike Path to where it connected to the Springwater Trail. We decided to take the trail West into Sellwood to stop somewhere for lunch.

We ended up at Pizzicato for lunch. Michael ordered a slice of pizza and a spinach salad. I got the mozzarella, spinach, basil and tomato panini. Ever since that delicious sandwich I had at the East Side Deli, I’ve been craving a panini. The one I had for lunch was quite good. The spinach salad with feta, tomatos and pine nuts was even better.

Looks pretty good, huh? It was! After we finished our lunch we headed back home. It was still warm and sunny out and I was enjoying my time on the bike. I still felt comfortable on the bike and was really happy that we went out together.

 

Stats:
Time: 2:15
Total Calories Burned: 1101
Total Mileage: 23.25 

The verdict of my Spin class is that I am going to continue going because I feel like it has kept me comfortable in the bike saddle. My goal is to now challenge myself more on the hill climbs in class. I think I’ve been going easy on myself.

QUESTION: Have you noticed a difference between a fitness class and the actual fitness outside of the class? Was there a big difference for you? 

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