Friday, July 15, 2011

My further adventures in cross training!

So, I said I would be posting my 30 mile bike report shortly. Over two weeks later, I still hadn't done it. Oops! I apologize to those who were eagerly waiting my report. I will write about it now, and I will also include some other cross training highlights.

Even before I started taking my physical fitness seriously, I always enjoyed biking. I have done 30 mile rides on my old mountain bike, plus several trips on the Cape over the years. But after I started running, I noticed that biking became far easier. It also helps that I was able to use my mother's hybrid bike, but my improvement in physical fitness played a very large role in my successes over the last few months.

So, I did my 30 mile bike ride with my parents. It was a very fun experience. It was well organized, and there were a few rest stops along the way. Some highlights included biking across the World's Longest Pedestrian Bridge. The picture on the left is of me and my mom as we waited for the rest of our group to catch up. Other than that, there were some nice back roads towards the end. The rest stops were well organized, and I split a couple of PB&Js with my dad along the road. Despite some hills and having to go slowly around people, I averaged 5 minute miles per my garmin splits. I was a little disappointed to discover that the course was only 27.66 miles. Also, some of the course was on main roads where the shoulders were dangerously narrow. The t-shirt I received was way too large, but I can always use that as a nightgown since there were no extra smalls.

On the whole, I have gotten better at biking. I've also done a couple of longer bike rides. This past weekend, I went on a 15 mile bike ride. The last mile is the one I'm the most proud of. The road leading up to my parent's upstate place consists of three hills, and I managed to ride up all three of them without stopping. It was an amazing moment. If you look at my garmin splits, you'll appreciate how tough this elevation was.

I plan on continuing to bike whenever I go upstate, which is hopefully once a week, and in September, I am signed up for the 30 mile Twin Lights Bike ride in New Jersey with my parents. My mother's friend has done it before, and said that it is a great experience. I'd like to do a longer distance someday, but they didn't have a 44 miler, and 55 seemed to be too much.

I have never been much of a swimmer. In fact, when I took lessons in fourth grade at school I was always by far one of the slowest. However, whenever I visited my grandparents in Florida over the past few years, I started swimming some laps while I was there. My form probably still isn't the best, but I can probably swim about a quarter of a mile. I would like to get stronger at it, so I recently switched back to NYSC so that I can get into a pool twice a week. It's a small pool, but getting the distance in is key, especially now that I have a new goal for next year.

Strength Training / Gym Routines
As a new member of NYSC, I was given the opportunity to have a free fitness evaluation with a Personal Trainer. I had very good stats, including a good resting heart rate and blood pressure. I managed to do 25 pushups in one minute, which surprised me considering I'm terrible at them. I also managed to do 54 crunches, 30 lunges, and 17 burpees (never heard of them before today lol). I also learned how to use a foam roller. I know my running friends will be scandalized to know I've never used one before but there you go. I also learned some weight routines I can try out as well.

So what's my new goal for next year? In addition to the NYCM next November, I will also be doing the NYRR Sprint Triathalon in July 2012. It involves a 400m swim, a 13.1 mile bike ride, and a 5K. I am capable of doing the second two parts easily, but I need to improve my swimming, which is one of the reasons why I switched gyms. Also, there is a NYSC location near my parents upstate, so in the winter, when I can't run outside up there, that's where I'll be.

Now I just need to adjust my running schedule so I can factor in running 5 days a week, swimming 2 days per week, biking 1-2 times a week, and strength training / routines 2-3x per week. Wish me luck!

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