August 2014 Stats

For the month of August, I rode 114.15 miles in 18 days.  I took a week off for a vacation in Alaska. R prefers hiking vacations to biking vacations, so we did a lot of hiking, which included over 3000 feet of climbing. I don’t think my legs ever felt that sore on a bicycle. But it was worth it for the incredible views.

I have two organized rides coming up this month, within a week of each other. Am I training for these? Surely you jest. Maybe someday I’ll schedule some training in for a ride.

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July 2014 Stats

For the month of July, I rode 230.47 miles in 20 days. This included the ride on the W&OD. This is the most mileage in a month this year. It could have been more, but I strained a back muscle playing drums and was out of commission for a week. I also, once again, failed to bike to work every week.

We’ll see how I fare in August.

Posted in Stats

What’s in My Pannier

What's in my pannier.

Inspired by MG’s post, which was inspired by this Lifehacker post, I thought it would be interesting to compare how much I carry on a given commute. This is typical for a multi-modal day, in which I bike and take the Metro. If I were riding to work, I’d also include some change of clothes.

My Arkel Switchback pannier/backpack has three compartments, and I have stuff in all of them.

Front compartment: flash drive, lip gloss (which I haven’t used), lip balm, extra ponytail holder, meds, sunscreen stick, mechanical pencil (leftover from practice– I don’t need this), antibacterial gel, keys, and earplugs (for drum practice), smartphone (not shown in photo because I’m using the camera function to take the photo above)

Middle compartment: wallet, small bag containing front and rear lights, badge for work (not shown in photo)

Large compartment: cardigan (because it is fricking cold at work), plastic container for breakfast (granola), notebook, datebook, book for reading on the Metro (because I rock it old school), u-lock (not shown because it is locked to the bike)

A certain bicyclist (I’m not naming names) had teased me once because I carried so much stuff to work. This doesn’t look like that much to me.

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BikeDC Goes to the (Hot) Dogs: To Purcellville

W&OD from Purcellville.
The last time I rode on the W&OD Trail, it occurred to me that I had never gone to the end of the trail to Purcellville, VA. I had heard nice things about that part of the trail– that it was much prettier out there, and there was a certain establishment that had amazing hot dogs. I hadn’t done a long ride in a while, so I wanted to ride out to Purcellville. I sent a call out to my #BikeDC friends, and Ryan, Justin, Ted, and Rootchopper(!) John responded.
Continue reading

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June 2014 Stats

For the month of June, I rode 137.28 miles in 22 days. I didn’t do a long ride this month– I’m not sure why. I also had a goal to ride to work at least once a week, and I only did that twice this month. I know that I was sick for one week, but I’m kind of disappointed that I didn’t reach my goal.

So for next month, one long ride, and a weekly commute. Just because I want to do that.

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30 Days of Change

Sometimes, I look for other ways of torturing myself pushing my body to the limit. Because why not?

A friend of mine recommended that I look at Neila Rey‘s site. I found it instantly appealing because 1) it lays out exercises in an easy-to-understand visual format, 2) the exercises are manageable to do in short chunks of time, and 3) they mostly involve using one’s body weight. As I am lazy and cheap, doing a quick regimen that didn’t involve having to go to the gym or buying equipment was very tempting. I had to try it. I opted for the 30 Days of Change program to get myself re-acquainted with working out again.

The program involves 30 straight days of doing a combination of cardio and strength exercises, which are mixed up throughout the program so that you aren’t doing the same thing twice in a row. There are three different levels of workouts, which Neila calls “normal, hard, and freakin’ murder.” I started out on Level 1.

The first four days seemed easy to me– almost too easy. I figured that if it wasn’t a challenge, then I should level up. Big mistake. There is a significant difference between “normal” and “hard,” so when I attempted Day 5 at Level 2, I nearly lost it. The plank jacks and duck walks were so hard for me, that I admit I started crying during the last couple sets. From then on, I knocked back to Level 1 for the rest of the program.

I did a few modifications on some of the workouts– I swapped some of the running exercises for biking, and if I thought a particular day wasn’t challenging enough, rather than going up to the next level, I shortened the recovery time between sets instead. I did end up doing some running by Day 8, when I discovered that it was actually not too terrible.*

Somewhere past the halfway mark, I felt like I was getting stronger. I needed less time to recover, doing some of the cardio exercises didn’t leave me a total mess, and some exercises (like push-ups?!) actually got easier to do.

There is also a recommended menu, and I confess I didn’t follow it because I got sick during the program (not related to working out), and didn’t feel like I could do that change then. This may account for why I don’t see a dramatic change in my weight or my appearance. But I do feel really good– like I’m comfortable in my own body again, which I haven’t felt in a while. And more important, I feel like working out every day is easily achievable. I wake up a little earlier in the morning to exercise before I leave for work. It doesn’t take too much time out of my schedule, and I feel energized for the rest of the day. It helps to combat against the morning blues I had been feeling lately.

Even though I’m done this program, I want to keep exercising. My friend and I will be embarking on the 30 Days of High Intensity Interval Training (gulp!), and you can follow my progress on Twitter.

*I stopped running a long time ago because I kept getting injured. I do wonder whether I should come back to it, at least in a limited capacity as part of cross-training, because I think I’m starting to get repetitive strain in certain parts of my body from being on the bike every day.

Posted in Rambling | 2 Comments

May 2014 Stats

For the month of May, I rode 187.57 miles in 23 days. This includes the Tour de DCPL and a ride with some friends on Memorial Day.I also took part in the May Commute Challenge with a group of folks from work.

Two new things:
1. I’m now tracking my rides with SportTracks, which seems a lot more stable than the other program I was using.
2. I’m starting to incorporate some bodyweight training a little every day. I’ll write up a review once I’m done the 30-day program I’m on.

Posted in Stats