November 2014 Stats

For the month of November, I biked 94.33 miles in 18 days. Not a lot.

For the 8 weeks of training plus the 5K, I ran 49.79 miles over 24 days. Also not a lot, but given that my total running miles before October totaled zero, it’s something.

For December, I want to try to run at least once a week, as well as bike to work once a week. We’ll see if the weather manages to confound my plans.

Bicycling vs. Running

I suppose it’s not quite fair to compare the two, but here’s what I’ve discovered so far in training for a run versus training for a ride.

1. I recognize my limitations in running better than I do in biking.
After multiple injuries and difficulty in breathing from running, I am less apt to push myself. On one hand, I’m less prone to injury, and train more gradually. On the other hand, I have much less confidence in my abilities as a runner.

I seem to willfully ignore my limitations as a bicyclist. I can blame whatever problems I have on the bicycle, or I can fool myself into thinking that coasting and taking breaks can keep me going indefinitely. I can push myself much harder on the bike, and sometimes with deleterious effects.

2. Fueling is completely different for each activity.
After a long ride, I am ravenous and want to eat all the things. I need to replenish my fluids right away, lest I become dehydrated. After a run, I am not at all hungry or thirsty until much later. I forgot this, and after Thursday’s run, ate a granola bar because I thought I had to. Big mistake– that bar sat like a rock in my stomach for the rest of the morning.

3. Bicycling is a more social activity for me.
I like biking on my own, and I do that fairly often, but I think it’s more fun when I’m with friends who enjoy bicycling too. Running is still not altogether fun for me, and although I like running with R, I don’t think I can run in a large group. That stems partly from my lack of confidence in keeping up, and also in that I feel like I should suffer alone.

4. And yet, running improves my mood better than bicycling.
I’m not quite sure why this is. Perhaps running at the current distance and speed is the perfect setting for an endorphin rush for me, and I run out of energy from pushing myself too hard on the bike? I don’t know, but as long as I can stay healthy, I’ll continue to run on a regular basis.

Trot for Hunger 5K 2014

SOME Trot for Hunger 2014
R and I participated in the Trot for Hunger 5K, hosted by the organization So Others Might Eat (SOME). SOME provides a variety of services for the homeless in DC, including food, health care, and counseling. My friend @rillquiet had done the run last year, and I was hoping to run with her this year, but she had hurt her ankle several months before. R agreed to run with me, and we embarked on an eight-week training schedule to get ready for my first 5K ever.
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Little known fact: I used to run track in high school. It was the only sport offered that didn’t have tryouts, and I thought it would look good on my transcript or something. I was really bad at it. I mostly ran sprints, slowly. I felt like I was going to die, even at that distance.

In my junior year, I sprained my ankle badly during practice, and it’s never been right ever since. I used to sprain that ankle every other year, and it got to the point where being hobbled would depress me. I fell badly on my other ankle during martial arts practice a few years ago. After weeks of physical therapy, I used prescription ankle braces whenever I practiced. But I always felt unstable on my feet.

I quit running and martial arts. I took up bicycling. I discovered that I’m no faster a bicyclist than a runner, but I had fun biking.
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October 2014 Stats

For the month of October, I biked 165.21 miles in 23 days. This includes the Great Pumpkin Ride. I only rode to work once this month, and will likely do that again this month. So it goes.

My new experiment: I’ve started running. I’m training for a 5K on Thanksgiving. More details in the next post.