This is my first week back on the dirt after 5 weeks off (2 weeks for broken pinky toe, last 3 weeks from a strained pes anserinus tendon in my knee) and it has me thinking how much we as ultrarunners get “blinders” and only run. I know a few of you out there (Angle and Wolfe to name two) that share my love of cycling. When I got banged up, I could only bike and pool run. I only only could spin on my indoor trainer for the first week of the tendon strain, then alternated biking and pool running for two weeks. The last week back running (every other day) while biking on the other alternating days has been a nice change from the pool for sure.
I have to say, the pool, even though it IS boring…works. You can really get a high heart rate workout in the pool while using all your running specific muscles. And, besides having sore quads this first week back running (from the pounding), my LT runs have been pretty darn good. I could jump right back into quality 20 minutes at LT tempo pace and seem to have only lost some of what I had built up before the injuries. By my 4th run back, I was up to 10 mile runs again. So, good sign that the pool running/long biking was a good mix of keeping fitness.
Plus, these “trials and tribulations” of injury can be a blessing in disguise…they are good for me in the early season because I fall in love with my bikes again. I love cycling—cross, road, mountain—doesn’t matter. I am a little partial to mountain biking ’cause I’m a dirt bag, but with my custom steel road frame just back from the powder-coater and almost built up (hopefully this week…I’ll post pics when it’s done), I’m looking forward to not having to spin long road rides on my heavy cross bike anymore.
But, for the love of cycling…well, it’s what I was into before I found ultrarunning. I was a total bike geek before and I still am at heart. It’s such a good mix with ultrarunning training. I’m heading out in the morning to jump into FootZone’s annual Horse Butte 10 miler SE of town…it’s my regular winter haunts for biking and running and the recent cycling time has me thinking how to “mix it up.” So, I’m going to bike about 12 miles to the race tomorrow for extra credit and the added warm-up and then run 10 miles in the desert. It’s always a fun social time with the local running folks. I think they have almost 150 entries! Over and out and Giddyup.