Friday, October 5, 2012

A Running Cyclist

I'm updating (twice!) today with the intention of getting back into the habit of journaling my training progress. As those of you with Facebook (who haven't hidden my constant requests for fundraising from their newsfeed) know, I registered for the Georgia Publix (insert large peach here) Marathon for March 17th next year. I'll be training with the Team in Training marathon team, because I have such low faith in my willpower that being accountable to others and a cause is the only way I'll be able to get through it. Some things to note:

1. I am not a runner, despite faking it (poorly) during ski season in high school
2. The longest distance I've run since high school is the 10K portion of two Olympic tris (and I didn't run the whole of either of them).
3. I have these short, stumpy legs.
4. I make excuses.

To the ends of successfully completing a marathon despite 1-4 and a 5-100 not listed here, I am also racing a 15K in the middle of January (also here in Atlanta) and possibly some 5Ks just to establish a baseline (slow).

Anyway, this process is going to require a lot of reflection and bookkeeping, just so I can see the progress I've made and show to myself that it is, in fact, something I can do. It's also to show you (my 5 readers) that this is something you can do, too. And, I'm holding myself accountable.

Be prepared for boring training run updates. They are going to consist of about 3 miles to start with, and will be boring. I'll be using Strava to track my progress as well, so there will be fun stats to follow.

A week of Very Bad Ideas.

You know me as An Urban Cyclist (or, more likely, as Megan, because that's who I am). For two years I have regaled you with stories of my exploits on the bike, both as a commuter around Atlanta and as a participant and mentor with the Team in Training cycling team. I have become less consistent with posting these stories because I lost the habit, and habits are hard things to rebuild.

Yesterday was Thursday, which meant it was a ripe day for riding in the neighborhoods of Brookhaven. I had ridden to school (8.5 miles) in a lot of traffic (long waits through multiple cycles at various lights). The ride in Brookhaven starts at 6:00p now because of the earlier sunset, so I knew I wanted to get up there around 5:30p or so. I could do this in one of two ways: ride my bike up there (about 8.5mi up Peachtree) or take MARTA (about half an hour). Rather than spend the two bucks required for a half hour train ride, I left the office at 4:30p and set off on my northward journey. I really like the route up W. Peachtree and Peachtree, it's neat to ride out of Midtown and up through Buckhead to Brookhaven; the only problem was the traffic (and one other cyclist). Most cars gave me plenty of room (three lanes in each direction on Ptree, one way traffic on W. Ptree), but some just couldn't be bothered and came within inches of my bars as they passed. I would totally ride up to the start again, but I would have to leave earlier in the day to avoid the worst of humanity (which is, of course, Atlanta drivers and entitled cyclists during the rush).

Maximum speed: 28.1 mph
Average speed: 11.8 mph (because of slowly rolling up to lights)
Distance: 8.5 mi
Time: 0.42.58

Ride to Brookhaven:
Maximum speed: 30.8 mph
Average speed: 12.8 mph
Distance: 8.2 mi
Time: 0.38.16

Ride in Brookhaven (1 loop):
Maximum speed: 29.8 mph
Average speed: 13.1 mph
Distance: 10.3 mi
Time: 0.47.07

The loop around Brookhaven was nice, but even though I'd eaten well during the day, I felt weak and shaky toward the end and decided another 10 miles wasn't the best idea. L and V were riding with me and were also due for shorter rides, so they didn't mind calling it quits early with me. It was a great recovery-paced ride, and nice to ride with these ladies.