Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mental Work

OK...so here's the deal.

We started riding with a local cycling training group (run through the local Trek bike store) two weeks ago...and by "we," I mean Betty, Mik, Wilma, Clarence, yours truly, and hopefully soon, Elsie. In these two weeks, we've learned lots about what it means to ride in a pace line (yes, much easier to go the distance, if you know what I mean, by doing this). We've also learned loads about using the various hand and voice signals cycler's use in large packs in order to keep from a) running into one another and b) running into something or someone else.

And mostly we've learned that, honestly, cycling in a large group has been mentally exhausting. 

I'd have to look back a few years at some earlier blogs to see if I complained about being ├╝ber concerned about whatever-the-heck-every-other-runner-around-me-was-doing when I started running, and trust me, if there was something to whine about, I suspect I did.

But I don't really remember complaining about THAT particular thing (THAT = having to think). But it is a concern of mine now. When I ride, I really have to pay attention to EVERYTHING!

This is different than running. When I run, I can pretty much zone out every now and then. When I run, for the most part, I am rarely concerned that a partial zone-out is going to result in my becoming road-splatter (Full Disclosure: Yes, I have been known to trip over sidewalks and end up being road-splatter while running.) 

And yes, one must be somewhat aware of his/her surroundings while running, if for no other reason than to avoid being run over by a car...or by a zoned out cyclist, but still...there is a certain amount of zone-i-ness that can occur while running, especially if running on a sidewalk or walking/running path.

HOWEVER THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO WAY ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH I CAN ZONE OUT WHILE RIDING. PERIOD. 

It'd be just plain dangerous.

And thus, riding = exhausting.

Or at least so far.

Yesterday we rode about 30 miles with the Trek Training Group. Mik, Betty, and I rode with the B-3 Group (Ave 14 to 15 mph). I have no idea what any of this means, but I know that I was pretty much in the middle of the group, did pretty well on the flatter parts of the ride, fell back when going up hills, and tipped over once while still clipped in when there were too many people going too slow up a too steep entry to a bike path (really...my bad. I should have just waited). 

Tipping over feels like such a rookie mistake.

Overall, riding 30 miles felt pretty good. It was nice to ride with a group where I felt like I was pushing myself. Usually on a bike, I kinda feel like I'm just cruising.

Then this morning, Mik and I met up for an hour run (6.5 miles, 1.04, 9:55 pace). My legs felt a bit heavy, but overall, a nice run at Lake BP.

Balancing running and riding into a weekly routine is going to be a definite challenge. The Trek training program meets every Saturday at 8am and is supposed to end with the San Diego Century on May 19. The Rockin & Running training program meets every Saturday at 7am, and it ends with the Rock and Roll Marathon on June 3. We weren't planning on doing the RnR again, but we have been looking at a sweet little half on June 3 on Ojai. We haven't decided on the San Diego Century yet.

The Trek group offers a weekly training plan that says I should ride 10 miles on Tuesday, 20 on Wednesday, 10 on Thursday, 5 on Friday, and 35 on Saturday.

The RnR training program says I should be running 50 - 60 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 2 x 20 minute intervals at my threshold pace on Tuesday, then 9 miles on Saturday.

So...do we rotate (RnR one day, then Trek)? Overall, do we rotate weekend long runs/rides and do our favorite runs/rides and then make up runs/rides on Sundays? 

Bwahahahahahahahaha... I so don't have time for all that. Anyone have any advice for me on how to balance this? 

I know in the absence of an actual training goal, it probably really doesn't matter, does it?

BTW...it's been a nutty two weeks, but I did want to mention that the young guy turned 14 today! Happy Birthday Turbo!


5 comments:

  1. i only ride with my husband and i already feel like cycling is too much mental work (vs running). I don't think i could handle formal group riding!

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  2. This is the fun part of really learning a new sport ... or really learning anything. It works the brain, and in a good way. Keep on riding. And running.

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  3. I'm not sure what you are training for with the bike? Is it a group recreational ride? Or have you got a Century planned? Cycling IS exhausting because to can't relax with a group ride. Just sort out what is the most important event, then figure out how many days a week you CAN dedicate to training without interfering with real life. Don't make this a chore, then you'll end up hating cycling and running. Do what is the best for you....it is all about balancing ...

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  4. Such a BEAUTIFUL picture of Turbo and Walter! That's a keeper as it speaks volumes! Print it in Black and White and put a frame around it.

    I agree with the mental exhaustion of biking - I love it but I don't see the sites as much and am afraid of being the lead bike. But I do like the challenge of the hill climbing and trying something new.

    I'm gonna just go with the flow and make the most of whatever happens. We did a marathon and a dozen half marathons - nothing is beyond the abilities of the HERD!

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  5. Well, you run in the morning before work and you bike in the evening after work. What's wrong with you, you need to be more Wonderwoman-esque! :)

    Happy Birthday to Turbo!! Good to see Walter, too!!!

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