Get out of my way, this train is rolling down the tracks, full steam ahead! I had an action packed weekend and I'm not slowing down yet. Saturday I joined Neil/TriMore Fitness and a handful of women for a bike skills ride. We covered group rides skills such as drafting and riding in a pace line. Learning this stuff has been on my to-do list for a while now. What's a pace line, you ask?
Pacelines are either single or double. In a single paceline, everyone lines up behind the first rider, who maintains a constant speed. The rotation occurs when the front rider pulls off to the side and drifts to the back of the line. The next rider then sets the pace. Riders stay on the front from a few seconds to several minutes. This type of paceline has the advantage of requiring less road space. - Active.com
We met at a Park-n-Ride lot (aptly named for our plans) and Neil went over the skills we'd be covering, which also included climbing and descending. I was nervous about being too slow and holding everyone back. I generally don't have to worry about that because I never ride in groups (for just that reason). But I really wanted to learn about group riding so this was the only way. Neil assured me the group would stay together and that my pace will be fine. I should coin a new phrase - slow guilt.
Which reminds me, I have to stop talking about being slow. Amber (of last week's ride) reads my blog and reminded me that my slow is someone else's fast and that my saying I'm slow sort of diminishes their pace, which is not good. So, no more slow-talk. From now on I'll try to frame it as, "I'm not as fast as you guys," or something like that when I'm needing to discuss my pace vs theirs. Alright, that's settled, back to the skills ride.
We started down Lucas Valley Road, heading straight toward Big Rock (the hill I did for the very first time just a few weeks ago). Talk about keeping up. It's a good thing I rode it once before or I would have been really panicking. Still, I knew there was no way I could keep up with the group while climbing the steepest part - the last mile before the peak that just goes up, up, up - but I had to let that worry go so I could enjoy the ride.
Along the way toward the climb we worked on pace line, riding together as a group and shifting places in the group. I feel pretty stable on my bike so that was fine, mostly I was just pedaling my ass off to keep up. At the base of the climb Neil gave us a pep talk, tips, etc. And then he rode with me the entire mile up the hill, even as I slogged along at 4 - 6 miles per hour. He coached me the whole way, "relax your shoulders, chest up..." which was nice. In the past I would have felt so uncomfortable having him ride with me while I crawled up the hill but it felt fine, I was happy to be learning. And then, around the corner, there's big rock! Whew, I made it!!
|Happy to be at the top!|
Along the way to Nicasio we practiced drafting. O.M.G. Drafting is so awesome! It reduces your effort by as much as 30%. Thirty percent! I felt a HUGE difference in effort level while drafting. I want to ride like that all the time. Riding at the front of the line is tough work but once you slip in behind someone else you wonder why the group suddenly slowed down. Except it didn't slow down, it just got easier now that you're drafting. So cool.
When we reached Nicasio at about mile 11 I had to turn around and head home. They were going on to do 50+ miles but I didn't have time. The kids were with a babysitter and we had a pool party on our afternoon schedule. So I rode back to the car solo, cruising along and enjoying the peace. 22 miles in all. Here's the elevation profile from the ride.
|Lucas Valley Rd (including Big Rock) elevation profile.|
|14.2 avg mph - probably my fastest ever!|
|Marek and Myra looking all kinds of fabulous!|
I'd planned to rest on Sunday but my eating behavior, coupled with missing a lot of workouts last week, pushed me to make some plans. Marin Tri Club (a local, informal tri group) had a morning run on the agenda as part of training for the Nike half-marathon. I joined them at 8:30am for a timed run - 55 minutes out/55 minutes back. I did some fuzzy math and figured I'd run around 8-9 miles. Yeah, like I said, fuzzy. That's one 1 hour, 50 minutes of running. Even at 11 minute pace that would be 10 miles.
We started out together but most of us ran alone. In the end I did the Paradise Loop (the same route I cycled (twice) last weekend). The loop itself was about 9 miles and by the time I was done I still had time on the clock so I ran a bit more to bulk up the run. In the end I ran 11.75 miles with an average 10:31 pace. I still can't believe I ran a half-marathon (Kaiser, this past February) in a 9:23 pace!
|Yes kids, I ran that.|
|Who did that? Oh yeah, that was me :)|
|Jessica, Amber, Me, Amy, Jack, Leigh, Gioia, Jessica and Leigh's Mom|
Today I woke up with a desire to pull it together with the eating. I ended up having a yogurt/granola/fruit bowl as a morning snack, a little bigger than my normal snack. And then at lunchtime I was tempted by a donut shop but beelined for Subway instead. After eating half of my footlong I started thinking about candy. "No Michelle, don't buy candy, just eat the other half of your sandwich if you're still hungry." So that's what I did. And I felt a lot better about that choice than I would have about candy. Is a footlong (turkey breast, roughly 600 calories) too much for lunch? Who knows, but I know it's better than candy and didn't bring my mood down like a Snickers would have.
After work I hit the gym, despite a strong urge to skip it. I rode the upright bike for 25 minutes and then did chest/triceps/PT exercises. It's been too long since I've lifted weights. Let's hope I'm not sore tomorrow. And after dinner tonight I had a bit of cereal. With tri training I've been going easy on myself when it comes to the evening cereal. I put maybe a 1/2 - 2/3 of a cup into a coffee cup, top it off with almond milk and call it dessert. I know I'm eating a bit more than I need overall (because my scale is up a bit this morning) but I'm leaving the cereal/dessert alone for now. A girl can only handle so much :)
I am a licensed clinical social worker with a private practice offering Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for weight loss and maintenance. I have an office in Marin County, CA and I'm also available to see people via Skype. To learn more please visit my professional website at www.michellefunez.com