Most of you might not be that cheer-y over the fact that it’s the Monday after a holiday weekend, but can I make you feel better by telling you that I worked last night? And that you too can survive going back to work after a long weekend? Not sure if that helps, but it’s the truth. And at least you have my ramblings to entertain you…let’s just go with that.
Luckily, I got to experience most of the holiday weekend, as a coworker wanted to switch to work my Saturday in return for a night off during the week (please note: this type of switch is UNHEARD OF). So I said yes, took one for the team, and got Saturday night off. Life is good minus the fact that I couldn’t fall sleep before 3am on most nights, leaving me to ponder the meaning of life at odd hours of the night (never a good idea) before giving up and watching Orange is the New Black.
But in other news, having the weekend off was nice for seeing-friends-purposes, as well as for training purposes. So we discuss.
The rain leading up to the Fourth of July canceled the picnic plans we had hoped for on the holiday, so we had a change of plans. I squeezed in 20 miles on the bike at the gym before indulging in some World Cup watching and wing eating. (Haven’t had wings in awhile…definitely need to do that more often. I may have a degree in dietetics, but you should probably refer to the real RD for nutrition advice…everything in moderation, right?) When it got closer to firework time, Abbe and I headed over to the east side (on the Upper East Side) to check out the view for the fireworks and relayed the plan back to the rest of the group. We then grabbed a drink before it was time to actually head over for the fireworks. I had mentioned that maybe we could get up on the Queensboro bridge to catch the fireworks, so with minutes to spare, Abbe, me, and our full of wings and beverages bellies ran down the east side and up on the Queensboro. (That’s quite the bridge, in case you were wondering.) Luckily we made it in time and we had a limited view of the fireworks, as I imagine anyone above the Manhattan Bridge had. That little curve in the island will get you. That being said, watching the fireworks from a bridge was pretty cool, even if buses flying by blocked the view now and then. Overall, I’ll take it.
I’ll also be counting that little run down the East River as one of my workouts for the week, as I spent much of the week exhausted and therefore not getting in workouts. I worked on Wednesday night and therefore had big plans to get in a run or swim on Thursday afternoon/evening, but it took all I had to even get out of bed at a normal hour ("normal" meaning 3pm-ish…so I wouldn’t be up all night, ha). So that didn’t happen. But with a full Saturday open to enjoy myself, I looked forward to getting in a long ride and maybe even a brick run!
I had such good intentions of getting up at a reasonable hour on Saturday and getting out to ride (with the normal people of the world), but I was up until about 4am, so I slept until noon and left around 1pm. Luckily, NYC gets a little empty on holiday weekends so nothing was too busy. I took my bike and my clipped in shoes (!!) up and over the GW to see what a long ride would be like with these fancy shoes. I actually find it a bit of an ordeal to get up and over the GW because there’s so much starting and stopping (or at least for me because I’m so paranoid about being hit by a car). You’re already eight miles into the ride before you can really get going! But I made it across the bridge with no issues and took off on 9W. I will say that I can definitely feel a difference riding with the clipped in shoes versus without…I feel so much more powerful and in control. When going up hills, I won’t say that it feels easier because I’m still working, but more muscles are working so the effort is different.
My plan was to do 40 miles, but I hit the state line at 19 miles…and remembered that you go down a huge hill right after that, and I didn’t want to go down it just to turn around and climb back up it. I took a break, considered my options, and checked Facebook (obviously…) and saw that my mom had posted this…
After spending five minutes trying to clip my right foot back into the pedal (really, the right foot is 100000x harder to clip into/out of than the left. I should try adjusting the tension, probably?), I headed back towards the city. I even passed a few people along the way! I felt like I was cruising and wasn’t spending the entire time counting down the miles. My big almost-mishap of the day was crossing back over the GW. There are some tight 90 degree turns on the bridge, and I was taking a turn at the same time as another cyclist who was going the other way. I nearly toppled over (my bike fell over with my right foot still attached, I remained upright) and almost took the other cyclist with me (sorry, buddy). Perhaps I should unclip around those corners for now…
I sped back home and felt pretty good about myself…56 miles knocked me out a couple weeks ago, but I felt really strong on the 40 miles. So I dropped my bike off at my apartment, changing into a pair of running shorts and shoes, and heading out for a brick run. A reader suggested doing even just short run at the end of long rides to get used the transition. I decided to try five miles (not a short run, oops) because I felt good and needed to get a run in anyway. My legs felt like they were hardly moving, so I tried to avoid looking at my watch and instead focused on effort. (And getting to the next water fountain – it was hot out there!) I was surprised to find that my pace was sub-8 even though I felt like a slug.
Of course, I was so ready to be done by the time that fifth mile rolled around…definitely need to work on the nutrition and hydration game for the half Ironman, but a 40 mile ride (with increased speed!) and a solid brick run made me feel much better about the entire thing.
It also made me feel better about ordering so much food that the delivery people sent me two sets of utensils with my meal, but oh well. (I’ve been on a sushi kick lately, although I don’t eat raw fish – so much peanut avocado going on around here.)
Sunday included a mile in the pool (and my first venture into circle swimming – only a bit of a disaster) and baking some belated cookies. I found a recipe for funfetti cookies (the easier recipe ever) that I was going to make for the picnic. Since you can’t use red, white, and blue funfetti cake mix for just anything, I went ahead and made them to take to work. Easy and delicious, and food makes people happy.
And your reward for reading all my babble is the best joke I’ve heard in awhile: Why are there no knock-knock jokes about America?
……because freedom rings!! ba dum tsshhh!!! You’re welcome. Happy Monday.