Lacing Up

Last autumn, I looked back and realized that I had been eating, breathing, and training on my mountain bike steadily for almost 3 years. Sure, I walk the dog regularly and occasionally go for a hike… but I certainly wasn’t “playing” outside and all I was doing was riding. I had suddenly become a “one-sport athlete”.

There were days that I did triathlons and I liked the variety. Run one day… bike another… swim every so often… maybe hit the gym. Something different every day. But when I decided it was a good idea to do a full Ironman and then pace someone for a marathon the following weekend, I had pushed my body (and mind) to it’s limit.

Plus I LOVE mountain biking… getting out into nature, no one to be seen for miles, always something technical to challenge me, and a community of like-minded friends have been fueling my stoke for the sport. So, where could I even add non-MTB workouts and still get that “high”???

I had thought about adding in CrossFit or joining a climbing gym or even going back to Muay Thai… but all of those had so much structure that I didn’t see myself being successful at them.

After BCBR 2019, I hit the pool a few times and enjoyed it… but soon got bored of the black line and the need to “rush” to the pool to get a good lane. I tried to get into the gym 3x a week… but have settled into a routine of lifting 1x a week. Yoga is a great stress relief and I always feel great afterwards, but can’t always make the class schedule work.

Lace up my running shoes and go… that simplicity was a bit more of what I needed. I can do it any time, any place.

I started out with a simple goal: 25 minutes. Just get out there, don’t look at pace, don’t look at miles, take the dog… Just Do It. And it HURT. Ugh, my hips, my feet. Thankfully, my lungs and legs were good… but I just ached during and after each run.

But I kept with it. 25 turned to 30, and now I’m up to a whopping 50 minutes. The pace and distance are such a far cry from when I could pull a marathon out of thin air or, with a little training, pace someone to a PR… but I’m doing it. And that’s the whole point.

I’ve even noticed that I have a little more “umph!” during my rides, especially when out of the saddle. It’s been GREAT!!

I recently needed to travel for work – and it was wonderful not to have to confine myself to the hotel gym. I laced up and explored…

I got to see things and experience things I normally wouldn’t… the Mississippi River covered in fog, dampness drenching me, pretending last night’s drunks were obstacles to avoid. 😂

So, I’m looking forward to continuing my new routine of running until I need to focus solely on mountain biking again… although with no “A” races this year – that won’t be for some time. I’m so glad that I started along this journey!

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