I took a “sick day” yesterday because after several long hours and days and weeks at work, I needed a personal day to decompress.
My plan to laze away on the couch and watch baseball all day (thanks, Comcast MLB package!) was thwarted, though, by the guilt I felt when I looked outside and saw a sunny, 75-degree day. Seriously, it was the best day of the year so far, an absolutely perfect day to be outside doing something fun.
Since I had run Cherry Blossom on Sunday and knew better than to run the day after a 10-mile race (see? I’m learning!), I decided to take my bike out for a spin.
I’m so happy I did.
I started out nice and easy, biking down Rock Creek and veering on to Canal Street, stopping to take some photos and enjoy the sun and the views of the Potomac. Then I got on to Capital Crescent Trail without any real plan of how far I should go.
I knew I wanted to do a long bike ride since I was in no hurry to get back but I thought I should probably only go 15 miles max. It had been awhile since I had biked regularly and didn’t want to do anything stupid.
Speaking of stupid…taking photos while cycling? Not the easiest thing to do. I liked the results of my Hispatamtic experiment at the Cherry Blossom race, so I figured I’d go with that photo app again.
But balancing yourself using one hand and shooting from the hip while traveling at more than 15 mph is downright dangerous. There’s a reason I’m a runographer and not a cyclographer.
The first few miles were tough, probably due to the wind and my lack of muscle memory on the bike. I struggled to get any real speed and wondered after 5 or 6 miles if I should cut the ride short.
But then, just like when you’re running and something clicks, I started to feel good. I pedaled faster and more efficiently and the sweat and heavy breathing became more manageable. I reached Bethesda after about 10+ miles and turned around.
The way back was even better.
I was churning faster and faster and in my 15th mile, was really moving. I looked at my watch and saw a pace of 2:58, which I calculated to be more than 20 mph! Since I’ve never run that fast, obviously, and had never biked at this pace, I realized I was propelling myself faster than I had ever gone. I biked that mile at a 3:07 pace, and paced 10 of my 20+ miles under 4:00 (over 15 mph). I know I was going slightly downhill but I didn’t care, I felt like I was willing myself to move that fast!
I kept going at a solid clip and made it back home at exactly 20.5 miles, having averaged 14.3 mph for the whole ride.
I felt great but, more importantly, confident that I’d be able to hold my own at the Charlottesville International Trtiathlon in June.
As long as I don’t try to take any photos during the race.