Weekend Training

Friday

I was planning to take a bike ride with Troy at Reach 11, but when we arrived the gate was already closed even though there was still an hour until sunset. Instead I went out for my first adventure on the road. One nice thing about the area of Phoenix that we live in is that there are pretty much bike lanes everywhere. The bike lanes get a little confusing at intersections (at least for me) but for the most part it’s pretty easy to ride around.

When I went running last Tuesday, I started exploring a little side path that runs along the 51 highway. That night it was getting dark and I was starting to get tired so I didn’t follow the path all the way to the end. So on Friday I decided to take that path on my bike to see where it leads… and I found myself out at Reach 11! I ended up getting to do a little trail riding after all. I suppose if I had thought about it more, I could have put two and two together and figured it out earlier, but it ended up being a fun “discovery”.

Saturday

It was raining on and off Saturday and I didn’t get out of the house to run until late afternoon. With the rain I figured the trail would be muddy. I didn’t feel like running along the streets, so I headed out to the PVCC track. It was sort of like a game of trying to outrun the sun since I knew I’d have to leave the track when it got dark. I was hoping to get in 6 miles only managed 4.6. Still, it was a good run because it seems like my legs are feeling back to normal again. No tightness or other problems at all.

I also got a couple new pairs of socks on Saturday from the Scottsdale Running Company. We were sort of in the area already from visiting the Scottsdale Farmers’ Market, so I decided to stop in and check out the store. I was planning to buy more Wrightsocks, but they only had a few options. I got another pair of the coolmesh in white. The store was really pushing Balega brand socks. Since they were willing to cut open the packaging to let me try the different styles, I ended up buying a pair of Balega socks that have cushioning on the bottom. I’m curious to see what sort of a difference, if any, the cushioning will make during a run.

After visiting both the Scottsdale Running Company and Runner’s Den in Phoenix, I think Road Runner Sports is my favorite running store in the area. It’s just so much bigger and brighter than the other two stores. It’s too bad, because I would like to support the local stores, but Road Runner is closer and the other two stores just don’t have anything compelling enough to make me want to return.

Sunday

Again, figuring that the trail would be muddy, Troy and I went all the way out to the canal near Thunderbird Paseo Park to ride. We went north on the canal for a mile or so until we reached what seemed like a dead end. Then we turned around and rode south along the canal for awhile. Overall we rode 10 miles, although at a slower speed than my previous rides.

One new challenge for me was hills. In order to cross beneath the roads, there were a bunch of underpasses to navigate. The paved ones weren’t really a problem, but I was very hesitant about the non-paved paths. The downhills seemed scary and I was braking the whole way down to slow my speed. Then uphill was challenging and I worried about not having enough power to make it all the way up. But I made it without any spills and now I’m more confident for next time.

Whenever we transport the bikes, Troy has to move my seat to get the bike onto the bike rack. Yesterday when I adjusted the seat down to the right height, I didn’t get it quite centered so the seat was rubbing my inner right thigh the whole ride. On the positive side, it took my mind off my sore butt. But on the negative side it rubbed off some skin that has to heal now. We’ve got to come up with some way to mark it so that I can avoid this problem in the future. I’m also thinking more seriously about buying some tri shorts which should be better for riding than my running shorts that I’ve been wearing.

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