Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Busting out the Bicycle

Spring is in the air, and I wanted to get outside. I put the cycle tube on the egg and brought the bike into work for a lunch time ride. So what if the temperature was only in the 40s. I brought a plenty of warm clothes into work with me. I was pretty excited.
I was also pretty terrified. Knowing that I spent the previous week in pain from a few hours in the pool, I was pretty sure that any time on the bike would result in pain. I also wasn't sure my cardio-vascular system was in any shape to get beyond the parking lot.
I layered myself in long johns and fleece and saddled up. I have a short route near work that is about three or four miles long that I planned on riding. It is long enough to feel like a bike ride, but short enough that I can walk back to work if I'm dying. On a good day I can rattle the ride off in about 20 minutes, so I was figuring it would take about 40 minutes today.
My estimate was pretty close. It took about 35 minutes. By the end I was winded and my legs knew they had been worked. The one hill on the ride, which is short and not very steep, was challenging. It didn't, however, require standing or make me consider walking.
All in all it was a good first ride. I figure after a day of rest, I'll do it again (if the weather holds). Who knows, by the time May rolls around I could be in good enough shape to ride into work or pull bug around in a bike trailer for family outings.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Forgetting Things and Keeping It Together

So today was the second of my warm up pool sessions. I had high hopes for the morning. My stiffness from the previous session wore off around mid-day Thursday, so I was feeling fine. My old brain had managed to cloud over the memories of the extended hobbling around at work.
Saturday night I packed my gear in the back of the egg. I made sure to bring a long one of the mighty sticks. I secured the Q-Boat to the roof. I packed a bag with swim gear and left it by the door. Before I went to bed, I had everything ready to go in the morning.
This morning, I got up and helped H get bug going. I ate a bowl of cereal and made coffee. I was out the door with plenty of time for a leisurely drive to the pool. I arrived with plenty of time to get ready. We got the kayaks and the gear into the pool. Then I went to get my swim trunks on.
The bag of swim gear was not in my car. A quick call to H confirmed that the bag was still next to the door. It also revealed that there was a Kohls ten minutes from the pool. (H is a Kohls aficionado.)
A quick dash to Kohls secured me new swim gear (at a great savings). I was in the pool with plenty of time to practice.
The practice was great. I felt good right off the bat. It may have been the stick. I attributed it to the stick at least. It may have just been that kayaking is like bicycling. You never really forget.
Hopefully, I won't suffer quite as long this week......

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Getting Back in the Saddle

Sunday I did one of the RICKA pool sessions. It was the first time I'd been in a kayak for months. This winter was bad for kayaking. It seemed like every weekend was either bad weather or busy personally. Of course, I didn't get on the bike either....
The beginning of the session was humbling. I decided I start out doing a re-enter and roll. Oh, I also left the mighty stick at home so I was using my back-up Lendal. Ah, bravado. It is painful thing. It took me many tries, and lots of swallowed pool water and bruised thighs, to get in the kayak. I refused to give up and did finally do the re-enter and roll.
Once in the kayak I was nearly spent. I took plenty of time pumping the water out of the kayak and recovering. TM was there to remind me to take it slow and let my body reacclimate to the kayak.
Once I started paddling around and practicing some braces, I started feeling at home. Kayaking is like riding a bike. Slowly, but surely, my sea legs came back. My turns got sharper and my roll more confident. By the end of the two hour session, I almost felt like a kayaker again.
I expected to be tired and sore Sunday afternoon, but I felt surprisingly good. It was Monday that the soreness settled in. I woke up with a little soreness in my core, but it was pretty mild. As the day wore on, the soreness spread to my shoulders and thighs. By the end of the day I was walking like something out of a Romero film.
Today, Tuesday, was only marginally better. I'm still stiff and sore. My walk is more of a shamble than a shuffle today. That is an improvement.
The moral of the story: the skills recover fast, the body does not. At 40+, I need to stay active through out the year or resign myself to being a couch potato.