I wrote this when I first began cycling in 2008. It’s funny to read now so I thought I’d share. ๐Ÿ™‚

Saturday, I went out with a friend to attempt my first long bike ride. She thought that our route was at least 20 miles and that I would do great since I’ve been training and/or spinning much more than her. However she’s done a triathlon and I haven’t!ย  And she flew past me, as I suspected. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t go faster and why it seemed like so much effort. She thought that I needed to get the cycling shoes with clips – like she had. She also fell 2 times… trying to convince me that it was better to have them and yet difficult to get out of when you’re about to fall. Eesh.

The route we took was the service road of the freeway! It was also chilly and windy. Talk about a scary experience for my first time on the road (other than in my neighborhood). I couldn’t tell when there were cars behind me because they were all around me! I felt like I should have a rear-view mirror. (I have one now!) I nearly began hyperventilating going over a bridge. Wow. I was terrified but I learned quite a bit about shifting and what to do if your bike chain comes off.

When we got back home, I mapped out the route on a website called mapmyride and found that it was only 10 miles??!! My friend also noticed that my rear tire was flat.ย  I took it to the bike shop to have a few adjustments made after our ride. The bike guy informed me both tires were flat. Well, no wonder I struggled! (I know you’re asking , “How could she not notice that?” Quite honestly, I never thought about it. I promise I’m not normally that clueless. It’s a new learning experience for me, there’s an overwhelming amount of things to think about and my brain is already overwhelmed with the rest of my life.)

I bought some shoes with clips at the bike shop. I sat on my bike on a trainer to try them out. VERY WEIRD! I don’t like being trapped like that!

For those unfamiliar, these bike shoes look like regular shoes but they have a clip on the bottom that snaps into the pedals of the bike. Your pedal stroke is stronger because you are actually working when pulling your foot up and pushing it down. I’ve heard it’s more efficient and you work different muscles in your legs rather than being isolated to the quads. When you lose your balance, however, you can’t simply put your foot down. You have to snap your shoe out of the clips. Otherwise, if the bike’s going down, so are you.

Bike guy had me try cycling around the store while clipped on one side of the bike. I fell. Twice. The second time I crashed into the other bikes on the wall. I was sore and humiliated thinking that everyone was laughing at me but instead they all gave me looks of sympathy. Everyone in the store was reassuring me that it was perfectly normal to fall and that I would probably fall more.

Great. Like a metaphor for life: you’re going to fall but you just have to keep on trying.

Keep me in your prayers, my friends.

It’s been a few weeks since I have updated but lots has been going on workout wise!

Swimming lessons are continuing and I am getting much better, although I still have a LONG way to go! Scott has been going to the lessons and trying to build back up after being sick, but during last week’s lesson he popped his shoulder out of place, (Ouch! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ) so he worked on kicking and some breathing exercises. I practiced on Friday night and feel like I am getting a little stronger with each stroke. I was able to swim 10 laps! (With rests in between each 50 meters) I hope to be able to swim at least 5 laps without stopping soon…..and build up from there. I am looking forward to tonightโ€™s swim where my goal is to swim 2 laps without stopping. Wish me luck.

Yesterday, Scott and I met some friends in Monroe and went on a 26.4 mile ride. We burned 1300 calories! I was certainly pumped about that! ๐Ÿ˜€ I LOVE my bike! My bum is just a little sore today along with my shoulders, but my knees were killing me late last night. Nothing a little Advil won’t take care of!

We learned a lot tho…..

1) Take cash in case you stop at a gas station for snacks

2) Get another small pouch to put on the bike to take snacks

3) Have TWO water bottles on the bike

4) Wear Bike Gloves

5) Maybe take some Advil BEFORE the long ride (In Scottโ€™s case anyway hehe)

It was fun riding with others that have been riding for a while and getting pointers from them. Cindy and Carolyn went up to Benton and rode the route we will ride for the Tri. I want to get out there soon and ride it as well. Tonya, let us know when you are coming in and maybe we can come ride with you! I look forward to riding again soon! I hope to be able to ride again next Wednesday and next Saturday (maybe Sunday too).

My avg. speed was 12.6, so much work is needed, but it was still great to get out there and ride! I think I am getting the hang of putting my feet into the cages as well.

I will let Scott blog about his first long bike ride. He is quite entertaining in telling the story!

As for the running, I have started Couch 2 5K over in week 4. I am starting out stronger and faster but as the second half rolls around I tend to slow down a good bit. I have been reading Running magazine and it has helped so much with my form and in turn my breathing.

Hope to hear how your training is going! Only 12 more weeks till the big day!

After riding 6 miles a few Sundays ago on mountain bikes, we both knew that we needed something different if we were going to be able to make it biking. The bike Scott borrowed was too small for him and neither one of us could get the gears to work properly. So I took mine in to Turbo Goat to get road tires and a tune up and Chris had a used bike for sale. It’s a Giant TCR2 with harness pedals.ย  He cleaned it up and I tried it out yesterday. WOW is all I can say! He fitted it out for me and I took it around the block a few times, almost running into a lady (oops!) because I was on the sidewalk. Yes, I know you aren’t supposed to ride on the sidewalk but in 5 o’clock traffic in Ruston I wasn’t about to try to ride on the main drag. When I got it home, I rode around the parking lot and loved it!! The test will come tonight when I ride to the park, run and ride home.

Scott went to Monroe yesterday and went over to the Bike Source (That’s my friend Cindy with her new Trek on the main page!). He was able to try out a few bikes and found a Trek he liked! They ordered him a 60cm bike and it should be in by the end of the week. They told him he would be ready to ride by the weekend!

So we are ready to ride! ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe. Haha!

Needless to say, it’s all coming together. I actually fell like we will be (somewhat) ready by August for the River Cities Tri. I am in NO way, shape, form or fashion ready for the Rockerchix Tri this weekend but I am excited about it! My goal is to finish!

We may do a Sunrise Tri in Shreveport in May or June also if anyone is interested in joining…. ๐Ÿ™‚ Scott thought it would be a good practice run for the River Cities.

Tonya, I think we are going to do the bike ride with you in Dallas! Give us some good experience!

Just a few tidbits to help with your new bike purchase. ๐Ÿ˜‰

My advice is to go to a bike shop, get measured and look at what you’d like on a bike. Then, if you don’t want to buy one there, go on Craigslist and find one there. At least then, you’ll have a better idea of what to look for. Take the bike back into the bike shop to be fitted before you purchase it on Craigslist. The seller should totally understand your reasoning for this.

I would recommend the following items as well:

  • a comfortable helmet
  • bike shoes (you’ll thank me for this later… but not at first.)
  • gloves
  • bike shorts
  • saddle bag (for your bike, to hold keys, etc.)

Bike shop employees are generally very laid back and extremely helpful.

Later, I’ll post my initial bike shoes experience, for a good laugh. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hello all,

Tammy and I tackled a new path during our run this morning. Typically, we run at the LA Tech track or a jog path at one of the local parks; today we took off from our apartments and ran the road. The path is two miles but has some major hills. Overall, I’m very pleased with our results. We ended up walking a little at the halfway point, right after one of the big hills, and then ran most of the rest. We are going to hit it again tomorrow morning as well.

As I mentioned in my Facebook post, I have been fighting severe shin splints for several weeks now. In the past during our cool down I would start to experience terrible pain about midway down my lower leg and right behind my tibia (the main bone of your lower leg). By the time we would finish our cool down walk and get to the car I could barely walk. I would ice my legs when we got home to ease the pain, but I never could really recover. One of Tammy’s colleagues mentioned shin sleeves as a possible solution so we went to Academy this weekend and I bought a set. Let me tell you, the difference is unbelievable. Today I felt no pain or tightness at all. I am very excited.

Here’s a link to the sleeves I bought. http://www.mcdavidusa.com/store/item.asp?ITEM_ID=83&DEPARTMENT_ID=74

Oh, BTW, we are set to “run” our first 5K this weekend.

Because Scott has been complaining of shin splints, I went online and found a few articles to consider. (After you get some new shoes, Scott!)

http://www.watfxc.com/TF/TF%20Education/shin_splints.htm

http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_5/196.shtml

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/drryan1.htm