Friday, May 18, 2012

Fit Friday

Today is Bike-to-Work Day in the Washington, DC region (and, I imagine, around the country). I took the opportunity to pedal-commute to work today, and I'm glad I did.

Let's go back a few years - I was a big bike rider back in the mid-90's (and by big, I mean both dedicated and big of body). 20 mile weekend rides were commonplace. Somewhere along the way, though, I lost interest, and my bike sat in my garage, collecting dust. This inactivity also corresponded with me tipping the scales at almost 275 pounds by early 2007.

A few years back, I wanted to get back into it, so I pulled the bike out and went for a ride. The gears were all messed up and the brakes needed work, so instead of buying a new bike, I took it to the shop for an overhaul. After it was fixed, I rode for a few times, but again, lost interest. Once I took up running, the bike was relegated to the corner of the garage again.

Fast forward to last month, when I saw a flyer in our office promoting Bike-to-Work Day on May 18th. I figured, why not...I have a bike that I used to love riding just sitting there taking up space. So I signed up. Last weekend, I gave the bike a good once-over, pumped up the tires, and took it for a short spin down the street. Everything was in working order.

This past Tuesday, the rain cleared up enough for me to go out for a short ride on my running day off. And it all went well - I was surprised by how well my level of fitness gained from running transferred to biking. Hills that I would have avoided before were now challenging but not difficult. Everything was looking good for Friday.

I still had Friday penciled in as a run day (5 miles), and I know that my office is around 3 1/2 miles one way, so I was in for a good workout day. Unfortunately, the run didn't materialize the way I wanted to. I didn't plan my morning out very well, and was caught at 7 AM with the likelihood of only getting about 3-4 miles in.

I did a very easy 3-mile treadmill run (I had to save something for two 3.5-mile bike rides today), changed into some dry gear, got my stuff together for work, slung my backpack on, and took off on my commute. It was an absolute glorious morning for a ride - sunny and 55 degrees, and there were so many other bikers out today. I stopped at the pre-determined pit stop at Reston Town Center to pick up my free Bike-to-Work t-shirt, got a snack, and headed out for the remainder of my commute.

I was humbled, though, by all the super-sweet looking bikes parked at the pit stop. My 18 year-old hybrid looked out of place next to some of these bikes, and maybe one day I'll get a new bike. But with our move to a new house just 2 weeks away (and 1.5 miles longer on the commute), I gotta stick with my trusty hybrid for a while longer (plus, I've been eying this nice Fender acoustic guitar for a while now).

My Garmin showed that I did 3.4 miles in just under 18 minutes. My driving time to work is between 10 & 15 minutes, so I'm wondering why I'm getting in the car on most days. There are a few days when I have to drive, since I pick my son up from school right after work, but on those days when I'm not rushed, I think I'll try to bike it in.

Hopefully I won't lose interest again. I'm guessing I won't.

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