The Biking Date from Hell

Yesterday Bo and I took our new bikes out for their first ride. After sleeping until our bodies woke up naturally, I had a huge smile on my face when I saw the blue sky and sunshine streaming through our window. As soon as I stepped out of bed my quads and calves let me know just how they felt about the idea after Saturday’s hilly trail run. I couldn’t let Bo head out with me and instead requested that we do a flat, scenic ride instead of hills.

Even though we took longer than normal to get our act together by 1pm we were on our bikes ready to go. We had oatmeal and coffee as our pre-ride fuel and each carried a water bottle and some fuel. I grabbed Clif Margarita Shot Blocks along with a small bag of pistachios and dried apricots.

2014-06-15 13.48.022014-06-15 13.47.44

Before pulling out of our driveway I asked Bo what our plan was for the ride and he said he’d mapped a great 20 mile route that looked like it would be scenic and take us through the French countryside. I told him that I’d assess how I was feeling and may turn back early but I secretly figured the flat ride would help flush out my legs’ soreness.

I didn’t have many goals for the day other than enjoying the scenery and getting comfortable on my bike. I immediately felt a difference riding this bike, which was fitted to my shape and size on Friday night, versus the rental bike. Everything felt so much more comfortable and I felt like I was able to get more power out of every rotation, thanks to proper adjustment. During our first few miles, while we were in a calm flat area, I practiced clipping and unclipping each foot as we were riding. I’ve read on multiple sites that it’s better to practice doing this when you don’t have to so it becomes second nature when you have to quickly unclip.

2014-06-15 16.42.31

At around the 5 mile point we approached the Saleve, which I’ve run a few times but never sumited via the roads. Bo took a moment at a stoplight to study the map and realized that the path he mapped evidently included the Saleve. In that moment I remembered the stories of co-workers who summit it via bike after work and decided that this was as good as any to give it a try. I told him to turn his phone on ring in case I needed to stop and turn around due to tired legs.

From this point we started a 1,000 foot climb including a few hair-pin curves and a few breathtaking view points.

2014-06-15 14.46.402014-06-15 14.56.072014-06-15 14.56.452014-06-15 14.57.092014-06-15 14.58.18

I think Bo heard my choice words coming out of my mouth before he actually saw me come around the corner. At 11 miles and 1,100 feet of elevation climb my body was done. I felt defeated, annoyed and frustrated. He’d tempted me with this awesome adventure and bike path but my body wasn’t ready for it yesterday. He gave me a huge sweaty hug and reminded me of two things – today was my 3rd bike ride and he’s been spending a lot of time in the spin bike saddle over the past few months since his IT band injury.

2014-06-15 16.37.04-1

Before turning around to head down the mountain we took the pictures in this post, including the gorgeous vistas and took in some fuel and water. I’m not very comfortable on the bike yet so drinking water while riding doesn’t come naturally.

2014-06-15 16.36.55

As we came to the bottom we decided to start along another path, which we thought would lead us back towards Geneva. We also both thought this would be a flat path. That seemed to be the trend yesterday because just like the previous one, this had plenty of incline as we rode through La Muraz, Annemasse, Thonex, Carouge and finally back into Eaux Vives. Two 300 feet climbs and 17 miles later we found our way back to our flat in Geneva. I was covered in salt, there were tears of exhaustion in my eyes and we both vowed to study maps and trails better before our next long ride.  While riding, this ride felt like the ride from hell. But now reflecting on it a day later I’m thankful for the experience.

image

His MapMyRide app captured the entire ride save for the last 3 miles pretty accurately, within 3 tenths of a mile of my Garmin.

Lessons learned yesterday:

1. Always carry more fuel and water than you think you need.

2. Double check your routes using the elevation button on MapMyRide before starting the ride.

3. Wear and bring extra sunscreen with you because it will need to be applied.

If you’re an avid cyclist, what apps do you love?

Follow:

Life Is About Balance: Half Marathon Training Week 3

On Sunday, I had the great pleasure to do my long run along side Elisabeth, a good friend of ours who is training for her first half marathon, The National Half in DC this March. While I won’t be down in DC with her the weekend of her half due to my half in NYC that weekend, it has been a blast to get her excited for the race.

159

It works out wonderfully that our half marathons happen to be the same weekend as it allows us to do our long runs together since our training plans are similar, at least in regards to weekend mileage.

During our run Liz asked me tons of questions that are normal for someone running their first half marathon. One of the best discussions we had during the run had to do with her upcoming tropical vacation to Hawaii. Like any person who is trying to follow their training plan, a vacation can cause lots of unnecessary stress. She was worried that she’d fall behind in the training plan and return not prepared for her race which at that point will be less than a month away.

My coaching to her was the same coaching and self pep-talk I’ve given to myself over the past few weeks as my training plan has been a difficult one to manage and navigate due to constant travel.

“Focus on activity while you’re traveling versus your normal training run and do your best to front load your training the week you’re leaving for vacation.”

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that every business trip or vacation means it’s time to abandon your training plan. Sometimes it’s even easier to stick to a training plan when away from home because you may have a more flexible schedule or easier access to a treadmill, gym, or scenic running path.

However, when traveling to somewhere like Hawaii where there are many hills, humidity, narrow roads, and so many other activities to enjoy such as hiking to the top of volcanoes, surfing, and paddle boarding those type of things make sense to take priority. It took me a while to learn this lesson but even when training for a half marathon or marathon the #1 priority is to make sure you’re enjoying life and enjoying the process. If a training plan ever causes more stress than good it’s rare that you’ll stick with the plan and succeed.

Life is about balance. 

Therefore, my training plan this week is also a bit altered in anticipation of my week long trip to Geneva, Switzerland beginning Thursday.

Sunday: 8 miles with Liz

Monday: Barry’s Bootcamp at 5am (arms and abs)

Tuesday: Barry’s Bootcamp at 5am (legs and shoulders)

Wednesday: 5 miles outside

Thursday: 8-9 mile early morning long run (anyone care to join me?)

Friday: rest day

Saturday: Skiing and attempting not to die in the Alps

Sunday: Skiing and attempting not to die part 2 in the Alps

So while my schedule is a bit front loaded, I was able to squeeze in 2 hard workouts at Barry’s before our National Sales Meeting began today and feel better about both my emotional and physical state this week.

Life is all about being flexible and balancing the things we need to do and want to do.

How about you? Do you take a similar approach when traveling?

 

Follow:

Strong Arm and Back Workout

This morning I was excited to get back to my lifting routine. After seven hours of sleep and a refreshing, healthy Coconut Peach smoothie for dinner I was energized and rested.

Unfortunately, my trainer missed my email and therefore wasn’t at the gym bright and early this morning. While my warm, cozy bed was screaming for me to come home I decided to put my muscles to good use on my own this morning. This 30 minute workout left my arms quivering in the best of ways! Even though I did it at the gym this morning, you can do it at home or in a hotel gym as long as you have heavy weights.

Since I’m travelling to Paris and Geneva for business beginning on Friday night, I will most likely reference this workout next week in the hotel gym.

Strong Arms and Back Workout

I call it the 45 since you end up doing 45 reps of each exercise by the end of the workout! The final sweat is something I love to add to the end of any weight workout as it gets my heart pumping and the energy flowing!

Have a great Tuesday!

Follow:

Condensed and Intense Circuit Workout

Good morning from the friendly Delta skies. I have heard this line many times but today especially, I really have such gratitude for the Delta team at JFK.

IMG_6262

I had a really bad taxi experience this morning as we arrived at JFK and the taxi told me his credit card machine wasn’t working. After some tough words and the help of a nearby police officer he finally “fixed” the problem. I was so flustered thinking about this and getting excited about the bachelorette weekend that as I went through security, I left my carry on suitcase. I didn’t notice it because the weight of my computer bag on my shoulder and how rushed I was to make it down to the gate in time and get breakfast. As I walked to the gate they asked me if I needed a pink tag. That’s when I looked down and realized I didn’t have my bag. I am so blessed that they did everything in their power, with only 10 minutes before the plane door had to close, to get my bag back to me. Sweet Dorothy drove like a madwoman screaming in her Jamaican accent that I had a wedding to get to and had to get my bridesmaid dress at security to anyone who stood in the way of her cart. This sounded better in her opinion then “move this woman has a bachelorette to get to and a race to run” but it was hilarious regardless. The security team even met us halfway since we were going all the way from Delta terminal 2 to terminal 4. So while I know that Delta, nor any airline for that matter, is perfect, they definitely one a point in my book today. I wish I could give each of them holiday bonuses!

Now that I’ve shared a story of gratitude with y’all let’s get on to the post!

Breakfast

If you are a long time reader, then you know that my go to travel breakfast is Starbucks. A perfect oatmeal, banana and iced unsweetened green tea just can’t be beat! I normally add the package of nuts to the oats for some added protein and healthy fats along with a dash of the brown sugar.

IMG_6267

If you’ve never tried adding brown sugar to your oatmeal you definitely should as a little bit goes a long way and the flavor can’t be beat!

IMG_6264

I’m enjoying this morning’s oatmeal with a banana and a side of studying. I am getting PADI Scuba certified this year, finally, and it requires some studying in advance. On December 11-13th I will spend time in the pool each night from 8-11pm with Pan Aqua in New York doing all my course work and after completing the 3 nights and passing 4 tests I’ll be able to do my 4 qualifying dives down in St. Croix over New Years!

Condensed and Intense Boot Camp

I realized, going through pictures this morning, that I forgot to share an awesome boot camp Bo created for us last week. We both wanted to work off some of the wine and turkey we enjoyed on Thursday and figured that a boot camp together was a perfect option. But, don’t worry, this workout can be done on your own at a gym as well. The entire workout took us 45 minutes but you can do bits and pieces of it or just 1 circuit group if you’re short on time!

IMG_6172

Cardio Blast #1:

  • 1 minute jumping jacks
  • 1 minute jump rope

Strength Blast #1

Cardio Blast #2:

  • Set a treadmill to 1 incline and spring 1/2 mile as fast as possible while maintaining the same speed the whole time and ensuring you don’t overexert yourself. For reference, Bo went at 8.5 and I went at 7.8.

Strength Blast #2

Cardio Blast #3

  • Set a treadmill incline to 11.0 and walk a half mile as quickly as possible, pumping your arms for momentum. For reference, Bo and I both walked at 4.0-4.5 for the half mile.

Strength Blast #3  (repeat #2)

Cardio Blast #4

  • On a rowing machine set the resistance to flywheel resistance to 7 then row 1,000  meters as quickly as possible ensuring proper form is maintained the entire time to reduce risk of injury.

As always, be sure to do some gentle warm-up and stretching before any workout and go at your own pace.

Question: I’m working on a video series of workouts that you all can do on your own over the holidays whether you’re in your parents basement, in your tiny apartment, or at a hotel. Any special requests? My goal is for the first video to go live by next Friday, in time for those people starting the holidays early!

Follow: