So back in 2011, I got a bike. Specifically, a good friend gifted me the bike as a wedding present. And it was one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten!
I still remember unpacking that thing a few weeks after we got back from our honeymoon and putting it together with my own damn hands. I was so excited! I was going to finally get back in the saddle after almost 10 years, and I was going to jump right in! Well, once I figured out why the brakes weren’t working and if I could get the tires to stay inflated. Then winter came. I promised myself I would get back into it after the snow finally cleared out. Then we moved. OK, I’d get it all fixed up and hit the road once we were all moved into the new house. Then I figured I’d wait until after the AC Half Marathon. And then I tore my ACL and lost 15 months to rehab.
SO. Fast forward to this past weekend when I found myself laid up with a surprise ear infection the same day that my good “virtual” friend (and Mermaid Club founder) Helena completed the Ironman Texas Triathlon. I was inspired, to say the least! Since I’ve managed to incorporate cycling into the last 3 months of my training, and have found that I REALLY like it, I finally called my papa – AKA the Bike Doctor – and he swung by to give my pretty girl Maggie a tune up.
Yeah, that’s the bike’s name, so what?
A quick 20 minutes of tightening and oiling, and I was ready to hit the road! So the next morning, when I woke up feeling much better (thank you, modern medicine), I threw the bike in the back of the Honda and we went for our inaugural ride!
Selfie time with Maggie!
I set out to ride on feeling, just to see how far I could get. I even found that I could use my Garmin for biking – score! And after one mile-long lap, I felt so good that I took the turn out of the park and went exploring. My knee felt great and I was having a good time, and before I knew it I had done 3.5 miles! I started to feel it in my legs after taking a few small hills, but I kept going and told myself to push for 5 solid miles as hard as I could go.
So push I did, and I completely surprised myself when I finished all 5 miles at a little over 6:10/mile pace!
Needless to say – I’m hooked! I can’t wait to incorporate biking into my fitness plans, especially when I start getting into the thick of my marathon training and need to give my legs some good cross training. I’m already planning out new routes to test my limits now that I’ve transitioned from 2 legs to 2 wheels!
Tell me: if you’re a runner, do you bike too? What are your other favorite cross-training exercises? Give me some other ideas, I’ve gone exercise-crazy and I’ll try anything next!