NaBloPoMo and other endurance activities

Writing everyday for National Blog Posting Month was hard! I know that might sound odd, as I usually post every day, or nearly every day, but it’s an entirely different experience when I feel like I have to post every day. Then it becomes a duty and I begin to worry about whether I’ll have anything to say or whether I’ll have the energy to write. I’m glad I did it, not least because it’s interesting to find these things out. Now I can go back to telling myself I don’t have to post if I don’t want to, but generally going ahead and posting anyway. That method works pretty well.

It was fun being part of the group — thanks to all the participants and to all my regular readers who stopped by and commented!

Since NaBloPoMo is a test of endurance, I’ll make a not-so-smooth segue into my other endurance activity, cycling. Today I went on one of those rides that wears me out mentally more than physically, although my legs are feeling pretty tired too. The problem is the weather. It may still be officially fall, but it feels like full-blown winter. It was around 30 degrees when I left the house and very windy. I had planned on a two-hour ride today, and I did the two full hours, although I was able to cut a section off my route as my pace was so slow I had no trouble getting two hours of riding in on fewer miles. It’s so hard to ride into a bitterly cold wind! I worked and worked and felt like I was going nowhere.

When I got home I stretched out a bit, enjoying the warmth of the house and feeling grateful I made it home with no flats or other problems. But then what always happens happened — my body temperature dropped once my body figured out I was no longer working hard and I got really cold even though I was indoors. This time it was so bad and I got so cold I started shaking. That, thank God, doesn’t often happen. The only remedy was a long hot shower.

As it’s the racing off-season, I’ve decided to try doing a little cross-training, to keep from having to ride too much in the cold and getting burnt out on riding. The only cross-training I have the means to do is running, and so I tried it out a bit this last week. But I can barely do it! It’s ridiculous the way I can be strong on the bike but can’t run a mile. Right now 50 miles of riding is much, much easier than one mile of running. I’ll get used to it quickly I’m pretty sure, and will be able to build up the distance fairly soon, but for now running a half mile gives me sore muscles. I’ve been taking Muttboy out to the park and taking him out on my usual trail, walking most of the way and breaking into a run a couple times for about a quarter mile each time. I’ll build on this until I can do the whole loop (about three miles) without stopping. Unless I get bored, that is, or unless I decide cycling is more important. But I like the idea of using muscles other than those I’m used to using, and I’ll be happy when the day comes I won’t feel embarrassed because I absolutely cannot run.

12 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Cycling

12 responses to “NaBloPoMo and other endurance activities

  1. Fun that you’re going to do some running! Just build up gradually, you know how, it will all be good…

  2. Honestly, this POSTING tires me out, as I contemplate what you have been doing today. Of course, it doesn’t help that I eat a minimum of three hamburgers a day. But still, the only thing that would have solved my body temperature problems after such a workout, would have been a coffin.
    That a hot shower did it for you is remarkable!

  3. Congratulations on your perfect posting month! I failed to post once a day (but, wasn’t in the challenge) last month. It does sometimes feel obligatory. I just try and remember to write for me and my few loyal readers back home. After that, if anyone takes interest, it’s all gravy.

    I rode my bike to Denny’s for bfast this morning, then I rode to Mie U. for my JLPTest. After the test, I rode the opposite to Hisai to hand deliver a post card, and then back to Tsu to catch the tail end of a photo contest. Then I rode home to pick up some documents, then to a restaurant, a friend’s apartment, and back home. Out of the house from 8am to midnight. Not exactly endurance riding, but it was good to be back in the saddle. It’s good to have a bicycle as my friend.

  4. Whoah, that hypothermia doesn’t sound very good, especially if you have thyroid problems. Wouldn’t it be better to cool down gradually, say on an indoor bike? I’ve also been told (in first aid courses) that you want to warm up slowly and not open all the blood vessels at once (as in a hot shower). Causing a lot of cool, lactic acid-filled blood to rush back to the heart, while at the same time lowering blood pressure (because of all the open vessels), can be fatal.

  5. Oh Dorothy, the things you put yourself through for cycling! Do take care of yourself, as it’s horrible feeling that cold. And I do know how different it is to feel obliged to do something you might do anyway. I really dislike that feeling.

  6. Jenny — that’s exactly what I’m doing — I know to start off VERY slow, but also that I’ll probably improve pretty quickly. I ran again today and think I managed about a mile …

    Cipriano — I don’t eat three hamburgers a day, but I eat the equivalent in calories probably — which is why I need to keep riding, to keep the pounds off!

    Bikkuri — I hope the test went well! Yes, it’s good to have a bicycle as a friend! :)

    Sylvia — okay, you’re right, I should be more careful. Riding a bit indoors is a good idea; I’ll be getting the trainer out soon and can use it for that purpose.

    Litlove — it doesn’t seem to fit my personality, really, but I think I’m a tiny bit of a thrill-seeker; I get a kick out of putting myself through a lot. But I will try to listen to people’s good advice, like Sylvia’s …

  7. Dorothy–Do take care–I would have jumped into a hot shower without even thinking about it, but after reading Sylvia’s comment–there’s all sorts of physical variables to think about. I hope you are able to find some sort of good substitution while its cold. I can’t run either. The extent of what I can do is run the block to the bus stop when I am late–LOL. And it is cold here, too. I don’t even want to leave the house, and already I am dreading getting up in the cold and dark to go to work!!

  8. It got cold here several weeks ago and last night into this morning it snowed about 5 inches. That means I have begun my winter cross-training exercise–snow shoveling! Seriously though, good for you for being so dedicated, but do be careful.

  9. Congratulation on completing your Nablopomo! I hate feeling obliged to post every single day, but I so much enjoy reading other people’s posts every day…

  10. LK

    Bravo to you Dorothy W. on all your endurance tests!

    I think stamina is one area where I am really weak…your post gave me a thought that maybe there are activities that I could pursue to help me build up my endurance.

  11. Danielle — the cold is so hard to deal with! I am going to go ahead and keep riding in the cold, as races start in March, so I can’t take too much time off. But I do tend to underdress for the cold a little bit … it’s not a good habit.

    Stefanie — we got a tiny bit of snow, but it’s already melted, so no cross-training shoveling for me — at least so far!

    Smithereens — thank you! I agree with you about the pleasure of reading — it can be hard to produce every day but to read other people’s productions is a pleasure.

    LK — thank you! I’m good at endurance only for certain kinds of activities; I think it’s a matter of finding something you like a whole lot.

  12. hepzibah

    what a wonderful post dorothy! running is very difficult, I love to run, though I can only run/jog short distances, but i stop during the winter (it’s just too cold) but how do you keep warm? I am already cold-blooded and so being in the cold makes me even colder…so i begin again in the spring, though I try to go to the gym sometimes…

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