Monday, August 11, 2008

Shins are STUPID

I am having a really hard time keeping up with my blogging responsibilities. I suppose it's because my last few runs have been horrible because my shin splints are back to haunt me. Posterior shin splints, to be precise. Argh, what a pain they are - literally. After the crappy run I had on Monday I again gutted out six miles on Wednesday with numerous stops along the way just to muster up enough mental fortitude to keep going.

I decided to bag my one remaining run of the week - an 8-miler and replace it with a long bike ride instead. We were camping in Copper Harbor, so I rode from the Burma Road to Eagle Harbor. 28 miles at around 16 mpg. That's not so shabby for a bike newbie.

I debated all day long whether or not to run tonight. Since I only had two miles on the schedule and my shins had four days of rest, I finally decided to head out and see how things went. I opted for the super soft surface of the Chassell railroad trail, one of my favorite routes from last summer. My shins were a little tender and burned the entire way, but it wasn't too bad. The soft surface helped quite a bit. So did the Ibuprofin I took before I left. Maybe the pre- and post-run stretching, too. I'm also hoping the six ice packs that are wrapped around my legs at the moment help as well. If those things don't work, I'm really hoping the new shoes and insoles that I have coming on Wednesday will take care of everything. I'm trying everything else, might as well throw some money at the problem, too.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008


Miles, that is. That's how far I rode on my bike today.

The first leg of my journey took me to Laurium via M-203 & Calumet Waterworks Road. Aside from the enormous hill on Waterworks Road, the ride to Laurium was pretty easy. I think my odometer was right around 25 miles when I pulled into Josh's driveway.

I hung out at Josh's place for about 45 minutes before heading back home. I was going to take US-41 back, but didn't want to fight with the traffic, so I decided to take M-203. Lucky me, the wind shifted and was directly in my face and blowing hard. To say that my ride back sucked would be an understatement. My legs were on fire from the moment I left Laurium and by the time I arrived at McLain's Park, they were spent. Great, only 15 miles back to my house. I took a 15 minute break at the park and headed back out. More leg misery.

I got back to Houghton with 46 miles on the odometer and was within .5 miles of my house when my inner sadist took over and I decided it would be cool if I hit 50 miles on this ride. So, off I went to add another four miles to my ride. I promised myself that as soon as my odometer hit 50, I was getting off the bike and walking no matter how far I was from my house. I hit 50 about 25 feet from my driveway.

I have no idea how my legs are going to feel tomorrow. It's a good thing my scheduled two-mile run is supposed to be slow and easy because that's probably about all I'll be able to manage.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

I am with bike

Behold the 50cm Trek 1.5. Ain't it purdy?

It's going to take some time getting used to the shifters, they are unlike anything I've used on a bike before, and it'll probably take a bit more tweaking on the seat to get it just right. I took it for an 8 mile spin last night and I was able to cruise along at 14 mph without much effort. I had to really crank on my mountain bike to maintain that speed. I think the 15 lb. difference between the two might have something to do with it.

I also bought a new helmet. I'd been using Josh's helmet so I figured it was time to invest in one that actually fit me.

Besides getting repair-related equipment, I think my next purchase will be the shoes and pedals to be able to go clipless.

I also think it was fate that I bought the bike, because I was leaving my house to go on my ride and I rolled my left ankle coming down the back stairs. That's the same ankle I rolled on my 10-mile run last summer. I landed on the same knee and wrist that I did last summer, too. My ankle is slightly swollen and bruised and my knee has a lovely scrape on it which will add to the collection of scars from last summer. My ankle doesn't hurt like it did last summer, but it is a bit tender. So, I'm skipping my runs for the rest of the week and attempt to become one with my bike in the meantime. No biggie, this was a cutback week anyway.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

The bike quest continues

After striking out at TBS on Friday, I was contacted by Cross Country Sports who informed me that they'd be able to get a Trek 1.5 in my size. It was pretty much out of my price range, but they made me a really, really good deal on it. It's a serious upgrade from the Trek 1.2 I tried out a few weeks ago

So, I told them to order one and if it fits me, I'd buy it. It'll be here on Wednesday.

Fingers crossed!

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Monday, July 14, 2008

The quest for a new bike

Since I want to start competing in duathlons, I need a decent bike. My current ride, a 15+ year old Giant mountain bike which I converted into a road bike by way of new tires, is not going to cut it. So, I've been on a quest to find a proper road bike.

I've mostly been working with The Bike Shop in Houghton. They opened their doors in the old Los Dos Amigos restaurant spot this spring.

I test rode two bikes they had in stock that almost fit me.

2008 Marin Portofina

Size: 51cm
Price: $650-ish
Overall impression: Too big, but it was a nice bike.

2008 Jamis Ventura Race

Size: 51cm
Price: Way too expensive for my budget

Overall impression: Too big, however if they could get it in my size and it fit my budget, I'd get it. Sweet ride.

I also tried out the 2008 Trek 1.2 at Cross Country Sports.

Size: 50cm
Price: $659
Overall impression: Pretty, but I was unimpressed with the components and the seat. Seemed like it might be overpriced for what was offered. At least it allowed me to get a size comparison and I know I need something that's 50cm.

Down Wind Sports had the 2008 Giant OCR3 which Josh said was "crap" so I didn't even bother taking for a test drive.

I was in The Bike Shop on Saturday afternoon buying some new running sunglasses and Gu and one of the owners told me that they would have a 50cm 2008 James Satellite Femme in the store on Friday. I can't buy it because it belongs to another customer, but it's in my price range so if it fits me well I'm ordering one.

Here's it is, in all it's glory

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Monday, June 30, 2008


Today I did my first brick workout. Bricks involve running and biking consecutively.

The first part of the brick was the run. 3.25 miles (up the Shopko hill) and back to my place. That damn hill. I still can't make it up all the way, but I was able to make it up a minute faster than I did back in March. My recovery was also faster by two minutes.

The second part of the brick was the bike. 7.65 miles at an average speed of 10.2 mph.

Surprisingly, my legs did okay after all the flogging they took. However, tomorrow and Wednesday will tell the true tale.

The third part of my brick involved picking up a few things from Shopko then the grocery store. :)

Foot report:

socks - yellow Smartwool micros
tape - big toes, one piece underneath

No blisters, no tender spots.

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