Thursday, May 31, 2012

9.5 miles and all's well

I'm pleased with my progress. I felt good the whole way, this morning, taking it easy, staying in low gears, stopping at REI and Safeway. No cramps, no muscles protesting, and I was much less sleepy this morning than I had been on Tuesday. And this on only one day's rest!

I'm guessing three things deserve credit. ONE, I'm continuing to sleep better. Even though I was short on sleep Tuesday night, what sleep I got was restorative. That "eternal vigilance" tension I've been feeling for months is fading. TWO, I've upped my protein intake. Not drastically, but significantly, and I feel as though it has helped. (I am going to stop trying to avoid flesh-based proteins for the time being. If and when I get in shape, I'll try leaning into the vegan diet again, bit by bit.) THREE, I've been ramping up my between-ride muscle care, with stretching, arnica, and massage. I'm going to try to keep this up.

The stretching, I've been doing all along. The arnica I had forgotten about until a few days ago. I remember now I used it quite a bit last summer, although I didn't consider it an integral part of my training regimen. Ditto the massage. I'm referring here to the percussive massager from Brookstone. The masseuse I went to last summer was a wonderful luxury, but I'm not sure she did that much more good than the Brookstone massager. Anyway, I can't spare the time. By the time I go down there, get the massage, and come back, I've lost two hours.

Anyway, I'm hoping that once I've improved my muscle tone enough, I won't need to spend as much time on either stretching or massaging.

Or napping. I napped for an hour this afternoon, and felt immensely restored by it. I actually felt like moving around and doing things. But again, I hope the need for naps is reduced, once I've gotten in shape. That was the case last summer, as I remember it.

Routine emerging?
I can sense a routine emerging. Ride three times a week, eventually increasing the distance to 20 miles per ride, but not attempting to squeeze in more than that, except in the case of the special events I might enter, like the REI "petal pedal" and the "tour de parks" I rode in last year. (I'd also like to ride the Banks-Vernonia trail, again.)

What I'm counting on is that being in shape will give me more energy, and it's at that point that I will be able to consider resuming my core exercises. Which I really need to do.

Anyway, I feel like I'm on my way. Tomorrow should be a rest day. I'll catch up on chores and see how I feel, but right now I think I'll be ready to ride again on Saturday.

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