Saturday, 7 May 2011

Those stresses and strains but how running helps

Quite a bit to talk to you about today, not sure if I'll get much of it done in this post but I'll make a start.

Earning a daily crust continues to be such a fascinating thing.  The pressures at work aren't so much the volume and intensity but around differences of opinions.  While this is normally a strength, to bring a balance and a debate leading to wise decisions, I have a few worries right now. People who should know better but don't.  Nevertheless I am very pleased my view is normally welcomed and heard.  I just wish I could tell you more.

Handling the worries
My strategy for handling my worries involves many things.  My faith, losing myself in music (I long to hear Mahler's 5th again) and keeping in good shape.

Over the last week I have had a few good runs.  Each one has been a gentle easy pace, including this morning.  As normal I run for around an hour; anything less and I don't enjoy it through remaining stiff and lumpy as I run.  Mind you, I'm still far from my peak but am moving towards it, rather than falling further away.

I've also cycled to work twice this last week.  This has felt good and rewarding.  A chance to mentally switch off, enjoy the countryside's sights, sounds and smells.  I do appreciate those times around dawn and dusk when you can ride into those pockets of cool air, often in wooded areas or dips in the road.  You just wouldn't feel that in a car. On Wednesday I deliberately took a longer and more hilly route and I'm so pleased I did.

Pace wise I pushed myself a little when riding home, trying to build muscle strength on those hills.  Sometimes I'll resist the temptation of dropping into a lower gear and instead stand up on the pedals to heave myself up a sort hill.  When I'm really working hard, it feels like I'm going to pull the cleats out of the bottom of my shoes! I'll do a post sometime about my cycling shoes and the Shimano SPD clipless pedals.

The bike is running very smoothly - the Thorn Audax Mk3 frame continues to handle nicely for me.  I've replaced the mudguards as there was an unexpected problem.  The rear rack isn't the best design afterall but not bad. Trial and error will always apply to a certain extent.

Running -v- Cycling
You might remember I have set myself some goals (click here) which involve running a marathon and riding 100+ miles in a day.  While I feel I am in fair shape with both cycling and running, I wonder if I should concentrate on achieving one of these goals.

Do they conflict with each other?  If I build up my cycling muscles, will that affect my running?

I'd like to think there isn't a problem with those directly.  Perhaps indirectly is me and my capacity to do both.  I need to rest in between long runs or rides (though this cannot be any sign of being middle aged).  I can comfortably cycle 50-60 miles and I'm sure I could do 100 if the opportunity came up.  So maybe that's what I should do - get the bike ride out of the way and then concentrate on running.  Afterall, it'll take longer to get up to marathon distances.

My hand
Did I tell you I hurt my hand and it STILL hurts?  It really does and I find myself using Ibuprofen most days now.  I think another trip to the Doctor is justified.

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