I haven't quite finished my Chicago Half Marathon race report but I can tell you this much - I was in pretty bad shape afterward. My IT band was really acting up afterward so I was limping around like an old lady for a couple of days after the race. On top of that, I got a cold :(
So I pretty much did nothing for four days after the race. But considering I still have several races coming up in the immediate future, I knew I had to quickly get my butt in gear over the weekend.
Friday Bike Ride
On Friday, I decided to ease back into it with an easy 10 mile bike ride on the neighborhood trail. I don't think I've officially announced it on this blog, but awhile back I decided to take the plunge and buy my very first road bike. And here she is! I've nicknamed her Gigi (as in Gigi the Giant, the brand of the bike).
Admittedly, my bike skills are not quite up to par yet. Last time I owned a bike, I was in elementary school so I'm still working on gear shifting, especially when tackling the hills, and even basic stuff, like coming to a stop and unclipping my shoes without completely tripping over myself!
Since I'm scared to share the road with cars, I like biking on the trail where it is much less stressful. The tradeoff is you can't go very fast because you have to share the path with the runners and walkers, plus there are a lot of twists and turns with some blind curves as well.
The people watching on this ride was pretty fun - one of the most interesting things spotted was a dad pushing a stroller with his two kids by his side and then their CAT draped around his neck!!! Never seen that before!
Saturday - Nike Run
I was actually scared to go running on Saturday because I wasn't sure how my leg was going to react. I hate that feeling! I had been rolling my left IT band during the week, but it still felt kind of sensitive. But I knew I had to just go for it.
Luckily, it's a recovery week for the Nike training plan so we did the easy course which was just along the Embarcadero - mostly flat with just a couple of small hills. I decided to do 6 miles with the 11:00 pace group.
My legs definitely felt weird when we started running but since it was a comfortable pace, I didn't really feel any pain. By about a mile in, they started to feel back to normal. The rest of the run went fine - I couldn't really run as fast as I'd like but since I'm still recovering from both the half and a cold, I didn't worry too much about it.
Afterward, I made sure to do a lot more stretching than usual, even joining in with the group-led stretches they hold back at the start. It was nice because they had mats and stuff for us to stretch on.
I didn't realize this until later, but this was my last Nike weekend run. Every weekend between now and the Nike Half, I either have a race or I will be out of town. So sad, I'm really going to miss the Club Run SF training runs. I might be able to squeeze in a Wednesday evening run, but not the Marina or Danville ones.
Sunday - Biking from SF to Sausalito
I finally decided I was ready to go on a REAL bike ride so my wonderful friend KB agreed to take me on a 30 mile bike ride from SF to Sausalito via the Golden Gate bridge. It was insane! The views were amazing and parts of the ride were fun but holy crap, other parts were completely terrifying! I definitely did not fully grasp how challenging the ride would be for me which was probably a good thing since I may have not gone through with it. A lot of times during the ride, it would be "don't think, just go!!!"
We started at Alamo Square which is practically in the middle of SF so first we had to make our way across town to get to the bridge. The ride did not start out well for me. At the first stop light, we had to stop on kind of a slope. I have enough problems stopping and getting unclipped as it is, much less on an incline! So yeah, I totally lost my balance and although I didn't completely wipe out, I did have to put my hand on the car stopped at the light next to us to brace myself. Funny thing is that the driver was too busy on his phone to even notice (or so I tell myself). Amazingly, KB did not lose faith in me and we just kept on going.
There were so many things I had to deal with on this ride that I was not used to. Sharing the road with cars, tackling hills (lots of granny gear time for me), dealing with narrow shoulders, narrow shoulders through a tunnel!, making left turns with traffic, stopping at top of hills, stopping at bottom of hills, having the wind practically push me off my bike on the bridge, weaving around tourists, etc. I still can't believe all the places Gigi and I biked through!
(Yes, I'm fully aware how my ensemble does nothing for my figure)
Despite all this, the ride truly was beautiful! Definitely not views you get in the south bay. And parts were very fun and easy like in Golden Gate park where KB and I could ride next to each other and chit chat and stuff. Next time, we'll try to do the 40 mile route where you add a 10 mile loop around Tiburon.
Bonus - look what I got! Not only did KB take me on a fun bike ride, she also gave me these super sassy shoes (Coach, by the way!) which were a half size too small for her. Yay for me being the right size! Aren't they cute? Thanks KB!