Had a nice summer of riding and running. After the disappointment of missing the LI Marathon with my calf injury, I focused on the bike for a while. I got reacquainted with the Brands group and now have found that everyone has upped their game! I used to look forward to this ride as a Saturday warm-up before the intense Sunday Early Birds. No more! Although I haven't been there every week, there has almost always been a strong break going away on the LIE service road at the first hill. Really fun and an opportunity to stretch the legs. More importantly, a friendly and supportive group of riders.
Also have been making sporadic appearances at the Mineola bike club's Sunday rides. This has been a nice alternative on Sunday mornings. Usually I would do around 20 miles solo, ride the 10 miles to the ride start, do the club ride, then a few more miles solo back home. Put all together, its a nice 60-80 mile ride with the hard climbing sections on the North Shore. Again, a nice bunch of riders, too.
Really enjoyed the couple of times I tagged along with Mike W. to the Little Neck (Triangle) ride. We rode to Little Neck (yes, there is a triangular-shaped park that is the official meeting point) to start with the earlier, slower group. First few miles is quite slow as everyone chats and catches up, but the intensity gradually increases as the ride heads east. By the time the group heads north to the hills, its game on! Seems a little safer on this ride than the Saturday AM full-bore race ride that I used to do a couple of years ago.
On the running front, there have been ups and downs. Waiting now for an upswing (I hope). I suddenly realized at the end of July that the Wineglass marathon was approaching in two months and that I'd better start to actually train for it! I found an 18-week training guide and devised my own modified version of it, starting at week 10, hoping I had preserved some fitness from my early season training. I actually ramped up pretty well, after 5 weeks I ran a 20-miler! We went away for a family vacation for a week but I was able to do some early morning runs while away, including a 10-miler.
Now for the down swing! I broke training and did a 40 mile bike ride last Saturday, my normal long running day. Tried to run the next day and and ended up pulling my calf muscle again after just 3-4 miles. Oh no, not again! It wasn't as bad as last time so I figured I would rest it for a few days and then pick up the training plan again. Rode the bike 3 days, then tried to run. Made it through 3 miles but I think I made the injury worse!
Decision time. I have the Highlander century next weekend, so I'm planning to take a whole week off from running and put my efforts into the bike until after the Highlander. This may not turn out to be such a bad thing. After yesterday's and today's ride, I am realizing how much cycling fitness I've lost with all my emphasis on running this past month.
I'll have to see how quickly I can get back into the running groove after next week. I will only have 3 weeks until the marathon, one of which is supposed to be a taper. Not ideal by any means, but there is no real alternative. Gotta try!