This weekend we managed to take the road bikes out for a ride together. Often our schedules are busy, so we run or ride separately, but fortunately this weekend we were able to set aside a good chunk of time to hit the local rail trail together. Eyegirl wore her new (and first) cycling jersey, and I think it looks great!
I tried out my new cycling shoes:
Here are the stats (photographed the cycling computer a la Fit and Forty Something). As you can see, we not speed demons on bikes either, but it was fun:
The day was interrupted by only a very minor mishap. I bet you are clever enough to figure out based on this photo? Don’t worry, I will explain later.
Next weekend we have a half marathon. We haven’t trained as hard as we did for the 500 Festival Mini, but hopefully it will go OK! I know – you’re supposed to train harder and better after you’ve done a few races, but least we have some experience under our belts this time!
Well, RBC friends, bad news. I just found out (the hard way) that exercise can cause heartburn problems, especially if done right before bed. This is a super bummer. On the flip side, my pain is your gain as it’s too difficult to sleep so I am up blogging instead. Hopefully with antacid and Prilosec things for me will turn around, but in the meantime I thought I’d warn any beginners to the RBC lifestyle that this might be one of the speed bumps you could encounter.
For me I think I will be OK with the treatment, but just in case, I think I’ll try to rely more on biking and climbing for now as I’m thinking running is the highest impact, then build back in some short runs in a week or so and see how it goes.
Anyone have some experience with this sort of thing?
Earlier this year, eyegirl bought me a surprise gift, the book Born to Run (pictured below) by Christopher McDougall. (Funny enough it came in the same package as one of her – much larger and more expensive – graduate school books.) Many of you are probably already very familiar with Born to Run, as it has been the subject of debate for some time, but I wasn’t.
Once I started reading it, I was hooked. (Brief synopsis follows if you don’t want to be spoiled.) The book follows the author’s quest to get to the bottom of debilitating foot troubles that prevented him from running, visiting various exercise scientists and incredible endurance athletes including a little-known Mexican tribe of runners known as the Tarahumara. A main theme of the book, and perhaps the one that appeals to me most as a person with a science background, is that humans are evolutionarily adapted (and destined) to be runners. Following this path, the book highlights the idea that perhaps our modern, uber-cushioned running shoes are actually babying our feet and allowing us to “get away with” running improperly. Along these lines a golf coach once told me that using larger and more technologically-advanced golf clubs doesn’t make you a better player, but rather allows you to “get away with” having improper technique. Simple enough, but this concept makes a great deal of sense to me.
Maybe to Eyegirl’s dismay, my enthusiasm for the book turned me into a sort-of Born to Run zealot. (Not that I am fully indoctrinated into barefoot or minimalist running just yet.) One of the most fascinating elements of the book that speaks to me as scientist is that humans actually have a number of anatomical adaptations geared for running, such as the nuchal ligament to stabilize the head and an Achilles tendon, features that are less prominent or lacking in walking animals such as pigs and chimpanzees. If you’re anything like me, or are unfortunate enough to know another such zealot, quotes like these might be commonplace at your family get-togethers or around the water cooler:
“Would you believe that a human can actually keep up in a running race with a horse, and that the human’s stride is longer?”
The book inspired my own mini-quest to delve deeper into my running style, the story of which will unfold in subsequent posts. (Born to Run: Part 1 and so on)