Monday, March 29, 2010

New bike...road or hybrid?

My long silence is only partly due to the life's craziness and my laziness. Mostly, it is because I got injured again. If anyone is counting, this is the 3rd time in a row, during marathon training. And this time, it was a lot harder to take, because my training was going so strong. I had run my best 18-miler ever and had two 20 mile long runs to go, before the NJ Marathon. I was in great shape. Until the darn tendonitis struck again. So, for the past 2 weeks, it has been back to swimming, water running and strength training...

...not to mention lots of internet research, video gait analysis, the painful process of trying out different running shoes and insoles, struggling over conflicting information by various people in running stores and forums...and consequently ending up just as confused as when I started out! I did find out that I needed stability shoes (which I already knew) and the ones I was wearing, Asics Phoenix, were performance shoes, so did not have the cushioning and stability I needed (a fact that I probably knew at some level but chose to ignore...I have been loyal to the Phoenix for a very long time despite injury, because it is one of the very few running shoes that fit me like they were made for me).
I also realized that my abs and hips have been getting more attention lately, but my leg muscles have been neglected...the hamstrings and calves particularly. Stronger leg muscles result in stronger tendons. So, leg presses, seated leg curls, prone leg curls, calf raises and hamstring curls have been added to the mix.

To sum up, I spent the first week post-injury in shock followed by denial and the second week in emotional recovery. There were meltdown moments when I allowed myself to think about how well I had trained up to this point, especially when the NJ Marathon was mentioned (I must say, the race organizers are extremely efficient about sending frequent reminders that the race is ONLY 'X' WEEKS AWAY!!!).

But life goes on. I eventually picked myself up and started making plans again. No, no races yet! But I decided a new bike would cheer me up.

DH and I have been planning to buy bikes for a while. I was well aware that the sensible choice for a first bike would be a hybrid (I want to be able to ride on trails as well as roads; it wouldn't hurt to practice riding a regular bike before I graduate to a super fast, super light road bike, if I ever do; and there is also the small issue of price). We started at Sports Authority, where DH almost immediately found a bike he liked, a sturdy mountain bike that could have passed for a hybrid. I wanted to shop further.
A visit to Bike n' Gear in Somerset left me lusting after those sleek, streamlined masterpieces on wheels that could be easily lifted with half a finger. The service manager Tony was very helpful...he, along with a few long-time customers, all passionate triathletes/cyclists, fed me lots of information on bikes, racing and traithlons, the difference between road bikes, triathlon bikes and cyclo-cross bikes...my head was swimming as I left the store, longingly clutching a Road 2010 catalog.

A few minutes in the fresh air and the fog cleared. I don't have a clue about the basics of triathlons. I would love to try one out some day, but my first love is and will be running. Among other things, I love the simplicity in running. Just lace up your shoes and you're ready to go. Biking is way too technical for me. I like biking for fun and may end up loving it, but I am definitely not ready to get myself one of those fancy schmancy road bikes yet.

DH got a kick out of the possibility that I may at some point attempt a triathlon on a hybrid bike...he said he would fit my bike out with a cute little bell, so I could warn other riders I was coming. I said that wouldn't be necessary...I am not going to be passing anyone on a hybrid bike!

So, back to Sports Authority, to pick up Beau...

Though the joy of owning a new bike was slightly diluted by the bevy of magnificient and slightly-pompous looking road bikes staring at me out of the catalog on my coffee table, I am thrilled with Beau. And I am looking forward to taking him out for a spin after this latest downpour clears.

18 comments:

ajh said...

Love the look of your new bike, Have fun on it. Sorry about your injury. How frustrating.

Abby said...

I love Beau!! I wish you a long and injury-free relationship together.

D10 said...

Sorry to hear about the injuries. Congrats on the bike. Biking is really a lot of fun and a great work out. I bet triathlons will be in your future for sure.

lauren said...

SO frustrating! very sorry to hear about the injury. Hope you enjoy biking - I need to get more biking in asap. Have a 62 mile ride in May.

I Run for Fun said...

Thanks for the encouragement, guys. Lauren, wow! 62 miles! What bike do you own?

Marlene said...

Oh no, I'm so sorry to read abotu your injury. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

Nice new wheels! I recently bought myself a hybrid as well. I also don't expect to be passing anyone... going fast scares me!

lauren said...

To show how much I have been riding/training lately - I am not even sure of the model I have. It is a Cervelo road bike and I bought it through a friend of a friend a few years ago. It was slightly used, but perfect size for me. Just typing this is - I am realizing that I HAVE to plan a long ride this weekend. Need to get my legs ready.

Heather said...

So sorry to hear about the injuries! I have a hybrid and I'm attempting a triathlon with it . . . :)

I Run for Fun said...

Yay! Thanks for that, Heather...you have given me hope. Maybe I should try out a few bike races...

Erica said...

Sorry to hear about the injury- what a bummer! Keep working on the strength/cross training. Hopefully you'll be back feeling tip top in no time! BEAUTIFUL bike! I kind of want one..

Mica said...

Oh no, I'm sorry to hear about the injury! Isn't it weird what an emotional toll it can take on you?

I wish I had something cool to say about your bike, but I am bike-stupid. It looks like a nice one, though!

Beth said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you are injured! Your training was going so well. Bummer!! Your new bike is beautiful and I hope it helps you feel better.

lindsay said...

that is a major bummer about all your hard training falling apart :-/ hope you are able to keep-keeping your head up - there will always be another one, right?

hey my hybrid bike came with a little bell haha. don't knock it! i don't know if i have 0 cycling-fitness or what, but it seemed SO HARD to ride my hybrid on "just" a commute to work. my fiance got a "real" road bike and he would just zip up the hills, no problem (and i am, of course, a much stronger runner and therefore in better shape cough cough). so i don't know if i should blame it on myself or the bike ;) anyway, it's still good for an alternate workout - as long as the weather cooperates!

I Run for Fun said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I Run for Fun said...

Good point, Lindsay. I will soon find out about my cycling fitness! And like you said, hybrid or road bike, it is still a great workout.

X-Country2 said...

What a sexy bike! Beautiful.

Ali said...

Hope your injury is healing. Take care and I love the new bike.

Irene said...

I tried to comment last week but blogger wouldn't let me... Grrrr..

I am really feeling you on the injury thing, as I'm sure you know about my ordeal, too. Just like you, I was feeling fit and getting to the top of my game when my injury happened. Keep us posted on what type of shoes you end up with or what you do. I'm finally getting custom orthotics, and I HOPE they work.

Sweet new ride!