“A learning experience is one of those things that say, ‘You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.’”
– Douglas Adams
March was a downer month for a few reasons.
First, the 60-degree days in February spoiled me into expecting similar, if not better, weather heading into March. Instead, this seemed to have more cold days and even more snowy days than February.
Second, I also had a slight health issue that derailed training for a period of time in March. Around the middle of the March, a weekend training ride (Dream Wars and Butt Hurt) resulted in a slight twinge in my upper left calf that was all too familiar when thinking back to RTYD III. This time was not nearly as bad as the calf injury that almost caused the cancellation of RTYD III, but given my history with the injury, I decided to take an extremely cautious approach, cutting my biking down almost completely and even halting my weekly walking regimen. In the interim, I tried all sorts of different methodologies to try to get the calf back in shape and began questioning my bike shop about potential posture issues leading to this specific spot of my calf acting up. They did not have any answers so the questions still persist. After a lost weekend of biking and a slow ramp up, I was able to get back on track for the last weekend training in March.
The next weekend training rides will take place at the start of April and should be 75 and 45 miles in length.
One good thing about the lost weekend is that my goal of getting to 100 and 50 should not be overly affected as I have about three or four weekends to play with before the long ride. At this current pace, the following weekends should play out as follows:
April 1st – 75 and 45
April 8th – 80 and 50
April 15th – 85 and 50
April 22nd – Rest (D.C. Sex Differences Conference/March for Science)
April 29th – 90 and 50
May 6th – 95 and 50
May 13th – 100 and 50
May 20th – 100 and 70
May 27th – 100 and 80
June 3nd – 100 and 90
June 10th – 100 and 100
June 17th – 125 and 100
June 24rd – 150 and 125
July 1th – 150 and 100
July 8th – 50 and 50
July 15th – Rest (weekend before big ride)
Once I hit the 100-mile mark for one weekend ride, everything is subject to change in terms of what the best approach is for training on that second day. So right now, this is the general structure I am aiming for but I may switch it up if I feel it’s necessary.
In terms of total miles, March did not hit the standard because of the lost week of biking. However, the ability to get back on track the following weekend and hit the goal of 70 and 40 (in reverse from my original training plan of long ride\short ride for Saturday and Sunday, respectively) was very good, as I highlighted in that weekend post. On the bright side, I still managed to get more miles in March than February #thoseextrathreedays.
Overall, not a great month, but not a terrible one either. Moving forward, I know that I can take some time off and still get back on and moving.
One real positive that comes out of the month of March is my weight status. Heading into January, I was well above my ideal weight coming off a crazy stint of 16-hour work days for most of the month of December, which was accompanied by terrible eating habits. So, once I decided to embark on this notion of biking to New York, I doubled down on getting my weight back to ideal status. The goal was 170 pounds by the end of March and I feel rather confident that I reached that goal not because I hit my goal weight once during the month of March but because I have consistently stayed around 170 pounds plus or minus 2 for close to two weeks.
The goals for April are quite simple: Don’t stress my calf and keep adding miles to the weekend rides.
I also would like to get more efficient in my pedaling. I am not sure how best to measure this because I do not have a power meter and going by average speed is not really adequate because of factors like traffic and wind and the like. But, even if I subjectively felt like I had more power and speed throughout the month compared to March, that would be a good accomplishment.
Another goal is to finally get a ride in while just wearing shorts. I’m not sure that one is in my control, though.