Winding Down

Despite my upcoming century, or metric century, in Bar Harbor on October 5th, I feel my cycling season is really winding down.

Gone is the desire to hit the road hard. My inclination to ride for hours is fading fast like the light in the evening autumn sky.

Belgium Kneewarmers wrote a great post on it recently. It only confirms my need to take some time off before hitting the gym later this fall.

For now my focus has changed. I’ve started walking in the evenings with my husband recently and I’m happy to report it’s the highlight of my day. It gives us a chance to be together and talk, without the distraction of the TV, email or the internet. From these walks we have had some wonderful discussions, most about cycling or what’s going on in our separate lives at our respective offices.

I’ve enjoyed these walks so much that I’ve skipped a few group rides for a brisk walk with him. Interestingly enough, this has even been a guilt free decision, even when I see the ride group pass us while we are on our walk. I should have also trusted my instinct Monday and skipped that ride too.

The walks certainly aren’t as intense as the efforts I put in on the the bike. However, I feel the lower intensity efforts are doing me a great deal of good. I’m using muscles different from those I use on the bike and it must be helping stretch out my hips a bit.

The only issue I’ve had with walking was a discomfort in my foot. I’ve recently purchased a new pair of sneaks for the activity, which seems to be helping after just one jaunt.

Our next step will be to add in some intervals of running. Or I should say jogging. I have no desire to run at this point – I’ll save that for mid-winter cross training and ramping up my fitness for the spring season. Jogging will be just enough to step up the pace a bit for more leg strength while still maintaining a somewhat low heart rate.

I can’t imagine walking could be considered real cross training for me. Running would, but not walking. Still, it’s a good way to continue to be active, especially in the company of my husband.

I’m still on the bike periodically for now by commuting to work. I’ll also be riding on the weekends with club members throughout the fall, up until the snow flies. When I’m on the bike I’ll be more aware of enjoying the fresh air, scenery and the companionship of my friends than I will of my heart rate, cadence and average speed.

What about you? Will you also be taking some recovery time this fall? Turning off your alarm and making up for lost time with your family?

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