Less than three weeks to go until Race Day!! This means that we soon get to the “tapering” phase of training, where workouts are short and there are even rest days built into the schedule (as opposed to the rest days I take all the time when I can’t fit in a workout). I like the tapering phase, not just because I still get to eat a lot (I’m race-fueling, after all), but because it means that I’ve nearly completed my goal. There’s always a point in the training season when I get tired of it – tired of showering at the gym more than at my house, tired of getting up early every Saturday morning, tired of bike rides in the rain. Last week, that’s how I felt. But then we had a great bike/run workout on Saturday. Matt followed the rules: bike, then run, repeat 2-4 times (he did 3 bike loops, including a big hill each time, 4 runs. That’s 31 miles of biking, 8 miles of running. Holy smokes). I’m still getting over my foot issues (plantar fasciitis, or something like it, so I did my own variation on the workout: 3 bikes on the flat route, 1 run. 27 miles of biking, 2 miles of running. Biking 20-30 miles is starting to feel like a good-sized ride rather than an huge one, which is a big deal for me.

In some ways I feel totally prepared for Lavaman, others not as much (see below). But one change I’m noticing from previous race day lead-ups is something I hope I can sustain past the finish line. With my abdominal surgeries, recovery was slow and painful. Each time, moving myself from place to place required a lot of effort. And then, gradually, it wouldn’t. I remember doing activities like hiking and swimming for the first time post-surgery and feeling a rush of gratitude that I was well enough to do anything at all. The human body is amazing in its capacity to repair, and I felt in awe that I could run, ever, after being cut open.  Continue reading


Before the Race

So much for meeting goals with this blog, advertised alternatively as a “training blog” for Matt’s and my Lavaman efforts, and a “regular blog” about my attempts at car-use reduction.  It’s like this blog is a three-speed bike I left out in the rain to rust while I ride my shiny 18-speeder.

My apologies to the faithful blog readers I’ve probably lost by neglecting to post for so long.  But, I’ve been busy, and you all have too, and it’s nice to finally sit down with a cup of tea and write to you.

Not much to report on the car-free front.  I’m on Day 28 or 29.  I’ve lost track.  I’ve fallen off the wagon, though I did take light rail to the airport recently, and I’ve discovered a bus that takes me right from Helen’s preschool to the gym and my office down the street.  A busy writing schedule and training schedule have made me less eager to spend a lot of time waiting for the bus.  And winter has taken its toll on bike commuting: too dark, too cold, too rainy.  I have enough of those conditions when I go out on training rides.  I’m hoping to re-invigorate my efforts when it gets a bit lighter and warmer.  Continue reading