Week 23: Adventures on the Homefront

Despite having lived in DC for almost 13 years, this place never ceases to provide opportunities to try new things. Case in point, this week.

  • Stand Up Paddleboarding Race Training: Yes, that’s right. Of course I had to turn it into a race. I’ve been SUPing for over four years but mostly to relax on the water, be social, and realize that ankle stability is something I am lacking. Back in 2013, I did a SUP-run race, and spent the entire time focusing on not falling into the Potomac. But Coach Mary started racing SUP last summer and says it’s great cross-training, so when I saw that Potomac Paddlesports offers weekly training classes, I signed up. Sure, I just own an inflatable board and plastic paddle, but fitness translates, right? Well…fitness may translate. Gear and technique do not. Major kudos to the instructors and fellow students (who all had multiple years of racing under their belts) for showing me the ropes. I’ll be back tomorrow!
  • Mountain Bike Commuting: You know the conversation: “Traffic is terrible!” “Well, if you’re in your car, you’re part of the problem!” “My office/home isn’t metro-accessible and I can’t bike there.” “No one forced you to live/work there.” Etc. There’s no easy answer, just a lot of possible (partial) solutions. When I lived downtown and worked closer to a bike path, I bike commuted 32 miles round trip fairly regularly. But now I live further away, on top of a big hill, near road construction, and work at an office without easy bike access. Unless you’re on a mountain bike. Which I now own. Suddenly, it was a whole new ball game. I was able to navigate the Southwest Waterfront construction site without batting an eye and spent the majority of the ride on the C&O Canal Towpath. Rather than gridlock on the freeway, I got to hang out with geese, ducks, and a heron. I’ll take it.
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Thankfully, there are showers at work.
  • Metronome Running: As a preview to a future blog post, I recently had a run gait analysis done at Rose Physical Therapy, and learned that my cadence is too low, I over-stride, and I push from my quads and not my glutes. The PT gave me some drills and visualizations, as well as recommended I run with a metronome to lock into the proper cadence. First the good news: it’s significantly faster (approximately :30/mile) and much easier on the quads, therefore less likely to induce soreness. However, my body is responding to the changes by jacking up my heart rate. I didn’t use my heart rate monitor for the first few runs and guessed it was around 10 beats higher, but it was actually more like 20-25. Yikes. I’m sure it will come down as I adjust, though.
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Don’t let the blurry feet fool you; my cadence was actually quite slow.
  • Running Book Club: Pacers, a local running store, is piloting a summer book club focusing on run-themed books. The first event was tonight, featuring the author (and daughter, and wife) of My Year of Running Dangerously. I thought the book was thoroughly enjoyable, and the author was even better in person! The event was recorded, so definitely check it out.
  • Bees: We got new pets on Friday morning. I met them on Friday evening after work. As did our mail carrier.

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So yeah, that was my week. Anyone else have local adventures to report?

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