Saturday, April 2, 2011

Starting the month off right

Let the month of alternate transportation and exercise begin!

As mentioned in a previous post, I have made it my goal to bike/run more miles than I drive in my car for the month of April. I turned my car on long enough this morning to write the mileage down (118,015) and then promptly turned it off again, hoping I won't have to use it for a while.

I'm actually kind of excited about this. Not only will it give me an excuse to exercise more, but it'll save me some money AND bring focus to my daily routine. Instead of finding ways to procrastinate around my apartment, I'll keep this goal in mind and try to find ways to pad my mileage.

If April Fool's Day was any indication, it should be a good month. I kicked off the month with a bike ride out to Minneopa Falls and back (approximate route here, the new Minneopa Trail still doesn't show up on maps). After that, I checked out some of the parks in town to see how they're recovering from the floods (Land of Memories disc golf course is sort of accessible ... by kayak) and headed over to the Y for a workout.

Grand totals for the first day: 24 miles biking, 3 miles running and NO miles in my car. Once the flood levels go down and all the snow melts off the trails, it's only going to get easier to plot out long rides.

Mileage padding will definitely be needed in the early going. After writing up the initial blog post on this little goal of mine, I remembered that I volunteered to be a pace-runner for a 100-mile race a friend of mine is doing next week.

In the spirit of my goal, this wouldn't seem like a bad thing to recall. After all, pace-running at 10-minute miles is a pretty painless way to tack on some extra distance (I normally rotate between 6:30 and 7-minute miles on runs, so a 10-minute pace should be cake). Besides, I get to help a friend get through a grueling race by running alongside of him for the toughest part of it. I call that a worthy trip.

However, the race isn't exactly a local affair. It's the Zumbro 100, which takes place in Wabasha, roughly 115 miles away. Definitely not an easy distance on bike, and even less feasible considering that I have to run 10 miles once I reach my destination.

Ironman triathletes might eat those distances for breakfast (mmmm mileage!), but that's one cardio buffet I don't care to digest. I felt like crap after biking back to Mankato from Red Wing in one day last fall, and I'd rather not repeat that if I can help it. I know my physical limitations, and a Wabasha bike trip goes well beyond them.

So my mode of transportation then turns to my car, with the trip likely to require 250+ miles of driving. I normally wouldn't make anything of a road trip like this, especially since I'm helping a friend in the process.

However, with my monthly goal to consider, it means I will have to put on some serious miles to make up for it.

Memo to Mankato drivers: Get used to the sight of a Kuwahara road bike being out and about.

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