This is just plain and simple more fun.
This is kind of about drinking a Dr. Pepper after going for a run. Don’t worry, it’s not about slacking off and going on a junk food and video game binge for pure enjoyment (though, that does sound appealing).
Partway through the summer, I realized that I had completely stopped running. I was doing a pretty good job at this (though I don’t exactly enjoy it) through the winter, running to work at least once a week and then doing a group run on the weekend. With all the riding I’ve been doing to work this summer though, and with all the lovely weather we’ve had in the past couple of months, I hadn’t run since February… until last week. You see, I’d been putting it off. I knew I hadn’t been running, and I knew that I was reaping tremendous fitness benefits from the cross-training running was providing, but it was too late. It had been too long, and I knew I would have to work myself back into it.
I also knew that this would take time, recovery time. So I didn’t care, I just kept riding. Getting out of work to 30 degrees and sun outside with mostly east winds meant glorious long commutes home through wonderful Calgary pathways… with a tail wind. Winter loves to beat me down with cold and headwinds, so the warmth coupled with the conditions made for some purely glorious rides. My fitness was and is excellent, but I was no longer getting the boost of the cross training, but I also didn’t care. I just kept riding because it was so nice out. I knew I was setting myself up for an eventual fall…
Well, last week I bit the bullet, and I ran to work. I was slow, but it felt pretty good to get back out and burn the muscles that way. I also felt pretty good for the rest of that day. I woke up the next day, and I couldn’t walk. No joint problems or anything, just every single muscle in the lower half of my body collectively yelling at me “dude, what was that?!” So I suffered. For two days I couldn’t walk, and on the third day, it was just a medium burn, so I rode to work again to try and loosen things up further. I was at the point where that really sped up the rest of the recovery, and I had a great ride to work and a very strong ride home. I survived, but it was still two days that I wasn’t able to ride to work.
Fast forward to this week, and we were supposed to get rain on Tuesday afternoon. I had been considering riding, but I decided to run again. I don’t mind riding in the rain at all, but I was feeling lazy about it and I can’t run home (I run in, then bus home), so I figured I’d use the junky weather in the afternoon to have a lazy home commute instead of dealing with weather on the bike. I figured week 2 of running would be mostly normal given my fitness base, but again for two days I couldn’t ride. The pain wasn’t as horrible this week, but it was still bad enough that I wanted to give my legs a bit of recovery before putting them to work again. I rode again today to help speed up the end of the recovery, and that felt pretty good (though still fatigued).
The fact is, in the last two weeks, I gave up four days of potential riding to recovery from 2 hours worth of running. That’s what I was avoiding all summer, and it was totally worth it.
Next week, the process will continue. Hopefully, I can run one day and ride the next, soon, and then I just need to keep it up.
I love you.
So muscle pain hasn’t been the only pain I’ve been experiencing this week. When I was busy on my first fitness journey last year, I decided to kick pop out of my diet for a month, just to prove I could do it. So I did. I lost a ton of weight, then started drinking pop again, and the weight loss continued at the same rate. So why stop drinking it?
Why do I drink pop? It’s tasty, and I like it, and I want to. I think I’ve gotten pretty unhealthy about it again, though. When I started drinking it again, I was having three or four pops a week. Now sometimes I have three a day. I like it, but that’s probably just a bit too much. So, I’ve decided to kick it again for a bit (club soda is the exception, but I’m pretty sure it’s sugar-free). Yes I enjoy it, but there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing, and so now I punish myself for a bit.
What’s this have to do with pain? Well, I don’t drink coffee. But I do drink a lot of pop. Pepsi and Dr. Pepper mostly. So, it turns out those drinks have caffeine (which I knew). So, in addition to not being able to walk, I am also going through caffeine withdrawal, which means lots of drowsiness and headaches. Nice.
Oh well, I just need to train myself to not drink so much of it again, and soon enough I’ll be enjoying a cold glass with my nachos. Those are healthy, right?