Lessons learned from a habitual outdoor runner

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A beautiful Sunday morning ride

Have you seen the early morning sky the last few days? The moon has been awesome to see on these clear mornings, plus there are some other bright objects (like Venus) still in view before the sun breaks the horizon.

This past Sunday (7/5), was one of those nice mornings where traffic was light and the weather was very reasonable. Under these conditions I was able to travel on a few roads I normally wouldn’t in fear of being a traffic casualty. I found myself pedaling to the next town over, then riding the country roads home as the sun was rising in my face.

Many people dislike the flat-land Midwest, however, I have grown to appreciate it, even more since I began my outdoor exercise journey more than eight years ago.

The new helmet with the built-in visor/goggles proved to be of value on a longer ride as well, as it is nice not having to struggle with sunglasses. So many things to be grateful for. Ride on!

December 2019 updates

There’s a fine line between wisdom and zeal. I ran 2 miles today. Slow, but a run nonetheless. It actually felt pretty good on the knees, this is where wisdom comes in. After being over zealous in September and making the decision to try a 6-mile run too soon after an injury which left me without running for three months I may have learned my lesson.

The desire to run longer and farther was there this morning, but the discipline of the last few months had me stop at two-miles and go for a bike ride to complete my workout.

Speaking of the bike(s), I’m learning more about the care-and-feeding of a bike and had to replace the bottom bracket bearing set on Goose after 1900 miles or so. Previously, I had not worked this extensively on a bicycle so it was new territory in parts and tools. The Internet is always helpful when learning new things so after learning about it I ordered the parts and tools. Things came together pretty well and I was able to get Goose back in action.

While Goose was down and out waiting for repair I purchased a cheap bike from Walmart I named Kermit (see Goose and Kermit below). It’s a long story, but I would have to agree with the majority of the Internet concerning the “Walmart bike” as they really don’t know how to assemble them well. Perhaps I’ll do a separate post about the department store bike experience.

Kermit helped bridge the gap while Goose was down and now I’m thankful to have a backup bike when necessary. You may be thinking, isn’t that expensive to have two bikes? Kermit was $110 and Goose was $170. My shoe expense was about $125 a quarter when I was running every day, so I didn’t see this as an outlandish expense. Perhaps I do rationalize and say these costs are quite a bit cheaper than my copay at the physicians office was starting to accumulate before I decided to take control of my health, so there are other ways to think about it. 🙂

So I’m back to riding Goose when the roads are decent and I’m full of gratitude to ride and run this much in December as it’s been a mild month here in the Midwest.

1st below freezing ride of 2019

It was great to go for a bike ride after several days of rainy and blustery conditions. Walking is alright, but you really can’t get an aerobic workout very easily. Obviously, there are obstacles and challenges to deal with riding a bike in cold weather. Clothing seems to take the longest to get right.

I opted to layer cotton and polyester with one layer being a thicker thermal shirt, then the outer shell being my Work-n-Sport coat then finally my reflective shirt. With a scarf around my neck and a thin hat under the helmet, it actually worked pretty well. I was cold at first, but within a mile or so I had generated enough heat around the torso to expand the ride outside of town and into the fields a few miles.

With two pair of socks on in my leather boots and wind pants, the lower body remained reasonably comfortable. The toes did a little complaining after about 10 miles, but weren’t brutally cold. I’m not exactly a fitness magazine model, but I’m able to keep riding a bit longer outside, for which I am grateful!

The first significant heat advisory this summer (July 19, 2019)

A lot of folks still exercise outdoors when the weather turns hot, that doesn’t make it easy! Wow, my running clothes were as wet as when I get caught in a rainstorm.

Yet, still, I am grateful to have the opportunity to run, and to sweat, breathe, and the freedom to move about. Many people don’t share the health and freedoms I am thankful for. So yes, the next several mornings will be wet-n-sweaty so let’s make the best of them. Be safe and enjoy your blessings!

March-April 2019 Run Stats

Here are the statistics for March and April 2019. Things are fairly consistent in spite of the varied Springtime weather. The weather fluctuates so much this time of year that I go from winter to summer gear overnight, literally! One day I’ll have 3-layers on in a below freezing wind-chill to the next day wearing short-sleeves only. I’m thankful to have the clothing options and gear to meet the challenge.

March 2019
April 2019

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