So last week I was in Clermont, Florida riding my bike. Instead of my super short commutes and running errands by bike, I was logging 50+ km a day in some pretty hilly territory.
I use my Garmin bike computer to track rides. It uploads rides to my phone where both Garmin Connect and Strava provide analysis. See above.
I’m also letting Google Fit track my activity. It counts steps and active minutes, sets goals, and provides commentary. See below.
What’s amusing is the different tones they take. Strava is all about bike training. In serious tones I’m told that my mileage has taken a substantial jump and I should be cautious about overtraining. That was even after our rest day!
GoogleFit is all positive thinking. “What workout! You deserve a break.” But that sounds like it would also be okay if I didn’t take one. It’s just cheering me on.
My own ‘rest day’ motivation was something else entirely. I wanted to enjoy all 5 days of riding. For me that means taking a break. I wasn’t really worried about overtraining. But I also didn’t take a break because I’d earned it. I’d rather ride more. If I were a stronger rider in January I’d rather ride all 5 days. But I’m not and so I didn’t and I’m okay with that.
There’s so much that’s difficult about the holidays but one of the things I love is getting gifts from my family members. That may seem obvious. What’s not to like about new shiny stuff? But what I love are the identity affirming aspects of gift giving. These are the gifts that say, I see you, I know you.
What’s relevant to the blog are the gifts that recognize sporty me. I got sailing booties and a spray top from Sarah. I love the feminist fitness themed t-shirts I got from university age son. See above. And Jeff got my commuting bike in order for winter riding with snow tires and fenders. Part of the gift was putting them on.
The winter bike tires aren’t studded. They’re more like car tires. Here’s the Mountain Equipment Co-op description: “Studless tires for northern winter, these ones grip when other cyclists are left spinning their wheels. Hundreds of lamellae (tiny biting edges, like those found on gecko’s feet) interlock with slick road surfaces.”
I’m looking forward to trying them out.
Did you get any fitness-y gifts that recognize your sporty self? Please tell us about them in the comments.
I’ve just emerged from a couple of solid days in the kitchen (a treat for me, since I love to cook and don’t usually have time to make it a priority).
Sam posted the other day about pacing yourself after the holidays. But since by my count we still have a week of revelry to go, I thought it might not be too late to post about pacing yourself during the holidays.
I’m not talking about food, though of course there is that. No shortage of magazine articles telling us how to deal with holiday parties and cookie exchanges and a time of year when it seems we’re surrounded by delicious food almost every where we go. My advice on that isn’t all that helpful: eat it.
I’m more interested in pacing ourselves activity-wise. For some of us, when the routine gets thrown sideways, even by good things, it’s…
It’s not even December 1 and I have been seeing a non-stop stream of ads, posts and recommended links on all manner of cleanses. Some are short, some are long, some are liquid, and some are minimal. All are useless.
Timothey Caulfield at the University of Alberta debunks the latest holiday cleanses in this article. Caulfield writes:
The idea that we need to cleanse and detoxify our bodies seems to have become a culturally accepted fact. This feels especially true around the holidays which are associated with heavy foods and even heavier shame about what that turkey and gravy and wine might be doing to our insides. After a weekend of indulgence, wellness gurus cry, your body is begging for a detox. But is it?
While there is something to be said for countering a week (or two) of indulgence with lighter fare, unless you were born liver-less or you lost your liver along the way, the human body has its own detox system right inside you: the aforementioned liver and kidneys.
There’s a huge market out there and if you build it, make it, sell it, they will come. The promises are endless but the long and short of it is simple: today’s cleanses and detox programs are primarily designed to relieve you of your money.
The sellers of these cleanses rely on fear and vanity, and also on society’s preoccupation on thinness. The messages are often wrapped upin social beliefs about health and wellness.
We empower people to take charge of their health, especially women who are often responsible for managing their well being along with those of their families. Who wants to be known as someone who does not care about their health? Not me.
While the social imperative to diet, to cleanse, to eat clean is present year-round, there seems to be special pressure in December to do any number of things to ensure we have the perfect body.
All the ads I have seen lead me to believe that we must cleanse the body the same way we cleanse our homes for special occasions this time of year. In January, when the new year has begun and we barely have had time to vacuum the pine needles and expunge the last piece of glitter from our homes, we get a different chorus but still with the same tune.
I suggest, if we are to cleanse anything, it is these sorts of unhelpful and unhealthy approaches to wellness.
So if you are confused and challenged by all that you see, remember this: everything in moderation. Your body will do what it needs to do. Fuel it appropriately. Move lots (preferably outside if it isn’t blowing a gale). Get lots of sleep. Drink lots of water. Have fun.
In my no excuses winter cycling plan I talked about making big summer cycling commitments as one of the ways I motivate myself to train for cycling through the cold snowy months of winter.
I thought I’d share those summer commitments with you. Now I’m doubly committed. I planned to do the thing and I told you about it.
In May Sarah, Jeff, and I kick things off with the Five Boros Bike Tour.
“The Five Boro Bike Tour is an annual recreational cycling event in New York City. It is produced by Bike New York. Conducted on the first Sunday of May, the 40-mile ride includes over 30,000 riders. The route takes riders through all five of New York’s boroughs and across five major bridges.”
Here’s Kim and Sarah R and me and Sarah lining up at the start.
June is our biggest thing. We’re doing a ten day bike tour of the northwest coast of Newfoundland. It’s a lot of riding, a lot of hills, and also likely some rain. It’s June 29-July 8. So far it’s Sarah, Cate, David and me. But if you’re interested, sign up!
On August 11 we’re doing the One Day Friends for Life Bike Rally. Sponsor me here.
I’ve had some great holiday running streaks. See here and here and here.
But I’ve said a sad goodbye to running. I still struggle see here. When Running World put out their annual call to streak, I shared it on our Facebook page and said I wouldn’t be joining in.
What’s the #RWRunStreak? The rules are simple: Run at least one mile per day, every day, starting on Thanksgiving (November 22) and ending on New Year’s Day (January 1). That’s 41 consecutive days of running.
And then it hit me. I could do a bike version. Ride everyday from November 22 to January 1. I laid out my winter options here.
I’m going to count riding outside (obviously) but also spin classes and riding on the bike trainer. 41 days in a row of riding over the holidays. I’m in.
Join me? (You can do your own version. Running, biking, swimming, whatever. You choose.)
I’ve never stayed at a resort before. Weird, I know.
But going south in the winter isn’t something I’d ever done before last year’s cruise. And going south in October? No way.
But Sarah’s work was having a celebration of a successful year and so I found myself in Mexico on Canadian Thanksgiving weekend at a resort just outside Cancun.
Fitness? I’m swimming, of course. But I was also happy to see that the resort had bikes. Nice ones, even. And they offered guided rides every morning at 9:30. Yes, it was a zillion degrees with lots of humidity there was a good ocean breeze and the paths that wound around the resort were reasonably well shaded. Usually we’d been driven around by the staff on golf carts so it felt nice to see the place under our own steam.
We got to see some cool old ranch buildings that were abandoned after Hurricane Wilma and nature had taken over them. But the highlight of my ride was the iguana on the path. I know they’re common but I’ve got a soft spot for lizards.
Everything you need to know about iguanas. A sign at the resort on the path.