Back To (A New) Normal (Catchin’ Up – Part V)

One week after my stent procedure, I was back to my normal weekday evening ride/run/ride routine. I wouldn’t be starting the new Ornish program for another week, but I was already preparing to get ready for a new normal “diet” by experimenting with a vegetarian meals.

Well… except for cleaning up on what was already in the refrigerator.

Prior to moving to West Asheville in mid February and having the stent procedure just a few weeks later, my work week typically looked something like this:

  • Monday: Ride 5 miles to Jus’ Running. Do group run of 4-6 miles at moderate pace. Ride home.
  • Tuesday: Ride varying distance to either Tuesday Brewsday (location varies) or RADAss Run (New Belgium). Do group run of 4-5 miles at easy/moderate pace. Have a beer (or two). Ride home.
  • Wednesday: Ride or run 2 miles to Highland Brewing Run Club. Do group run of either 3.1 or 4.5 miles. Have a pint (or two). Ride or run home.
  • Thursday: Ride 5 miles to either Wedge Run or Funkatorium Run. Do group run of either 6-8 (Wedge) or 4 (Funk) miles. Have a pint (or two). Ride home.

This is what I call “ride/run/ride”. I use the bike both to extend my cardio endurance without the impact on the legs from longer runs, and as a warm up/cool down. I’ve been doing it for a few years now and it seems to be pretty effective. I would do at least three of these if not all four, every week, week in and week out, year round, in pretty much any weather. Variations on the evening would be eating out somewhere, including beer, but if not I’d bake a frozen pizza or otherwise nuke something packaged and only marginally healthy. So despite all the activity, I would constantly struggle with my weight.

After moving to West Asheville, there were a number of changes. First, the distances to the run locations changed, although only a little bit. Second, the Jus’ Running Monday run is on hiatus for a while. Third, my eating habits are changing significantly. And finally, there’s a new woman in my life that has changed the dynamic of my run groups… and for the better.

As an aside, I’m not sure how personal I want to make this journal, with regards to relationships, but I will say that I am dating someone who is an active hiker and has also started running in the past couple months. Based on our experience in a relatively short period of time, it is clear that Monte is going to be a signficant part of my life for the foreseeable future, so it would be difficult to leave her out of my descriptions of events.

Here’s how the new “normal” weekly ride/run routine is shaping up:

 

  • Monday: Ride 6 miles to Bent Creek. Do group trail run of 6-8 miles at moderate to hard pace (hills!). Ride home to cook dinner and do stress reduction practice.
  • Tuesday: Ride varying distance to either Tuesday Brewsday (location varies) or RADAss Run (New Belgium). Do group run of 4-5 miles at easy/moderate pace. Have a beer (or none) with the group and Monte. Ride home or throw bike in Monte’s car. Home to cook dinner for two and do stress reduction practice.
  • Wednesday: Ride 9 or 18 (BRP long route) miles to Highland Brewing Run Club. Do group (including Monte) run of either 3.1 or 4.5 miles. Have a pint (or none). Throw bike in Monte’s car. Home to cook dinner for two and do stress reduction practice.
  • Thursday: Ride 5 miles to either Wedge Run or Funkatorium Run. Do group run of either 6-8 (Wedge) or 4 (Funk) miles. Have a pint (or none). Ride or run home.

More or less same run destinations, with the exception of Monday’s, but the drinking the eating and drinking habits have changed and stress management practices have been added. I’ll describe more about those in future posts.

The ultimate point of this story is that just seven days after my procedure I did a full week of ride/run/ride with no negative consequences.

Ahhhh… it felt good to be back to the new normal.

And I was about ready to do my first “run” event that weekend.