I've been trying to squeeze in double workouts as much as possible this past week, meaning I bike, then swim. Eventually I'll combine them, so that I swim first, then hop on my bike, but for now I usually have a few hours between workouts, which is perfectly fine, since I'm still in rehab. The main limitation for me in the past few months has been what my knee will handle. At first even 30 minutes of very light spinning caused it to swell and become painful, so 90% of my riding has been just getting the knee to flex and extend over and over again for 30 minutes. Which means that I have to go maddeningly slow and a maddeningly small gear. This all changed yesterday.
I'd had a peek at a longer spin earlier, and I was worried that I'd pay for it, but I got home and iced and didn't hear from my knee for the rest of the day. Aha.... my NEXT ride would be a full hour I thought, and it will be GREAT. Then, life stepped in and projects around the house needed doing, the rain and wind howled, kid needed to be entertained, and I just couldn't envision riding for an hour on my clunky old road bike in the basement.
Well, the stars were aligned yesterday and I got my hour long ride in, and I even snuck out of the granny gear and spun along the flats for a bit at a decent pace. I was religious about gearing down when I felt pressure on my knee, and actually finished the ride under an hour, so I tooled around a few neighborhoods until my time was up. Again, I iced the knee and it was very quiet all day. During the day, my neighbor and I decided to run the first annual Brookview Terrace Kids Mini Triathlon, to amuse our children. My daughter and her daughter are going to participate in the Fronhofer Kids Tri on Saturday and we thought they should have a taste of what it's going be be like. Along the way, we seemed to collect 4 more children, until, at the end of run stage, I think I had 9 kids at my house! I shooed them all home minutes before my friend Lisa showed up for our swim at Lake Desolation (coined Lake Destination by my daughter, who at 8 is still coming up with funny malpropisms).
The swim should have been great, the water was warm, there were plenty of people, and when I have a double workout, in the past, I am usually loose and relaxed for the second workout. This time, I fought it the entire way. My stroke was short and choppy, and I kept inhaling water. I was 2 minutes slower than last week, a clear indication I wasn't swimming efficiently. I also was hungry. I don't remember ever thinking about food while I swam, but tonight, that's all I could think of! When I finished, I swam with the kids for a bit, then we all headed up to the deck at Tinney's to eat dinner and watch the sun go down on the lake. A lovely young couple and their 16 mo old daughter joined us. They had recently moved here from Florida and were both looking for jobs in the area. The view and the conversation and the baby's antics were enough to distract us from our nearly hour wait for our order. Tinney's is immensely popular on Thursday!
I noticed that I was unusually tired when I got home, but I still wasn't aware of the cause. When I fell into bed I had a minute to reflect on the day. It was then I remembered what this overall tiredness was. I finally exerted enough effort for a long enough time to tire my body out, I remember this! The tiredness was GOOD! The combination of riding and swimming did it, I finally hit on an intensity level that tired me out but didn't negatively affect my knee. This is tremendous.
Today, I will enjoy the overall muscle soreness, because it is a sign of good things, not injury. It's time to start training.