And I would do well to remember that.
When, at mile 2, you start burping and belching, you know something is wrong. We cheaped out tonight, got lazy, and got pizza for dinner. Now, I could make excuses about having company here, or having no food in the house due to lack of proper shopping, or what-have-you, but instead I’ll just own up to it and say: We got pizza tonight and it was not good workout food.
Yesterday, today, and for the next couple of weeks, I’ll be biking with my friend Greg. He’s in much better shape than I am, due to a less slovenly lifestyle and also being a mailman. My intense biking workout is, to him, a pleasant evening stroll. Still, he gamely coasts along behind me, even though I can feel him itching to plow ahead on the pedals and turn it into a real workout. It’s nice to have someone along, even though it reminds me how far I have to go. But that’s a good thing.
Tonight’s ride was definitely better than the last, pace-wise. My technique is not to set any speed records, but to make sure that I am pedaling and working for the entire ride; I’ve found a good gear setting which makes it relatively high resistance on flat ground but doesn’t completely exhaust me. I can maintain my pedaling at a fairly consistent rate (the goal, if you look at my BuddyRunner charts, it to maintain as flat a “pace” line as possible–that indicates consistency over the miles). The idea is that I will eliminate the bike as a variable by keeping it at the same gear whether it is optimal or not. Any increases in pace can therefore be seen as improvements to my own power and speed rather than optimization of the machine I’m using.
The way I see it, if I can pedal for basically the whole ride, I’m getting a good workout. My muscle fatigue and dripping sweat tell me that I am indeed working out.