It’s been a while… more than 4 years actually.
After my disappointment over the MIL Half in 2015, I knew I had to make some changes in my training. I spent most of 2016 mentally preparing myself for that change.
Then, in 2017, I made a switch. I started to emphasize strength training over running. I was still running but my mileage dropped significantly and I used it more as a warm up than the main training focus.
You see, I had been intrigued with CrossFit for years. My time unemployed in 2014 allowed me to experience it a bit and I knew I wanted to give it a try but I had been afraid to pull the trigger. I knew enough about working out to know that finding a good box with good instructors was key. If I walked into a CrossFit box and knew more than the instructors, that was going to be a problem.
Then a friend came into town and let me know that there was a free open house event at a CrossFit box not too far from my office. It was a chance to test out the place and instructors for free. So I went and LOVED it. Over the week that followed, I found out, through some other friends, that it was actually a really good place.
I made the decision to go for it. I went through the introductory appointment and the elements training and before I knew it, I was starting my first class.
Luckily the work I had been doing during the first half of the year gave me enough basic strength to be a little more than a complete newbie. I also found the other members to amazingly accepting and encouraging. I felt like I really found a place to belong.
For the rest of 2017 my main form of training was CrossFit. I still ran on occasion and was bike commuting as well. I got stronger and even vastly improved my squat from (a lift I have always had issues with).
I then decided I wanted to put on muscle and knew I was going to have to adjust my nutrition plan so I started to work with a nutrition coach. I continued to get stronger but I was running less and less. Then in the summer of 2018 my shoulder started to really bother me. That September, due to natural life stuff, I was forced to take off most of the month from training. When I was able to get back in the gym, my shoulder started hurting within minutes of starting the workout. I knew whatever was going with my shoulder wasn’t a simple strain like I had thought… it was a full blown injury.
Well, I am no stranger to injury. I went into physical therapy and started running more to keep my fitness. I would lift but focused on the lower body and avoided anything that didn’t feel good with my shoulder (including back squats). I spent a solid 3 months in physical therapy but there was still something wrong.
Off to a chiropractor and massage therapist I went. In all honesty, I probably should have been going to a Chiro/Massage therapist all along for some basic maintenance given how often I work out… but I digress.
Things started to improve and I was able to start doing upper body work. But there was still something off with my shoulder. Certain movements hurt and I just couldn’t do them anymore. Have to admit, there was no love lost over not being able to do a barbell snatch anymore.
Throughout all of this, the CrossFit box was AMAZING. I was able to put my membership on hold while working through everything and then, when I started back up, all of the coaches were amazing with modifications to accommodate my shoulder.
I started to miss running though. And my shoulder still just felt off and I knew something else was wrong. After discussing with my chiro, he suggested a MRI (and hell… I had reached my deductible already so really, it was free).
Turns out I was correct and I did still have some issues with shoulder. Recommended coarse of treatment was a cortisone shot. I opted to take September and October off for the most part. I bike commuted and ran a few times but for the most part, I let my body heal.
November came around and I started to get back into a normal groove. Lifting at my old gym and trying to get my running fitness back. However, the time off that I took in September and October meant my fitness level took a sever hit.
Knowing that Thanksgiving was coming up, I decided I would get my running back on track with a run streak of sorts. Thought I modified it so it would fit my life and the holidays a little better.
I was doing ok with it but my pace was WAY off what it used to be and I found myself disappointed more often than not.
When I decided that I was going to have to give up CrossFit, I knew I was going to miss the community the most. I started looking into Peloton.
Throughout my winter run streak, I noticed that my body wasn’t responding to running very well. My left calf tightened up way too quickly and, more often than not, was VERY painful. Well… I am stubborn so I found a way to work around it but ultimately, I knew if I wanted to get my fitness back, I was going to have to figure something else out.
That was when I made the final decision to purchase the Peloton. I figured with a bike at home, I would be able to cross-train more. I put together a plan to try and run 1-2 times a week and supplement the rest of the weeks training with the Peloton. I was going to keep lifting too. I had a plan and was excited about it.
I shared this news with my parents deciding I would take advantage of them having a Peloton Store near them while I visited over the holidays. I was going to have to get cycle shoes and had ZERO idea what size I might be… having only worn them once. Plus I didn’t want to deal with a delivery/set-up when work is, historically, most busy in December and I didn’t want try and figure out where to put the bike while my tree was still up.
Well, come Christmas morning, I was shocked to learn that my parents would purchasing the bike for me!!!!!!
I was beyond shocked and thrilled. The following day it was off to the Peloton store with my parents (AKA Dad’s Credit Card :-P) to purchase my present and the accessories I wanted (which were on my credit card).
My delivery date set and the ability to work remote for a few hours in the afternoon and I had my new toy.
I hopped on right away and loved it. Over the course of January, I fell in love. With the awful weather in Chicago and knowing that New Year Resolutioners would be crowding up the gym (I approve of their commitment to change but they annoy me to no end) I decided to just stick with the bike for all of my training in January and February.
I was getting ready to start trying to run and lift again and then Covid happened. My company started to work remote full time on March 17th. With everything shut down, including the Lake Front Trail, and deciding it was better to stay in to assist with flattening the curve. The Peloton became my only source of working out… and quite frankly, sanity.
So here we are, 8 months into 2020 and I have turned from runner to crossfitter to biker.
Throughout all of this, I have only stuck with two races each year. Run for the Zoo where I started doing the 5K instead of the 10K and Pumpkins in the Park. I’ve been lucky participating in these races with a running buddy… Though, in all honesty, Zoo 2018 was the last one that I “ran” at a lovely conversational pace with a wonderful woman. The others have been done for fun and have been more walk/run not caring about finish time.
My plan for 2020 had to go out the window quickly but hey… it happens.
Now I track my bike miles, pace and output just like I used to track the running miles and pace. There have been many PRs on the bike and I have found a great, supportive community all from the safety of my own home.
But that 2015 half still nags at me. I miss the strength training and the progress I made (which I have to work back to). I miss running. I love the Peloton and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect but I had strength and running goals that I haven’t accomplished yet.
It’s been odd committing to training with no real end goal this entire year. Sure, I have set short terms goals (60 day bike streak, hitting certain mileage in a week/month, PR a ride that I took in the past when I take it again, 100 Rides then 150 Rides… on my way to 200 rides). Its been fun having new goals to chase and something to strive for but all of those other goals are still there.
I need to find a balance. I need a longer-term plan and short-term goals to attain. The world is uncertain right now so I need to keep that in mind too.
Four years later and this is where I am. I’ll figure it out.
Hopefully you will join me on this journey again 🙂