Today, I went to Central Park at 630am to ride, which is when the serious riders are in the park, as going in the middle of the day is crowded and therefore not great for riding. I rode for 1 hour and 21 minutes, 24.33 miles, averaging 18.0 miles per hour, with an average heart rate of 143. I was very happy with this ride and feel like I can be faster once my legs get in better "riding shape" and also when I can figure out how to use my gears better (at one point during my ride I tried to shift while going up the Harlem Hill and my chain came off. I had to jump off the bike to put it back on. I was in the middle of the hill, so there was no way that I was going to be able to clip back on the bike and get the power to get up the hill without falling down, so I coasted back down the hill, clipped in, and turned around to go back up. Overall, I felt great during and after my ride. My knees didn't hurt and my legs felt great (although I felt a few twinges in my legs near the end). I'm hoping to ride farther next weekend. Any and all advice on how to shift gears is appreciated!
I have an appointment at Toga on Friday to have another fit test (usually $200 put they are giving it to me for $100 since I bought the bike there). They will test seat ankles, stem length, seat positions, and other things to make sure that the bike settings are optimal for me.
On Friday, I swam for 30 minutes. It was a great workout. My average heart rate was 151 and I was definitely pushing my pace. I read my friend LW's blog (he's an Ironman) where he said that his coach says "to be tall", so I interpreted this to mean to extend my arms out as far as possible while swimming and to follow through on my stroke deep into the water (I asked the lifeguard to critique my form, which I think is horrible, after one of my swims a few weeks ago and he said that I wasn't following through with my arms under water). I swam 54 lengths (1,350 yards, 0.77 miles) in 30 minutes, 4 minutes faster than I had done the previous week. For the last 6 lengths, my feet and calves were cramping big time! I had such a charlie horse in my right calf that I was in agony during the last length (which I had to endure because I was in the deep end and couldn't put pressure on it until I got in the shallow end). As of today, the area where I had the charlie horse is still sore. Is this normal? I have been eating more bananas since then to try to minimize the cramping.
Now I'm off to find a sprint triathlon to sign up for later this summer. All recommendations are welcome!