First Brick of 2012

Yesterday I spent virtually all day on the couch nursing the pain of having a little too much fun the night before.

Not my kittay but they could be cousins.

Which means I totally did not get out for a group ride as planned with the folks from The Bike Rack yesterday.  Oops.  So instead of a long-ish run today, I decided to go for it and accomplish my first brick workout of the season.  I hadn’t been planning on any bricks until after returning from the Zambia trip, but I figured why not get a head start (and reset my karmic workout balance/destroy a little of that hangover Saturday guilt).

A brick is a vital part of any triathlon training plan.  Typically, it refers to a back to back bike/run workout, designed to train your muscles to handle the quick and difficult transition between disciplines during the race.  “Brick” may refer to a back to back combo of any two events, but the bike/run is the most common and most dreaded.  The transition between the two is really tough because of the overlapping muscle groups involved, and if you don’t know what it’s going to feel like you’re in for a shock on race day. I think bricks may in part get its name from the combo of the words bike and run, but the real reason has to be that when you start running right away off the bike, your legs feel like…well…big ol’ bricks.

photocredit blog.traininpeaks.com

I needed to focus more on the bike mileage this weekend, so I did what I sometimes call a mini-brick: a normal length bike + just a little bit of running.  Today, 25 miles on the bike followed by 15 minutes on my feet.

My bike ride was actually quite glorious.  I headed over to and up the Capital Crescent Trail, which runs from Georgetown all the way to Silver Spring, MD (I only went as far as somewhere in Bethesda, MD today).  This is a great trail, and it was very busy today with walkers, runners, bikers, dogs, strollers, and even a couple rollerbladers.  The weather was a perfect 50ish and partly cloudy, and I felt like I kept my pace at a pretty decent clip, at least on the trail (tourist traffic did not help me getting to and from the trail).  My legs felt good all the way, even up the horrendous hill that I’m basically forced to climb at the end of any ride if I want to make it home.

On the way home at the tail end of the morning's bike ride...I have no idea why I'm making that face.

When I got home I ran my bike inside, quickly changed shoes, and headed out for a brief run.  Didn’t take long for that familiar brick feeling to sink in.  Pain + feeling like I was running in super slow motion, even my Garmin revealed that my pace was right on track. Important thing to get used to.  I also forgot that people tend to look at me like I’m a crazy person for running through the neighborhood in biking gear.  But I’m never one to let a few strange looks slow me down. (Truth be told, I often welcome them…resulting in things like wearing gold lame leggings to fancy preppy bars in Georgetown…but I digress.)

I was more than rewarded for the pain, however, when Hubz surprised me with a delicious salad for lunch as soon as I finished!  Mesclun, flank steak, beets, yellow pepper, sweet onions, tomatoes, and a bit of blue cheese.  YUM.  I am so spoiled.  My brick-fried brain forgot to snap a photo, but I assure you it was colorfully nutritious and delicious.  🙂

Plans for the rest of the day: laundry, finish up some trip-related tasks, start packing (!), plan the upcoming (short) week’s workouts, home-cooked dinner with Hubz, and Game of Thrones Season 2 premiere!  Winter is coming, y’all!

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