Running and Biking in nice December weather

Friday my Plantar Fasciitis, or in layman’s terms “joggers heel,” was pretty painful so instead of working legs at the gym,  Anthony Sarago suggested we just work/lift chest muscles and let my legs rest.  It seemed to have helped because when I woke up Saturday morning, I didn’t have any heel pain.  In fact, I felt so pain free, I decided to head outside for an easy 7-8 mile run.  This was the first chance I had run outside for weeks since snow had hit the ground a couple weeks before so I have to admit I might have been overly optimistic with the warmer temperatures.

There was about two inches of soft snow/ice on the side of the highway I was running on and since this made for a very soft/cushy landing I reasoned the soft footing would keep my joggers heel from rearing its ugly head again.  I kept my pace slow, no more than 6mph with no GPS and no music.  Most days I have my Bose ear buds blasting music and frequently look at the Garmin 202 forerunner on my wrist.  The Garmin is a great tool as it tracks everything from my pace to distance traveled but today I just felt like I didn’t want any distractions and it was a nice change.  All I had to focus on was the beauty of my surroundings and the unseasonably warm Minnesota weather; a rare treat in December.   Unfortunately, the softer ground was not enough and a couple hours after my run the pain in my heel flared up and reminded me why I  originally planned to take a week off from running – to give my foot a chance to “heel” 🙂

Sunday afternoon the weather was still holding above normal so Heidi and I took advantage of yet another gorgeously warm day and got a bike ride in.  It isn’t often the chance to ride bikes during December comes along.  We used our mountain bikes and rode for a little over 17 miles which took us about an hour and a half.  The first three miles were actually a bit cold because even though the weather was warm for this time of year in Minnesota, I had dressed way too light which made the beginning of the ride a real struggle; every part of my body felt cold and stiff so my muscles were seriously protesting.  After 4-5 miles I warmed up and all my joints/bones and muscles began to work without complaint so it wasn’t long before it became a very enjoyable ride.

During this time of the year, the wind chill on the bike is way more intense than it is while running so it does require a warmer base layer of clothing; something that was too easy to forget when the sun was shining.  I had headed out for a bike ride dressed no different than if I was going for a run.  If I had only started off with a little thicker base layer the warm up would have been so much better but accounting not just for the weather but also for the type of exercise planned is a good lesson to remember.  Another thing I noticed after the ride was that unlike the run on soft terrain, my joggers heel didn’t seem to be aggravated at all so I am really hoping for the opportunity to get a couple more rides in before the weather changes.  Fingers crossed!

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