OK, so then let’s not candy-coat it: there are no two ways about it, regular training stinks. I know I’m not a fan of getting up at 5:15 in the morning. Even the sun is not up that early in the morning. Honestly it’s about all I can do to get into my gear, put something of nutritional value into my stomach and go. But from that point on everything gets better. There is nothing as awesome as hitting the street first thing in the morning, when you find that zone, that place where it’s just you, the bike and the air passing around you; that’s when you know you are where you want to be. Yes, training means giving up things, time you could spend with other people, time spent sleeping, a life spent living on Big Macs and Whoppers, all the great things life has to offer. But yes it is so worth it.
So six months after having my second knee replaced where am I on my training to get to Key West? Well currently I ride 100 to 125 miles a week. You have to remember at this point in time I am more interested in making my left knee stronger than anything else. At this point I have 1064 miles on the “new” knee and well over 6000 miles on the one that was replaced in 2012. I have two circuits in my neighborhood that I ride; one is 12 miles the other is 19 miles. I prefer to do laps on the12 mile course, mostly because it’s easier and it is also a lot easier to count in multiples of 12. To count in multiples of 19 requires me to pull out a calculator.
The short course has one 5% grade and the longer course has three. It definitely is more work and it hurts but in the end its worth it. Because of time restraints, and sometimes the weather, I find I am better off doing 25 mile rides daily during the week but recently I have been able to do 50 mile rides on the weekend. Two weekends ago I did 60 miles. As I said 60 miles is real easy to count when its 12 miles at a time. My average speed is about 13+ MPH . Not any kind of a record by any means but I’m happy with it, and that’s all that really matters to me. At this point both knees act just like perfectly normal knees, no pain ,no swelling and no issues. That’s not to say I don’t ache in the end but not from anything that is knee replacement related..
Japanese world class marathoner Toshihiko Seko was once asked “does a runner at your level ever feel like you’d rather not run today” his reply, “of course, all the time” So as I said in the beginning training stinks and nobody likes doing it, but we do it, and it’s the only way we can improve. In my case it’s the only way to get stronger and the only way to get to Key West…..
Until the next time…..play nice and be safe.