I haven’t been biking much lately. It’s winter, which means riding in dark inclement weather or on the trainer in my garage. Riding the trainer is a boring drag. And, anyway, I don’t much free time to ride, inside or out. Every Benji-free excursion requires negotiation, and weighing whether I should use that 3 hours for paid work, unpaid but necessary chores, or unpaid and unnecessary recreational riding.
All this to say, I’ve had to give my beloved bikes short shrift the last few months… And, frankly, it’s looking like that may be a semi-permanent state, since both my role as mom and as an employee seem to be ramping up. Exciting! Yet also inhibitory towards biking: something has to give, and it can’t be parenting or work.
I love biking and I hope to do as much as I reasonably can, but in the interest of working towards a balanced life, staying fit, and using time efficiently, I’ve started jogging with Benji on our morning walks. I can’t dignify the activity with the label “running” (an activity I associate with much pain, suffering, and misery from my high school years on the cross-country team), but it is faster than walking. So far I’ve done a few weeks of two days jogging, starting with 30 minutes jogging and now up to about 50 minutes.
The thing is, I have excellent cardio and good overall fitness from all the biking. As a result, jogging at a 10-minute-per-mile pace for 50 minutes pushing 50 lbs of stroller + kid isn’t actually that hard. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not easy, I’m tired at the end, and some specific muscle groups are distinctly sore a day or two later. But that I can do it at all really surprised me. That’s great! But there are a few downsides…
Here’s what I like about it:
– I enjoy going farther in an hour with Benji; we get out of our rather restricted immediate neighborhood and see new (to him) stuff.
– I value the bang for my buck, so to speak; I get a good workout in in one hour, first thing, and don’t have to negotiate for Benji care.
– It’s less nasty to jog in the rain than ride in the rain, and knowing it’s only an hour I’m modestly more motivated.
Things I don’t like:
– Moderate to severe hip pain the days following a jog. Tends to be very bad – limp-inducing – in right hip and just uncomfortable in the left. This happened once before, in the summer after I did a couple days of very long, demanding walks/hikes.
– Arch pain in left foot during and after activity; also, severe pain in the outside of my right foot and up my ankle during and after activity, so I can hardly walk on it.
– Upper back/shoulder discomfort while pushing stroller, especially uphill.
I rarely have joint pain from biking. What discomfort I do have is never enduring and interfering with daily activities for days afterward. I suspect a new pair of shoes with better insoles, and perhaps something to compensate for scoliosis-induced difference in leg length, may be in order if I choose to continue. Still. Poo. I would rather just stick with my bikes.