For as much as I complain about my job, one thing that I really appreciate is the upper-management’s support for lunch-time fitness. I suppose if your senior scientists are taking an hour for lunch to do yoga, to hit the gym, to go road biking or to go running then I’d say it’s fair game for me to do the same. It also helps to have locker rooms with showers so that a lunch-time workout doesn’t have to turn into a smelly and uncomfortable afternoon for you and your coworkers. I have many friends who don’t have such luxuries with their jobs and are thus required to do workouts super early in the morning or late at night (or just be smelly at work which is also an option, albeit an undesirable one). It becomes complicated and difficult to stay fit if your job doesn’t support an active lifestyle.
Today I went for a bike ride during my lunch time. Thankfully I work outside of the city so biking becomes a much safer and a more pleasant experience overall than trying to bike downtown. Biking downtown is less of an exercise and more of a survival experience. I’ve biked to work from my apartment downtown on several occasions but I’m doing it less often these days due to a number of close calls (car doors opening, MAss-holes driving, and complicated intersections with people who run red lights, ugh). Suffice it to say that biking in suburbia helps me get a better workout on my bike and not having a car to drive myself there, I resort to keeping my bike at work and just doing trips from there.
I bought my bike as a college graduation present to myself and I’ve got a lot of good use out of it. I bought it new on ebay for 50% off the retail price (score!) and putting it together was surprisingly easy considering most of the components were already in place before shipment. Having only raced on my bike once in the past few years (25 miles during a sprint triathlon), I’m kind of a n00b when it comes to pushing myself while cycling, I’m not quite sure where my limit is.
Today I pushed myself pretty hard but ended my workout not feeling that tired or winded (min/max/average heart rate = 89/170/129). My bike computer told me I averaged 17mph which my friends tell me is decent but still fairly slow for a 45 minute ride. I’m sure I could push myself harder but like I said, I’m not sure where that line is and what it feels like to be there. I’m sure that will come with time. Perhaps I can get into a few road-biking specific races this summer. I know there are many group rides that go in and out of Boston but I generally get home from work late and spend the weekends in the mountains so I frequently ride alone. Pushing yourself against yourself is a hard way to get better, I think spending some time riding with actual cyclists will help me to improve.
I really like biking but I also realy like friendly competition so I think I’ve got to find a group to ride with in order to improve my cycling skill and bring myself to a level where I can get a really killer workout. Until then it’ll be a mixture of survival biking in the city and lunch-time cruising at work.