Ballona Creek Bike Path & Back into TRI Shape

I have probably mentioned this bike path before–maybe not by name, but I’m on it at least twice a week (more in the summer). It’s about a 6-7 mile stretch that goes from Culver City to the beach. The amazing thing about this bike path is that there are NO LIGHTS, NO TRAFFIC. It goes under freeways/streets, so there is no stop and go. I am so used to it, I often forget how rare this is in ANY city. If I’m on my bike around 8am on the weekend, I see maybe 2 dozen people total–which means not much slowing down & it’s wide enough so that it’s easy to pass people.

So every weekend, I get to ride 8 minutes until I’m on the path, head to the beach, ride along the Pacific Coast Highway. I can’t even believe the views half the time. I tried to take pictures with my phone yesterday, so you would know what I’m talking about–but it was acting up. After I hit the PCH for a few miles, I head up to the airport & ride on Westchester. Again, here’s a 7 mile out and back road with wide bike lanes & almost no cars (and pretty flat, which I’m a fan of). Plus, you get to see planes taking off. Total, it’s about a 27 mile ride & my absolute favorite. I will be adding mileage soon, so then it gets a little bit iffy–traveling up and down hills, in and out of residential areas–not as quiet, but as we go on and on about how non-bike friendly L.A. is (and it’s not when you talk about the actual city center), for a weekend cyclist like myself–I’m so happy to have great access to these quiet rides. It feels like a great secret. If you are in L.A. and have a bike, meet me at my place. I’ll take you on the best bike tour ever!

Enough gushing. I had a great week of workouts last week. Well, let me be honest & say: it was tough getting in those swims!!! I put them off til the very end of the week, but I DID them. I had a great 27 mile ride yesterday & will be doing 35 milers soon! I’ve been very slowly building my runs, working on my form & all that to keep me injury free. I missed my trainer so much, I went back to him on Friday & thought I was having some kind of appendix rupture when I tried to sit up this morning–my abs hurt so much from the workout. I took a long nap yesterday as the week of working out got to me, and then I remembered how much I LOVE the feeling that comes from the work. I was tired again! After months of pretty low key fitness activities, it is fun to challenge myself again. What is even better is knowing that I still have a few more months to build before my first race.

I went back to my sports massage guy–have 2 more sessions with him & OUCH! It hurts! “In the good way” I guess–but my skin/muscles must be more sensitive than most. He has to give me a rubber ducky to hold while he beats up my leg. I like him, though, because he answers all my questions & seems just as curious as me to resolve my knee issue for good. It is tons better now–I can lunge!–so he has me test it by taking a huge step up onto his massage table, where I still feel a little twinge of pain at the top of the step. Years ago, I wouldn’t have thought twice about this. I would’ve slowed down my running or just ignored it. But something about working my full body with my trainer & the 3 sports of triathlon has me much more interested in moving my body efficiently. If my running form is terrible, I want to fix it! If I’m putting too much pressure on my knees, I want to stop! He now thinks it could actually be a shin splint because of the tenderness below my knee. I’m wearing very attractive black tape all over my shin right now–super cute!

Speaking of all this triathlon/working out business, it’s time to head out for a bike/run! I love this workout because, unlike my long bike ride–it doesn’t last very long. It’s just as tiring, though. Have a great week–watch some football today (I sure won’t be).