The Bike is Back!

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My bike was very happy to hit the road again!  Weeee!


I had a 2.0 mile run scheduled as a “recovery run” following Friday’s 17.0-miler, but my legs feel a little sore, so I decided to bike.  If you’re new to the blog, I was obsessed with biking for a short stint in April – June.  I rode about 45 miles a week, and I completed a Metric Century (60 miles). 


I rode because my doctor said it was safe for my knees, but the instant my physical therapist cleared me to run after my injury, I was off the bike and running 100%.    It’s my true love.  🙂


… But now I’m thinking I might integrate a day of biking into the last 10 weeks of marathon training!  I forgot how fun biking is.


I took the bike out on a 17.0-mile stretch near the Orlando International Airport.  There is no development in the area because of OIA, so there is little traffic.


Plus, there’s wildlife:


A fox? Hmmm.  I didn’t see any gators this time, though!


I was surprised to see how hard it was to bike 17.0 miles!  I thought it would be a snap because I’ve been running so much, but I think the bike just uses different muscles in different ways – it was challenging!


Plus, it was really fun to play with my bike gear and bicycle again!  🙂

IMG_4499 IMG_4498

Here are my statistics:


  • Distance: 17.0 miles
  • Duration: 1 hour, 19 minutes


I’m thinking about swapping out one day of running (a shorter 3 – 4 miler) with one day of biking.   Currently, I run 29 – 30 miles a week and run 4 days a week.  Do the experienced marathoners have any thoughts? 


Before my ride, I had Grape Nuts with a banana:


And dinner was a weird mix, but what I was craving: roasted carrot, polenta, ketchup, and corn on the cob.  Plus, a HUGE, SQUISHY slice of Farmers’ Market garlic bread.  It has butter cooked into the center – yum.


And a glass of OJ:


And two Twix.  Oh, Halloween candy!


It’s a little early to be done eating (this time change is screwing me up!), so I’m sure I’ll have another small snack of fruit or PB toast a giant bowl of cereal before bed.


Have a great night!



  • simpledaisy November 1, 2009, 7:13 pm

    Hi there…
    So glad you’re into biking!! I L.O.V.E it too!! I rode in a 75 mile bike ride this summer and it was fabulous! I wanted to do the 100 miler but didn’t feel like I put in enough long rides!! I can’t wait until next riding season!! Keep it up~

  • Justy2003 November 1, 2009, 7:16 pm

    Yay for being back to biking! I’ve got a nagging running injury that I’ve been trying to ignore (bad idea), so I’m finally gonna take this week off of running. So, instead of my long run today, I did a 20 mile bike ride and I haven’t ridden it in forever (except for commuting)! So fun 🙂

  • Diana November 1, 2009, 7:24 pm

    Love how happy you are in that first pic ahaha
    Glad you had a good time. Some variety is awesome I think, but I’m not an expert on marathons 😛

  • Katie (Runs for Fun) November 1, 2009, 7:30 pm

    I’m training for my 4th marathon, and this time around, I basically cut out all my “junk miles” (aka “easy runs”) and I sub 45-60 minutes of cross training for each of those workouts. So basically, each week, I do an interval run, a tempo run and a long run, and I cross-train three other days a week. This has helped me stay injury-free, not to mention that it keeps me from getting bored. It’s not for everyone, but it has worked well for me–I’m healthy, pain-free, and I’m close to the fastest I’ve ever been.

  • Anne P November 1, 2009, 7:31 pm

    yeah i totally ate dinner at like 5:30 p.m. today. haha. already had a after dinner snack and it’s only 7:30!

  • Evan Thomas November 1, 2009, 7:32 pm

    I never learned how to ride a bike. At 18, that’s a little sad 🙁 I should give it a go! except I don’t own one

  • Kate November 1, 2009, 7:37 pm

    Given the struggles you’ve had with your knees and with running burnout, I think it’s a GREAT idea!

  • Kate November 1, 2009, 7:37 pm

    Given the struggles you’ve had with your knees and with running burnout, I think it’s a GREAT idea!

  • Katie November 1, 2009, 7:43 pm

    Biking/spinning saved my knees. I could still get my cardio in without beating undue strain on my already bad knees. Plus it saves me from burn out. It makes me more excited to run plus sculpts different muscles. I recommend adding in a biking/spinning day and yoga at least twice a week (45 minute plus sessions) yoga has helped my body so much just heal from the stress of running.

  • Jenna November 1, 2009, 7:46 pm

    i like your idea of incorporating biking back into your marathon training! the time change mixes me up as well!

  • Teacherwoman November 1, 2009, 7:52 pm

    That’s what I LOVE so much about biking. Working completely different leg muscles! LOVE IT! And, it’s great to incorporate when training for longer distances! YOU GO GIRL!

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl) November 1, 2009, 7:59 pm

    The scenery from your bike ride is gorgeous! Love the blue skies… NYC is pretty dreary these days. You’ve also reminded me I want to get a new bicycle- guess I’ll put it on the Christmas wish list. 😉 Also, I’m no marathon runner, but I do think that adding a bike ride in to your training routine would be helpful, as you strengthen new muscles.

  • Susan November 1, 2009, 8:01 pm

    My personal opinion would be to keep your running at where you’re at because I think that nothing is quite like running…biking is no substitute! I lean more towards the more running the better ideology (to a point, of course), which I know not everyone believes in, but to each their own. If it were me, I would feel more comfortable having put the miles in on my feet rather than on a bike. Having biked for a month due to injury, I don’t really think that biking is much like running…but again that’s just based on my experience and no real scientific fact.

  • maria November 1, 2009, 8:09 pm

    I think you have a great plan with the cross training. Not enough cross training can easily lead to injuries. So, keep up the biking!

  • Erin November 1, 2009, 8:11 pm

    Looks like a great ride — I need to get a bike. 🙂

  • Heather November 1, 2009, 8:20 pm

    I think it’s a great idea to bike one day a week instead of one of your easy runs. Crosstraining is helpful in preventing injuries and is something I really need to add into my training. I think as long as you keep at least 3 of your runs out of the week quality, it would work very well.

  • haya November 1, 2009, 8:23 pm

    i don’t know if i’d call myself an experienced marathoner, since i’ve just run one, but i definitely did a lot of biking during my training last summer. in fact, i think most weeks i was only doing 2 runs- max 3 (like katie’s plan. 1 long run, 1 tempo and occassionally intervals)- but biking about 16 miles a day, 4 days a week or so.
    all the running books i’ve read seem to point to biking as being a great compliment to running. keep pedaling!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) November 1, 2009, 8:28 pm

    I love biking but can’t do the road bike because of my back. But it is a nice change to ride instead of run.

  • Bec November 1, 2009, 8:30 pm

    glad you got back on your bike today, my road bike is in storage for winter now so sad!

  • Gab* November 1, 2009, 8:32 pm

    I miss my road bike! It’s in storage at the moment as we’re living with my parents while building a house, I can’t wait to go for a ride!

  • Tracey@tropicalhappiness November 1, 2009, 8:38 pm

    The time change is TOUGH!!!! Around 6 pm, I felt like it was almost 8!

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite November 1, 2009, 8:40 pm

    I’ve never actually gone biking before… I think I’m too chicken with traffic…

  • Alex November 1, 2009, 8:46 pm

    I also think you should keep your running at the level it is – if you can add a day of biking, that would be ideal, but I would not recommend going below 4 days a week (especially because your mileage is relatively low) when training for a marathon. I know you have injury risks, but the general rule is that the more miles you run per week, the better the runner you will be. I just completed marathon #5, and the higher mileage definitely worked for me! That doesn’t mean I don’t cross-train – but I don’t replace my runs with cross-training. There is no exercise that prepares you for running like running does!

    • caitlin November 1, 2009, 9:11 pm

      i trust your advice!!

  • Erica November 1, 2009, 8:47 pm

    Glad you had fun biking! Its always fun to switch up activities. I am a big fan of random dinners- feels like you really satisfy all of your cravings. Have a good night!

  • Ali November 1, 2009, 8:53 pm

    So I really want to get a road bike, but with a college budget, it hasn’t been in the cards…however, I am saving!! Any thoughts on getting a bike, where to get one, etc??? Thanks!

    • caitlin November 1, 2009, 9:11 pm

      get it off craigslist. i paid $350 for mine, but you can get one for lower. i would recommend going to a store and trying new bikes to see which size you are, and then shopping online used.

  • Amanda (modernation) November 1, 2009, 8:53 pm

    My bike is back too! I brought it back last week after neglecting it for a long time. It made me so happy and I am also trying to include one day on the bike back into my routine. Enjoy!

  • Stacey November 1, 2009, 9:05 pm

    I know! This time change has my tummy growling for dinner at like 5 pm!! It’s pure craziness I tell ya!:D Oh, how I miss my bike! I keep telling the guy that I want it out of the shed and in the house so I can ride on the trainer, maybe one day I’ll get to it! Glad you had a glorious ride!!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is November 1, 2009, 9:05 pm

    I love biking. My dad is a big biker and does the 150 milers. I love going for a 40 miler with him on Sundays. 🙂

  • Matt November 1, 2009, 9:16 pm

    You might want to add a day of biking in addition to running. You are only running 4 days a week right? You probably don’t want to dip below that because your legs need some miles to be able to handle such a long race.

  • Jenna November 1, 2009, 9:16 pm

    I’ve never really tried biking. I need to hit up a spin class and then maybe try out biking next spring/summer. (MN winters aren’t the best for biking) 🙂

    Halloween candy is SO good, but oh so bad. I can’t stop myself once I start.

    Have a wonderful evening!

  • Jessie (Vegan-minded) November 1, 2009, 9:32 pm

    Biking is so much fun! I think it’s good to mix it up and bike once in a while, it really does work different muscles. 17 miles is tough!

  • Lizzy November 1, 2009, 9:35 pm

    biking is the best! i wish it wasnt as cold her otherwise i would do it more often!

  • Molly @vegandorm November 1, 2009, 9:37 pm

    I seriously have been craving corn on the cob lately.
    I’m good with biking on roads, especially flat ones, but mountain biking is SO scary to me! You’d think since I ride horses I would have great balance or something, but I would rather be on an unsteady horse than on a rocky, hilly mountain bike trail any day!

  • Deva (Voracious Vorilee) November 1, 2009, 9:42 pm

    that stretch of road looks so fun, and you look so happy to be back on the bike! 🙂

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels November 1, 2009, 9:55 pm

    Every summer my bf and I say we’re getting bikes, especially since we don’t own a car. But we still don’t have them 🙁

    PS – so sad that Bob and Jillian fell through, but it looks like you were comfortable at least (cannot say the same for my costume)

  • Amelia November 1, 2009, 10:01 pm

    Sounds like a great bike ride! I was also surprised about how running doesn’t necessarily translate to biking. When I first got my bike I thought hills would be a breeze after so much running…not quite! 🙂

  • Anne November 1, 2009, 10:04 pm

    Biking is an AWESOME X-training especially for us runners! It’s a great way to get some cardio in, but also give your legs a little bit of rest from hitting the pavement. I like to spin once a week, if I have time to get to the gym! I would say you could either swap a run day for a bike day, or even add one bike day into your weekly mix, depending on you energy-level. Yay for X-training!

  • Jolene ( November 1, 2009, 11:42 pm

    In my province we do not do the daylight savings time switch – weird hey! Everyone else in Canada does it – except Saskatchewan.

  • Emily Eats and Exercises November 2, 2009, 12:00 am

    I love biking – I definitely see another triathlon sometime in your future – I say time to get swimming 🙂 I’m jealous of biking without all the hills around here…

  • Nicky November 2, 2009, 2:17 am

    I’m another person who bikes to save her knees! “They” say that you should bike 4x the distance at about 10bpm (heart rate) below your running equivalent as a direct replacement. So a 6 mile recovery run at 150bpm (example) would be a 32mile ride at 140bpm. I have biked instead of recovery runs and even done intervals on a turbo trainer instead of run track/interval sessions, but I think if marathon training, you’d only want to bike instead of running on recovery days. Have fun!

  • Nicky November 2, 2009, 2:18 am

    24miles… not 32! I suck at math 😉

  • RunningSongs November 2, 2009, 5:42 am

    Like a few people in here, last year I switched my entirely running based schedule to 3 days of running, two days of cross training. It helped in two ways: a. it kept me from burning out on running and, b. I really do think it improved my aerobic endurance (i.e., made it so that I could spend some of my running time working on the anaerobic stuff).

    Also, I fell deeply in love with spinning. If I didn’t live someplace that had winter (and scary drivers) 7 months of the year, I’d totally have a road bike! Take advantage of the bike – you’re so lucky! 🙂

  • Jac November 2, 2009, 6:33 am

    what a view!!! and you have great stamina! go girl!

  • Laura in Pgh November 2, 2009, 6:35 am

    Caitlin, I’ve only trained for 2 marathons so far, but did incorporate 2 days/week of cross training. My plan usually had me training 5-6 days/week, but i only did 5 – 3 days of running and 2 spinning. My hip is prone to injury, but I never had a problem! For my next marathon (Pittsburgh 2010!) i plan to do 1 day of spinning and 1 swim workout. You should sub out your easiest run of the week for a bike ride. Good luck! You are doing an amazing job!

  • Susan November 2, 2009, 7:11 am

    Where’s the hills?? 😛 I jest, that looks like an awesome place to bike! My area is pretty high traffic, so I have to be reeeally careful (and is the main reason why I’m not out on my road bike more). I just got a trainer to set my bike on for the winter – can’t wait! 😀

  • Nicole November 2, 2009, 8:02 am

    I completely agree that one day of biking would be so good for you!!! It will definitely help any inconsistencies in your muscles that running will give you especially if you are prone to injury! Now, when are you going to get some clip-ins, girl???

  • Megan November 2, 2009, 9:10 am

    I’m not a total expert, but I ran in college and am training for marathon #4 (Disney!), and I’d be hesitant to replace a run w/ a bike ride. If you were running six or seven times a week, I think you’d be fine, but as you saw, biking uses totally differnet muscles! It helps for all around fitness, but I think you should stick to running at least four times a week to be ready for the marathon. There’s no replacement for getting those miles in!

    PS congrats on the 17 miler!

  • Jenny @ nutmegger November 2, 2009, 9:13 am

    I could never quite get used to the taste of grape nuts. What is the health benefit? And do you add milk or anything?

    • caitlin November 2, 2009, 9:15 am

      grape nuts are high in fiber (5 g) and protein (7 g) and low in sugar compared to most cereals. it has a really short ingredient list as well. yay!

      there’s milk in there, but i also like to put grape nuts in yogurt. yum, yum!

  • Madeline @ GreensAndJeans November 2, 2009, 9:15 am

    I just ran a half yesterday and I am so excited to pick up my bike again!

  • alli November 2, 2009, 10:08 am

    wondering how you fix your polenta? i had it once and did not like it! thanks 🙂

    • caitlin November 2, 2009, 10:16 am

      just slice and bake. its pre-made polenta in a tube.

  • Diana (Mymarblerye) November 2, 2009, 10:10 am

    I was thinking of getting a bike soon! I wasn’t going to get a biker’s bike but rather a simple bike…How did you know which one to get?

  • Jennifer November 2, 2009, 10:34 am

    I like to bike after a long run to loosen up my legs a bit without pounding the pavement. I do my long runs on Saturday and do an easy ride on Sunday then take Monday off completely. I found it helped my legs recover faster. Good luck!

  • Sean November 2, 2009, 1:21 pm

    It doesn’t look like you have them so I’d really recommend picking up a pair of ‘clipless’ pedals and shoes. You’d be much more efficient in your pedal stroke. (I.e. you lose a lot of power with flat platform style pedals) They should be the first thing you have, before those aero bars 😉

    • Caitlin November 2, 2009, 1:22 pm

      hehe my aerobars were free with the bike 🙂 i want clipless pedals but they are so $$$.

  • Rae November 2, 2009, 3:47 pm

    When I trained for my half, I ran 3 days and biked 2 days a week. It kept my knees fresh, kept up my endurance, and made me always WANT to do my training runs….plus I PRed!! I hightly recommend it, especially if you do at least one bike LSD (long slow distance)…It keeps up your endurance without killing yourself 🙂 Good luck!!

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