The Importance of Friends

During the course of the pandemic, I’ve maintained my sanity by being around others when cycling. I made new friends when I joined Dawn Patrol (Bill’s cycling group) and then created my own women’s cycling club. At least three days a week while riding I was able to draw energy from others, something I feel we all need. Unfortunately, I hadn’t seen any of my long standing friends except for when I walked the Virtual Firecracker 5K with Erin.

Two weeks ago I had lunch outdoors with my friend Craig and this week I met another dear friend for an outdoor lunch. Why I didn’t start doing this earlier in the summer is beyond me. Our warm fall days are numbered here in Virginia so these lunches will most likely have to be put on hold until next spring.


Overview of the Week

Before discussing each day’s workouts, here’s an overview of my workouts from this past week. Scroll down for daily details…



Bill and I started our ride in Purcellville in the 39° temps (my coldest yet for biking) and rode to Leesburg to join a group of about twenty cyclist (most of whom I’d never met) for a 36-mile ride around Loudoun County from Dry Mill Winery. It was a tough day for me and I struggled to keep up with the group. I’m not sure why, but it was most likely because they were all stronger riders then me. Usually when cycling I’m in the middle of the pack, so it it was a whole new experience for me to roll up to a stop with all eyes on me and to have them immediately turn and ride off giving me zero time to rest. Fortunately, Bill told me to catch my breath and we’d finish the final five miles alone. We rolled back in to where we’d parked our car and I wasn’t really surprised to see that my average speed had only been 14.3 MPH.

Turning to leave the second I rolled in…

After our ride, we dropped our bikes off at Bicycles & Coffee where we’d purchased them to have the tires changed out to tubeless and to have the gears reprogrammed to synchronous shifting (more on that on Saturday’s ride).



It was 50° when I stepped out the door at 6:15 AM for my 4-mile 4-minute run/2-minute walk intervals at a 10:12 average pace. My first client was out of town so I was able to fit my strength training workout in before starting to see my other clients.



With my Specialized road bike in the shop, I pulled my Salsa gravel bike off the garage wall for my 30-mile ride with Amy. It was 54° at 7:45 AM when I headed down the W&OD Trail and I noticed about two miles into my ride that my left knee was hurting (it quit hurting within a couple of miles). We rode to our usual turnaround in Leesburg and I ended the ride with an average speed of 14.5 MPH.


Later in the afternoon, Bill and I walked to our favorite butcher to pick up chicken to grill for dinner. Shortly after we returned home my knee started bothering me again.



After an extremely fitful night’s sleep with my knee waking me up every time I rolled over, I popped two Advil and took it easy lifting weights, skipping any exercises that bothered it. Bill helped me raise the seat on my Salsa and at 11:30 AM in the delightful 66° I rolled out of my garage to meet Betsy for an easy 15 miles. I warned her that if my knee started hurting, I’d have to turn around, but the combination of the Advil and raised seat worked and we finished our ride with an average speed of 14:3 MPH.

Later in the afternoon I attempted another 1-mile walk without any pain. I took two Advil before bed and slept like a baby.



It was 59° and extremely foggy with limited visibility when I started my 4-mile 4-minute run/2-minute walk intervals at 6:30 AM. Despite my left knee bothering me off and on for the last two days, I felt absolutely no pain while running and was delighted to finish my workout feeling just fine. I stopped to pick up a broken bottle left behind by the recycling truck without turning off my Garmin (affiliate link) so that slowed me slightly to a 10:34 average pace.



No Advil and very little knee pain so I guess it really was that my Salsa seat was too low… I lifted weights in the morning between clients and teaching my Balance and Stretching class via Facebook Live. After an outdoor lunch with a dear friend and a quick trip to Costco, I indulged myself with an hour nap once I got home.



Back on our Specialized bikes, Bill and I joined our Dawn Patrol friends for a very scenic 42-mile ride in the countryside of Fauquier County. Our friend Barb even drove over from Alexandria to join us. Barb rides about 200 miles per week and is a very accomplished rider so let’s just say that I only “rode with her” at the very beginning of our ride. I thought it was a very difficult course (close to 3,000 feet of elevation gain), but Bill and I had a great time.


We’re not so sure that we like synchronous shifting and may switch it back, but I think I need to ride with it a little more before I make the final decision. Two of our friends on the ride said that it took them a while to get used to it, but once they did, they love it.

And BTW, my knee didn’t bother me at all during the ride, but I did notice it later in the day.


Here’s What You Might Have Missed

In case you skipped checking in on my blog this past week, here’s what you missed…


  • • Was it crazy foggy this past week where you live? ~ It was unbelievably foggy here!
  • • What was the most fun thing you did this past week? ~ I had lunch outside on Friday with a dear friend who I hadn’t seen since mid-February.
  • • How many live races have you run in 2020? Virtual races? ~ Zero live and two virtual…


And that’s my rundown… Have a great week!




I’m linking up with Deborah at Confessions of a Mother Runner and Kim from Running on the Fly for their Weekly Run Down. Be sure to check out not only the hosts’ posts, but those of the other great bloggers joining in on the fun!


Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on the blue product link and then make a purchase, I will receive a small commission for referring you. You will pay no more or less for the product; however, Amazon will show their gratitude for my referral by paying me.