Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Training Update 14

Monday A17: AM 1:43 cycling- rode out to my storage locker to get the lock and check out. Along the way, I managed to break one of my pedals. You would think that with a broken Crank Brothers pedal, you would not be able to pull up but your shoe/cleat would still sit nicely on top of the platform. Wrong. My right leg got a really good workout, though! PM 1:19 running- W&L XC course with 8*100m strides

Tuesday A18: AM 2:03 running- out and back on the Chessie Trail- felt pretty good

Wednesday A19: AM 0:56 running- W&L XC course PM 1:11 running- W&L XC course- knee felt good and then bad and then good again- 8*100m strides

Thursday A20: AM 1:43 running- out and back on the Chessie Trail with 3,2,1,3,2,1,3,2,1 hard zith 2,2,1,2,2,1,2,2,1 easy- my first speed workout in possibly a decade! I actually felt pretty good on this one and the cooldown was difficult which is always a sign that I paced a workout well! PM 0:29 running around campus

Friday A21: AM 0:10 running, 1:29 deep water running, 0:10 running- my first "run" in the Maury River- a most certain improvement over the pool!

Saturday A22: AM 0:58 running- W&L XC course PM 1:02 W&L XC course with 8*100m strides

Sunday A23: AM 2:20 running- I started out this run planning on river running (aquajoging) but my knee felt pretty good and so I decided to run instead (I to to the river and so the decision was made en route). 20 minutes into the run, my knee felt so bad that I decided to pack it in and run home. On the way back, the knee started feeling better and so I decided to add on a little bit to make it an hour but then I tried to do a road loop and ended up at 2:20. I felt good for the entire run (this ties my second longest run since early spring!) Later in the day, my knee felt like absolute shit- it was difficult to extend my leg entirely- very discouraging...

Weekly totals:
12:31 running (80% of total)
1:43 cycling (11% of total)
1:29 pool running (9% of total)
Total: 15:43

Comments: An interesting week in that the total workload (15:43) was quite low but the overall running was my highest in quite some time. Despite the higher amount of running, my knee was not noticeably worse- it still hurt, just not any more than last week. I also managed to get out for my first pool run since the spring semester. For this, I ran down to a park along the Maury River 10 min from my apartment where there is a dam pond and I knew that the river would be sufficiently deep for deep water running. This was really quite a good spot for DWR- I was able to "run" up river for 45 minutes and then came back in 44. There was no one on the river and the scenery was great (if you like trees and rocks), no one stole my running shoes, and no leaches (at least I have not found any yet.

The reason behind the higher than usual amount of running at the expense of cycling was because my bike (xootr) is not doing well. The headset is messed up and I lack the tools, knowledge, or combination of tools and knowledge to address the issue right now. On top of this, my pedal breaking at the beginning of the week really put the bike on the DL. To make things worse, I am unable to remove the good pedal from the crank. I actually left the house early Sunday morning with mismatching pedals (one crank bros' and one platform); I made it about three revolutions before realizing that is was a bad idea... Fortunately, I just got a new road bike (actually a cyclocross bike) and so next week, my cycling should be back on track.

The picture this week is a view of the White Mountains (NH) from the fire tower on Monadnock Mountain (VT). This should go without saying, but the picture does very little justice to the majesty of the actual view- particularly of the meandering Connecticut River below.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Training Update 13

Monday A10: AM 1:30 running- around Mount Snow (made it to the top) with K PM 0:37 running- up M&M North, back on Tom's trail with Ned

Tuesday A11: AM 1:35 running- up Mount Lincoln with Ned PM 1:03 cycling- up Gulf road, Meetinghouse road and back down on 202- HOT!

Wednesday A12: PM 1:01 running- back campus trails- felt predictably awful

Thursday A13: PM 0:59 running- out and back on the Maury River Trail

Friday A14: AM 1:00 running- back campus trail with a medium pack PM 0:50 running- out to my storage locker PM 0:32 cycling- back from my storage locker with a large duffel full of stuff

Saturday A15: AM 0:44 running- out to my storage locker AM 1:20 cycling- back from and then to and from my storage locker PM 1:02 running- back campus trails and 8*100m strides on the track

Sunday A16: AM 3:52 cycling- my first real road ride in VA- A very pleasant ride even with the very hot final hour!

Weekly totals:
9:18 running (58% of total)
6:47 cycling (42% of total)

Total: 16:05

Comments: I knew that this week would be a difficult one for training as it involved me moving my stuff and myself from Vermont to Virginia. The week started out alright (since going from southern VT to western Mass is really not that difficult) but then 11:00 on Tuesday night, I left for Virginia and drove through the night. I arrived in one piece the next day but I was pretty tired for a few days as a result. The added stress of the travel plus trying to find a place to live (I do now have a place to live) also detracted from both the quantity and quality of my workouts this week. The highpoint of the week was the ride that I did on Sunday morning. While it did get a little bit hot at the end (and I only have one water bottle holder!) but the route was great- rivaling the rides that I enjoy so much in Central VT and Western MASS! I am really looking forward to the road riding here in Rockbridge County and the local trail running, while not as extensive as I have been used to since leaving Mount Pleasant, is pretty good as well. A word about the heat... I was mentally prepared for the heat (in that I knew that it was going to be hot down here in the dirty, dirty south; however, my runs down here have really not been much worse than the runs that I did in B-town with Ned earlier in the week. There are also fewer biting insects here.

This weeks picture is of the exterior of my new apartment on Main Street in Lexington, Virginia taken from Google Street View. The two upper left-hand windows are mine. The store front below is undergoing renovations and I am not sure what the new store is going to sell.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Training Update 12

Monday A03: AM 4:04 cycling- mountain biking in Cheyenne Canyon- I suck at mountain biking PM 1:02 running- steady out and back in Williams Canyon- felt really good despite the past few days

Tuesday A04: AM 2:15 cycling- around Red Rocks PM 1:35 running- Williams, Waldo, Ute steady

Wednesday A05: AM 2:22 cycling- around Red Rocks PM 1:00 running- Out and back on Intemann

Thursday A06: AM 2:35 cycling- through Red Rocks and up to Cheyenne Canyon and back PM 0:52 running- up and down Red Mountain with K

Friday A07: PM 0:30 running- from the Burlington Airport to the Penske dealer PM 0:59 running- Paine Mountain loop (second half in the dark)

Saturday A08: AM 1:39 running- Paine Mountain PM 1:34 cycling- to and from Big Shaws

Sunday A09: AM 2:46 cycling- Moretowm Gap, Mad River, Roxbury Gap

Weekly totals:
7:37 running (33% of total)
15:36 cycling (67% of total)

Total: 23:13

Comments: ...a decent week considering the disruption caused but the first (and easiest) leg of my move. Next week will not be as good. My Monday run up and down Williams Canyon was absolutely spectacular and my final ride (for a long time?) in the Mad River Valley was very nice as well.

This week's picture is a stylized image of a purple trillium taken on Monadnock Mountain in Vermont (not to be confused with the more well-known Monadnock Mountain in Southern New Hampshire).

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bill Gates 4th at Sierre-Zinal (OK, Ricky Gates 4th at Sierre-Zinal)

...let me be the first (on this side of the Atlantic) to congratulate Bill 'Rickey' Gates on his excellent performance at the 2009 Sierre-Zinal mountain race. For those of you who are unaware, S-Z is the top mountain race in the world. In order to perform well at S-Z, you must be a complete athlete! It requires runners to climb steep (1 mile vertical in the first 10 km) then run well on fast tracks (the European word for trails) at high altitude, and then run a tough decent into Zinal. 2:39 and change is the fastest that any USAian (I am specifically not saying American so as to exclude the ageless Ricardo) since the (correct me if I am wrong) great Pablo Vigil.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Race Report: Camichael Training Systems Sand Creek Series Race 3

With my knee slowly coming back into running condition, I have been riding my bike quite a bit and over the past few weeks, I have added some mountain biking into the mix as well. When K told me (on Wednesday) about a local race on a Saturday (August 1st) that we were in town, I was interested in giving it a try. I looked into the course (the Falcon Trail at the Air Force Academy) and most reviewers reported that it was relatively non-technical so that was a plus. We got to the race a little bit late (after leaving the house a little bit late) to find a long line at registration (with 30 minutes to race time). Thankfully, they moved the start time back 30 minutes and I managed to get in a few minutes of a warmup- but not a extensive a warmup as I could have used. 10-minutes before the race start, they called us up to the line in groups starting with the pro men and leading down from there. After we were lined up in the appropriate order, we sat around loosing the effect of our (in my case) already inadequate warmups. Groups went off in 2-minute intervals starting with Pro men, cat(egory) 1 19-29, et cetera. I was back in cat 2 30-39 along with about 10 other riders starting with 6 or so cat 2 19-29 riders.

After we (finally) took off, the course traveled up a slight uphill over a lane wide enough for 3-4 riders before heading onto the singletrack. I did not get a very good start (my competitors were hammering to get a good position) but I was not too worried because I did not really know where I should have been in the field anyway. I settled in to a comfortable pace right behind some riders who were going slower than I would have been going if I would have had an open track. I passed a few riders and then got passed back on a short downhill portion of the course. We traveled down through some rocky stuff and a few stream crossings before heading up for the major climb of the ~12.5 mile lap. I climbed well reaching the front of the cat 2 field (finally) before I flatted near the top of the climb.

#$%@! My tire just went flat (after the race I had a look at the tire and it had just split- no puncture). Pretty much everyone passed me back while I stopped to change it and I got back on the trail with the caboose of my category plus the cat 2 40+ and cat 3 (both of whom started with an additional stagger behind me). I then realized that I was at the top of the major climb and tried my best on the smooth but really twisty singletrack descent. On the second and smaller climb, I caught a few of the riders that had passed me and I even held a few of them off on the final descent to the finish. I went through the first lap and ditched my inner tube and one of my water bottles and headed out for my second lap. For the first small climb, I got caught behind my cycling opposite, he was slow but steady on the climbs, flowed over the rough stuff like water, and descended like a fast guy on a bike. I, on the other hand, slam up the hills, manage through the rough stuff and point it downhill and liberally apply the breaks. I finally got around my opposite and headed up the major climb for second time. I had a good climb and passed a few riders on the way to the top and had a good initial descent holding off the riders that I had passed though the top of the second climb. I was still flustered from my flat on the first lap but I was feeling pretty good about my riding at this point. I gambled a bit with my speed and had a minor crash then had another minor crash on a downhill switchback. This second crash managed to alter the function of my front brakes and I quickly unhooked them and sped off.

It took about 25 meters to realize how bad an idea this was and I stopped and quickly adjusted the brakes as best I could managing to make them functional but much more sensitive than before. This became an issue a few minutes later when I was speeding down a hill and I looked ahead to see that the trail turned to go around a tree. I applied the brakes an appropriate distance from the tree; however, in my haste, I pulled on the front brake without taking into consideration the new sensitivity. I locked and buried my front wheel in the loose gravel, launched over the handlebars, and faceplanted in the dirt. Luckily, no one was right behind me so I had time to check myself for catastrophic injury. Sensing nothing was terribly wrong, I got up, re-attached my visor, and got back on my bike. At this point, my race was over, I had about a mile to go and I got passed by four riders without any fight. I could feel my lip was fat, I had (lots of) dirt in my nose and when I would spit, the stuff that came out was really dark (I was hoping that it was dirt and not blood). I kept my speed under control and rolled through the finish line 8th out of 10 in the cat 2 30-39. After the finish line, I rode around for a few minutes looking for K before stopping to fix my bike and get a drink. Upon removing my helmet, I found that several of the vents were full of dirt (later, I would discover that my inov-8 racing t-shirt had a nice rip in it as well.) I found K, and we took off for Manitou post-hast.

Even though I did not race very well (getting caught behind other riders, crashing, having two mechanicals, riding poorly downhill), I am glad that I did the race. This was a trail that I think that I would really enjoy training on (either cycling or running) but I am just not ready to race on it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Training Update 11

Monday J27: AM 4:10 cycling- mountain biking above Chyenne Canyon PM 0:44 running- from Peter and Nora's on Intemann

Tuesday J28: AM 6:00 cycling- from Manitou to DIA with K- rode pretty easy but this is still a long time in the saddle

Wednesday J29: AM 4:00 cycling- out and back on the New Santa Fe Trail PM- 1:00 running- out and back on Intemann

Thursday J30: AM 1:01 cycling- easy around the GOG PM 1:01 running- out and back in Williams Canyon

Friday J31: AM 1:03 running- out and back on Intemann PM 1:15 cycling to and from Pro Cycling

Saturday A01: AM 2:50 cycling- 25 mile mountain bike race in 2:16 with a short warm up and cooldown PM 0:38 running- easy out and back in Williams Canyon with Gute

Sunday A02: AM 2:30 running- up Barr Trail with Gute- ran to about 1.5 miles to go and then seriously bonked- stopped the watch and just walked

Weekly totals:
6:56 running (26% of total)
19:16 cycling (74% of total)

Total: 26:12

Comments: It was an interesting week with a great day of mountain biking on Monday (4+hours) followed by a 100-mile road ride on Tuesday and a 4-hour ride on Wednesday. Wednesday pm, K e-mailed me a link about a mountain bike race at the Air Force Academy and I decided to do it. I took Thursday and Friday relatively easy and rode hard on Saturday (and have the scars to prove it!). The most notable workout of the week was my (attempted) run up Pikes Peak on Sunday. I started at 7:30 with Gute and pMax at a pretty good pace. It was pretty warm at the bottom and I was sweating quite a bit (I sweat a lot when running uphill regardless of the weather). pMax peeled off at the top of the Ws and Gute and I charged on. My knee hurt a little bit for about a mile below Barr Camp but then worked itself out (magically). With about 3.5 miles to go, I let Gute go (I could no longer keep up) and then I ran pretty well to the 2 miles to go sign. With 2 miles to go, (this is still a long way to go on Barr Trail) I started to feel really rough and I was still passing hikers and other runners but I was slowing down quite a bit. With about 1.5 miles to go, I stopped my watch at 2:30 and stared walking- not speed hiking but walking. Slowly. It took me almost an hour to walk the rest of the way and many hikers passed me along the way! Even though I was walking quite slowly, it was still very difficult moving forward. I am not sure if my bonk was more the result of glycogen depletion or the high altitude (I am sure that both contributed) but I am sure that it was very, very humbling. Nevertheless, it was a good way to end a high-volume week and I am happy that I made it to the top of Pikes for my third time ever and my first time since 2003.