Saturday, April 25, 2009

Leaving DC Headin to San Diego

Well I am glad to be leaving DC. Headin to my stomping grounds in CA. Won't have my bike, but at least I'll have the opportunity to get some decent trail runs in. Nothing extremely hilly, but it will be nice to run on some rough trails. San Diego is becoming my home away from home. Run down for the second week in DC:

Fri, April 24: Started the day with an early morning recovery run. Took a new route through different neighborhoods and enjoyed the morning songbirds for an easy, relaxing 4 miles. Only worked 10 hours today so got a good workout in the gym. Heading for San Diego tomorrow! I’m really glad to be leaving DC but sure wish I had my bike.

Thurs, April 23: Today we had to be to work early, so I decided to cut my run down to 9 miles from the planned 12. Got up at four and with no dilly-dallying, was on the street by 4:10. Ran a pretty easy pace out about 4 1/2 miles then turned around. On the way back I got so deep in thought that I didn’t pay attention and the next thing I knew I had no clue where I was. Continued running until I found Virginia Ave, a street I ran earlier. Finally came to a spot that I recognized and was back on track. Turned out I ran a two mile circle and was back where I was 20 minutes before. So I got an impromptu speed workout running the last 2 ½ miles back to the hotel, for a total of 11 miles.

Wed, April 22: Very easy 4 ½ mile recovery run early in the morning. Felt a little stiff from yesterday’s run, so started out nice and easy until the legs started loosening up. It was just nice to be outside and listen to the morning songbirds. The rest of the day will be indoors, sitting on my butt and wearing a tie. It was a short easy run, but today’s only sanity check.

Tues, April 21: Didn’t get to do anything Monday due to a very long day at work. Today got up at 4:15 and ran 12 miles in the neighborhoods near the hotel. Felt really good today and kept a pretty brisk pace. Again, even though it was overcast and raining a little bit, the singing of birds as the night drifted into day was incredible. I was feeling particularly good this morning so the last 4 miles I lifted the pace to where it felt like I was racing. I imagined I was in the last 4 miles of the Akron Marathon feeling great and hammering to the finish. It was a good feeling. In the evening I did a quick workout in the hotel gym. The hotel gym equipment was not very good at all, but we worked late and I didn’t have time to go to the real gym. A little of something is better than lot of nothing.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Training in Virginia

Great Falls
Sun, April 19: Today was an awesome trail run in River Bend & Great Falls state parks just north of McLean, VA. Who’d a thought that something so awesome as these parks exist in this extreme urban area. Miles and miles of single track through beautiful woods with singing birds, abundant wild life, and sections of steep hills; it was spiritual! At the end of 23 miles I was feeling so much energy and joy from this run I didn’t want to stop. However, the reality of risking overtraining and the fact I was out of water made me decide to end the adventure. It was truly an awesome run!
Sat, April 18: Started the day with indoor cycling at the McLean Racket & Health Club. 1 ½ hours of sub threshold intervals on one of those stationary bikes with the big fat saddle. Man those saddles are uncomfortable. After the bike workout, ran in River Bend & Great Falls on the recommendation from a colleague at work. Had planned on doing an easy 5 mile recovery run, but the trails were so awesome I couldn’t stop exploring. I finally called it at 7 miles. I am definitely coming back tomorrow for more exploring!

Fri, April 17: Got up early before work and ran through the neighborhoods near the hotel. Nice rolling hills with some pretty impressive houses. The streets are lighted enough to be like daylight and there’s no traffic this early in the morning. This whole area is old wood forest and the houses are built without taking down all the trees. As the sun comes up the birds are incredible. Its like a concert put on by nature. What a way to start the day! 1.4 hrs and 9.5 miles.

Thurs, April 16: Easy five mile recovery run before work through the neighborhood near the hotel. Legs were feeling pretty beat up from running so much pavement yesterday. Just took it easy and even though it was raining, still enjoyed the magic of night turning to day. After work went to the gym for a full body strength workout as well as a 1 hour spin session. Our spinning class included some eight very tough 2 minute Vo2 max intervals. I had a couple minor problems in that I’m still not used to those big fat saddles and when we were going really hard, I pulled my foot out of the pedal a couple times. Good workout though considering I’m here without a bike.

Wed, April 15: Got up at four AM to run a paved trail (W & OD) not too far from the hotel. It’s a pretty nice trail and I just ran a steady pace in the dark for a little over six miles before turning around. What was really cool about this run is the sounds of nature all around. The trail travels through marsh areas, old forests, golf courses, residential areas. Throughout the run there seemed to be massive amounts of birds singing, crickets chirping and other sounds of nature. It was like running in a concert. I felt great the entire run, but a little beat up from the pavement at the end.

Tues, April 14: Went to the gym and participated in a spinning class or as the instructor called it, indoor cycling training. The instructor is a cyclist and doesn’t teach spinning. The bikes are the spinning type bikes with the strap on pedals (that keep coming un-tightened) and BIG FAT SADDLES. Those saddles are intimidating! We had a good workout though, with a thorough warm-up then a series of sub threshold intervals. Actually the perfect type of training for me right now, under the circumstances.

Mon: April 13: Flew to Washington/Dulles then drove to the hotel. Found a gym (The McLean Racket & Health) club less then two minutes walking distance from the hotel. The hotel has a membership so guests can use it for free. Excellent! Went over and did a full body strength workout, focusing on core. Also picked up a copy of their spinning schedule. Gonna make this work!
Total for Week:
Bike: 3.6 hrs, 52 miles
Run: 8.8 hrs, 57 miles

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Highs & Lows

This was the kind of week that will test one’s patience and resolve. A week with ups and downs, highs and disappointments. The week started off very well. Monday was a complete recovery day as I was wasted from last week. Tuesday, I didn’t run in the morning and had a great ride at the Tuesday ProCycling "ride until you puke". I felt great, was able to go at very high intensity and hold my own with the fast guys. Big difference when you don’t do a hard run before the ride. This had me pretty psyched for DawnTillDusk on Saturday. The rest of the week, I pretty much took it easy. An easy six mile run on Wednesday morning followed by an easy ride home from work in the afternoon.

Thursday, an easy ride to work with a half dozen hard sprints just to wake up what little fast twitch muscles I have and that was it for the week. I felt rested and ready for Saturday. Then just as I was getting ready to leave work, I learned that I will be travelling all over the country for a month starting Monday. Instead of going home, I spent the rest of the night coordinating and making travel arrangements. Because of the amount of travel involved I won’t be able to take my bike. 4 ½ weeks of no riding. I’ll also miss a couple of races. I was bummed.

Friday, drove 500+ miles to Gallup, NM for DawnTillDusk. I felt good and was excited about the first race of the season. I really wanted to give it my all since I won’t be riding for a while. Got up Saturday morning and there is a steady downpour of snow and rain. Been raining steady since midnight. The race site was a mud pit. Only four wheel drive vehicles could even get to the venue. At the pre-race meeting we were informed that the race will be delayed and a decision will be made at 10 if it will be cancelled. Shortly after, the sun came out and there was hope. At 10 we were informed that the course is un-ridable and even un-walkable in many sections. They will check conditions again and possibly have a Noon til 7 race. Then it started snowing hard. Big wet flakes. Race cancelled.

Waiting on Race Decision
The excitement for the day was queueing up to climb up the mud bog hill to leave the venue. Each vehicle waited for the one in front to clear the hill before he/she would try. Any non-four wheel drives that came down the night before were not leaving until Sunday at the earliest. So we mudded our way out and drove 500+ miles back home where it was dry and warm.

Waiting for Turn up the "Mud Bog"

Sunday, woke up and it’s snowing big heavy wet flakes. Looks like the New Mexico storm hit Colorado. Had to do something so I got on the trainer. I decided that since I couldn’t ride 12 hours outside, I would ride 6 hours inside. Warmed up for about 15 minutes, then put on the Spinervals "Hardcore 100" training DVD, and blasted the stereo. The "Hardcore 100" DVD is a workout with 5 ½ hours of progressively harder intervals. Starts out fairly easy, increases to moderate intensity, and the last hour is very intense. I felt great and finished very strong. Oh if only I could have raced yesterday!

6 Hours & 116 Miles on the Trainer
So now I’ve got to radically alter my training. I leave tomorrow for DC. Over the next month I will be in San Diego, Irving, TX and back to DC. I think I will be restricted to running, but if I can swing it, maybe I can find a gym and possibly get into a spinning class now and then. This certainly is a set back, but somehow, I’ll work it out.
Sun: Bike – 6 hrs, 116 miles
Thurs: Bike – 1.3 hrs, 19.5 miles
Wed: Run - .9 hrs, 6.2 miles, Bike – 1.7 hrs, 19.5 miles
Tues: Bike (MTB) – 1.8 hrs, 15.6 miles, Core Strength - .8 hrs

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Rough Week

This was a pretty rough week. The weather was cold and windy all week and on every group ride I got spanked. I’m sure the running has a lot to do with that. I sure am starting to feel old riding with all these young fast guys. Next week is the first big test. The DawnTillDusk Mountain Bike Race in Gallup, NM. Total for week:
Run: 8 hrs, 50 miles
Bike: 12 hrs, 142 miles
The Old Guy with ProCycling Studs (Click to enlarge)
Sunday: After dealing with the wind and trying to keep up with the young guys yesterday I was completely exhausted. I crawled to bed around 8:30 and slept until 8:00. Woke up feeling pretty good. The sun was shining, but it was still windy and cold. I decided to run and not really plan where. Make it up as I go along. Headed for Ute Valley, ran a loop, then over to the middle school where Roswitha was running laps on the track. Ran a couple of miles with her then headed back to Ute Valley. I was feeling really good today and even though there was a stiff cold wind, it didn’t bother me. I was enjoying the run and so was Max. We ran several long loops and after 18 miles started heading toward home. Max is incredible. We had just covered 20 miles and once we got to within a mile of the house, he started sprinting through all his "known rabbit hideouts" like we had just started! When we got home he absolutely had to go clear the back yard of any rabbits or squirrels.
Run: 3.6 hrs, 21 miles 2,260’ climbing

Max, My best Running Buddy

Saturday: Saturday was a tough day. I could hear the wind howling from my bed. Got up to see light snow blowing sideways, not good. Went for a 5 mile run with Max and the wind was ridicules. Strong, frigid and miserable. I also felt tired. Got home, ate and headed for the team ride. It was about an hour ride to where we met and I had a tail wind so even though I was tired, it felt like I was flying. Because of the weather, we had a rather small turn out; six. With the exception of me they were all young fast guys and at least two of them, Doug & Kalan, pro.

Doug Ryden

We had a good ride in Cheyenne Canyon, although I was getting dropped a lot and when I did hang on I was struggling. Going home was rough. Against an even stronger & colder headwind. I got caught by a side wind and was actually blown off the bike path. Shortly after that I came upon the always-comical group of Hash House Harriers. They were spread out all over the woods looking for beer. I’m sure when they found it, it was cold! Ducked into Ute Valley to get some more single-track riding and escape the wind. Once I got home I was exhausted both mentally & physically. For the first time this year, I felt like I was my age.

Run: .8 hrs, 5 miles
Bike: 4.8 hrs, 42 miles, 4,140’ climbing

Friday: An easy relaxing ride to work. Left around 5:30. Weather was beautiful, clear and in the 30s. Again, the mountains looked pristine as the early morning sunrise reflected their snowcaps. Makes you feel great to be alive! In the evening got an unexpected ride. As I headed for my truck after work, I realized I forgot my keys. Not planning on riding home, I stuffed my morning riding clothes in my backpack. Pulled them out and they were soaked. Yuk! Rode home in wet smelly clothes in a pretty stiff head wind. Luckily it wasn’t super cold.
Bike: 3.1 hrs, 39 miles

Thursday: Got up at 4:30 and went on 12 mile run with Max in fresh snow from snowstorm last night. Absolutely beautiful! Nothing like running in fresh snow on mountain trails early in the morning. Treading the first footprints and being dark, sometimes I had a hard time following the trail. As in the past I just relied on Max and let him show me the way. Every now and then we came upon Coyote tracks so I made sure I Max was always in sight. At about 4 miles we came upon very fresh, what I believe to be, mountain lion tracks. Yikes! From that point I made Max run at my side. I certainly don’t want Max becoming mountain lion breakfast. As the sun rose, I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be out here running. The scene was simply amazing. What a way to start the day.

In the evening, rode home from work at a good tempo. Lengthened the route so I could get two 30 minute tempo sections without having to stop for traffic lights or stop signs. The route home from work is pretty good for tempo riding as home is a few hundred feet higher than the office. It was a great ride, and it is obvious that taking it easy yesterday was the right thing to do. I feel totally recharged!
Run: 1.7 hrs, 12 miles
Bike: 1.6 hrs, 22 miles

Wednesday: Felt really tired today. I had planned on riding to and from work but just couldn’t drag my tired but out of bed early enough to ride, so I drove. My plan for riding home was squelched when another snowstorm hit right about time to go. I was still feeling pretty run down and decided to listen to my body. I went home and rode 1 hour on the trainer focusing on relaxing and hi rpm spinning. This helped work some of the stiffness out of my legs and hopefully will give me a nice rest to get recharged.
Bike: 1 hour, ? miles