Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Epic AGAIN

Last year I was insanely envious of PIC Sonja when I heard she and Coach Steve were off on their long bike rides up Shadow or an Epic loop and I was stuck at work doing you know, work stuff. From the stories I heard about the rides, they were long and fun with lots of laughter and riding side by side socializing.  I wanted to join them so badly, I wished I didn't have to go to work.  But you know what they say (who is "they" and why do "they" have so many sayings?), careful what you wish for!  



I was not this happy riding Epic

Now I am getting the phone calls, hey you want to do Shadow tomorrow?  Sure, sounds great. Only then it turns into an Epic loop which I had only done once before last June.  And here we are in February, FEBRUARY, hitting Epic.  Here's the summary of this ride:  up and over Deer Creek, up Parmalee Gulch, up Kerr Gulch, up backside of Shadow Mountain, up backside of High Grade, hope you can hold onto the fast downhill on High Grade/Deer Creek, ~75 miles, 5 hours 45 minutes, and a billion feet of climbing, OK about 8500).  This was last Thursday, and the ride went well.  I mean, as well as an Epic ride in February can go.  But we did it, I got dropped once on Kerr Gulch (more on that damned gulch later), but I hung in there with Steve-O and PIC, stayed fully engaged and had a great ride.  

And then the decision was made on Friday, Epic on Tuesday?  My smart self says, hmmmm 2 Epics, some running, swimming and skiing in one week?  Nah.  But my smart self never speaks up only the yet-to-be-named dumbass that thinks, Great Idea!!!  Let's go!  Plus, PIC tells me the night before the ride that it is going to be "easier" than Thursday's ride.  Right.  

It all started so nicely, so pleasantly.  But I soon realize that Steve is riding a bit harder up Deer Creek than last week and my heart rate is nearing 150, which is right around race pace.  Not good, especially since we are only 1 hour into a 5+ hour ride.  And my back is bothering me on the uphills too......down we go and onto climb #2.  Fortunately for me, PIC dropped a couple of things while shedding some clothes and needed to go back to retrieve them and I settled into a nice easy pace.  But again, Steve picked it up towards the top of Parmalee and this time we didn't stop at the top.  

Now Kerr Gulch (aka fucking Kerr Gulch grrrr).  I thought it would be easier this time around since we didn't have the F2 (fucking ferocious) headwind like last week.  I was sadly mistaken.  Steve is pedaling along, Son is on his wheel, and I am hanging on in the back.  They both stand up, I follow suit, look up and they have dropped me.  What????  AHHHHH.  I was dropped here last week and it happened again, and the weird thing?  Out of nowhere I cry.  Which is a bad thing when you are redlining because you can't breathe.  I calm down, put my head down, and managed to catch up.  But I was pissed off and frustrated.  I yelled out I HATE YOU STEVE but he had his tunes on and didn't hear me.  I wanted to go back to work at the office.  I was going to quit the ride.  I was going to take Little Cub home and call it a day.  My legs hurt, my back hurt, and there were still 2 more climbs to go.  No Way.  And I was still crying.  We made the rest stop (Circle K) in Evergreen, I dropped my bike off and headed straight for the bathroom. I needed a moment to gather myself before I strangled Steve.  PIC followed me in and helped me realize, it's just a climb.  It's just today.  And clearly, Kerr Gulch is now my next mental obstacle to overcome.  (BTW, PIC - THANK YOU!!)  I didn't quit, and decided to stick on Steve's wheel up Shadow. 

Only problem with sticking on Steve's wheel you ask?  Well, it means that you are now the main focus of the finger pointing - meaning stick on my wheel as if your life depends on it.  No easing up, just full on stay with Steve.  There were several times when he gave me "the finger" as I was falling off the back and I just shook my head, are you f***g kidding me??? Apparently, PIC was behind me chuckling because she had been in that position so many times before on Steve's wheel - the shaking the head, the I hate you, the I'm never doing this again, the can I just stop at the top and take a nap, the are you kidding me we just hit 45 mph on the downhill.  

On our way back to the house, PIC and I decided that somehow Shadow got steeper in the last 5 days.  Not sure how that happened but it did.  We also decided that we were not going to do that ride again.  We collapsed on the front lawn, looked up at the blue sky, and started giggling. And then Steve said, so ride it again Monday?  PIC said YES.  And, of course, so did I.  

Monday, February 23, 2009

6x1

I know, it's a bit late to post a video from last Tuesday's track workout. But it took me that long to figure out iMovie. And then I realized I couldn't post from iMovie and had ask PIC what I needed to do. Which lead me to compressing the video and then creating a YouTube account. Just so you know, these are all activities I had sworn NOT to do. (not asking PIC, just the video compressing and YouTube stuff) I probably shouldn't admit it took me that long to do any of this.....that's right, I've been lazy and busy. At the same time.

So my apologies for the following video.....this is what happens when I am home alone and dreading a track workout. I also apologize for not reading the owner's manual for the camera thus leading to the blurry video. I am the only one to blame for the shaky camera and general goofiness. Oh and it was my first time using iMovie too....so enjoy!!!! (BTW, cast of characters: me, Bethie, Sonja, and Sonja's cat)

Feb. 17 - Feb. 22 Update

Weekly Update
Swims
Monday:  Masters distance ~5000 yds
Saturday:  1 hour non-stop (20m swim, 25m pull, 15m swim)

Bikes
Thursday:  Epic loop (74 miles, 5 hrs 40 min, 8500 feet climbing over 5 "hills")

Runs
Tuesday:  6 x 1 mile repeats
Friday:  12 miles w/ 1/2 mile race pace efforts miles 6-10

Other:
Weights x 2; core class x 1; 1 ski day 

Sleep
OK

Recovery
Generally good.  Normatech pants on Friday after run and legs felt great afterwards. Stretching almost daily.

Mood
Good with periods of crankiness

Health
Somehow tweaked lower back this week, it started acting up on Thursday ride, possibly due to increased speed work, core class, and time on bike.  It loosened up on Sunday so I'll watch it and not push over next week.  Knee also a bit sore this week.  Otherwise healthy and weathered another kids' cold.

Comments:
Even with a day off this week, I was pretty tired and sore but felt I had some quality workouts and hit a couple of milestones (swim on Monday was aggressive and was able to keep pace with fast girl, Epic on Thursday in February and stayed in-the-game entire ride, quality 12 miles on Friday on tired legs and happy with speed effort).


Monday, February 16, 2009

Feb. 9 - Feb. 16

Weekly Update
Swims
Monday: Masters swim 5000y
Friday: Masters sprint day ~3700y

Bikes
Wednesday: Spin 2 hours

Runs
Tuesday: 8 miles conversational pace
Thursday: 10 miles with 1/2 mile 10k pace efforts miles 4-8
Sunday: 17 miles up Deer Creek, Highgrade, City View

Other
Weights and abs x 2

Sleep: Good this week except after 17 miler due to stomach distress

Recovery: Decent but needed an extra 2 hours sleep mid-day on Saturday as I was not feeling right. Also skipped my spin on Saturday since I was sleeping.

Mood: Very good, positive attitude

Health: GI issues all week, some headaches



Beth, John, Tyler, Nicole, me and Sarah before starting out on our big run with the hills in the distance

Key Workout Description:  Run up Deer Creek, High Grade, City View (17 miles and ab. 3000 feet of climbing) with "pickup" at switchbacks to school house

Nutrition:  2 waffles and 2 chicken sausages 2 hours before run time.  Heed in water bottle.  Took 1/4 of pb& honey sandwich at mile 6 and another at mile 11.  Stomach distress started around mile 12 and continued the remainder of the day.  Was unable to eat rest of run.  After run drank 32 ounces of Accelerade.  45 minutes later ate a protein bar.  

Weather:  Beautiful!  Sunny skies, light wind, about 30 degrees.

Distance:  17.18 miles

Pace:  Averaged 11.18 including stops for water, food and bathroom

Heart Rate Stats:  Average HR 142

Comments:  Paced with Beth entire run and we ran it smartly.  Held back early in run with the goal of running entire distance and feeling good at end.  Was able to meet this goal but had GI/ nutrition issues.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Listen...

As an athlete, probably one of the most important things we can do for ourselves is to listen to our bodies.  Although for me, I am usually better at flat out ignoring what my body may or may not be trying to tell me.  All week I have had a low grade headache and GI distress and every morning just didn't feel that great.  But I'm more of a "get movin' and you'll feel better" type of gal so I didn't miss any workouts.  My workouts were good though so I really have no complaints just that I feel like sh*t when I get up in the morning.  

Now, I usually always eat what my body wants (I listen to food cravings) and this week that was chocolate chips.  As in, by the hand-full - apparently my period will be starting soon (oops - should've put a "girlie" warning at the top of this post).  I also usually eat lots of peanut butter.....and with the current peanut butter scare I thought for a moment I might have salmonella poisoning.  But I have had that before and I would KNOW if that were the case.  So, in short, unusually tired and all yucky in the morning.  Oh and Mom, I AM NOT PREGNANT AND THERE WILL BE NO MORE BABIES even though I saw a really cute baby for a minute yesterday but then remembered cute babies turn into strong-willed 3-year olds!  

This morning it happened again.  Bleh.  And I needed to get on my trainer and ride for an hour, not a big deal but honestly about the last thing in the world I wanted to do.  Instead, I took Charlotte to a birthday party for a couple of hours, ate pizza and cake, and figured I would ride when I got home.  But I never felt better and by the time I got home Michael looked at me and said you don't look right....so I laid down on the couch.  2 hours later (yep, two, dos, duo, 2) I woke up to an empty house.  Whoa, a 2 hour sleep?  But here's the cool thing, I feel better.  I'm sitting here on my second cup of ginger tea, watching the Tour de California (LOVE LOVE LOVE bike racers) and things are looking OK.  

So what's my lesson of the day/week?  I really have no idea.  If anyone can figure it out please let me know.  The only thing I am coming up with is sleep when you're tired.  Could it really be that simple?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ru-roh

I was so excited about today's little workout because there was something just a bit different on the schedule.  A little tiny bit of speed:  10 miles, with 1/2 mile 10k pace efforts from 4 - 8. Sweet! After a long couple of months in the LSD mode (long slow distance, please I am NOT using drugs) a bit of speed looked like it might be kinda fun.  

This is the type of run that is PERFECT for the Highline Canal....flat and with mile and half mile markers lining the trail.  I had my Garmin of course, but there is nothing around my house that is flat so I made the trek to the trail.  The first three miles were great and easy (as they should be for a warm-up) and I kept thinking about my pace for the 1/2 mile efforts.  I took the last 10k I ran (off the bike at Nationals and my best 10k time evah) and figured it would be cake. I mean really, just 1/2 mile efforts right? Ha.  What was I thinking??

The first one went well, I was pretty steady and held a pace lower than my target.  The second was OK, but I noticed my pace was all over the place (7:29, 6:54, 7:52, 6:19 - wah? etc.).  And that one hurt.  I kept telling myself, self hold steady on the pace and you probably won't blow up your heart rate.  But do I listen?  Nah.  Third 1/2 mile really hurt and once again pace was variable.  Fourth one I wished I was done.  And I thought this was going to be a cake walk??? Oh, and the fifth effort?  I managed to even out the pace but my legs felt so heavy I wasn't even sure I was lifting them up off the ground!!  My legs hurt!!!  I stuck it out though and finished up the run and was soooo glad to be done.  

Which leads me to my next thought.....on the docket for next week?  A group track "event":  10 x 1 mile repeats.  Oh man.  Here we go.  BRING IT!!!!!  I am so excited to be back on the track with my peeps, but now after today's run, maybe not as excited for the actual workout.  And I just found out about Sunday's run.....bottom of Deer Creek to the top of City View.  20 miles of climbing baby.  And that sounds so much better than speed work!!! 

What is wrong with me?  


Monday, February 9, 2009

Feb. 2 - Feb. 8 Update

Weekly Update
Swims
Monday:  Masters, distance day 5000y
Wednesday:  45 minutes non-stop

Bikes
Tuesday:  2 hours w/ 1 min. hard efforts after 30 min.
Thursday:  3 hours conversational pace
Saturday:  2 hours with  1 hour race w/ big boys, ouch. (total 37 miles)

Runs
Monday:  8 miles no speed
Wednesday:  10 miles no speed
Friday:  6.75 miles dreadmill pick-up pace miles 3-6

Other
Weights and abs x 2
Ski day x 1

Sleep
OK.  Couple of nights very restless sleep.  

Recovery
Decent.  

Mood
Very cranky after Monday's run (already had swam and lifted).  I think my nutrition was off, will adjust for next big day.  Remainder of week mood was fine.

Health
Good, no issues.  Knee is performing quite well, pain seems to be diminishing and recovery is also faster, even having days with no pain.  

Comments
Continuing to work on nutrition issues especially on days with more than one workout.  

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Trouble in the REZ

An unbelievable day in February.......68 degrees!!!  And a perfect day for a ride, I can't think of any other way to spend a gorgeous afternoon than riding with a friend.  We left from my house for a few fun Cherry Creek Rez laps and all was going well (except truth be told Noell was clearly up for picking up the pace and kicking my a** today).  Then the unthinkable happened!!! (insert bad scary music here)  Yep, Noell flatted.  Of course, we are probably the most inexperienced tire changers EVER and so this had disaster written all over it!!!  After 15 minutes of trying to change the tire (including a phone call) here's what happened:


Of course, while I was at the shop getting hands on instruction on how to change a tire (at least he was cute), Noell had a few extra minutes of time on her hands.


And here's how it all ended up.....needless to say, we had a great ride even with our little tire changing delay.  We have both vowed to spend an evening with a tire in front of the TV and just keep changing the sucker until we have it down.  I'll even put the fire on and crack open a bottle of vino....should make for some interesting tire changing!!!



As you may have noticed (or may not or even cared for that matter), this is a first for me. Yep, these are the first videos I have posted in my blog.  Yippee!!!  And since I now know how easy it is, watch out, I may become a video uploading freak.  Although I suppose I should figure out how to condense several videos into one....can anyone out there help me with that???? Anyone????  Anyone???  Bueller??  

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Life in Pictures

What have I been doing these past few weeks you ask? First things first, settling into unemployment (or employment-challenged depending on if you're a half-empty or half-full type of person). Second, getting in some QUALITY training.....watch out Australia:) Third, enjoying my family and friends even more than I usually do......

Brecken-windy.  Doesn't it look warm???  Anita and I have discovered the key to keeping our toes warm depends on if there are pickles at the Bloody Mary bar.  Seriously.

Isabelle and Mia on the first day of Bombers


Charlotte on her first day on skis:  she's a natural!!


Noell, Beth and me running at Chatfield

Steph, Anita and Lesa getting ready for fondue


Fondue at mi casa

Uber-bowler Steph.  I have no idea how to flip the picture around.

I may look tough, but I am the worst bowler I know.  Other than my husband.


Me and Michael

Monday, February 2, 2009

January 26 - Feb. 1

Weekly Update:
Swims
Monday:  Masters 5,000yds
Friday:  1 hour non-stop, pulled about 25 minutes

Bikes
Saturday:  City View, comfy pace (33 miles, climbing)

Runs
Tuesday:  8 miles, conversational pace
Thursday:  8 miles, faster effort miles 3, 4, 5

Other
Core workout x 1
Ski day Sunday 

Sleep
Great

Recovery
Less intense week with a day off on Wednesday.   

Mood
Good, positive

Health
No major issues, little bit of a runny nose.

Comments
Very tired after Monday Masters but to be expected after swimming ~11k in 24 hours. Runs felt great although it was difficult to bring my heart rate down after faster effort on second run. Was very sore (obliques) from core class, clearly need to be changing ab routine up more often. Legs were more tired than I expected on bike Saturday, but legs felt great Sunday for skiing.