Thursday, July 22, 2010

Oh, yeah, it's Rollercoaster time

Yesterday, I headed out to Emmaus, Pa, hometown of Rodale publishing who puts out Bicycling. Also home to some really really strong and really really crazy riders. Every year for the last several years, a group of these crazy riders have done what's known as 2/5/10 on the 2nd rest day of the Tour de France. Here's a little bit about the ride:
Ride the 3 hills of Emmaus (2nd, 5th and 10th streets) with a group of people who love bikes. And then, keep riding those hills 10 total times.
Simple enough right? These are no little road bumps. Some more about the ride:
Mileage per lap: 10.19 miles
Elevation per lap: 1,473 feet
Approximate time per lap: 47 minutes
Approximate time climbing per lap: 26 minutes
Approximate avg. speed: 13.1 mph
(I averaged 11.3 for the whole ride)
Highest % grade: 22% (on 10th)
Avg. grade of all climbs: 6.3%

My intention was to ride 6 laps. I'm not in shape to ride 100 miles right now and certainly not when it involves so much climbing. I got in touch with my old pal Kristy who lives and rides out there to see if she was riding. I know she had done the entire thing last year. She was in.
We rolled out of South Mountain Cycles a little passed 7AM, about 30 of us. We start the first climb on 2nd st right away. A nice flat warm up would have been nice, but oh well. I hung on to the back of the pack and tried to find my legs. I managed to hang on to the back until we got to 10th st, the 3rd climb of the loop. 10th st has a section that is 22% grade. The rest of it isn't too much better. Bye bye, doggie. I was off the back questioning my sanity. On lap 1. Kristy, kind soul that she is, rode with me.
After every lap, we roll through the bike shop where our times and laps are recorded on a white board. When I rolled in on the first lap, the group was gone already. Lap 1 took 47 minutes. HA! The rest of my laps would be about 57 minutes.
2nd time around, I actually felt better. Now I knew what was coming.
Before the 3 lap, I stopped to fill my bottle and have a gel. It was getting warm and it was humid. Climbing 2nd st wasn't too bad. It's fairly long but not too steep and in the shade. Climbing 10th st, I would sweat so much I would be soaked to the bone and sweat running into my eyes. On 10th st on lap 3, I looked at Kristy and said, I'm sitting the next lap out. I hadn't enough very much before the ride started and I was feel a little cooked. My hands hurt from pulling on the bars up the hills.
I spent the next 50 minutes or so drinking tea, having snacks and chatting with the folks hanging out at the shop.
I jumped back in with Kristy for my 4th lap, her 5th. I felt much better. The break was a good one. Somewhere on lap 4 I decided I was going to be done at 5 laps. After my 4th lap, same routine: stop, fill bottles, snack, go. I was pounding fluids. The bank clock next to the bike shop read 92 degrees.
I knew Loren was going to join the ride on her lunch break. Just before Kristy and I turned on to the 5th st climb, there she was. She had taken a short cut to find us and rode the rest of the lap with us. New legs in the group is nice (ha group, me and Kristy. But people do rotate in and out all day which helps the people going long keep going). This was my last lap. Last time up 10th st. UGH. It was a nice feeling knowing I was going to be done for the day and lunch would be waiting for us back at the shop. The whole group was back together wolfing down pizza. Kristy was in for some more and Loren went out for full loop. I rehydrated and relaxed, my day DONE. Kristy did 8 laps.
I rode just over 50 miles and climbed over 7000 feet. Ya know, just an easy day in the saddle. Check out the elevation chart from my garmin, it looks like an EKG.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The ants go marching two by two

Last week...SO.FRIGGIN.HOT. I was planning on upping my milage a bit from the previous week's whopping 15 miles, but Mother Nature had different plans. We were graced with a few days of 100+ heat. I am not running in that. No way. Even early in the morning it was hot and humid. The one day I thought I'd run I went swimming since my options for lap swimming are limited: 6am-8am. Oh well. Missing 1 run when it's that hot is not going to kill me. Running when it's that hot could, however.
Wed. it was still really hot. I knew I was going to run Thurs. and with my foot, I'm not running consecutive days right now so I rode. It's much easier to ride when it's hot since you create your own breeze.
Thurs. was Van Cortlandt Track Club's annual 2x2 relay. 2 runners, 2 miles. Of course in typical Van Cortlandt style, they are not easy miles. I've run this race several times before and like all events put on by VCTC, it was a good time. Loren and I ran as a team, though since she's a workaholic, she ran on 2 teams. First she did the first leg for our pal Amy, then she did the 2nd loop for our team. Before anything, we warmed up for 2 miles which I think we did a bit too early, there was a lot of waiting around before the start. This was also my first run with super feet in my shoes. I must say, they felt pretty good.
Due to construction in the park, the course this year was a bit different. Same distance and same idea, just starting in a different direction. I think I went out a hair too fast. I should know better by now, I've been running up there for years. I paced myself on Cemetery Hill, ran like a wild woman down the other side and out of the woods. Once making the final turn, however, I was greeted with a wall of wind. For the last quarter mile. It was terrible. Then watching people finish while I cooled down, man, people looked like they were in slow motion. Anyway, back to the action. I finished in 15:44. I wasn't happy about that. I was hopping to get under 15. I cooled down and cheered people in as I waited for Loren to come back out. She hit the line and we had a combined time of 29:30. 2 mile cool down, 6 miles on the day.
I was hoping we'd win our age group, but as it turns out, we were the first women's team over all. Our prize? Carrot Cake. Really good, baked that day across the street carrot cake.
Here we are, looking like our usual jackass selves with said cake:

Thanks to Dave for the picture.
I looked up my results from last years race in my training log. I had run a minute faster. Granted the course was different and I think I was in better running shape, but the real kicker was it was 15 degrees COOLER last year. Yea, that'll slow you down. No pain in the my foot while running, a little soreness after but I think that was from the new insoles which is not uncommon. So good signs.
I have been stretching my legs and feet every morning before I get out of bed and have been wearing shoes around the house all the time (which I hate but have gotten use to) so I think both those things are key.
As for the rest of the week, I took Friday off and Sat. Loren and I did a brick. It was hot and humid with threats of thunderstorms that never happened. We rode a zippy 35 miles and followed it with a 5.5 mile run. It was a great workout! Yesterday I did a nice recovery swim.
This week I really am hoping to up my milage. I'm also hoping the 100 degree days are behind us. It does make me happy that I'm not trying for a fall marathon.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I can gather all the news I need on the weather report

June has come and gone. Don't know how that happened. It came and went with very little running milage for me. I ran 52.6 miles for the month. Yes, the month. During marathon training, that would be for a week. I'm not concerned. I intentionally took time off when my foot started flaring up. The flip side, with getting ready for timberman, cross training is a must. Duh. I logged 280 miles on my road bike, throw in incidental riding around town ( I cut way down on this during marathon training and now I'm back to it. Boy did I miss it!) I rode well over 300 miles in June. I also swam 5+ miles. I also got a very high compliment when I went to get my bike tweaked by Lori. She had me on my bike all wired up to a machine that checks wattage and cadence and all kinds of stuff I never actually think about. She said to me where did you learn how to pedal? Damn your smooth and efficient. Fixed gear city riding people. They're not junk miles, they make you a better cyclist.
This week I saw PT Pete again and we have a plan of action. I do think my foot is getting better. I am feeling it creep up a little in my OTHER foot. The plan is: New shoes. I switched to the Brooks Adrenaline. Are they the lightest shoe in the world? No. Do I care? No. I can't be concerned about shoe weight right now. It doesn't matter how light my shoes are if I can't actually run. When I did the tri a few weeks ago, I raced in my DS trainers so I think I can still race in those. For right now, however, no racing flats. Period. Also, for the time being, I'm adding super feet insoles to my shoes. I've run in the news shoes but haven't added the insoles yet. So far so good with the shoes. I like them. I'm also stretching every morning before I even get out of bed. It takes less than 10 minutes and I'm not having that first step out of bed pain. Arnica gel 3x a day, ice, and all my PT stuff on top of it. Pete said if it's not better in 2 weeks, we look at another shot in the foot. I'm really hoping I can avoid that.
I ran 15 miles last week, my longest being 7 miles. Feeling good, I think much like before, I can't really run more than 3x a week and maybe not more than 25 miles a week. With the cross training, I'll think I'll be ok. How FIRSTish.
Yesterday, Loren and I went on a long hilly ride. I haven't done this ride in....I actually have no idea. It's very possible it's been 10 years. It ended up being just about 69 miles door to door with lots of climbing.

It's a beautiful ride but man, it got hot. Our plan was not stop until about 50 miles but by 46 miles, all 3 of our water bottles were totally dry. It got hot and hot fast. Luckily, there was little humidity. I felt really really good the whole ride. Of course I spent the rest of the day rehydrating. Today my legs are tired but not at all sore. My cycling form is really coming along, I'm very happy about that. My new bike is so awesome. Have I said that before? I'm gonna say it again. I love it. I so look forward to riding, it's amazing.
This week looks like it's going to be terribly hot, like high 90s up to 100 all week. Ugh, Running will have to be at crack of ass AM. Those few days of cool weather last week, oh how I miss them already.