Sunday, January 29, 2012

Incongruous start

So as I sit here writing this I have something like 20 weeks to the Bighorn 50 miler in Sheridan, Wyoming.

You would think that I'd be off on the trail getting in a 15 mile run this weekend, and, this weekend you'd be wrong.

Let me back up first and say that, while I haven't been really training for anything the past (many) months, I have been running some -- on the order of 3-5 days per week.  My usual schedule is busy during the day, so it is nearly impossible to get out for a workout in the daylight hours.  My weekday routine is something like this:

5:15  Wake-up

6:30-7:40  I wake up my son and wife.  Make coffee, make breakfast for son, make packed-lunch for son.  Get son dressed, cleaned, brushed, etc (with help from wife, thankfully).  Eat something myself, pack my lunch, get ready for work.

7:40-8:00  Drive son to school, then get to the PT clinic by 8:05

~8:00-12:45  See my PT patients, and try to sneak in a lunch somewhere

12:45-1:00 Drive to my Studio (I own a small "shop" where I specialize in bike fitting using infrared motion capture as well as building custom and high-end bicycles in a one-on-one atmosphere).  Since the Studio is only 5 minutes from the PT clinic, I often try to sneak in an errand, like getting gas, picking up something from the nearby market, go to the bank, if I can along the way.

1:00-2:40  I'm at the Studio, often doing a bike fitting right at 1 o'clock, but other days doing all the other tasks I have -- writing training plans for the athletes I'm working with, working on client's bikes, keeping up with my Quickbooks.

2:40-3:15  Lock up Studio and drive to son's school for pickup, and bring him back with me.  He then goes to "his room" I have in back, to do his homework.

3:15-6:00  More Studio stuff -- bike fits, consultations with athletes, wrenching, paperwork, answer emails.  (meanwhile the boy is sometimes picked up by my wife at 4:30 or he stays and plays with his toys, if my wife wants to work out that day after work).

6:00-9:30  Dinner (which my wife makes almost every night -- she is a phenomenal cook, and I'm spoiled often with gourmet meals in the middle of the week), answer more emails, order parts for clients, etc.  A little veg time in front of the TV (hey, it's my unwind time).  Put the boy to bed at 8:30, and then we make our way to bed by 9:30 most days, where I read until I fall asleep.

I don't consider this super-human.  I know there are millions of people who are exactly this busy (and more), so I'm certainly not looking for sympathy.  This is merely to explain why most of my runs are finished before the sun comes up (especially in the winter).  I'm up around 5:15 most days; I change, chug a little water, and then run 10 minutes to the trailhead up the street.  I can usually squeeze in anywhere from 50 to 70 minutes total, but I definitely can't get to it every day.

I used to be more diligent, and run every morning, but that was a carryover from when we didn't have kids, and had more time.  I found that, as my schedule got busier, if I forced myself up each morning I was getting sick more, so now on mornings when I really feel really sleepy and comfortable in bed (which isn't that often - I've always been an early riser and not a great sleeper) I stay there and sleep.  I figure my body is telling me something.

My exercise schedule usually is:

run before work 2-3 morning a week
mountain bike after work 1 day a week (with lights of course; a throwback from my 24-hour racing days)
on the weekend I try to do one "long" run,  and a bike ride on the other day

This leaves 1 or 2 days off completely, and it's not uncommon for that to become 3 days off, since other commitments get in the way.

My weekend workouts are almost exclusively on the trail.  I don't enjoy running on the road, but I will stoop to it, if I have to.  That is where this weekend, the beginning of my training for Bighorn, has been a little incongruous.  Incongruous for me and, most definitely, for someone training for a trail ultra-run.

The Workout(s):

Saturday January 28th, 2012 -- 10.5 mile run (including cool down)

Like I said, normally I'd be on the trail, but today there was a local free run going on -- The Great American Beer Run 15K.  It was mostly a road run, although it started in the middle of the desert north of Fruita, CO on a dirt road and wound the 9.3 miles back to Fruita to finish at The Hot Tomato pizzeria -- probably the best "finish line" you could ask for.  I think the last time I ran this much on the road was about a year ago, and I certainly ran faster than normal.  I averaged about ~7:40/mile as I kept pace with a friend along the way.

After finishing, I cooled down, and then headed into "The Tomato" where all race participants and cheer-leaders partook (is that a word?) in the reason for the race and had a beer or two.  I had one of the best stromboli ever -- so good, in fact, that I had to go back for seconds.  

I had to make a point of not sitting down, for fear of never getting back up.  

With endorphins running through my veins, and stromboli and beer stretching my stomach, I headed home feeling fat and happy.

Sunday January 29th, 2012 -- 1:15 single speed mtb ride

I woke up pretty sore from the run yesterday, and I figured I would stick to my original plan of doing a bike ride.

Since I have the Studio, I have access to anything -- a road bike that weighs under 15 pounds, a snow bike with  4 inch wide tires, a 5 inch travel full suspension 29er, hardtail 29ers, and a belt-drive single speed (SS) mountain bike.  8 days out of 10 I choose the belt drive -- it is just so fun (and quiet).

I headed just up the street to the closest trailhead - a good place to single speed, nothing too steep, as well as a place to take beginners.

At the start, my legs felt like cement, and I thought the SS may have been a mistake.  I thought maybe a nice road spin or riding the full suspension mountain bikes may have been better for my muscles and less painful.  But after about 30 minutes and a quick stop to remedy a tubeless tire problem, my leg soreness disappeared, and the rest of the ride continued uneventfully.

Tomorrow I start another full work week -- with this training, even though I'm trying to do more speed and quality runs, rather than just spending more time on it, I'm still going to have to be more organized, get to sleep sooner, etc.

We'll see.  Thanks for reading.

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