Sunday, June 29, 2008

Workout: Interval Ride

my bike

Sunday 6/29: Bike 57:24, 18.72 miles @ 19.6 AVS (hilly loop)

With a strong wind out of the West/Northwest this was a hard effort. I rode the hilly loop course at interval pacing, which involves alternating 2:00 hard followed by 1:00 recovery.

I've worked it out now where I can start this pattern so that I am using the climbs as WI's and the downhill sections as RI's without breaking the 2-1 pattern very much.

It's also nice to get two solid workouts in on consecutive days. I feel so much better when I do that, mentally and physically.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Workout: Tempo Run + Recovery

my shoe

Saturday, 6/28: 6.2 miles (10k) in 48:50 or 7:52/mi

The total time for today's 10k distance is just a bit misleading since it was broken into two 5k chunks. They looked like this

5k @ tempo pace in 22:13 or 7:09/mi
5k @ recovery pace in 26:37 or 8:31/mi

The impetus for today's workout was a question I had today, one month to the day after finishing the Bayshore marathon. The question: given my lax running schedule this month, could I still do a 5k under 8:05/mi, the training pace I had used for so many months? I had this question because I saw a notice about a race that was happening on campus this morning, a 5k, and I was tempted to run it. When I asked myself why, the question above surfaced...just to see where I was at one month hence. I didn't run the race, but I set out to address the question just the same.

Answer: yes

In fact, I ran under 8:05 for the whole trip, though I deliberately slowed my pace to a comfortable recovery level after turning around on my out-and-back 10k route. Nice to know that I could have gone quicker too if I'd evened out the first and second halves a bit more.

That said...I don't want to make it sound like it was easy. I suffered a good bit. I was glad to be done when I came up the driveway. It goes to show you that you are never fit enough to have running feel easy. It can be easi-er...yes...but you can always ramp up the pain too.

I read a quote that is germane, attributed to cyclist Chris Boardman. Asked about climbing on a bike, he is purported to have said "the best don't suffer less, they just suffer faster." For those of us that love to suffer, that actually counts as encouragement.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Workout: Bike Commute


Monday 6/24: Bike commute to work. 32 minutes x 2, tempo pace

Lovely weather to ride to work today. The next few days look to be rainy, so I wanted to take advantage of today's opportunity.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Workouts: Bike

my bike

Friday 6/20: Biked to work, 9.8 miles
Sunday 6/22: Bike 26 miles

Friday's ride to work was short, but done at a quick pace...didn't remember to check numbers but it was tempo+ I would say. I left my bike at work because Les picked me up. So that meant that Sunday I had to go back for it and ride home.

Sunday's ride was longer, more hilly, and an all-around good workout. I took a circuitous route home through Bath township. I stopped roughly halfway to drop my backpack off; Les dropped Lily off at a birthday party and I met them there. I took another roundabout way home and made a nice ride of it.

I missed the club ride last week. Hoping to have a good solid workout week this week to get back to a more normal schedule.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Workout: Run with Lily

my shoe

Tuesday, 6/17: 3.5 miles in 28:48 or 8:14/mi

A short run today, with Lily along for the ride in the jogging stroller. We had a nice time, even though it was a bit windy and cool in spots. Lily waved and sang little songs all along the way.

I didn't keep a close eye on the watch, but I did time the last mile: 7:50. No turns helped!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Catching Up: Workouts during the week of June 9

Tuesday 6/10: Kuk Sool Won 90 minutes (flexibility/strength/balance)
Thursday 6/12: Club Ride 32 miles 18.9 AVS

Busy week last week, and lots of rain/storms. Not as bad as other areas of the midwest for us, but we did lose power for about 2 days. That put a damper on workouts in the early part of the week.

Thursday's group ride went well. I hung tough for the whole ride even though I started with leaden legs for some reason...just didn't feel very fresh. In the last two miles, the paceline I was in started fragmenting and I got caught in a slow group after a pull. By the time I saw that three of the faster guys had gone off the front, I was 200 yards back. I skipped to the front and made an all-or-nothing attempt to bridge the gap in a fierce headwind, but the three out front were tucked in tight getting ready for the final sprint. I sat up when it was clear that I wasn't going to get them back without any help. Ended up finishing about 30 seconds back. By that time, they'd dropped another guy who said that they were going 25 into that headwind when he fell off the back.

It's one of those small motivating things I guess...getting dropped at the end of a hard club ride. This time, I can honestly say that it was as much a factor of not paying attention at a critical time as it was level of fitness...but getting dropped is getting dropped. It makes you want to train harder so it doesn't happen next week.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Tour de Cure: Event Report


Sunday 6/8: Bike 3:45:14, 64.8 miles; 17.2 AVS

I completed the long course of the Brighton, MI Tour de Cure ride. By my calculations, I did it about 45 minutes faster than last year, which largely reflects the difference between doing it on a road bike vs. my hybrid.

More importantly, I have raised $950 to support diabetes research & education initiatives on behalf of the American Diabetes Association. You can still donate to this year's cause if you like, through August 1st.

The numbers for the ride come from my bike computer, which had the course just under 5 miles shy of 70 miles. The average speed is a bit misleading since we rode a fair bit in traffic (like, actual vehicular traffic complete with stop signs and lights and stuff) and that slowed us down a bit even when the wheels were moving. But I would guess that it's still fairly accurate. The total time does not reflect time spent at 4 rest stops along the way to stretch, drink, eat a little, fill water bottles, etc. I didn't spend more than a few minutes at any one stop, but I would guess 10 minutes total is a fair estimate.

This year's course was a different route than the one in 2007, with more hills. The weather was not bad. The first hour was ideal. Cool, sunny, and not too windy. But the wind and the temperature rose steadily throughout the morning. By mile 40, we faced a stiff breeze (sustained winds of 18-20 mph) and temperatures in the upper 80's to low '90's with lots of humidity.

But I'm happy to report that running a marathon is great training for an event like this. :) I don't recommend it, but if you should find yourself registered for a 65 mile charity ride two weeks after completing a marathon that you've spent some time training needn't worry about finishing.

I enjoyed myself a great deal, I must say. While last year I was just curious to know if I could finish, this year I was able to savor the experience, including the many opportunities to suffer on the climbs and/or when hanging with a pack of roadies (or, worse, tri-geeks with those infernal front-mounted sippy bottles) determined to make the day a replay of their weekly club ride mash session. I rode a fair bit with a couple of different groups, but this event splits people up due to different ride lengths (folks doing the 50 miler followed a different route) and different approaches to the rest stops, etc. So I rode alone a fair bit too, but managed to stay fueled, hydrated, and strong (read: cramp & bonk free!) the whole way.

All in all, it was a great first long ride of the season. And now I need another "next thing" to talk about. I'm working on that...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Upcoming Tour de Cure Event: More Info

I Wanna Be #166

The Tour de Cure event I am participating in on Sunday is one of many such events all over the country to raise money for the American Diabetes Association.

As of today, I've raised a little over $800 on the strength of 25 contributions from friends, family, & colleagues! Great work everybody! There's still time to donate if you'd like to do so (and you can also donate after the event, through August 1st). You can donate online and check my fundraising progress at my TdC page.

Here's the route for Sunday's ride:

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Workout: Club Ride

my bike

Thursday 6/5: Bike 1:25:00 or so, 25.8 miles club ride

It was nice to get back to riding in a group today, my first club ride of the season. Today's ride went something like this:

2.5 miles warmup to the start
11 miles @ 17.7 mph, conversational pace
Water break
11 miles at 22.1 mph, hammering
2.5 miles cooldown back home

It was all smiles and laughs on the way out, but the hammer came down on the way back in. We didn't always have an organized pace line, but I took a big long pull when one finally formed and was in the wind for most of the way home. We hit speeds of 24 or so on the flat in line. It's really fun to do that.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Workout: Tempo Run

my shoe

Monday, 6/2: 5.4 miles in 42:03 or 7:47/mi

I repeated a run I did in November, but with a slightly different path this it was .1 longer. Still today's pace was a little slower than November. It felt slower too. Not that 7:47 is terribly slow in my book, it's just that I felt a bit rusty and sluggish. Not my best effort.

This was my first running workout post-marathon. And I am not sure how much of the struggle today was a bit of a mental letdown. Hard to say.

All good though, in the world of staying fit and in shape.