Friday, January 28, 2011

Getting my ass kicked

Whoa man, hills and altitude are killer......

Tuesday was a brick, consisting of a 90 min ride and a 30 min run.  I wanted to do more exploring on my bike, so while I parked at the same starting spot, I went on the C-470 West trail.  As in west towards the mountains.  And duh, you end up with elevation increases as you get closer to the mountains, especially when you start in a river basin.  These hills really weren't all that big, but crap, they killed me.  I want to say it was windy too, but that may be me trying to be optimistic.  There are also some tunnels where the bike path goes under a busy street (to avoid having to cross the street).  Well, in one tunnel, I discovered ice stalactites and stalactmites.  Problem was that tunnels are dark and I had my sunglasses on.  I missed the first pile of ice (just barely) and took off my glasses just in time to see a big pile of stalactmites blocking the whole tunnel.  Eeps!  I unclipped one foot and limped over the ice, and was on my way.  Still, ice + bikes = bad stuff!  I went as far as I felt like going and turned around to discover I had a really nice mostly downhill ride back to my truck.  I didn't think the hills were that steep, but I did hit 31 mph without even trying.  It was also COLD going downhill, and I was very glad that I chose to wear my brand new lightweight full-finger cycling gloves. Total elevation profile from my garmin was 400 ft, a pretty steady climb to my turn around point. After the bike I had a 30 min run, which went actually pretty well, even with the hilly bike ride.  It helped that the run path was flat :)

Wednesday was a swim workout (on my own) then a 60 min run with hill repeats.  There's a large network of gravel and paved trails where we live, and its a bit intimidating, with the hills and not knowing the area.  I won't figure out the trail system if I don't actually use it, so I decided  to do this run on a gravel trail by the house (which has a huge hill).  The 12 x 40 sec hill repeats were killer.  My coach even said that every 3rd one should be so hard that I will be cursing her (if I had the breath).  The altitude and dry air are doing a number on my asthma.... I think I took a hit on my inhaler every 3rd repeat.... 

View of run trail from the street:

Thursday was a simple 90 min ride.  I once again started at South Platte Park and decided to head on the C-470 East trail.  Again, I'm climbing out of a river basin and up hills.  I don't think these were as steep as Tuesday's ride, but I can't be sure.  The elevation profile had a similar elevation change (400 ft), so chances are, they were about the same.  This path is part of the "Denver Triangle" that I plan on riding Saturday for my 4 hr ride.  Path was ok, but there aren't many tunnels so you have to cross streets at major intersections.  Boo.  At least I'll get practice clipping in and clipping out.  Especially when the trail goes down to the street, so you have to stop, unclip, then re-clip and climb up on the other side.  Lame.  View going out (east) was blah, but coming back was gorgeous.  It also helps that it was 50 degrees and sunny.

Mt Evans

This morning was my first Masters swim team workout.  I was a bit scared, because the description for the M-W-F group was that they're the fast group and you have to be able to swim 3500 yards in 90 min (easy) and hold 8 x 100 free on a 1:40 interval.  I could do that interval, but I would only have ~5 sec rest, so it would really suck.  But I figured that this is masters, and really, how hard could it be?  There's also at Tu-Th group, but its called "Triathletes Swimming", and with my swim snobbery, I really didn't want to be with the triathlete group.  I'm a swimmer first, then a triathlete. 

So, I went in this morning, hoping I'd hang and keep up with the group. Boy, was I wrong.  Turns out the M-W-F group is former collegiate Division 1 swimmers.  I was THE slowest person in the 8 lane pool, and I am not exaggerating.  My poor ego.  Warm-up was a 1,000 yard choice.  That should have been the first clue that I was going to get my ass kicked.  Then it was 4x100, 4x75, 4x50, 4x25 (free).  Then 4x100 IM, 4x75 back, 4x50 breast, 4x25 free.  THEN (yes, there was more), I had to do 6x75 kick with fins.  I looked at my watch and holy crap, it was only 6:15 AM and I was on my way to 3500 yards.  Once I was done with the kick set, I realized I was done.  Apparently, the team still have 2 more sets (6x150 free and something else).  Coach fully understood that I was done and I did a quick 300 cool down.  Apparently, the normal yardage for this group is 4000-4700 yards (!!!!).  I asked if it was appropriate for me to swim with this group (you know, since I'm so SLOW, compared to the rest of them), and she said yes and encouraged me to stick with it.  I figure that since my swimming skills and endurance are good, that she sees hope for me.  And maybe going to the triathlete group would be too easy for me.  Ugh.

So in addition to hills kicking my ass, I now have a Masters team to add to the list.  Its going to be an interesting 2011.

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