Monday, April 14, 2014

First big weekend of 2014

I had Friday off and we have now started my Friday Deer Creek / High Grade bike adventures.  It was fun this time but I'm pretty sure I'll be over it in 2 months.

Oh wait, back to the beginning, before the big ride.  Based on my whiny-ness earlier in the week, I asked my coach if we could have coffee on Friday morning so we could lay out the plans for the summer.  I think, for me, knowing the purpose behind all this work will alleviate some of the whining.  We had a really good conversation and I left feeling relieved instead of "holy crap, 4 more months of this training... blech".  I'm in a wedding in June and there's some wedding-related things like a shower, and a party, and the wedding.  I was getting a bit stressed about fitting it all in, but Michelle is great and understands balance.  Any wedding stuff will be worked in and I will not be stressed out over trying to get in a workout on the same day.  *phew*  Also, I was commenting on how Boulder basically killed our summer - ie no camping because I'd be on my bike every weekend from now until August 3rd.  She told me to think about a weekend in late June or early July for camping.  No s/b/r.  Just camping, a long hike, and maybe some mountain biking.  Thank goodness - now I have some fun to look forward to.

She also confirmed that she was making my workouts especially awful when I was going skiing, in a sick and twisted way of torturing me (while helping me!) while she was on the couch with a ski-induced ACL tear.  And as I suspected, last year's training was the Michelle-beginner level.  Now I'm on the Michelle-Intermediate plan.  Much harder.  But I feel better with her saying this, versus me just thinking things are that much harder in Year 2 with her.

The meeting went really well.  We discussed some plans for the rest of the year.  I have a potentially crazy race I want to do next January.  And trail running.  Loads of trail running after Boulder.  I left feeling less whiny with more purpose.  Exactly what I was needing.

Then it was off to conquer the big hill.  A friend of mine has signed up for St George and Tahoe - both are HUGE climbing races.  So I made her ride with me on Friday.  We did a ~50 minute warmup around Chatfield then started up the hill.  I no longer have every turn memorized and for some reason, the first part before the left hand turn seemed harder than I remember it being.  It could be partially because it was my first ride of the year here or it could actually have been just as hard last year.  Who knows.

The deal with my friend was that I would wait for he at the left hand turn and at the top.  She was trying to weasel out of it, by saying I could ride up to the top, turn around, and she'd turn when she saw me.  I had nothing to do that day and it was really important that she made it up, so I was really mean and made her ride to the top. :)

This also gave me time to mess around taking selfies :)
this is a very expensive stop sign to run...

I waited probably 10 min at the turn and 15 min at the top.  She came up the hill with a huge smile on her face.  Success!

51 miles and 3500 feet of climbing
My ride was pretty good.  I had to stop in my usual spots on High Grade.  My heart rate hit 180 and I just didn't feel like pushing it any higher.  I feel like it was over 170 for the last 5 miles.  My legs were actually ok and I did feel pretty strong.  I went and checked my files and I think I was only 3 min slower off my best time from 2013.  That's a pretty good way to start the year.
only a little bit of snow....
It was pretty warm - 76 degrees.  I drank all of my water (almost 4 bottles).  I'm playing around with nutrition options.  This time it was some Salty Balls.  I ate them pretty consistently on the way up - at least I'm pretty sure I ate more on this ride than I normally did in 2013.  My stomach felt good but I'm not sure the texture (mushy) will work with me over the course of 7 hours.  Its a start, though!  I got home, showered, and was lured to my friends house by promises of margaritas.  Not the smartest thing, as there was no real food.  Just margaritas, chips, guac, and queso.  We got home at 9 and I ate half of a real dinner.

I woke up starving.  I was riding with my outdoor DIVAS group in Boulder and they were doing the Morgul-Bismark crit course, which involved something called "the Wall".  I pretty much stuffed my face the entire way up to Boulder.  It was ridiculous - every 10 minutes my stomach would end up growling at me.  Note to self: must eat real food after riding Deer Creek.

The ride was around 35 miles.  I was just going to take it easy-ish and see how my legs felt.  Part of the ride was on a road that my friend took me on in 2011 when I was training for IMTX.  I remember the hills being hardish and me dropping my chain in the middle of one of them.  Something must have triggered in my legs with that memory and I zoomed up the hill past the 6 other DIVAS and beat them all up the hill.  Full disclosure: I promptly died after that hill and was very much back of the pack for the rest of the ride.  Unless we were going downhill.  The Wall was delivered as promised.  Its felt like High Grade but I'm thinking that was just because my legs weren't happy with me.
38 miles and 1800 feet of climbing
A few of us did a quick 30 minute run afterwards.  My legs actually were doing pretty well, which was shocking.  Then I had to go and try on bridesmaid dresses for a December wedding.  Yes, after bike riding.  I did manage to hit the buffet at Whole Foods in Boulder.  It was an.... experience.  One whole buffet dedicated to cold foods, two more dedicated to hot foods.  And it was Boulder.  So food then bridesmaid dresses, where I realized while trying on my first dress that I had a huge smear of bike grease on my arm.  Classy!

Sunday (if you're still reading) was a 2.5 hour run.  Friday and Saturday were gorgeous.  Sunday was rain turning into snow.  I like doing my long runs on the Highline Canal.  Its flat-ish and dirt, so its really nice on your body.  My friend Ryan was really nice and kept me company for the whole time, even though I was running a ~12:00 pace to keep my HR under 142.  The idea of running this on a treadmill seemed horrible.  Fortunately, the rain turned into snow at the start of our run, so we didn't get too wet.  My legs were actually ok with running after 2 days of cycling and the entire run went pretty well.  I had to run faster for my last 20 minutes and managed a 10:18 pace with sub-9 at the very end.  I'll take it!

And then we gorged ourselves on $12 all you can pile on a plate (including really yummy bacon and bread pudding) brunch at the brewery.  And then I came home and took a nap.

It was an encouraging start to my big training volume.  Everything worked really well and I even had some fun.  Just as it should be :)

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