Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Week 7: Where did those rides come from? Ride the Rockies/IM Wisconsin Training

I would like to call this the week of where did those rides come from!  On Monday, my legs were somewhat tired, but I did an easy ride south of town which had a mix of hills and flat areas.  By Tuesday, I was ready to go somewhere different to ride.  I've been all around the routes near Conway and I was looking for some hill repeats.  So what better choice then to head to the front side of Petit Jean for hill repeats!  I've never done repeats on that climb, so I didn't know how they would go.  My goal was to climb up three times.   Here is the link to the Strava segment - http://www.strava.com/segments/2386024.  Each climb would take about 13 minutes, so I knew I was in for a fun afternoon.  I parked out at Petit Jean visitor center and road about 4 miles out to the climb and it was another mile to the bottom.  From there, the climbs began!  The first one went well.  I was feeling good and controlling the pace knowing I still had two more left.  The second was a little struggle, but it could have been in my head.  By the third one, I was ready to tackle the climb and go hard up it.  I pushed hard up the climb and felt great the whole time!  Yeah, I was a little tired by the end, but I had reached my goal!  When I got back to my truck, I was still feeling pretty strong and felt that I could have done a 4th.  I like rides when finish strong and know that you could have gone longer.

My Thursday ride I was planning for a little more mileage.  Knowing that some storms could be moving in the afternoon, I left in the morning.  When I reached around 28 miles, the skies were looking kinda of cloudy, but I thought the storms aren't supposed to be here for a while.  As I approached the Lollie Bottoms and about 10 miles left, the skies were telling me the rain is moving in!  I picked up the pace and thought I could stop and look at the radar on my phone, but nah better to push on.  When I got home, I had just made it by about 10 minutes.  10 minutes later it was pouring down rain and some lighting.

The big ride was planned for Saturday.  I had a couple of choices, but decided to ride with a friend here in town.  The plan was to go 55 miles with the North Loop.  This route starts out with some rolling hills, followed by 2 climbs and more rolling hills to flat to finish.  My idea was to ride with the group for this 55 miles and see how I felt at the end and possibly do some more afterwards.  We would ride together as a group through the flats and rollers, but up the hills one guy would push hard uphill, I mainly stayed back to contain myself and climb within myself.  I finished the 55 feeling pretty good and I knew I could do some more.  I set a goal for 80, knowing I could add the short South Loop.  By the time I finished the 80, I was feeling good and even felt I could have done more again.  I think my key to this 80 mile ride was I keep myself hydrated and feed well.

My running for the week was ok.  I was able to get 13 miles in with a "long" run of 5.  The long run felt ok.  I think the fatigue on my legs was part of the issue, but I was able to get through it.  By Sunday, I went on a 3 mile fast run and felt good, but I was still feeling it a little.  Overall, the runs were ok.

It was another consistent week of swimming.  I say consistent because again I felt ok. I was able to get through the workouts, but I didn't see any breakthroughs this week.  I'm glad though I keep up the work and am being consistent.  I think this will pay off in the long run!

Below was my Friday fun of re-mulching my beds.  I started with one scoop of mulch and realized, I would need at least tow more!  Fun time on Friday!

Week 7 Totals
Bike - 182.9 miles
Run - 13 miles
Swim - 4 miles

Another note, I always enjoy the Strava challenges.  The cycling challenges can be tough to complete because they require a lot of riding!  The most recent one required 1266 km in 40 days.  I was able to complete the challenge on Saturday with 8 days to spare!  May has a couple of tough challenges that will help the focus for training.  The first one is to climb around 7000ft in 4 days.  This could be tough find the climbs.  A few 60 mile routes around Conway will get around 3000 ft of climbing or I could do some hill repeats up Petit Jean or Mt. Magazine to get even more!  The second challenge is to ride 16 hrs in 8 days.  I think that will be tougher than the first because it will require focused riding days and being consistent.  If you miss a day, that means the next days have to be even longer!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Week 6: Keep on Keeping on - Ride The Rockies/Ironman Wisconsin

This week was filled with some interrupted workouts and nice long ride.

My usual Monday involved Masters Swimming during lunch.  Well mother nature decided to cut the workout short.  A small thunderstorm moved in and stopped the swimming for 20 minutes.  We were able to get back for about 10 minutes before another crack of thunder and lighting finished the swim for the day!  It was a short swim, but I would make for it on Thursday.  On Thursday, the main set for the swim was a 150 swim, 4 x 25, 150 swim, 4 x 25, and then a 150 swim.  Well for some reason, I keep thinking in my head the that the 150 swim was 3 x 150.  I ended up with about 900 extra yards, but I actually felt good throughout the swim, even though I swam 3300 yards.  This was the most that I've swam since my 33rd birthday!

I was able to get in a good amount of riding this week and some hills.  On Tuesday, I did the North OAB which includes about 3000 ft of climbing in 50 miles.  Thursday was some hill repeats out at Wye for around 2100 ft of climbing in 37 miles, and the big ride was on Saturday.  68 miles for at total 3,400 ft. of climbing.  Still not as much as I will see Colorado, it is more than I've had lately.  The great thing about the Saturday ride was that it was at a higher intensity than what I've been riding lately.  My legs started out cold, but by the time we got to Thornburg I was feeling pretty good.  I finished the week out with a 36 mile flat ride to Morrilton OAB.  I didn't know what to expect on Sunday, but I was surprised how good my legs felt.

Running wise I felt pretty good with all my running this week.  The "big" run for the week was a 4.25 mile run between the rain on Monday.  I was able to hold a 7:59 pace for the run.  Also, during the week, I mixed a 3 mile Spencer Hills run.

The great thing about this training is does help break up the day while I look for a job.  It has been tough trying to figure out exactly what I want to do, but it has been a rewarding experience to get the chance to look at things again and see exactly where I want to go.  I don't have to make a jump into anything.

This week I also taught a kids class in taekwondo for the first time in about 2 years.  I've taken over a class for someone for the rest of the school year.  It was interesting trying to figure how to best teach 20 plus kids of various ranks and ages.  It will be a challenge, and it is something that I'm looking forward too.

I got my t-shirt and hat for Ride The Rockies.  What a great welcome package!

Week 6:
Cycling - 191 miles
Running - 13 miles
Swimming - 3.75 miles

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Week 5: Big Miles, Baseball, and New Rides

This week was going to be a little harder to plan out.  For just under a year, I had a trip to Starkville, MS for Super Bulldog Weekend.  At the time, I didn't know I would be doing Ride the Rockies, Ironman Wisconsin, and looking for a new career.  Well I guess, you adapt, overcome, and mange.

With the spring weather, it's been hard to pick which days are best for long riding.  We have had some really windy days here lately and sometimes riding in the wind is not too fun.  On Monday, I decided to see if anyone was riding at 5:30 from the local ride spot on Country Club and Tyler.  As luck would have it, someone was there.  We decided to ride the south loop with Scenic hill.  This was a good ride and a great way to start the week.

I took Tuesday off from riding and just swam and ran.  The plan was for a big on Wednesday.  The wind was supposed to be light and out of the west.  I decided to ride out to Atkins and climb Crow Mt. as an OAB and then add another 20 miles to make 80.  The ride started out really well.  The wind was in my face, but I was making good progress keeping the HR and Power in Zone 2.  I reached the climb and went up.  The climb was not that hard.  I wish it was closer to Conway because it would make for some great hill repeats.  It was long, but not very steep, so you could go up easy or crush it if you choose to.  On the way back, I had the wind at my back and everything was going well until I realized that I still had 20 miles left.  At that point, I had underestimated my nutrition.  I went out with 2 bonk break bars and 4 Clif Gels.  With 20 miles to go, I knew I was low on fuel and it would be tough.  I pushed through and got 80 in solo.  This was my longest solo ride ever.  One thing I learned is that I need to eat more if I'm going to be running a marathon afterwards in September!

Thursday was another easy day.  I would have liked to have gone for a short spin, but the wind was 20-30 and said I'll just take it easy with a run and swim.  Friday was an off day as I made the trip down to Mississippi.

I still wanted to get my rides in so I brought my bike down with me and went on 27 mile ride on Saturday and 20 on Sunday.  It is always nice to ride in new places because you don't know the distances so the time seems to go by faster.  On Saturday, I pushed the power on the bike to 80% max for the ride.  I felt good and afterwards ran 2 miles at a 7:57 pace.  The rest of the day was followed with crawfish and baseball.  Sunday morning, I went ahead and rode in Starkville.  One, I knew it might rain in Arkansas and it was going to be windy there.  It was a nice ride out on Old West Point Rd.  All the roads from the weekend were nice rollers with no climbs or true flats.

So overall, I had a great week of training.  I'm still lacking on the climbing, but the distance is going well.  Also, this was my biggest week of running since Feb.  The legs held up well through the week.  I still need to focus on keeping the run easy and light while still building the distance.  Also, had my biggest week of biking.

Totals Week 5
Bike -176 miles
Run - 12.3 miles
Swim - 3.61 miles

Monday, April 7, 2014

Week 4 for Ride the Rockies to Ironman Wisconsin

This was another good week of riding and swimming.  Running was still taking a back seat to the other two.  I was able to get in 3 swims, 4 rides, and 4 runs.  For the first time in a over a month, I went back to the gym to start working on some light strength training.  I went for 20 minutes two days last week.  I focused on the lower body/core one day and then upper body/core the other.  I know I was sore after lifting.  Also, this week for the first time in over 25 days I took a complete day off.  No running, biking, swimming, or strength.  I just relaxed and recovered.

A couple of notable rides this week were hill repeats at Ft. Roots and my Saturday ride.  The hill repeats were the first of the year.  It was nice to be able to work on strength.  Also, you get some good views of Little Rock on the ride up.  The second ride was on Saturday.  I did 45 miles with two friends.  They had never really been north of Conway, so I look them out on a new route and surprised them with a couple of hills.  I don't know if they'll let me pick the route again. After the ride with them, I went down south of Conway for another 22 miles to finish out the day.

Week Totals
Bike - 148 miles
Run - 8.6 miles
Swim - 4.17 miles

I need to focus on getting closer to 10 miles this week.  Also, I'm heading to Mississippi this weekend, so I'll get a lot of riding in between now and the weekend.  My swimming is coming along pretty well.