Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Nice Ride

Yesterday Stacey and I headed up to Boulder to take advantage of the 55 degree weather (it was in the high 60s on Friday!). We were planning on riding up to Ward via Lefthand Canyon, but I decided to lead us along an alternate route through Jamestown, then south on Peak-to-Peak before descending into Ward.

The Jamestown route is quite a bit tougher than Lefthand. After passing through the town of Jamestown, the road pitches up more steeply, and the remainder of the ride alternates between what I'd guess are 5 and 10% gradients. The 5% gradient allows a bit of rest before cranking the effort back up again to surmount the next steep section.

At about 8,500 feet a few miles East of Peak-to-Peak we were rewarded with some of the best riding I've encountered. A smooth dirt road passed by an idyllic wood barn sitting toward the end of a prairie in the forefront of snow covered mountains. I stopped here for a moment to enjoy the quietness and take a few photos:

Even if I weren't training for an Ironman, I'd need to be fit enough to pedal to locations like this.

After nearly 3 hours of climbing, we reached Ward and rewarded (ha!) outselves with a nice cookie and orange soda. My legs felt the effort of 4 hours in the saddle, and I needed an easy day today.

Overall, training is going well. I am once again able to shift into the 53 x 12 when doing big-gear efforts, and on Friday I averaged 250+ W for each of my ten 5 minute big gear efforts.

I made one little mistake of running a bit too hard. My ankle was sore for a day, but now is feeling great again. I've got to remain disciplined and view my running as rehab and not as training. On the plus side, running is still easy (though I am going very slow).

On a final note, I registered for Triple Bypass (the Avon --> Evergreen edition) and am filling out my 2011 race schedule. I'm thinking of making the 70.3 World Champs my main goal for the season since I'm not confident I'll be going into CdA in perfect condition. Plus, I'll have the summer to train like a pro.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Running mostly pain free

I can't remember what info I included in my latest Achilles update, but here's the latest:
- for the next week, I'm to run 20 minutes as 2 minutes running/30 seconds walking every other day;
- the following week, I can run 20 minutes as 3 minutes running/15 seconds walking every other day;
- my PT expects that I'll have no Achilles pain, even when pressure is applied directly to the sensitive part of my heel, within two weeks; and
- I should be back to regular run training within six weeks.

All very good news. I did my second 20 minute run today and I had no pain whatsoever. There was a slight Achilles stretching sensation at the start of the run, but once that dissipated I felt good as normal. Even better, after the run I still had no pain. Running feels odd, and Stacey says I don't look nearly as smooth as I used to, but I'm just happy to be able to move again.

In other training news, I'm starting to gradually build my volume. Between traveling for Christmas and then being sick all last week, my training has been inconsistent at best. This week is off to a good start, however, with almost nine hours of riding, an hour and a half of swimming, and 40 minutes of running over the past three days. My power to HR ratio is still not good (e.g., 230 W during a 6 minute, 150 bpm big gear interval instead of the 250+ W I produce when fit), but I think a month of consistent training will have it back to acceptable ranges.

There are just over 5 months until IM CdA, so I've still got plenty of time to get fit.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Test Post

I just got the new MS Office and accidentally created a new "Blog Post" document. This post is a test of whether or not I've got things configured correctly.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I Ran!

On Friday, for the first time in about 4 months, I went for a run. I can't say "I ran so far" -- my PT limited me to five reps of 1 minute walking, 1 minute running. Still, there was no noticeable pain either while running or later on. Good news.

I've got another PT appointment this week, and I hope it'll be my last. Ideally my therapist will suggest immediately beginning a gradual built to regain my running strength that minimizes the risk of re-injuring my Achilles. I know that for the foreseeable future my routine needs to include calf exercises and stretches.

In other news, Ozzy, my 4 month old puppy, is putting on 1.5-2 pounds a week and now tips the scales at just under 25 pounds. He is looking more and more like a German Sheppard and less and less like his Border Collie mother.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

IM Effort Test

In the next few weeks, I need to start upping the training volume (esp. on the bike on weekends) in preparation for IM CdA. As a baseline, today I did a trainer ride including 1 hour at 145 bpm -- right about IM effort for me -- to see what sort of power I'm putting out.

Results in 10 minute intervals:
143 bpm -- 227 W -- 79 rpm
146 bpm -- 225 W -- 77 rpm
146 bpm -- 222 W -- 78 rpm
146 bpm -- 220 W -- 75 rpm
146 bpm -- 217 W -- 76 rpm
145 bpm -- 216 W -- 75 rpm

So, overall 220 W at right about 145 bpm and 77 rpm, with a PE of 6.5/10. My wattage dropped by about 10W over the course of the hour, which is a bit more than I'd like to see at this duration and effort level. Anyhow, I expect these numbers to improve quite a bit once I get back into a more rigorous training regimen.

My Achilles continues to improve. I'm now doing run simulating exercises at physical therapy. My favorite exercise, although it doesn't simulate running, is standing on a balance board and throwing a medicine ball back and forth with my therapist. It's seriously entertaining and would probably make a good drinking game.

Running may be in my immediate future, perhaps as early as Tuesday. Right now I use aqua jogging as a test to see if it produces any pain, and after 20 minutes plodding up and down the pool this afternoon I was fine.

In other news, there's an interesting article about Chrissie Wellington over at the Guardian. The photo in the article reminds me of an ESPN video showing Wellington's freakish body:

Finally, for Lauren, a photo of this evening's dinner, Cobb salad (named after Robert H. Cobb, the salad's creator):

The recipe is from the cookbook you gave Stacey for Xmas.