Sunday, July 22, 2007

Would You Give Me All The Speed I Lack

It's been hot this past week, mid to upper 90's and during the week I run early in the a.m. when it's still relatively cool and swimming, well, it can be as hot as it wants, no big deal. But on Sat. I slept in a bit and by the time I walked the dogs and got going on the bike it was 11:00 a.m. and pretty darn hot. I decided on a road ride up Left Hand Canyon to a little mountain town called Jamestown. Left Hand is a popular with cyclists because there's a nice wide bike lane and not all that much vehicular traffic, in fact there are probably way more cyclists than cars on a hot summer day. To get the Left Hand I ride up Olde Stage Road which is a steep (16-17% grade at it's worst) but not too long, it takes about 20 minutes from the mouth of the canyon when I'm in good shape. It took me 25-26 minutes which I think is a new record for my slowest time ever. Olde Stage is terrible when it's hot but still, I felt like molasses. Once I hit Left Hand it's a bit cooler because the creek is next to the road and the high cliffs and hills that form the canyon walls provide some relief from the sun and the tiniest of breezes. The trip to Jamestown is beautiful and though it's a nice steady climb it's not terrible. The wildflowers on the side of the road are spectacular this year. When I reached the town the sky was black and it was thundering so I turned tail and headed back down the canyon. It was sunny again as soon as I left the town so I decided to go all the way down Left Hand to the Foothills Hwy. rather than shortcut it over Olde Stage again because I couldn't face that terrible climb in the searing heat again. Foothills also has a nice wide bike lane and is popular with cyclists but there's a lot more traffic moving at 60 mph and higher so I don't ride it very often. It was kind of fun though because I could go much faster than I normally do climbing up in the canyons. It's been a while since I've been on a flattish road spinning as fast as I can.

I got home 2 hours later and had left my running shoes outside so I could do a brick without going inside and getting the dogs all wound up. I'm not always the brightest bulb in the pack and I'm not sure why I thought a 2 3/4 mile run in 98 degree heat with no shade was a good idea but I dutifully put on my shoes and headed out into the oven without thinking too much about it. I saw some clouds building over the hills and figured they would move in right away and provide some shade but that was delusional thinking probably brought on by the heat. The first mile took me a whopping 14 minutes. I didn't think it possible to run and still turn in a 14 minute mile but there ya go. Now it was all uphill and it was 98 degrees but still, I couldn't believe that even I could possibly be that slow. I finished about 35 minutes later and vowed that was the last workout of the summer in heat like that.

Today Jonny took me up to West Mag again for some mountain biking. We were on different trails from last week including part of the infamous Blair Witch trail which was ridiculously steep on the uphill but fun on the descent. There were big meadows full of wildflowers, steep ascents through the woods, twisty descents on a trail called 'The Hobbit' (I told Jonny that if he saw a Hobbit he should wrestle the little bastard to the ground to see if he had our credit card but they were suspiciously absent). I had to walk some of the stuff and 10-11 miles took a whopping 2 1/4 hours. I hope the triathlon course isn't as tough as these trails or it's going to be a long race for me. The higher elevation of around 8-9000 feet meant it was cooler than in town but it was still in the 80's and I'm hoping the heat was contributing to my slowness. It won't be that hot for my race.

Overall this past week felt slow slow slow. Not that I was ever all that speedy to begin with but I feel like Queen Slug at the moment and it feels like I'm never going to get back into shape.

Training for the week:

Monday-Rest Day and boy did I need it
Tuesday-1000 yard (approx)/24 mins. open water swim at the Boulder Rez in the a.m.
Wednesday-3 mile run in the am w/ Cody & Lola
Thursday-800 yard (approx.)/17 minute open water swim at the Boulder Rez in the am
Friday-2 3/4 mile run w/ Cody & Lola in the am
2300 yards/1 hour swimming at Masters (Spruce Pool, Jane coaching)
Saturday-24 miles/2 hours road biking
2 3/4 hours/35 minutes running
Sunday-10 1/2 miles/2 1/4 hours mountain biking

Totals for the week:
Swim: 4100 yards/1:40 hours
Bike: 24 miles/2 hours road
10 1/2 miles/2 1/4 hours mountain
Run: 8 1/2 miles/1:40 hours (approx.)

Total hours: 7 1/2

A little bit down on total hours because of the rest day and the wimpy swims on Tues. & Thurs. but I was tired and felt like I needed the rest and a little stepback.


  1. A 14-minute mile! Wow! I *am* impressed. ;-)


  2. ...Of course, I probably couldn't even *pretend* to run for 14 minutes straight, let alone uphill.

    -me again.