Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Week in Training

Another very low volume week.  Running was forbidden and during the start of the week I had a pain in my upper arm that was so sharp I couldn't even push the vacuum cleaner (I know, boo hoo to that one).  I get those every once in a while and usually if I stop swimming for a bit it goes away in a few days.  This strategy worked once again but it meant only one swim workout this week.  I did get some good biking in which I was cleared to do though the steep climb out of Betasso was probably not what the doctor ordered.  I had a 3 1/4 hour hike on Sunday that I didn't record as training.  It was good exercise but in my experience this type of la de da hiking doesn't help with training for races so I've decided not to count it.

The good news is that the hamstring strain feels mostly healed.  I go back to the chiro. on Wednesday but I doubt I'll even need another ultrasound treatment.  I don't mind getting the treatment but I shudder to think what they cost and my deductible on my insurance is so high that for now I'm paying for all of this out of pocket.  Piriformis is feeling good too but it could be that I don't notice it because I haven't been running.

Opening day of the Rez last Tuesday was cancelled, I suppose due to the cool rainy weather we've been having.  Today was cancelled too because of high winds and I missed Thursday's workout because Jonny took the day off work and we went riding.  This Thursday though I'll be there, swathed in neoprene and ready to go.  Forecast is for hot sunny weather (90's!) the next few days so hopefully I won't be bumping into penguins in the water.

No weight numbers this week.  The scale I've been using is at the Rec. Center and with outdoor swim season starting I doubt I'll be going to the indoor workouts anymore.  I have a scale at home buried somewhere but I don't want it taking up space in my bathroom though maybe I'll have to rethink that and dig it out.  I don't think it's very accurate and it's not digital and kind of hard to read but it might be a good thing to keep track of relative losses/gains.  On the other hand if anything I usually take a few pounds off in the summer anyway so maybe I don't need to be too vigilant.

Swim:  3100 yards/1 hour, 10 mins.

Mountain bike:  26.1 miles/3 hours, 30 minutes

Run:  None

Total training time: 4 hours, 40 mins.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Heil Ranch and footwear issues

Today's 3 hour tour was a nice hike up at Heil Ranch.  Haven't been up there in ages and I almost always go on my bike so it was nice to enjoy the trail at a slower pace.  I'm allowed to hike with the hamstring strain but I thought a more moderate trail was in order and this one fits the bill.  It's a good climb, about 2 1/2 miles to a trail junction, but more of the moderate ilk rather than super crazy steep.  We took a little side diversion on the Wild Turkey trail but sadly no wild turkeys appeared.  We did see one up at Hall Ranch several weeks ago but the weather looked iffy at the trail head so of course I didn't bring my camera with me.

Nice views from Heil

The road running over the saddle is Olde Stage which is part of the bike course for the Boulder Peak Triathlon.  It's a good place to see very fit triathletes from the Midwest puking their guts out.

I went to the Boulder Running Company this morning in pursuit of a pair of racing flats because the chiro/pt suggested that I get a pair so that I can feel what it feels like to run without striking heel first.  He was not a fan of the 5 finger type shoes for me which was a relief because they look so uncomfortable to me given all my various orthopedic issues.  While these shoes may be great for some people they're not great for all people and it's important to know your feet and your issues and not just dive into the latest fad.

The sales guy that helped me at the Boulder Running Company was amazingly helpful, he had a lot of personal experience with the whole minimal shoe thing and was incredibly knowledgeable about gait, mechanics and running styles.  I picked out a flat that had some good tread on it so I could use it on trails and for agility but it had a bit of padding in the heel.  The sales guy told me I would still hit with my heel first in them and he put me on the treadmill with the video camera to show me.  Sure enough I was still hitting heel first and I was pronating too much on my right foot (my bad knee leg) even with the orthotics.  The running shoes I have now are stability type shoes that work with my orthotics to help keep me from pronating and messing up my knee.

He said he could bring me true road racing flats and I probably would stop hitting heel first but they won't work well with the orthotics to control the pronation.  He also said that he's a forefoot/mid-foot runner and he still has had his share of injuries.  Calf soreness, Achilles tendon problems and plantar fasciitis are all things you can get with that running style which explains why I've never had those issues.  He told me a lot of other things too that were endlessly fascinating to me but I'll spare the rest of you the gory details.  The gist of it is that I decided not to embark on this little project for now.  I see the chiro. on Wednesday and I'll have another chat with him about it.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Benajmin Trail and an emotional journey

Checked out the brand spankin' new Benjamin trail today and it was oh so fabulous.  It's a new addition to the Betasso trail which is pretty much the only trail in Boulder's mountains that allows mountain bikes.  Betasso was o.k. but only a few miles, this new trail doubles the mileage.  We still had to do 2 laps of Benjamin to get in 10 miles but it's such a treat to have such a gorgeous trail just 15-20 minutes from home.  The City of Boulder and Boulder Mountain Bike Alliance did a spectacular job with the trail, it's hard to ask for anything better.

Sweet sweet singletrack

Lovely woods

Lots of uppy downy twisty turny, Wheee!

View of the damage from the Four Mile Canyon fire.  This is looking up Four Mile Canyon.  More on that in a sec.

Ooo la la, Jonny's sexy calves say 'Thank you Boulder Mountain Bike Alliance'

On a much less happy note, coincidentally I had to go up to Gold Hill today to do a home visit for the Border Collie rescue and for the first time I got to see the damage from the Four Mile Canyon Fire up close and personal.  I used to spend almost every weekend riding my bike up and down Four Mile and Sunshine Canyons to Gold Hill, especially Sunshine.  It's incredibly steep though and hard on the knees so I haven't gone up in years.  To give you an idea, it took me around 2 hours 10 minutes to make the 9 mile journey to Gold Hill up Sunshine Canyon.  One year I got in really good shape and  I think I made it up in around 1 hour 46 minutes but mostly it took just over 2 hours.  Going at such a slow grinding pace you get to know your surrounding in intimate detail so I have a strong connection and love for the area even though I don't live there.  Anyway, despite all the news footage I was not prepared for what I saw driving up Sunshine today.  I've been in areas impacted by fire before but I've never seen anything like this.  Whole hillsides of houses gone, nothing but rubble and black, lots of black.  Black rocks, black ground, black trees.  I felt the tears welling up many times during the 1/2 hour drive.  I had meant to bring my camera but was in a rush and forgot it and I think it's just as well.  Maybe one day I can go back and take photos but today I'm glad I was relieved from the option.  Huge random areas of trees turned brown and black while other areas green and perfectly fine.  I think that was one of the most disturbing parts, the complete randomness of it, no rhyme nor reason to any of it.  One side of the road gone, the other side o.k. for a bit then another black hole where a house had been or a huge stand of blackened trees.  So surreal.  You may as well have dumped me on Mars.

The town of Gold Hill was spared but only just.  Those hippies must have been channeling their auras and chanting their chakras or whatever because the flames came up right to the edge of town and stopped.  The people I was doing the check for had 15 minutes to evacuate themselves, their 15 1/2 year old diabetic Border Collie and 2 horses they were watching for someone else.  Unfortunately the dog ended up having a stroke in the commotion of having to relocate and had to be put down.  So sad.  Lots of people lost cats and some horses had heart attacks in the stress of the evacuation.

I drove back home down Four Mile Canyon and though I was told it was much worse I couldn't see the damage as easily probably because the canyon walls are so high and steep.  The fire damaged woods were just out of view.  Also, wow, it's a twisty steep canyon, I had to keep my eyes on the road.  I've only ever driven up it a couple of times, I've mostly been on it on my bike.  Honestly, I'm glad I couldn't see the devastation.  I had long been wanting to see the damage for myself and get some photos but now I don't know, I don't think I can go back up there with my camera.  I have to go up again in September for a wedding and I'm guessing I probably won't go back up until then, it was just too hard to see all that.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tour De Lory

Jonny took a vacation day and we took a drive up to Lory State Park so I could pre-ride the race course for my triathlon in August.  The race is a long way off but Lory is completely exposed and gets so hot in summer, this is the ideal time of year to go (or in fall).  The course is fast and furious this year because they took out the big ass hill.  I've done this faster 2-loop course before and there are only a few tricky places but still it's nice to have a little refresher.  Plus it's a fun place to ride, nice smooth single track, beautiful scenery.

 Kind of a cloudy day though the sun did poke it's head out a bit at times.  Perfect trail conditions after all the rain, nice and tacky but dried out enough that there were only a few tiny mud puddles.

Lots of pretty little bays that lead into Horsetooth Reservoir.  This isn't the one we swim in but it's similar.

Parts of the trail are lush

Other parts are exposed.  Most of the trail winds around a lot.  The grass gets a lot taller in summer so you can't see ahead of time which way the trail goes.  Turning skills at speed are handy.  Just like agility.

Another nice little bay poking through the red rocks.

I don't think NADAC would approve of this teeter.  It was so steep I couldn't even sit on my bike to stage a photo.

Notice my perfect 2 on/2 off form.

No, I didn't try the bike agility course.  I'll leave the running dogwalk to Strummer.

These guys were having fun though.  There was a whole row of steep mounds like that placed close together and they were zooming over them.  My stomach was doing loop de loops just watching it.  Probably one of the most scenic bike parks in the country.

Now I have to drive 1/2 an hour to a neighboring town and try to stay awake for 2 hours for a seminar on business start-ups.  Fun times.  Tomorrow we tackle the new Betasso trail, can hardly wait.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

More running dogwalk experiments

Finally had a chance to sneak in a dogwalk practice yesterday in between the rain storms and classes and Stuff I have to do.  I had a great suggestion for a training exercise from a reader and I've been eager to give it a shot.  The set-up was jump-dogwalk-jump.  You wrap the dog over the jump, do the dogwalk, wrap the dog over the other jump, etc.  If the dog hits the contact you reward profusely, if not you keep going.  The logical/trainer part of me doesn't like the idea of not marking the miss but it was more fun and felt better not to mark it and keep going.  In a sense the lack of treat is a no-reward marker but still it's getting a bit fuzzy.  Nonetheless I gave it a try.  Results weren't great, 3/7 or 43%.  I'm going to try a few more times though and see if I see improvement over time.  I like to give something new a chance before I dismiss it even if the initial results aren't great.  It's a tiring exercise for both human and dog so I didn't get a whole lot of reps in.  With warmer temps. Strum gets hot and slows down much sooner now and there's no point doing dogwalks when his tongue is hanging out.

I originally thought the point of the exercise was to get the dog to shorten its stride in anticipation of collecting on the flat for the jump wrap but according to the reader this is not correct.  And in reality it didn't work that way either. 

I also ran a course that was set up and had 1/3 (33%) hits on the dogwalk (I missed filming the first rep.).  I also managed to get an A-frame on tape and he missed it and I don't think I noticed.  I need to start paying better attention, that's probably why he's missing in trials, he's doing it in practice and I don't even notice.

The other interesting thing to notice about the video is that I'm striking heel first when I run.  The chiro/p.t. did a video gait analysis of me running on Monday and that was the first thing he pointed out.  Apparently this is a good way to strain your hamstrings.  He gave me an exercise to help me learn to run more flat-footed.  Imagine trying to learn how to run (and walk) a completely different way at age 46.  I'm glad to be able to learn better running form but it's sort of twisting my brain around.  Maybe this is good for me, it'll keep my brain from gathering too much dust.  He's going to take a closer look at the video and give me the results on Friday.  There are 20 different things he looks at.  Who knew running was so complicated?  I always joke it's so easy, any idiot can do it, there's no skill or technique involved at all.  I also realized after the fact that I wasn't supposed to be running but oh well.  I don't think that small amount of running did any damage but I'm going to lay off it until Friday.

Now THAT is what I call customer service

I received a personal phone call last night from the president of DOCNA to tell me that the email I had sent on my entry for Championships didn't match the email they had for me in the DOCNA database and he was concerned that I miss getting some email from DOCNA if the database email was no longer valid.  I can't believe he even noticed that let alone took the time to call me about it.  As it turns out both email addresses are valid but they don't know that.  I went into the database and switched the email address to match to avoid future confusion.  That is why I like DOCNA so much, fantastic customer service.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Week in Training

A low volume week this week, partly because of weather but mostly because I didn't do any biking to focus on the running.  I've had a hamstring issue brewing for some time now and it's a result of the piriformis being messed up.  Ironically my piriformis was doing better this week but the hamstring was much worse.  The chiro/p.t. diagnosed a hamstring strain, I go in again today for some p.t. (ultrasound and exercises/homework).  He thinks it should take 2 weeks to heal, not too bad as far as injuries go but it is painful to bend down.  At least my back is getting some relief from the piriformis being better.

Turns out Training Peaks is offering a free 8 week training program to competitors signed up for the Indian Peaks Xterra .  I had been snooping around for a free training plan for Xterra to get some general guidelines for reasonable amount of time/mileage to get in so this was perfect timing.  It uses heart rate zones for some of the workouts and as it happens I had a free VO2 max. test last year when I volunteered for a research experiment on exercise up at the university.  It's been so long since I've monkeyed around with the heart rate monitor, I'm sure it needs new batteries.  Not sure how crazy I'll get with it.  One the one hand it's kind of fun to try to follow a training program and use the monitor to see how it effects your improvement.  On the other hand it can suck the fun right out of everything and nobody's paying me to do this for a living.  I think I'm going to give it a go anyway, could be fun and it's only 8 weeks.  My hamstring should be healed in time to start the program.

Swim: 8100 yards/3 hours, 23 mins.

Mountain bike: None

Run: 6.75 miles/1 hour 37 mins. of 8 mins. run/1 min. walk

Total training time: 5 hours, 0 mins.

119.0 lbs (-1.5 lbs)  Yay!  Finally below 120.  3 more lbs. to go.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sundogs over Wonderland

Coloradoans crack me up.  Two days in a row of solid rain and everybody is depressed.  To be fair we also had 2 days of solid rain last week and kind of a dreary weekend.  The first day of an all day rain storm everyone is all, 'Oh the rain is so nice, we need the moisture, I can get my indoor things done, etc.'  The second day everybody completely forgets what the sun looks like and goes into a deep depression.  And I'm no different despite having grown up in Chicago where you pretty much don't see the sun from October to May. 

The dogs are no different either except they don't even enjoy that first day.  They enthusiastically ask me to go out,  charging to the back door as I make my way through the sea of barking and wagging tails then cringe and refuse to cross the threshold when I open the door and they're greeted with a cold, heavy rain.  They tuck their tails and slink back into the house.  I slink right back with them and boil another pot of tea.

But the sun made a brief appearance early this morning so I grabbed the dogs and headed for the trail.  I was treated to the drama of breaking clouds and fabulous, freaky sundogs.

Sundogs over Wonderland Lake

Despite the dreary weather I didn't get a whole lot of my long list of 'indoor stuff' done.  I'm starting my own business in the next month and I'm finding the process a bit overwhelming.  I'm not a business person sort of person and I don't know the first thing about it but the recession has forced my hand.  If nobody is hiring I have to open up shop for myself.  I'm also having a change of career, about 180 degrees away from engineering so that's not helping the learning curve.  The amount of paperwork and stuff to do and hardest of all, figuring out a name for the business.  Seems like I can't do anything else until I figure out the stupid name.  My friend who started his own business told me that's not true but somehow I'm mentally stuck on the name.  Actually figuring out a name is easy, figuring out a name that no one else is using, not so much.  Anyway between the weather, a mild hamstring sprain that's  a result of the piriformis tightness and my own ennui has led to not much training of any type aside from my regular masters swimming.  A full weekend of class then hopefully by Monday the sun will be back and I'll have shaken the 'deer in the headlights' feeling and will maybe make some progress.  I did sign up for a free 'Start-Up Small Business Workshop' that shows you all the stuff you need to know but that's not until next Thursday and we'll see how crazy I drive myself trying to figure it out myself before then.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Week in Training

Edited to add:
 Looks like Blogger deleted some comments over the weekend.   I received them in my email but I don't see them attached to the posts.  Sorry to those of you who took the time to post, I didn't delete them, must be some technical glitch at Blogger.

Numbers are down a bit this week, partly because of weather, partly the weekend class and a good deal because my piriformis was acting up this week. Probably due to the trial last weekend plus a couple of days of cold, damp rainy weather. Finally felt o.k. enough to get a run in on Sunday during lunch break but I stepped back to 40 minutes of 4 min. run/1 min. walk whereas I had been up to 54 minutes of 8 min. run/1 min. walk.

Also everything is still at a plateau. Can't really amp things up until the piriformis is better so for now I'll have to put up with the holding pattern. The goal for this week is to get the running going again, hopefully 3 runs this week or 2 runs and a power hike. Then next week 3 runs and a power hike. Bike may have to drop to one or two days. Swimming will be 2 or 3.

I think the Rez opens next Tuesday. Pool was freezing today and I almost got out right after I got in but I realized this would be balmy compared to the Rez so I may as well get used to it. Bashed out 3000 yards, never got strictly warm, then took refuge in the sauna and a nice hot shower.

Swim: 8300 yards/3 hours, 19 mins.

Mountain bike: 24.30 miles/3 hours, 22 mins.

Run: 2.6 miles/39 mins. of 4 mins. run/1 min. walk

Total training time: 7 hours, 20 mins.

120.5 lbs (+.2 lbs)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Near perfect A-frames

Worked on some exercises today with the A-frame and Strummy was near perfect, 7/8 hits, only missed the first one which I didn't catch or mark in any way.  Puzzling after 3/3 misses on Sunday which cost us Q's in Standard and Snooker.  But on the other hand he was 3/3 hits on Saturday.  The A-frame in the video is the same height that was used in the trial.

Such beautiful perfect consistent A-frames, not sure why he's suddenly so inconsistent in trials after a year of trialing with an over 90% success rate.  Such a funny boy.

It was 61 degrees and so hot and sunny, we only got through Exercises 1 & 2 because the dogs' tongues were hanging down to their knees.  And my poor piriformis, I don't want to whine about it but oh so sore.  The past 2 days were cold, damp and rainy so I had put the pain down to that but there wasn't much improvement today.  Was struggling to bend over and pick up a jump bar.

Had a nice bike ride this morning though before I hit a short 20-30 yard mud patch and ended up spending half an hour getting the bike in a state so the wheels could move again.  Then the rest of the trails were dry.

View from Boulder Valley

I'm stuck inside at a class all weekend so had to get my blue sky fix.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hall Ranch

I took a little field trip up to Lyons yesterday for some laps of Hall Ranch. It's only a 15 minute drive but it's a hassle to pack up the bike and gear and do it when I can ride trails right out my back door but the trails out my back door are too easy these days and I need a bit more challenge. Hall is steeper and has some tight switchbacks to practice on. Plus it's beautiful up there.

No rattlesnakes yesterday but Jonny and I saw a huge wild turkey when we were up there a couple weeks ago.  A bit too early for wildflowers but there's still a lot of snow on Long's peak and Meeker so there was some nice scenery to enjoy.

And the rolling hills are always pretty.

You can just see the moon at the top of the photo above the cliff.

Was a perfect day, warm sunny skies and shorts weather.  This morning it was snowing.  May in Colorado.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rumble in Brighton-USDAA FRAC trial

Edited to Add: 
I switched out the embedded video players for links because they were coming on automatically every time I opened my blog.  Not sure if they were doing that for everybody but it was annoying me so I switched to links.  Hope this helps if it was annoying anybody else.

Usually I come away from a trial with a nice list of things to practice but since we're still in Starters/Advanced in USDAA there wasn't much in the way of course challenges for us.  I think it's become a Catch 22 for me and USDAA-I'm bored with being in Starters so I don't enter much USDAA so I never get out of Starters.  We had some nice runs but a lot of 5 faulters.  A missed bar in Jumpers,  a missed dogwalk in Standard, a missed A-frame in the other Standard and Snooker.  I have a couple of videos, unfortunately my Jumpers run didn't get taped properly, that was a fun run but oh well.

Good news was he got 2/3 dogwalks.  Bad news was he got 3/3 A-frames on Saturday then 0/3 on Sunday for a dismal total of 3/6.  I'll have to set up a camera at practice to see what's going on because he's not missing them in practice as far as I  can tell.

Starters Standard Sunday

Easy Starters course, only challenge was the box with the tunnel/table and it was no problem.

Starters Standard Video

So happy with his teeter, at least one thing we've been working on is paying off.  Weave entry, chute, dogwalk, table all very nice.  Just the stupid A-frame contact.  He got too much air coming over the apex and couldn't get the second stride in.

Grand Prix

This was a fun course with a couple different handling options.  The serp. at 6-7-8 with the wide gap between 2 of the jumps is something you see a lot in DOCNA.  I debated a lot about whether or not to handle it as a serp. or put in a front cross between 6 and 7 and eventually settled on the serp. because I knew I'd have to babysit the teeter and didn't think I'd get far enough ahead.  This worked great, got a nice tight line through the serp. and the rear cross on the flat between 7 and 8 set him up nicely for the weave entry which he missed.  I think it's because I yelled 'weaves' just as he was heading into the entry and I distracted him and pulled him off.  I thought he missed his dogwalk contact (he didn't) and this distracted me for a moment and I didn't cue the chute in time so he ran past it.  This threw my timing off for the next sequence and I cued #12 poorly with some weird RFP move which ultimately sent Strum up the A-frame.  Unfortunately the judge was calling fault limits so I had to leave the ring.  I was so irritated, I hate fault limits.  If there's not enough time for me to finish my run then don't hold the class and charge me $22.  There were a lot of irritated people.  One guy said, 'Where's that survey again?'  I forgot to mention fault limits on my survey as well.  It's the main reason I stopped going to Nationals.  I also realize it's another reason I stopped entering the tournaments.  It's been so long since I've done them, I forgot about fault limits.  I only entered Grand Prix so I could have at least 3 runs for the day.  Which I realize is another reason I've stopped doing USDAA.  If I can't get in at least 3-4 runs it's not worth the drive and the only way to do that is to enter the tournaments but I don't want to spend $22 and risk not getting to finish my run.  So I skip the trial altogether and go for a hike instead.

Anyway, here's video of my partial run.

Grand Prix Video

Advanced Jumpers was the most fun course for me all weekend.

I had the #4 bar down.  I think I was cueing 5 while he was in the air or something.  Lots of different handling options.  My first thought was to keep Strum on my left all the way through to the #11 tunnel.  Then I saw everyone else except one person walk it with a front cross between 8 and 9.  Turned out the Masters Jumpers class was almost identical, I think the only difference was the #6 jump was a broad jump for them.  So I watched a bunch of runs and again most people put in the front.  But I did see someone do it my way and it looked nice so I settled on it.  I rear crossed the #11 tunnel then kept him on my right and rear crossed the #14 jump.  Again a lot of people put in a front before 12 or 13 but for me I felt like since it was a very hot day, mid-80's and blaring sun, I saw no reason to be rushing about with a bunch of front crosses when a rear would do.  And they were such straight lines, I didn't want to get in his way.  I did have a wide turn at 15 but this was due to my timing.  I've been working on this type of rear cross, was just working it at practice last Monday, and I still need some work with it but I still think it was a good strategy.  Then a front between 16 and 17 and a race to the finish.  I was able to get well ahead of him but remembered to keep my eye on him so we had a nice fast finish.  6.5 yps for the run with the wide turn, not too bad.

Overall I think I was inordinately cranky because of the heat both days.  We've been having temps. in the mid 50's-mid 60's and all of a sudden they shot up to the mid-80's for the weekend.  Strum was a trooper about it, didn't seem bothered at all and there was a Hose so all was good in his world.  But I was not at all acclimated to that kind of heat and my brain felt muddled and cranky and the days felt longer than they were.  The footing was bad as well because the grass was dried up on some places and I'm so thankful both Strum and I got out unscathed.  Several people left the ring with limping, crying dogs on Sunday.


No Q's or titles

2/3 dogwalks (67%)

3/6 A-frames (50%)

3/3 Teeters (100%)  Big improvement in teeter performance

2/4 Weave entries (50%) One weave pop-out weaving into a wall

2/2 Tables (100%)  Awesome tables!

Only one bar down, in Jumpers of course.

Chute was looking good.

I felt like Strummer was running with a lot of control, such a good boy this trial.  Felt a lot of good connection with him.  I remembered to keep my eye on him.  I lost my focus and let myself get rattled once when I thought he blew his dogwalk and I wasn't happy with my Snooker handling of some jumps with weird angles and changed my plan for no particular reason but other than that I kept my own focus and composure.

Not sure if I'll go to the USDAA trial in Black Forest.  It's a long drive (1 hour, 45 minutes) and it could be very hot again, not sure if I want to go through that for Starters courses and I'm not blowing any more money on tournaments.  But if I don't there isn't another trial until mid-August and I'll get so rusty if I don't trial for 3 months.  Guess I've got a few weeks before it closes to think about it.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Week in Training

Despite an agility trial this weekend I managed to get in all my planned workouts.  I only had one day of double workouts too.  Of course I would have liked to have had one more swim workout and a power hike and/or one more run but oh well.  I seemed to have reached a plateau in everything though.  If my piriformis wasn't vexing me I'd add in some fartlek running or hill repeats this week to shake things up but for now I'm going to stay the course for at least another week or two.  It feels about the same, not horribly painful but not totally functional either, especially when I try to push off it to run.  It held up o.k. for the agility trial though, a bit stiff Saturday night and on into Sunday morning but I was able to run my courses no problem.  Turns out one of my new agility friends is a trainer and saw me gimping and showed me a fancy new to me piriformis stretch that's very effective so I'm adding that into my stretching routine.

Swim: 5450 yards/2 hours, 13 mins.

Mountain bike: 34.85 miles/4 hours, 10 mins.

Run: 7.17 miles/1 hours, 46 mins. of 8 mins. run/1 min. walk

Total training time: 8 hours, 10 mins.

120.3 lbs (-.2 lbs)

Friday, May 06, 2011

Blue Sky

Jonny took the day off work and we took a little drive up to Fort Collins to play on the Blue Sky Trail.

Lots of pretty red cliffs and mahvelous single track.

There's still a ton of snow on the Continental Divide.  The mountains got slammed with snow this year and I never once made the trip up to enjoy it.   Oh well, I couldn't be bothered with the driving was the biggest reason but also it was so mild down here I chose not to go up there.

We had a little adventure too.  Say hello to my leetle friend.

Awww, wook at da wee baby woogums.

It's hard to tell from the photo because there's nothing for scale and I was not going to put my foot next to it but it's a baby.  And it's a rattlesnake in case you didn't notice.  The babies are oftentimes more dangerous than the adults because they don't control their venom, they hit you with a full shot.  It was frozen in the middle of the trail so we had to go around in the grass which was a bit nerve wracking because maybe there was a whole nest of them lurking in there or maybe this one would decide to lunge at our calves but thankfully we got out of the ordeal unscathed.

I think they might want to put this sign at the trail head rather than at the end of the trail.

On the way home we decided to try a new to us vegetarian Venezuelan restaurant called Zudaka.  I can't believe this place is less than a mile away and has been there maybe a year or more and we haven't tried it.  I also can't believe how quickly we snarfed everything down.  SO amazing.  We shared orders of the hallaquitas and pabellon and don't even ask me to explain what they were, you should come to Boulder and try them yourselves.  The nice lady that owns the place will explain how to eat them.  Plus you can stop at the Med Shed two doors down for all your medical marijuana needs.

Tired legs, sore hip,  maybe this wasn't the best idea the day before and agility trial but it was totally worth it.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Trial this weekend

We've got a USDAA trial this weekend.

Somebody's a little excited about it.

Weather is supposed to be fabulous.  Well maybe a little hot if it really goes up to the 80 degrees they're predicting but I'm optimistic it won't go above the mid-70's and no wind which is what I'm most excited about.  I'm so over all the windy days we've been having. 

I'm feeling good about everything except the dogwalk.  Of course.  I was feeling somewhat confident about it after today's practice until I got home and watched the video and realized I had rewarded a miss.  This pushed my success rate from 70% down to 60% but even worse is the rewarded miss.  For some reason Strum has a harder time when I'm on the side of the side of the dogwalk that is also the exit side of the tunnel.  Must be something about that push to the entrance but who knows.  We were able to get a hit though and end on a good note.  I have a few more practice sessions on YouTube and at least one I haven't gotten around to looking at yet but this is from today as sort of a progress report.

In other news, the DOCNA trial I was entered in in 2 weeks got canceled due to low turnout.  I'm blaming the Viszla/Cairn Terrier club for holding an AKC trial on the same weekend but there could be other reasons.  But like we really need ANOTHER AKC trial, especially on the weekend of a less represented venue's established trial.  Thanks guys. 

While I'm disappointed at missing the opportunity of a DOCNA trial I'm also a little relieved at the opportunity for a weekend off from my 6 weekends in a row of Stuff and the relief to my checkbook.  There are a lot of other things I could still sign up for on that weekend including a DOCNA trial in Utah or a triathlon I've been wanting to do for years now but I think I'll take a break and save my pennies for other things.  Like staying overnight in Laramie for the August USDAA trial and maybe going to one day of the USDAA trial in Black Forest.  Heck, maybe I'll go both days.  I'd rather spend the funds on DOCNA but I can't enter trials that don't exist.  Anyone local know if the July/August Prairie Dog DOCNA trial is a go?  Maybe I'll save my pennies for that if it doesn't conflict with my race schedule.

Yes!  Stay home and play with me.

I also signed up for my third triathlon, an off-road Xterra up in Eldora which is a ski resort about 40 minutes from Boulder.  I did the inaugural version of this race before it was all corporate and an Xterra but haven't done it since because I didn't/don't like the new race director.  The bike course has changed a bit but the trails up there are so nice I'm sure it'll be fun and pretty whatever it is.  I'll have a chance to pre-ride it a few days before so it won't be a complete surprise but otherwise the trails are normally closed to the public.  This will be my most difficult race of the season but I'm not sure if it should be my 'A' race or if I should save that for the Lory Xterra which is several weeks later.  I suppose it'll depend on what state my running is in by next month.  Right now I still can't run properly, stupid piriformis.  It's not overtly sore but it's not up for working properly either and I still can't push off much with my left leg.  But I'm plugging away and one of these days, hopefully soon, shuffling will magically become running again.

I'm contemplating a fourth race which is unusual for me, I usually stick to a max. of 3 per year, but there's a duathlon up at Snow Mountain Ranch just outside of Winter Park that I did eons ago and the trails are oh so fabulous.  Or I could save some gas money and driving aggravation and do the brand spanking new Bear It All off road triathlon in Bear Creek Lake Park but that's in October which means there could be snow and I don't even want to think about how cold that water is.  Speaking of which I took Strum to the Rez this morning and checked out the water temp.  Brrrrrr is all I have to say.  But I plan on being there bright eyed and bushy tailed on opening morning, May 24th, 6:15 a.m.  Yes you read that right.  Maybe I'll need 2 wetsuits but I'm doing it.  Oh yes I am.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Week in Training

Three rest days this week-shocking! I was planning on only one over the weekend but when Tuesday came around I felt like I needed a rest and when I checked my log I realized it had been 13 days with no rest so I was a bit overdue. Was going to run at least one day on the lunch hour of my weekend class but went out to lunch with classmates instead. But thanks to three days of double workouts I still managed to get in a fair amount of training. Biking and running numbers are up and those are the important ones right now.

Swim: 4500 yards/2 hours, 6 mins.

Mountain bike: 28.7 miles/3 hours, 28 mins.

Run: 9.6 miles/2 hours, 21 mins. of 6 mins. run/1 min. walk

Total training time: 7 hours, 55 mins.

120.5 lbs (+.1 lbs) Those last 4 lbs are proving to be stubborn.

Month in training

Numbers are a bit down from last month except for running and that's in large part why the other numbers are down. But running is feeling much better, piriformis is better, and I feel confident both will continue to improve this month.

Was surprised to see I'd lost only .8 lb for the whole month. Somehow it felt like more than that. Those final 4 lbs will be the goal for this month. I'm busy with either a class or agility trial for every single weekend this month (and on into June) so I'm going to have to get creative with getting enough training in since another goal is to increase biking and running volume.

Swim: 25,050 yards/10 hours, 30 mins.

Mountain Bike: 108.8 miles/12 hours, 9 mins.

Run: 21.85 miles/5 hours, 47 mins.

Power Hike: 3.5 miles/1 hour, 53 mins.

Total Training Hours: 25 hours, 19 mins.

120.5 lbs (-.8 lbs)