I've mostly stayed off my feet this week in a pre-emptive — though hopefully unnecessary —hurty-foot recovery plan to avoid plantar fasciitis. Instead, I completed three solid bike rides, one mountain and two road, all in the 25-to-30-mile, 3,500-feet-of-climbing range. Where I live, at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains, there a few appealing routes that don't involve at least 3,000 feet of gain. I can either grunt up to elevation or spin through suburban streets and traffic, so I choose the climb, every time. I think the constant climbing has helped improve my strength as a runner, even though I clock significantly more hours on my bikes than on foot. Of course, riding bikes does nothing to help me improve the areas where I'm really weak, such as downhill running and foot strength. I'm in a unique position because I love ultrarunning races but don't necessarily enjoy training runs; and while I love riding bikes, I'm not all that crazy about racing them. I wish there was a way I could do all of my weekday training on bikes and still survive long weekend runs. Yes, I want it all.
Meanwhile, Beat has really taken to my singlespeed, the old and busted Surly Karate Monkey. Even though I rode it untold thousands of miles before, during and after the Tour Divide, and even though the Reba shock is shot, the wheels are ancient, the tires are worn and various parts are creaking, and even though the frame is too small for him (hello toe rub), he's still been grabbing it as his bike of choice on our evening rides. He even rode the singlespeed the day after the San Diego 100, clearing all of the steep pitches that give me stomach aches when I'm fresh. Beat says he enjoys singlespeeding because it draws his concentration away from his bicycle and gear, and allows him to respond to the terrain with body movements. In that way, it's more like running ... which gives me more training ideas.
In final news, I finally got my last book proofs through the system and am ordering my first batch of paperbacks, so they should be ready to distribute by the end of next week or early the following week. (Link to eBook here.) They also will likely be available on Amazon and other online book retailers within that time period as well, but I will be offering signed copies for a couple bucks cheaper, so you should buy them from me. I'll start offering pre-ordering on Monday. For now, I have three copies of my new book to give away to three random blog commenters. I've been posting updates to this blog since November 2005, and obviously this blog has changed and evolved quite a bit since that time (as have most people over six years of their lives.) I've always been a little curious if there's anyone left who read this blog way back then and still checks in from time to time. So for a chance to win a book, all you have to do is leave a comment with a guess of when you first noticed my blog (formerly "Up in Alaska") and how you came across it. Even if it was just two minutes ago because you Googled "Are All Alaskans Crazy?" If you don't want to post your name or info, just type in an alias. I'll randomly draw the winners and post them here on Monday with a request to e-mail me so I can mail you a book.
So again, leave a comment telling me when you found this blog, and possibly get a free book! Easy!
Hope everyone has a great weekend and does something long and fun. I'm headed to the Tahoe area to do some trail work and maybe squeeze in a training run near the TRT100 course. Here's hoping I get to traipse through some snow.