Week 1, Nov. 11 to Nov. 17
Although Strava is convenient, I thought it would be even better to commit to one of those weekly training roundups on the blog, to more thoroughly record exactly what I did, how I felt, and any nagging pains or other issues that are causing concern. These types of posts can bore blog readers, but oh well. What good is a personal blog if it can't be used to record life? I figure Frog Hollow was officially the end of the summer season, and then the week after was a rest week — week zero. This is my activity log for week one, Nov. 11 to 17:
Monday: Mountain biking, 2:41, 23.9 miles, 3,048 feet climbing.
Tuesday: Run, 0:58, 5.7 miles, 596 feet climbing
Did the typical Tuesday hour-long run from home on the Hammond Snyder Loop Trail. I kept the pace easy because I was worried about my knee. There were only a a couple of sharp jabs on the steeper climbs.
Wednesday: Run, 1:12, 6.3 miles, 1,201 feet climbing
This week was all about diverging from my usual routine. On Wednesday I returned to a loop I haven't run in months, tracing Steven's Creek Reservoir to the ridge in Fremont Older Reserve. Beat and I used to run versions of this route often in summer 2011, especially after I ripped open my elbow in a bike crash and couldn't ride for nearly two months. It was a painful injury and that pain is still what I associate with this trail system. But it is a beautiful route, especially at sunset with fingers of autumn light reaching over Black Mountain to the west. There was, oddly, no knee pain, and I shuffled all the way up a steep, half-mile-long climb that I usually hike.
Thursday: Mountain bike, 3:28, 28.8 miles, 3,603 feet climbing
Once I turned onto upper Table Mountain, the singletrack dropped into a thickly forested drainage, climbed a steep, off-camber trail along a vertigo-inducing side slope, caught a quick glimpse through the trees of the Black Mountain ridge, and descended into a dark drainage again. This segment of trail is only three miles long, but it seemed to go on like this interminably. And each time I reached the crest of another drainage, Black Mountain was in the exact same spot. It felt as though I wasn't making any progress, forward or upward, because I would descend as many feet as I'd climb. It was very Twilight Zone, and as I rode through a darkening forest, the sun slipped behind the horizon and sent an eerie wash of blood red light across the sky. I was seriously spooked, which is something I don't often feel on my home trails. It was nice, actually — to be out having an adventure. But by the time I reached Saratoga Gap, I was so disoriented that I rode in the wrong direction for a while before I noticed headlights from Skyline Drive and wrestled with confusion as to why the road was on the wrong side. Oh, because I'm going the wrong way. It was pitch dark, chilly, and silent as I descended back into the canyon on the Grizzly Flat Trail, which was awesome. I should go night riding more often. If only it was more legal.
Friday: Run, 1:21, 8 miles, 1,623 feet of climbing
Saturday: Run, 2:07, 10.6 miles, 1,984 feet of climbing
Sunday: Road bike, 2:49, 28 miles, 4,561 feet of climbing
This latest knee issue is strange; I haven't been able to peg it quite yet. The pain only occasionally manifests when I'm pushing hard while climbing, jabbing like a dull knife with every full bend. But then I won't feel it at all for long intervals. Saturday was the only day it started locking up again, but I thought I'd moved past that after last week, because it seemed to be related to the crash, not training. I still suspect it's just that wound, accompanying bruise, and healing involved with that. We'll see. I'm going to visit our orthopedic massage therapist again this week, so he might have some more insight.
Week total: 14:37 time, 80.7 miles ride, 30.6 miles run, 16,619 feet of climbing.