Monday, November 09, 2015

ITI training, week four

Monday: Weight lifting at gym. This session went well. I was able to move up a bar in six out of 12 exercises. I'm thinking about increasing to three sets instead of two on my "gym only" day of the week.

Tuesday: Trail run, 0:49, 5.6 miles, 707 feet climbing. Temperatures had cooled off into the 60s, and I had such a great run that I burst through the long-range goals I set for myself a couple of weeks ago. I ran an 8:43-minute-mile average and managed second position (out of 185) on a Strava segment that I targeted as a way to boost my downhill trail-running confidence: 6:20 pace! Whenever I run this fast, a little bit of vertigo kicks in and I begin to feel wobbly. I'd love to get past that, and "Hill Trail Descent" is a fun place to test my limits. Between that mild vertigo and my tight hamstrings, I have serious reservations about ever training to run "fast," but building up confidence is a good thing. Now I'm not sure where to set my goals for this weekly loop. First place on Hill Trail Descent is probably out of the question because it's held by a pro at 5:48 pace. Whatever speed goals I set, they're certain to fall apart as I increase the hours on weekend rides.

Wednesday: Mountain bike, 4:40, 42.5 miles, 4,795 feet climbing. It was time to take in the Subaru for service. The dealership is super slow and it's also a quick hop over to the Los Gatos Creek Trail, so I love using this chore as an excuse to go mountain biking in Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve. On this day I was determined to take on "Dog Meat," a climb that has been famous among local mountain bikers since the Santa Cruz Klunker days. It ascends 1,000 feet on one mile — *after* you have plodded up 1,500 feet on the steep Limekiln Trail — and averages an 18 percent grade with sections that approach 30 percent. The ultimate goal is "no dabs Dog Meat," and while I didn't think I had this in me, I was still buzzing from my strong run on Tuesday and determined to give it my best shot. It probably will surprise no one that I cracked early. Rain on Monday left the fire road in a strange state — sort of a gummy consistency with loose gravel on top. After I nearly tipped over riding, I struggled to push my bike up that thing. It did occur to me that Dog Meat would be the perfect place for future pushing practice. After I finally reached the crest, I still had many steep rollers to conquer along the ridge to Mount El Sombroso. Then, after several miles of descending, I made a strange decision to climb Barlow fire road toward Mount Umunhum. By the time I was finally coasting down the pavement toward Los Gatos, I was so completely cracked that I feared I'd done irreparable damage to my 100 Miles of Nowhere goal coming up on Saturday. Oh, Sierra Azul. So beautiful, so tempting, so evil.

Thursday: Hike, 3:07, 7.7 miles, 1,419 feet climbing. I had to head out to Lake Sonoma in the morning to meet Ann for some interviews. As such, I skipped the morning gym session, and felt guilty about this. But to be honest, I was quite sore after Sierra Azul — shoulder and calves, probably from pushing up Dogmeat — and reluctant to take any more chances with the long ride coming up on Saturday. Ann and I took a very leisurely stroll above Lake Sonoma, but it was admittedly a long time standing on sore legs, and by the end I felt quite tired. That night I was awakened by an excruciating cramp in my right calf, and the next day the muscle was so tight I could hardly walk.

Friday: Rest. I felt guilty about not going to the gym, massaged my throbbing calf, and nursed a cold dread about 100 miles of Montebello.

Saturday: Road bike, 11:50, 105.1 miles, 20,159 feet climbing. I already wrote a ride report about the 100 Miles of Nowhere on Montebello Road, but as a training ride I think it went exceedingly well. I had few issues outside mild chaffing, still-sore shoulders, and the fact that it was a progressively harder effort as fatigue set in. That calf cramp, which still hurt whenever I stepped off my bike to walk around, didn't bother me at all in the saddle.

Sunday: Rest. I still felt guilty about not going to the gym, but I was sore all over. And yes, a rest day was the plan, but I can already see that my self-induced guilt trips are going to come from slacking on gym sessions. Dog Meat proved that I still have a ways to go in the strength department. But Montebello proved that I am well-situated in the endurance department. All in all, an encouraging week of training.

Total: 20:27, 147.6 miles ride, 13.3 miles run, 27,080 feet climbing.

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