ITI training, week 17
Tuesday: Weight lifting at the gym, followed by a trail run, 55:12, 5.4 miles, 887 feet climbing. I did three sets, 12 exercises, 12 reps, managing better with the extra weights I added last week. The trail run was uneventful. I descended into Wildcat Canyon but did not see the mountain lion that has been spotted a couple of times in the past few weeks.
Wednesday: Fat bike, 3:17, 28.2 miles, 4,545 feet climbing. I pedaled up Black Mountain and did two loops of Bella Vista and Indian Creek, one of the steepest segments of dirt nearby. The 1x11 gearing on the Eriksen is perfect for a snow bike, by which I mean it's low. The 900-foot ascent of Indian Creek was a fairly comfortable spin at 3.3 mph. That's a good gauge for churning through soft snow, where ideally I could stay in the saddle and maintain 3 mph, while expending less energy than I would pushing the bike at 2 mph. Snow biking is all about power output. Cyclists with a good amount of wattage move much better in soft conditions — comparable to a speed boat skimming over choppy water. I am more like a bogged-down row boat. What I lack in power, I try to make up in mental fortitude. And when I lack in fortitude, I only hope I can find the fumes to keep moving forward. Energy efficiency helps.
Thursday: Road bike, 4:23, 50.5 miles, 6,219 feet climbing. This was a most wonderful ride from home to the entrance of Big Basin Redwoods State Park and back. Some maintenance neglect on the Specialized Roubaix led to seat post slippage. The result was a sharp pain in my lower back that occasionally radiated out through the top/side of my left leg. It seemed nerve related, and was tear-inducing at times. I could relieve it by raising my saddle, almost eliminating the pain afterward. The second time I did this, after the seat post slipped down again, I raised it so high my feet could barely reach the pedals — toe pedaling. But it did help a lot. This pain only seems to happen on my road bike, and I may just avoid riding it for the rest of the month. I really need to practice with the Eriksen anyway.
Friday: Trail run, 1:12, 6.7 miles, 1,536 feet climbing, then weight lifting at the gym. Daylight limitations meant I had to run first. I dislike lifting when I'm fatigued, but it's probably a better gauge of my endurance. I made it through two sets and decided to go home and rest up for the big weekend I had planned.
Total: 28:49, 277.2 miles ride, 12.1 miles run, 35,839 feet climbing. I'm pleased with the numbers this week. I managed nearly 30 hours on the move even though it was a fairly busy week of non-bike-related tasks. The 35,000 feet of climbing is my highest yet in this training block — even more than I got that week I rode the 100 miles of Montebello. When it comes to pedaling or running up hills, I'm pretty strong — although I remember I'm near sea level and it's warm and this is still nothing like Alaska. I had no breathing problems all week. After doing a lot of gasping last week while I had a cold in Colorado, this was a relief, although I'm still concerned that any compromises in my respiratory system can drag me down quickly. I'd still place my fitness confidence on the lower end, but at least my legs are working well.