Wednesday, February 17, 2016

ITI training, week 18

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Trail run, 0:53, 5.6 miles, 681 feet climbing. Monta Vista loop at cruising pace. This minor but persistent strain in my left shin — which started sometime before we went to Colorado three weeks ago — finally went away for good. And back pain hasn't returned since I stopped riding the road bike. So right now, all of the niggles are gone. Yay!

Wednesday: Afternoon; fat bike, 2:07, 18 miles, 2,821 feet climbing. Evening, weight lifting at gym. I took the Eriksen out for a cruise around Fremont Older trails. I am enamored with this bike, which of course is the one Beat purchased to take to Nome himself before he decided biking isn't all that fun and switched back to the foot division. I wonder if Beat will mind if I call the bike "Erik." Erik is amazingly comfortable and responsive, and doesn't feel awkward when loaded. I think we'll get along really well.

Thursday: Fat bike, 4:34, 41.5 miles, 5,530 feet climbing. I have been trying to finish up some projects before we head to Alaska, but I've become *incredibly* preoccupied with Iditarod thoughts. Even so, I had one more immediate deadline to hit on Thursday, and wasn't able to get out until 2:30. I felt strong on the two big climbs — Black Mountain and Windy Hill, which is a lung-burner even on the best days. I made it to Russian Ridge right at sunset, and it was sublime.

Friday: Weight lifting at the gym, then trail run, 0:55, 5.6 miles, 688 feet climbing. For both of my weight-lifting sessions this week, I made it through three sets of 12 exercises, 12 reps. While I was working the barbells on Friday, I became convinced I could see distinct muscle definition in my arms, but when I encouraged Beat to "check out my guns," he just laughed. Ah well. It's interesting how much 45 minutes of lifting weights leaves me fatigued for an hour run, given I'm still focusing on upper-body only. I made it through the Monta Vista loop at a respectable pace, but I felt as though I was battling through the last hour of a long run.

Saturday: Fat bike, 7:37, 76.6 miles, 8,706 feet climbing. Liehann and I made it out for one last lap around the "Big Basin Big Loop." A Strava activity search indicates I've ridden this exact variation of the route at least six times, and the moving time on this ride was an nearly an hour less than my next fastest (8:29.) It's funny because I didn't feel like we were riding faster than usual. Liehann was instructed by his coach to keep his pace in a certain power zone and make minimal stops, and I just matched this pace (usually I lag well behind Liehann when we ride together.) I felt great on this ride; it was all around relaxing and enjoyable, and I had no noticeable soreness or even fatigue afterward.

Sunday: Fat bike, 4:31, 39.5 miles, 5,517 feet climbing. I wrapped up my final "peak week" with another climby ride — Black Mountain to Grizzly Flat to the John Nichols Trail, then Highway 9 and Redwood Gulch. It's always most telling to see how I feel the day after a long ride, and I still had plenty of spark on this day.

Total: 20:39, 175.6 miles ride, 11.2 miles run, 23,942 feet climbing. If I was training for a shorter warm-weather bikepacking race like the Stagecoach 400, I would have high confidence in my fitness right now. But there are so many unknowns and added challenges to the Iditarod that I remain cautious and uncertain about my prospects at any distance on that route. I visited my allergy doctor today (Wednesday, Feb. 17), to check on my progress one month after I started using a daily maintenance inhaler. My lung function has not improved — something she was hoping to see — but she said it's encouraging that I've been feeling better during my workouts. I'll be sticking with that medication through the next month in Alaska, and hoping that it helps offset the inflammation I'm still dealing with. I'm in taper mode now and also fighting a cold, right on cue, that's causing some productive coughing (which I'm hoping is the reason for my "failed" lung test.) I even speculated that the congestion might be a result of allergies — pollen counts are currently rising — but the doctor checked my sinuses and said it's definitely a cold (I guess they can tell by the color of the mucous.) I hope I can cough all this gunk out before it really starts to matter, and that it doesn't escalate into Beat's pneumonia. He's feeling much better this week, so that's good news. 


  1. You've done all that you can. You will do your best. You got this!

  2. It sounds like you are ready, Jill. Good luck and have fun. We will be watching your and Beat's dots on the trail. I had thought about going down to Anchorage for the Big Fat Ride but snow conditions are so much better here in Fairbanks that I think I will stay here. So I won't see you guys off.

    1. Too bad — it would have been fun to see you. But from what I've heard about conditions around Anchorage, I can definitely understand.

    2. Awwww! You should go to Anchorage just so you can chuckle at the poor Anchoranians and appreciate the fantastic snow conditions in Fairbanks *EVEN MORE*. That, AND you get to see us off :)


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