Monday, November 07, 2016

Week 3

Monday: Weight lifting, 0:40. I received six allergy shots first thing in the morning. I didn't have a reaction like last week, but I felt down for the rest of the day. The weight lifting was more than I could manage, and stopped after two sessions of 12 lifts, 12 reps at the same weights as last week.

Tuesday: Run, 1:18,  6.2 miles, 1,171 feet climbing. Moderate pace.

Wednesday: Mountain bike, 4:48, 41.2 miles, 5,412 feet climbing. This was a pleasant afternoon ride where I traced a scenic, mostly dirt route from home to Gold Hill. There were plenty of steep climbs, but for the most part I rode about as easy as possible for myself on this type of terrain. I've been aiming to track my heart rate more closely, since my resting heart rate has remained noticeably higher since I moved to Colorado in April. When my breathing issues were at their worst — July and August — my exercise heart rates were lower than usual. But now that I'm feeling better, I'm also exercising with a higher heart rate. This ride earned Strava's "Epic Suffer Score" of 312 with a heart rate above 166 for 47% of the ride. It's perplexing, because this ride didn't feel hard, nor was I fatigued afterward. Still, I've decided to make an effort to go even easier on my long rides, although I'm not sure that's possible (at some point you're just not going to get up a hill.)

Thursday: Weight lifting, 0:40; Treadmill intervals, 3 miles, 0:30. Since I was feeling better for this gym session, I went through a series of treadmill intervals of 2 minutes slow, 2 minutes fast up to 6-minute-mile pace. The results were similar to last week — my highest heart rate was 191. The weight-lifting session was great. I'm in that beginner period that leads to fast improvements. It's so much more fun than going in the opposite direction.

Friday: Run, 1:26, 6 miles, 1,654 feet climbing. Our friend Roger came for a visit from Australia. He's been to Boulder before, but never up the iconic Flatirons, so I took him for a jaunt up Bear Peak.

Saturday: Run, 3:26, 12.5 miles, 4,110 feet climbing. Beat and Roger were headed out for an 18-mile run, but I decided to leave later and run a shorter route. I ran down Eldorado Canyon and cut across to Shadow Canyon on a somewhat overgrown social trail with a lot of shoulder-high grass. Despite walking slowly along this trail, I still had a breathing reaction where it felt like my chest and throat were tightening. This is one of the reasons I prefer running alone, because I don't feel as self-conscious about slowing way down or stopping for a while to sit on a rock. Beat and Roger caught up to me while I was resting. We left the grassy slope, and I began to feel much better while marching at Beat's pace up steep Shadow Canyon. So, another run with a mild breathing reaction, but I handled it much better than my episode two weeks ago. The breathing reaction happened when my heart rate was in the low 140s. But overall this was another high-heart-rate effort with a Strava "Suffer Score" of 405. This score is a generic calculation based on distance, elevation change, and typical heart rates. So a 405 score should be interpreted as a very hard run, rather than the recreational jaunt that I view it as. It's a little too soon to determine whether this is a bad thing, or just my own individual status quo.

 Sunday: Hike, 6:00, 14.3 miles, 3,185 feet climbing. We offered to take Roger on a hike into the high country, and headed to Hessie for an out-and-back up to Devil's Thumb Pass. There was surprisingly only slightly more snow on these slopes than there was a month ago, but temperatures were lower and the wind was fierce.

 Before this outing, I was not aware that ptarmigans lived in Colorado. We spent some time cooing at an adorable group of white-tailed ptarmigans and marveling at their living conditions. Gusts as high as 40mph would rip across the slope, and they just shut their cute little eyes and burrowed into the snow.

 Beat on Devil's Thumb Pass. High winds and the fast-approaching sunset deterred us from continuing along the Continental Divide to King Lake Pass.

Beat and Roger celebrating our miniature "epic" in the Colorado high country.

Total: 18:48, 41.2 miles ride, 42 miles run, 15,535 feet climbing. This felt like a good training week, except for the brief breathing issues on Saturday, and perhaps too little biking. I'm feeling better every week. I do need to continue to monitor my heart rate, as that may be a concern. (I might be sick. I might be out of shape (i.e. good endurance, less cardiovascular fitness.) I might be overtrained. I know. I have this theory about altitude adaptation that I'm currently researching. Also, the allergy shots are not easy on my body. That's definitely an additional stressor.) But all-in-all, more positive directions. All we need is a little more snow, lower than 11,000 feet.


  1. Ooh, I love seeing Ptarmigan! Whenever I'm above treeline I keep an eye out for them. I haven't had much luck with them recently, though. Glad you're feeling better!

  2. Ptarmigan are way cool! I've occasionally seen them in downtown Fairbanks in the winter.


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