Monday 12/9. Rode 9.7 miles along Skyline in 45 minutes. I intended longer, but this was the week of frigid weather. When I finished before 8AM, the temperature was 29 degrees. And it was windy, blowing up to 30, it felt. A few minutes into the ride, I turned down Skyline instead of heading out on Grizzly Peak, just o have the excuse to ride back up the hill so I could warm up on the way back. I added a half hour swim at lunch. It was still freezing outside, but the water in the pool was warmer than my office.
Tuesday 12/10. Still freezing. Ran about 6.5 miles out and back from Skyline, along the West Ridge trail, and back along the Baccarus trail in Redwood. Many frozen puddles. On and off the phone a lot, this run stretched out longer than intended. I like these really cold runs though, especially on sunny days like this, I get a feeling of being more alive, kind of liking I'm rebelling against the weather.
Weds 12/11. Swim speed workout, 1.6 miles. Followed by a mile run.
Thurs 12/12. Tired and cold, I hit the gym for a post-work fartlek run instead of the morning trail run. 5 miles.
Fri 12/13. .8 mile IM swim and a 7 mile easy ride. End of day.
Sat 12/14. Miscellaneous cycling all over to get 17 miles in. Dropped off the car for maintenance, rode up Pinehurst Rd. to get home. Then back down later. And capped it off with a few miles along skyline to watch the sunset. Still very cold out, but warming.
Sun 12/15. Woodside Ramble 35k/ 22 miles. Took it mostly easy, until the last ~6 miles, which I went full speed at. Perfect weather. I was really tired the rest of the day, taking naps, watching bad tv, and going to bed early.
Mon 12/16. Easy swim, .7 miles. Light freestyle, breaststroke, kicking, pulling, and lots of stretching in the pool. I find these easy swims the day after a hard run or race really help loosen things up. Especially breaststroke kicks for loosening up hips and quads. And the pool makes a number of hard stretches easier, in that I can suspend myself into them, using buoyancy to ease into a stretch more slowly than I could without it.
Tues 12/17. 11 mile morning cycling on Skyline. Rode from the end of our street to near the top of Grizzly Peak and back. Slow going, legs were still tired. Evening 5 mile treadmill run, alternating hill and speed intervals. This felt strong, despite working out tight calves.
Weds 12/18. An hour bootcamp with lots of leg work, followed by a 2 mile easy run. At the end, my legs were beat. Just plain tired at the end.
Thurs 12/19. 1.6 mile swim + pool stretching. I finished the swim speed 11-1 workout. I really like these, since they mix things up and usually push you to swim hard for at least part of each workout. I bailed on a planned light run to let legs fully rest from running for a couple more days, as I had a long run planned for the coming weekend.
Fri 12/20. .8 mile swim, IM + kicking. Followed this with 45 minutes spinning while reading.
Sat 12/21. Long run! 18.7 miles through Redwood Regional Park, half of Chabot, and back. I started out on the West Ridge Trail, and headed down the Tres Sendes Trail, followed by a run on the full length of the French Trail. I run this section a lot, since it has rolling hills, which are good for approximately light hill intervals, while following single track through redwoods. I crossed the ridge at the end heading down the Toyon trail to cross into Chabot.
Into Chabot, I crossed up and over the big hill on the MacDonald Trail, running/walking intervals on the uphills. It's really a ridge, but I think of it as a long hill. At the end, I followed the Grass Valley trail south to the Stone Bridge for a short stretch break. I then headed back North on the Brandon trail, followed my the MacDonald trail, alternating uphill running intervals with short fast-walking breaks. Crossing back into Redwood, I followed the Golden Spike Trail to the park entrance, and then followed the road to start of the Canyon Trail, where I filled my water. It was then a long set of mostly uphill running intervals with short walking breaks. As the sun set, there was an awesome display of colors on the ridges heading out to the south, transitioning from shades of light blue through to dark pink, with a light pink sky in the back.
|The iPhone camera missed 90% of the color.|
I mostly intended to take this one easy, but in hindsight, I think I pushed the first two thirds harder than planned, as it was feeling good. The last long slow hill on the East Ridge Trail is where I really backed off, just to get the time in without beating myself up. The end result of this is more tight calves, which is a sign of having pushed myself on the uphills, but much less tight than the prior week. Feet were sore too, but my trail shoes are close to retirements. These are good signs, since they’re both predictable. The compression sleeves pretty much did away with all the quad wonkiness on these last few long runs, a great psychological relief, since that was a huge limiting factor for a long time. Also, I never felt winded on this run, more muscle-limited, which is happening more and more often.
Sun 12/22. Long Ride! 18.4 miles. I find it amusing that my long run this weekend was longer than my long ride. I’ve backed off on long ride distance for a while, since I rotate through the things I push on. Longer swims were a focus for a while, followed by longer rides, but it’s running focus time. The winter is great for longer runs for me, as the lack of wind provides the extra time the long runs take. Anyway, it was warm, and I ride the usual route along Skyline and Grizzly Peak, into Tilden. Lots of hill climbing, which I took slow and consistently to let my quads rest (relatively). Another gorgeous sunset, this time with a pink sun! I bailed on a followup short light run to let my calves rest a bit. They’re less tight, more so tired now.
All together, a very cold week followed by what’s mostly been a recovery week. I like pushing myself a couple times during recovery weeks, in short bursts and much less consistently than normal, since it keeps things feeling fresh (whatever that means). I decided to write this, since every long outdoor run or ride is a small story. And every week is a story. One of my aims for the upcoming collection of races is to get more organized and deliberate with training, and writing these stories helps me reflect on what’s been accomplished and what I might want to change. Week 1 will be the end of this stretch of events.