Sunday, August 10, 2014

Fall 2014: Week whatever the hell this is

How is it August already? Aiiiiiiiieeeeeeee.

Getting ready to ride.
Monday: Group bike ride! Zindine wanted to come ride in Burlington, and somehow that morphed into me creating a route for a group ride with a bunch of Daily Mile peeps. Holy pressure, batman. I love my roads, but I'm still pretty new at this road biking thing, so creating a route that would be fun, scenic, and not full of climbing in the back half was kind of stressing me out (but in a good, fun-stress kind of way).

Badass bikers.
We did 55k of some of my favourite local stuff, and it turned out fantastic! I front loaded the route with climbing to make sure when we finished it would be on a downhill and everyone would leave happy and not wanting to kill me. No one wants to end a ride with a climb!

Zindine gave me some good hill climbing tips (even when I hated him for not letting me downshift, the jerk), Sam conquered a hill that defeated her on our last ride and didn't try and kick my ass for making her ride it again, Richard jumped in with both feet on his new road bike and did phenomenally well (I feel like maybe I should apologize to his wife for encouraging him in this new hobby?), Nicole rocked the #mumbike (she is going to be SO GOOD when she gets on a road bike), and Irina did some excellent coaching and picture taking (all the group ride pics are from her). Seriously, just so fun.

Bakery stop! I would really like to steal Irina's socks.
Tuesday: Set out for what was supposed to be either an interval or tempo run, but my legs were all:
So I downgraded to 8k easy. By the end my legs were less cranky, but it wasn't a great feeling run. I later realized I hadn't had a rest day for 8 days, which explained an awful lot.

The sunrise is getting later. Do not like.
Wednesday: Scrapped the plan to bike to work and replaced it with a much needed rest day.

Thursday: After a rest day, tempo. Warm up, then a 4k set and a 2k set of tempo (the goal here is to add on to that second set and work up to two 4k sets). First set was 5:14, 506, 5:05, 5:06, so even a touch fast. Second was 5:12, 5:11, so a hair slow. I'll take it.

Biked to work, 22k. The bike to work is fun because downhill. Also the roads are pretty empty at 7 am.

Biked home after work, 24k. The bike home is much less fun because uphill and CRAZY ASSHOLE DRIVERS EVERYWHERE. I'm starting to understand why cyclists turn into stop sign/red light running jerks. Because we take a lot of bullshit from cars and start to think fuck it, if y'all are going to try and kill me anyway, I may as well at least get where I'm going faster. The highlight was the carload of teenagers who pulled to a stop in front of me and threw open the passenger side door to block my way, then drove away laughing. Nice. City riding sucks.

But, that said, I ended this ride by climbing Kerns Rd for the first time,which is a legit difficult climb for this area and I DID IT. I didn't even have to go full on granny gear until the very steep bit at the end. So that made the whole thing worthwhile. Although I'm going to pass on biking to work again for a while.
For anyone who has done Around the Bay but not Kerns Rd, the above elevation profile gives an idea of how the Kerns climb compares...
I have to think a bit about what I'm doing here with this cycling stuff. The rush of conquering that hill was amazing, and I want to do it again! But I wasn't really planning on serious bike training this summer, since I'm still allegedly targeting a fall half marathon PB. The bike stuff was supposed to be for fun and cross training, at least until I get that half marathon PB. But I'm starting to get intrigued by things like cadence (I noticed on Monday, riding with Zindine, that my cadence is really low compared to his, which he later confirmed). If someone would like to buy me a Garmin 310xt and cadence sensor, you'd make me ever so happy.

Friday: Recovery 8k run. Felt good to shake the legs out.

Watch/selfie/compression socks. Did I miss anything?
Saturday: 20k long run with Patty. Best I've felt on a long run in a while, and the first one in ages where I've felt like I could easily have run more. Maybe it was the new route, that always helps!

Sunday: Duathlon simulation. Got up early, banged out a quick 1.5k run to warm up, then hopped on the bike and headed up over the escarpment. Might as well finish up the last hard week of this block of training with some multi-sport action!

45k on the bike, pushing myself a bit through the first 35 or so. Not as hard as possible, but definitely not a leisurely ride. As per usual for North Burlington, plenty of hills to keep things interesting, too. The last big one, the Zimmerman hill on 2nd sideroad, was horrible. It's not even that bad a hill, my legs were just pretty fried by that point and I didn't have the mental energy to push through it. So now, naturally, I need to try and get back over there this week and hammer that sucker. I need redemption!

That 'trucks use lower gear' sign signals fun stuff ahead! And by fun I mean a terrifying drop into a sharp curve.
Got back, did my transition practice in the garage, and then a 5k run to wrap things up. The run was weird. I felt like I was running molasses slow, but my watch was flashing 5:20/km at me at one point, so clearly the bike totally screws up my sense of pacing. I don't have any real goals for the duathlon other than to have a good time, but it would be nice if I could hold something in that 5:10/5:20 range for the 7 km (granted, I have no idea what the course is like, so if it's mad hilly, to hell with THAT plan. Hills on the bike are generally fun. Hills running just suck).

Weekly summary
Run: 56.4 km
Bike: 147.2 km
Total: 203.6 km in 11 hours, 23 minutes

A little shy on the run mileage, thanks to that awful Tuesday run that I had to shorten up a bit. But overall, a good peak week and I'm looking forward to this week's cut back on the run, with all easy stuff. Time to recover a bit before moving into the last hard block of training!

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