Tuesday: Up early for thirty minutes on The Soloist. Kept my heart rate between 140 and 152 bpm. Felt solid and uneventful but I was pretty jazzed following a super cup of coffee. In the afternoon I went exploring out on the back trails. It was amazingly wet on the trails following all the rain but I am certain that I am going to have hours and hours of fun back there. (1 hr. 15 min.)
Wednesday: Up early for thirty minutes on The Soloist. Felt good and mostly chilled again between 140 and 150 bpm. In the afternoon I needed to sand some chairs so I put off my run. (30 min.)
Thursday Up early for thirty minutes on The Soloist. Despite not working hard at all I really felt like I was making good power toward the end of the ride. I did one minute on each leg of single leg riding to work on full circle pedaling. In the afternoon I did my new five mile loop out Webb Depot and up Schafer Hill. This run has the most incredible view of Monadnock. I will have to bring a camera and post a picture to share with everyone. (1 hr.)
Friday: I would chalk today up as a solid step in the right direction. Started off again at 5:30 am for thirty minutes on The Soloist. The last ten minutes of the ride I stayed on the drops and brought my heart rate to 165 and kept it there by experimenting with different breathing techniques. In the afternoon I got a little pushed back with the assembly of a breakfast table but still managed to get out the door for five miles. Ran the Thatcher Hill / Meetinghouse Hill loop. I would love to organize a group workout on Thatcher Hill this winter. The hill runs about four minutes at training pace but is as brutal as Crittenden Hill in the Bridge of Flowers race! Any takers this winter? (1 hr.+)
Saturday: I headed over to Granite George this morning for the first annual Mountain Goat Scramble 5k. After registering I scouted the loop that entailed a climb three quarters of the way up the mountain followed by an incredibly technical and muddy decent. I ran the loop twice and was really feeling tired so I finished off the warm-up on route nine. Back at the car I unpacked my xc spikes that I bought in 2005 for xc races with the BAA. The last time I busted these guys out was back in aught nine for USATF Nationals in Spokane, WA. Over the past couple of years while in my overheated attic the shoes shrunk about a half size! I could barley squeeze my fat ugly feet in but they were my only option other than my heavy wet trainers. I had a funny feeling that I had some foot pain coming in the not to distant future. At the starting line I sized everyone up and picked one guy out that looked pretty fit and looked like a solid trail athlete. At the start command I bolted up the first slope only to find the guy that I had just scouted sitting on my shoulder. Surely I'd quickly shake this guy, right? Wrong. We ran together the entire first lap and I started to do a little planning that I had not planned on for such a small race. Heading into the second lap I was going to slow and let this guy pull for a bit so I could size up the threat and get a gauge of his strengths and weaknesses. With thee laps to go I figured that I would be able to pinpoint how exactly to crack this guy. As I was slowing at the start of the second lap the breathing on my shoulder became increasingly distant so I quickly abandoned my plan of slowing down and hit the gas at full tilt. I was at the steepest point of the climb so I went into the hurt box pretty quickly. I really had to focus on relaxing because I was right on the red line heading toward the second summit. I was already lapping runners so being aggressive on the decent became an even trickier proposition. I dared a quick glance heading into the most technical corner of the descent and knew that I was clear. The third lap was more of the same but my quads were already quite sore and my big toes were aching like mad. I tried to stay as aggressive as possible on the third lap but I was paying the price for the move on the second climb. Hitting the bell I went back to work on the climb. My quads burned the best type of ache a runner can find and my strides became an miniature version of its typical self. I powered over the summit the last time and was super aggressive on the final descent. My toes were killing me and my heart rate felt north of 200 but I pressed on. Into the final straight I summoned a weak kick and then it was over. With out a doubt the hardest race that I have ever run and an new 5k personal worst of 24:07! Like I said it was a killer course. Following the race I chatted up the race director and talked her into moving the race to June and contacting USATF NE to get the race on the mountain circuit. Finished off the morning with three miles down to Otter Brook park and back. (65 min.) In the afternoon I headed out from the new house for a twenty mile shake out ride. I wore the monitor and made it a point to keep the heart rate below 160. My toes were killing me from the morning and I'm pretty sure that I am going to loose both big toenails. My quads were killing me on the ride so I knew that I had had a solid morning. I idiotically didn't pack any fuel because I've been so used to riding indoors with fuel on the dryer. After sprinting four town lines against myself I went into Defcon wait I mean Bonkcon one. I was ten miles from home, sore and bonking without my wallet! For the next thirty minutes my average speed dropped a mile and a half per hour and I fantasized about how delicious Coke is. The approach to my new house is nearly two miles of difficult climbing. Being in the later throws of a serious bonk every pedal stroke was tedious and energy sapping. Still managed a 20 mph avg. and finished off the ride in one hour on the dot. Overall a solid day of training with a serious morning effort. Recovery will be important tomorrow. (1 hr.) (2 hr. 5 min.)
Sunday: After a few chores this morning I headed up to Stone Pond and back. My quads and feet were still moderately sore so I kept things pretty mellow. My toes were wicked sore on the decent so the second half of the run was pretty much the same pace as the way out. (1 hr.) After some painting I made a last minute decision to head to Jaffery and back on The Soloist. I rode right on the top end of my target zone on all the climbs and felt pretty amazing considering how sore I was this morning. (40 min.) (1 hr. 40 min.)
Total: 8 hours 30 minutes
It has been very interesting coming back this time around. I am still a little shell-shocked from my visit to Hematology and am feeding off incredibly grateful energy. I just read Tim Pipp's blog and remember my younger days when an injury would blow up a cycle and leave me feeling incredibly frustrated. Everyone is always at a different point in a cycle which makes it so special when a few of us can match up and really battle together on a week to week basis.
I am very happy with how things went this week. I ran and rode six days and did not have any days off which is always good at this stage in the game. I am really finding that the heart rate monitor is a useful training tool during base training. I feel like when I am riding that I can assess my pace in a more practical and meaningful way. Forty-three miles of running this week with a good effort at the race on Saturday. Next week I am going to run every day and try and get my hours into double digits. Also I am pretty psyched to see Crowie win at Kona yesterday. I love having the knowledge that I have eight or nine more years to succeed at Iron distance races.