Saturday, June 27, 2015

Another Solid Week

I didn't set any distance, total mileage or time records on the bike this week, but I managed to log three solid rides (40.1 mi, 32.3 mi, 32.1 mi = 104.5 miles total). My legs felt a little flat on Monday and Wednesday, but I eased off the pace on Friday and noticed a little more life in them. We're in the middle of a heat wave (102°f here today, 106°f tomorrow, followed by another week, at least, of close to triple digits), so doing extra long or extra fast rides will be out of the question. In fact, due to my schedule, I'll probably only ride on Monday and Wednesday.

I'm at 390 miles for June and 988 miles for the year, so I should hit 1,000 miles on Monday.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Metric Century

A week ago today, I rode my first Metric Century (100k, 62 miles) with one of my riding buddies, Tom. The ride included a loop around Newman Lake (with plenty of challenging climbs, albeit nothing too long) and an encounter with an angry redneck who caused me to crash on the side of the road and gain yet more road rash and an extra-sore left wrist (I landed on it yet again). The road we were on was incredibly rural and quiet, yet this jackwagon passed us on the left, got back in front of us and immediately slammed on his brakes. He jumped out, scraggly beard and overalls a'blazin', and shouted that "this is a high-traffic road!" and that we shouldn't be riding on it. Well, good sir, thank you for the load of horsesh*t, but you're 100% wrong. It's NOT a busy road (we saw 3 cars during the 14 mile loop), and bikes have as much right to the road as do motorists, assuming we're obeying the laws of the road (we were). I found out where this hayseed lives, since we continued riding after he left and saw him walking from his red Jeep Cherokee to his shack, er, house. So...

That was the first of only two rides last week. I put in another 38 miles on the Centennial Trail on Wednesday (giving me 100.5 for the week), then took the rest of the week off since my mom is visiting from Florida. She'll leave tomorrow.

I got out for a moderate 40 miler today, with no plans for the rest of the week. I'll probably get in at least one more ride, but the heat is coming in a big way (projected 107°f high for Sunday), so I'll either be laying low or getting out very early for short rides. We'll see. I also have a ton of work backed up.

I lost 4 lbs. last week, which was a bit more than I wanted to lose. I'm now at my goal weight of 160 lbs. The added mileage is causing the weight to drop off. Obviously I need to increase my caloric intake or I'll end up where I was when I trained for my marathon in 2010 (i.e. too light and too weak).

That's about it from here. Speaking of calories, time to inhale some now...

Saturday, June 13, 2015

153 Miles

I wrapped up a solid week of cycling yesterday, giving me 153 miles for the week. That's a distance PR, which I expect to break again before too long. I had to contend with heat and wind early in the week, but the last two rides (Thurs & Fri) were far more windy than they were hot.

I'm still not doing much climbing, but I think I'm about ready to branch out (i.e. not just ride back and forth on the Centennial Trail by the Spokane River) and find some new areas with a bit of climbing involved. Nothing too crazy, though. Not yet, anyway.

The legs feel just a bit tired, but they're not too drained, although I know if I tried to ride this weekend, I'd be feeling it. But my fitness is improving!

I'll ride with Tom again on Monday, which will probably be a long ride (50+ miles). I think we're going to head into Coeur d'Alene and explore a little. With my mom flying in from Florida on Tuesday, I probably won't have much riding time the rest of the week.


M: 32 mi.
T: 52.2 mi.
W: off
TH: 32.1 mi.
F: 37.1 mi.
S: off
S: off

TOTAL: 153.4 mi.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Long, Hot and Windy Ride

You know you're a newbie cyclist when you record your longest ride ever, and it's barely over a half century. But that's exactly what I did yesterday.

I met my new riding friend, Tom, at a local trailhead yesterday morning, where we set out on the Centennial Trail for a casual ride. We didn't have a set distance or time in mind, so we played it by ear. It was a hot morning and getting hotter as the ride progressed. We crossed the border into Idaho and decided to continue through Post Falls (a small town just across the border) with the hopes of finding a trail by the river. We failed in that quest, but managed to ride through a Strava segment named "Cruising through the Ghetto of Post Falls. Watch out for the drug dealer at the auto place!" Nice. We could tell it was a shady part of town, but I wasn't aware of that segment until I uploaded my ride data to Strava. Maybe we'll choose another route next time.

We had a tailwind all the way out which meant, of course, we had to ride back into the wind. It was approaching 90°f by now, so the heat was becoming a factor. After a few miles riding into the headwind, I could tell my tank was running low. I was okay through about 42 miles, but from then on I was running on fumes. I had just about polished off my second bottle of fluid, and my legs were toast. I hung onto Tom (a more experienced and more fit cyclist) and, after a short rest break to stretch and eat a granola bar, we made it back to the trailhead. Thankfully there was a working water fountain, where we refilled our bottles with cold-ish water (the water & sports drink in my bottles was warm for most of the ride, even though they started as mostly ice). Once I dismounted, I noticed that I was pretty lightheaded and dizzy. Tom had another 15 miles of riding — including some climbing — to get home. I knew if that was my situation, I'd be in trouble. It was 93° at this point.

I loaded up my bike, started my truck and sat in the AC for a few minutes to recover and cool off.

Once home, I ate, drank, took an ice bath followed by a hot shower, put on compression socks, then laid on the couch for 30 minutes.

I learned that, even though I'm improving on the bike, I have a long way to go. Heat + headwind are not my friends. Still, I'm happy with the ride and enjoyed Tom's company and conversation.

Distance - 52.1 miles
Time - 3:05:55
Pace - 16.9 mph
HR - 131 avg / 145 max

Cycling miles YTD: 714

Monday, June 1, 2015

Update, and...Inspired

It's been five days since my unplanned meeting with the road. I only used my crutch for a couple of hours before I got tired of it (and the swelling in my right knee diminished).

My knees both feel pretty good now, but my left wrist still hurts. I'm still wearing the wrist brace.

There's still a little swelling and some bruising on the wrist. I can pull with my left hand, but any pushing or leaning on the hand hurts quite a bit.

As you can see, my right knee is still slightly swollen and a little bruised:

My bike, thankfully, came away with very little damage. I picked it up from the shop on Sunday, having to pay only $28 for spoke straightening and wheel trueing.

I halfway thought about taking a short test spin today, but I was feeling a little under the weather and my wrist is still a little too sore. I may give it try on Wednesday.

On to my recent inspiration. I had an old Mill Creek Running & Multi-Sport Club friend, Dan, from the Seattle area stay with us over the weekend. He was competing in the Troika Half Ironman Triathlon. The race took place on Saturday in Medical Lake, WA. There were also some other friends racing (Garrett, Kenny and Sherry), so my cheering duties were plentiful.

Dan, finishing in 4:56, 13th overall, 3rd AG

Dan was first competitor out of the water, which was both surprising and NOT surprising. He's been an elite level swimmer for a long time (he may not agree with my assessment, but that's the truth), who's also a very strong runner and a very quickly improving cyclist. I used to train with him frequently (although at a slower pace) when I lived on the West side. It was his first time going sub-5 hours in a half ironman, and his first non-Ironman distance triathlon in 3 years.

Garrett, finishing in 5:02:45, 3rd in AG
 Garrett is another very talented friend from my old running & multi-sport club on the West side. He's quite a bit younger and a type-1 diabetic (which doesn't seem to slow him down at all). I ran the Ragnar Relay with him back in 2010 (we were in the same van) and enjoyed getting to know him a little. He had an incredible bike leg at Troika (2:29:48 for 56.7 miles)!

Kenny, finishing in 5:55 in his 2nd half ironman. A 49 minute PR!
Kenny is a fairly new friend who I met through our church, where he co-leads worship (and I play bass with him & the team). He's a super-positive guy with whom I've cycled a couple of times (with more rides to come) and have enjoyed seeing him improve rapidly as a multi-sport athlete. I have no doubt that he'll crush this year's time next year.

It's nearly impossible for me to attend an event like this and not be inspired. I've kicked around the idea of doing a triathlon for several years now, but have never really committed to it. Assuming I can get this knee taken care of and back into running shape, I'll probably set a triathlon in my sights so I'll have a goal. If I can run again, I doubt I'll ever be "just" a runner. I think my body has made it clear that I need to continue cross training in order to avoid overuse injuries. Unfortunately, triathlon is a very expensive sport, so that will come into play. But I at least need to take a shot at a sprint or Olympic distance tri, once I'm able to run again (assuming I will...and I'm very hopeful).

But until then, it's time to become a beast on the bike!

Dan and I enjoying a celebratory beverage