What a (2) week(s)!

This has been the busiest week or two since we started training, and offered some insight into how we will keep our training up during season, through Gymfest, and into the summer. Overall, we did pretty well, and there were some great adventures as well!

 Backing up a couple of weeks, to Monday, October 15, when Lisa and I did our first tri-brick, we actually felt pretty good about how it went, and look forward to more paddling.

Tuesday, we didn’t hve time for a run, but we did out “in-gym” conditioning circuit with Jeni, Tonya, Lisa, Rachael and myself. Good, hard work, but lacked the satisfaction of a good cardio day… it’s funny how you can get “addicted” to a certain level of activity… it used to be that if I got in a 30 minute run and did a few logs or weights, Ireally thought I was doing well for myself. Now, if I can’t get an hour or more a day in, I feel cheated, almost.

Wednesday, Lisa did her Yoga, and Dave did a fast 3 miles: 23:12, which isn’t blazing, but the first mile was in 8:20, and the last was in 7:40, so not too bad.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday were pretty much taken up with Congress preparation. On our feet all day, lots of walking, but no exercise to speak of.

Sunday, I got up at 5:00 ish (actually, I didn’t really go to sleep… restless brain) and did a very fun 6 miles. The 3 days off really seemed to help the body recover, and it was as easy a run as I have had in months. Lots of fun, and there is something about running through deserted city streets in the early morning darkness that is kind of fun.

Monday, we took Cliff out to Farragut to meet Big Nasty and Long Nasty. Rick did excellent work on the hills, and Lisa ran like a champ. Cliff’s back bothered him, but he finished up like a warrior. We finished the day with a couple of hours of paintball, just for fun.

Tuesday was an off day, as we tried to get caught back up at the gym.

Wednesday, I took my dear friend Dave Holcomb for a bit of a bike tour of Farragut… Dave is a long time recumbent rider, but in Ohio, the biggest hill in his area is a freeway overpass… the hills took there toll on him during our 11 mile jaunt. I actually felt pretty good, and after biking, I jogged the 6 mile Bunco loop for the first time this year. Did it in 51:32, and had some left in the tank, even after the big hill.

Rested Thursday, and got ready for our little vacation to Vegas…

Friday in Vegas! Picked Andy up, and he, Lisa and I did an easy 3 miles or so through the desert. It was Andy’s first time wearing a pack, and he noticed the difference. Running around bushes, cacti etc was technical. Lisa go her massage, and we got psyched for a great weekend.

Saturday, Dave and Andy did a very fast just under 4 miles: we ran out in 14:20, back in 12:10 at about 7:05 pace, through the desert again. Much more challenging than running on flat ground. Partied with Jimmy for the rest of the day after I picked up Jeni and Kelley.

Sunday was our first big adventure! We went out to Red Rock Canyon west of Vegas, and Andy, Lisa, Jeni and I did the 11.3 mile Grand Circle trail in 85 degrees. Andy and I carried packs with (not enough!) water, and we did the technical, difficult, hilly, rocky course in 2:01 running time, and 2:14 overall, with drink/navigation stops thrown in. HARD work! We missed Rick, as it would have been right up his alley. Got some insight into hydration, as Jeni and Lisa were pretty dried out. Dave and Andy fared a bit better, but we all sucked down fluids for the rest of the day. We ran the last 3.7 miles in 32.14, which is pretty fast over rough terrain, especially after 90 minutes! We were pretty proud of ourselves, to be honest!

Monday, everyone was gone :(. Dave did about 5.5 miles in the desert in 42 minutes, running out in 22:40, back on 20 and change. Felt pretty good, actually, even thought the legs started out tired. Lisa did 30 minutes on the bike and we both did weights and abs. Not too bad.

Tuesday, we drove 5 hours to Grand Canyon National park for a little exercise! We ran the 7.3 mile Rim Trail from Bright Angel Lodge to Hermit’s Rest, and then hiked a mile down in to the canyon and back out.

The run was pretty tough: over 7000 feet, and I wore a pretty heavy pack (10 pounds or so). The legs were also a little tired, and the start is a .7 mile hill that is really steep. I thought the lungs were going to burst until the CV system kicked in… I actually thought I was going to have to stop and take the pack off, as I couldn’t get enough air, it seemed… forced myself to breath, and finished the hill. From then on, it went better, but it was a really difficult trail, with lots of uneven footing, cutbacks, trees, etc. Hard to get in a good rythym, and the legs, especially my shins and ankles, were getting pretty tired. I’m guessin that this is how Tahoe is going to be, though i’m going to do some checking on the altitude there.

I now know that I need to do a gentle, flat 1/2 mile or so as a warm-up to get the CV going before starting, especially if the start  is uphill… starting uphill just kills me, whcih is why I find the start of Tubbs so hard. Overall, lots of fun, though, and the view… wow! That is one big hole! We want to go and do a hike in-camp-hike out with Jeni, Rick and any other interested FARTs who can make it. The altitude and heat make for a hard day, so I think even hiking would be good training, and Lisa and I haven’t done any hike-camping yet!

Today (Halloweeen) we are going to tour Hoover Dam and head up to Valley of Fire, where we hope to get another good run in there before heading home tomorrow. The legs are pretty beat up after 5 tough days, but Thursday and Friday will likely be rest days as we have lots to do before we leave Friday afternoon for training camp in Seattle. I might just run solo, but I’ll ask Lisa when I wake her up in 10 minutes! 🙂

 Overall, feeling better and better, and getting stronger. Most of all, it’s lots of fun to train with friends, and with a real goal in mind. I’ve missed that, without even knowing it! Thanks to all of you! Keep up the good training, and I look forward to seeing you all whenever we can make it work!

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