Monday, April 30, 2007

"Back"ing Off Before Getting Serious

I don't take many days off with no training at all. I know recovery is an important part of the process but I like to recover with mellow runs or rides rather than by taking days off completely. Today though I opted for a day with no activity. For some reason my lower back has been sore since last Thursday. I think it needs a day or two without stress to feel better. My legs have also been feeling really heavy for the past 10 days so it really makes no sense to try to do too much right now. I am also at a transition point in my training so this seems like a perfect time to get recovered and ready to move forward. For the past 8 weeks I have done basic cross training that has increased in duration gradually to the point I'm at now. My next two weeks is going to be a somewhat jumbled mess of activity as I am taking a vacation to Utah in which I will be doing some hiking, biking, backpacking, rafting, and as much running as I find time to fit in. I will get in a nice mix of exercise but it won't be organized or specific in any way. When I return though it'll be time to get serious. At that point I will have 6 weeks before the 24 Hours of Kincaid and 9 weeks before my main running races of the summer begin. I'm definitely not entirely confident that I will be able to transition from being in shape for a 24 hour bike race to being in shape for a 25 mile mountain running race three weeks later, but it'll be fun to find out. I'm really getting excited to race again. I wish it wasn't still so far away. By the time I do the 24 Hours of Kincaid it will have been over 4 months without a serious race!

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Road Bike 16 miles
Run 5 miles

I went to bed last night thinking that I would take at least a day or two off from biking. When I woke up this morning though and saw that the weather was still the same - windy, cold, and sideways rain - I felt this strong urge to get back out there and face these conditions head on, hoping to get rid of that awful frustration that I felt after yesterday. And thus I put myself back out in this mess on my bike. It went much better this time though. I was pushing 11 or 12 mph into the same winds that cut me down to 7 or 8 yesterday. And today I got to enjoy the tailwind (yesterday there was no wind for the first half of my ride when it would have been a tailwind) the entire way home.

After washing this frustration out of my system with a quick little one hour ride I went on a short Perseverance Trail run. I was hoping for less snow but this trail is still covered completely once you get past the first mile. I pushed on another mile or 2 in the snow but it was just too deep and annoying to continue any further. I love running in the snow but this late in the season the snow is just too choppy and punchy to be enjoyable. 2 months ago I was loving the fact that my first winter in Juneau was breaking all kinds of snowfall records, but right now I'm really wishing more trails were clear.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Tale of Two Rides

Road Bike 86 miles

Here in Juneau there is no such thing as a loop ride. There are no loops. All of the roads go for a certain distance and then dead end. Today I decided to ride out to the end of the longest road. Getting out there went well. I was riding really slow, but I felt good and was just hoping to spend several hours out on the bike, I wasn't really making any attempt to push myself hard. After turning around things went from good to bad pretty quickly though. First the rain began to come down much harder and much more consistently. The rain I can deal with though. If you live in Juneau for any amount of time you have to learn to deal with the rain. I was dressed as well as you can be dressed for 41 degrees and raining. Mentally though I was not prepared for the wind that kicked up with about 25 miles left in my ride. It felt like it came out of nowhere and within 5 minutes I was crawling along below 10 mph and was ready for my ride to be over. Problem was that the wind just kept getting stronger and stronger. Eventually I was struggling to stay over 7 mph and I still had 15 miles to go. I actually thought about calling Jill to pick me up but decided that I wasn't that much of a wimp. I don't know what it is about wind, but I just can't deal with it. Riding in the wind isn't physically much different than riding continually uphill but for some reason I can't mentally handle the wind. I usually become much more focused and more determined when I'm biking or running uphill but if I'm running or biking into the wind I begin to unravel. Today I completely unraveled. By the time I got home I felt like I had been out for 10 hours or more, but it was really only 6:20. I had figured though that this ride would take about 5 to 5.5 hours and I just didn't mentally deal very well with that extra hour or so that the wind provided me with. Dealing with the wind is something that I need to learn to do but I just don't know that I have the ability to ever deal with strong winds in the way that I would like to.

The good news is that this was my longest ride in over 3 years and aside from mentally losing the battle with the elements I physically felt pretty strong. I'm pretty worn out tonight but I think this is mostly in my head. My body actually feels pretty good. I'm going to Utah next week and am planning on riding The White Rim Trail next Sunday. It'll be a 100+ mile day on the mountain bike. I'm probably as ready for a ride like this as I could hope to be at this point. I just hope it's not too windy or I'm not sure what I'll do.

Totals for the week: ski 12 miles; run 35 miles; bike 150 miles in just over 20 hours time (includes 2.5 hours of weight lifting).

Friday, April 27, 2007


Bike 3 miles (commute)
Run 7 miles
Lift upper and lower body
-20 lifts: 3 sets, 12 reps.

I've never had a serious job in my life. I don't have a serious job right now, but I do have a job that I am beginning to enjoy and that is very tiring at the same time. I'm on my feet all day at work and these past few days it got to be a bit too much. I'm tired out, my back is sore, and I need a couple days off. Glad for the coming weekend. I guess this is what it's like to have a M-F job, this just isn't really something I've experienced much in the past. It baffles me how most everyone works a 40 hour work week. I worked about 33 hours this week and here I am complaining about needing a couple days off. I guess it just depends on what you are used to. I am used to working as little as financially possible and spending the bulk of my time playing instead. Now though I really need to pay off some debt so I will be working close to full time hours for most of this summer, and perhaps longer... we'll see. The crazy thing is that a day on my feet at work seems to wipe me out so much more than a long run or ride. I almost didn't workout today because I was feeling so tired after work, but then after I went out for a run and to the gym to lift some weights I felt fine.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Dupont Trail Revisited

Bike 19 miles
Run 7 miles

Ran on the Dupont Trail again today. Last week I said this was one of the most technical trails I've ever run on. After another run today, with the snow completely melted, it seems even more technical. Rocks, roots, fallen trees, mud, slippery planks, uneven sidecuts, and constant steep drops up and down along the coast. With almost all trails in Alaska it is very important to keep your eyes scanning up ahead, so as to minimize the chances of surprising a bear, especially when running alone. I was thinking of this today as I was running along the Dupont Trail with my eyes glued to the ground 2 feet in front of me. It is more or less impossible to run on this trail and look up for more than a split second. In other words, this is, for various reasons a pretty dangerous trail to run on. If it wasn't so darn fun I'd probably stay away from it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Blowin' in the Wind

Road Bike 29 miles

Thought I was getting faster on my bike today. After 15 miles my average speed was around 19 mph and I wasn't working hard at all, but then I turned around and realized just how strong the tailwind had been. I hate wind. I was kind of hoping to get in about 3 hours of riding/running today but after riding for 1:45 I just felt like coming home and relaxing, and not being out in the wind anymore. Just one of those days I guess. I also thought about getting on the trainer for a couple hours after dinner but I'm just not in the mood for that. I'm actually never in the mood for the bike trainer, but tonight I'm not even in the mood to force myself to get on the stupid thing to get a longer workout in. Instead I'm going to surf the web, take a long shower, watch a movie, and not think about biking or running until tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Salmon Creek Shakedown

Bike 3 miles (commute)
Run ~15 miles (2:35)

Decided to check out the Salmon Creek Trail today after work in hopes that it'd be mostly clear of snow. I was planning to be out for 2 hours or so, but once I get started on a trail I like to keep going until there is nowhere else to go, no matter how long it takes. I had never been up the this trail before and it turned out to be much more of an adventure than I had bargained for. It had a little bit of everything: ice, snow, mud, roots, rocks, steep climbs, fallen trees, avalanche debris, and some great scenery. In other words a very fun run. I'm wiped out though. It was one of those runs where almost every step was a challenge to keep good footing. Running smoothly on technical trails is something that has to be practiced regularly and right now I am very out of practice. Running on snow is what I am used to right now. Snow forgives, rocks and roots do not. I now have a nice shin bruise that proves this point.

One of the Smoothest sections of trail

Dead Porcupine

I'm definitely concerned about some pains in my feet that don't seem to want to stay away. They only seem to act up when I run for 2+ hours but pretty much every run that I have done over 2 hours in the past 3 months I have had ball of foot pain and at times arch and ankle pain. It's never all that bad and it almost always gets better within a few hours of finishing a run, but this is certainly something I'm nervous about as I begin to get more serious about my training in the coming weeks.

Monday, April 23, 2007

I Almost Have a Plan

Bike 10 miles
Run 6 miles
Lift 16 lifts (upper and lower body)
-3 sets of 12 reps.

It was easy to get myself into the gym to lift some weights today. The weather has turned back to "normal" and after 6 days of sun I just wasn't ready to be out for too long in the rain. I actually ran 6 miles on the treadmill! I have never run that far on a treadmill. I couldn't do it all at once though. I did 3 easy miles, followed by some lifting, and then 3 miles at 6:00, 5:45, 6:15 pace.

Most all of my running in the past several weeks has been at a slow, steady pace (usually 8:00 pace - a little faster or a little slower depending on the terrain/elevation change). Pretty soon though I am going to begin doing some more specialized running. I guess I began that today with my last 3 miles on the treadmill. My plan is to ease slowly out of this phase of steady cross training and into more speed and hill running through most of the month of May. I will likely do fewer bike rides, but the rides that I do will be longer. I want to be in good biking shape for the 24 Hours of Kincaid, but it's much more important to me to be in good shape for the running races that will follow in July and August. After some speed and hill running in May I will begin to get some decent distance in through most of June and into early July. I'll then go into a taper phase with some moderate speed work to keep me sharp and then just hope for the best. I don't expect my body to be able to perform perfectly in each of my races this summer, but I think I've got a pretty good idea of what I need to do to make it perform pretty well in all of them. It's a lot of very different type of races in a short period of time so it should be interesting to see how my body can adapt from week to week.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Last Ski?

Classic Ski 2 hours: ~12 miles

I'm one of those people that likes to keep "to do" lists. I have horrible short term memory so if I don't write things down when I think of them I won't remember to do them for weeks. One of the things that has been on my list for about a week now is to put storage wax on my skis and pack them away in the shed for the summer. Luckily I am also a serious procrastinator so when I woke up this morning feeling like I needed a day off from biking and running I was glad to still have skis ready for one last jaunt. The skiing wasn't great. It was almost 60 degrees! I'm not quite sure how to wax skis for 60. I'm not sure anyone knows how to wax skis for 60. It was very slow, and I had almost no grip, but it felt great to be out on the skis on such a warm day. I skied the upper ski trails at Eaglecrest for the first time all year. You have to ski up the side of one of the alpine runs to get to these trails. I don't know why I never went up there before. I just never really got around to it. I should have though. The scenery up there is amazing and the skiing is great. Skiing down was fun too. I only fell once on the way down. I've only been skiing for two seasons so skiing a downhill run on xc skis with only one fall was a pretty good accomplishment for me. Today was probably the last ski of the year, but I've thought that each of the last 3 times I've gone skiing. We'll see.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Mysterious Bout of Manley Cough

Road Bike 23 miles
Run 7 miles

Pretty mellow day today. Very slow ride and nice evening run checking out a trail that has just become clear of snow in the past couple days. I now have 3 trails I can run on and pretty soon there should be 3 or 4 more that are clear of snow. Can't wait for that.

There was supposed to be a 9 mile race on the Herbert Glacier Trail next Saturday. The trail begins directly behind my bike in this picture:

I found out today that they postponed the race until sometime in August. Bummer. I was looking forward to one last good race in the snow. Problem is that I would have probably been the only one to show up.

I ran on my high school's indoor track team for a couple years way back when. The thing I recall most clearly is how miserable of an ordeal the actual competitions were. There was only one indoor track in the area so that was always where we raced. Because there was only one track there were always about 30 teams at each meet, thus these were ridiculously long nights that usually didn't end until after 10pm. Then we would bus it 30 miles back to my school and my parents would have to pick me up to drive me the 30 minutes from there to home. It was rare to get home before midnight... and for some reason these were always on a Tuesday night. The worst thing though was the cough that you would always have by the next morning from running indoors in such a dry, stuffy environment. This cough commonly became known as "Manley Cough" because the races were held at Manley Fieldhouse in Syracuse, NY. Until last night I had never since experienced this same type of cough. Now though, for some reason I have had a case of "Manley Cough" both last night and tonight. It sure brings back memories. I suppose there are some things I miss from high school, but i can assure you, indoor track races are not one of them.

Totals for the week: run 36 miles and bike 174 miles in 18.5 hours. Only lifted weights once again this week. Want to start lifting twice a week. I guess that can be my goal for this next week.

Party in a Pannier

Road Bike 40 miles
Run 10 miles

Headed out for a ride today planning to meet up with some friends a little later on in the evening for a barbecue on the beach. Loaded panniers onto my bike full of everything needed for a cool evening cookout and a cold ride home: food, warm clothes, sneakers, and a baseball glove. I had about three hours though before the get together so I took advantage of the warm afternoon sun and headed up into the mountains. When I got up to Eaglecrest (local ski hill) I decided to check out the condition of the cross country ski trails in case I wanted to ski once more this season. I was surprised to find the trails very firm and in decent shape still for skiing. And then it hit me: I had sneakers in the panniers, the trails were in perfect shape for running, and since the resort is closed for the season there's really no reason to continue to obey the cross country ski use only rule. It felt so nice to run on hard packed snow again. It was a bit slippery, but very firm and I was able to do 10 miles in just over 90 minutes. Ate some food. hopped on the bike and headed down to the beach. Never did see my friends until I had decided to head for home and they drove by in their car. It had gotten a bit late and I was getting cold so I continued on home, ate a big dinner, watched a movie, and am ready for bed.

Thought a lot today about how I'm going to train for a 24 hour mountain bike race, a 25 mile mountain running race, and a 50 mile trail running race that all occur within 6 weeks of each other. Didn't come up with any real plan so I'll probably just do like usual and train based on what I feel like doing each day. I'd really like to get more scientific in my training and see if it makes me faster, but I might just have to save that for next year.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Return of the Fair Weather Roadies

Road Bike 61 miles

Another sure sign that spring is here in Juneau: All the "hardcore" road bikers in their blindingly bright outfits are finally out and about on their bikes that are worth more than my road, mountain, and touring/commuting bikes all added together. What I don't understand is where do all these people go in the winter? I can't imagine being so into biking as to spend as much as some people do on fancy bikes and fancy clothing, but yet, not into it enough to do it unless the weather is perfect. I guess I must have a higher tolerance for crappy weather than a lot of people.

The weather was great again today and I got out for almost 4 hours. Out to the end of "the road." Here in Juneau there is really only one road that goes more than 10 miles out of town so everyone just refers to it as "the road." It goes nowhere so there is little to no traffic on it so it makes for the best road riding in these parts. The scenery is amazing:

I also took some pictures today while I was riding. Jeff Kerkove has posted some photos like this on his blog. At first I thought they were a bit strange for some reason but then I found myself always looking at them whenever I checked out his website. I wish I could say these were the only pictures I took of me riding, but it actually took about 5 or 6 to get a couple decent ones. It's a little more difficult than you might think.

I didn't feel as strong riding today as I had expected. I wanted to try to average 17 mph for the ride but ended up struggling to reach 16. I was pleased that I rode the second half quite a bit faster than the first half, but overall my pace was noticeably slower than I had hoped for. There was a little breeze and it was a fairly hilly ride, but I know I should be able to do this ride at 17 mph without too much effort. Being that I am a naturally gifted runner I feel like I should be able to simply get in shape on the bike and be a strong biker as well, but I'm slowly realizing since taking up biking 5 years ago that it's going to take more than that, that my natural gifts as a runner do not carry over into biking. The 24 Hours of Kincaid will be the first time I have ever tested my ability as a biker against a clock or against other riders. I'm not expecting much, but hopefully if I get a lot of riding in over the next 6 weeks I can at least enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Back at it

Mt. Bike 3 miles
Road Bike 32 miles

I still wasn't feeling 100% healthy today but I felt well enough to ride to work and then get out for a ride after work. I was planning on only being out for an hour but then the weather was so nice (over 50 and no wind!) I couldn't resist a longer ride. My throat is still quite sore but I'm hoping to feel fully healthy for a long day in the sun tomorrow. I've got tomorrow off from work and I'm pretty much going to go out running and/or biking no matter how I feel so hopefully I just feel better so I don't get myself more sick.

The snow's melting fast. I'm itching for the trails to become clear of snow. I'm pretty sick of doing all of my biking on roads, and even more sick of doing all my running on roads.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sick Day

I don't know what it is about getting sick that is so frustrating. Sure there is the obvious pain and fatigue, but if I had the same pain and fatigue from a hard run or bike ride I would not be so frustrated (and whiny) about it. I have come down with a basic sinus infection. It's really not that bad, but I feel really annoyed by it. I sucked it up and went to work today but since getting home from work all I have done is lay on the couch and feel sorry for myself. After the Susitna 100 in February I felt worse than I do today for at least 2 or 3 days, but since that was the result of running 100 miles I just didn't feel all that bothered by it. I guess the satisfaction of a good workout or race outweighs the pain of overworking the body. When I get sick though there's nothing to feel satisfied about. just annoyance that my immune system let me down.

The good news is that I have a girlfriend who took part of her dinner break from work to fetch me some nyquil so I'm going to be passed out in bed in about 15 minutes.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Independence Day

Run 5 miles
Lift Upper and Lower Body
-12 lifts, 3 sets of 12 reps.

Each year on the 4th of July thousands of runners and tens of thousands of spectators gather in Seward, Alaska for the running of the Mt. Marathon race. This year's race will be the 80th running and I was hoping to be one of the runners competing. The only problem is that you need to get drawn in a lottery to get into the race and I found out today that for the second year in a row I did not get in. I was pretty bummed when I looked at the list of lottery winners and did not see my name on it, but now several hours later I feel relieved that this is over with and I have a better idea of what races I will actually be competing in this summer.

Runners competing in the Mt. Marathon race. Route climbs about 3,000 ft. in 1.5 miles and then returns to town where 20,000 spectators await the racers!

If I can afford the travel/entry fee expenses my plan will be to ride in the 24 Hours of Kincaid on June 23-24; Run the Crow Pass Crossing on July 21st; Run the Resurrection Pass 50 miler on August 4th, and possibly run the Equinox Marathon on September 15th. I'll also plan to run competitively in a couple local mountain/trail races and non-competitively (as tempo training runs) in some local road races. This will make for a nice year of racing (especially figuring in the Susitna 100 that I ran in February), but I can't help but think about how limited my options are since I live in Alaska. I read about other bikers and runners who have twice as many races lined up for this year and they will be able to drive less than 8 hours to get to most of them. I will need to fly at a cost of $350+ to each of the 5 races listed above (plus an extra $100 to get my bike to Kincaid). Add in the cost of race entry fees and I'll be spending over $2,500 this year to compete in 5 races!

There are a lot of things that I like about living in Alaska, but the one thing that will most likely tempt me back to the lower 48 will be if my interest in endurance racing continues to grow as I'm hoping it will.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Bad Weather, Even for Juneau

Mt. Bike 15 miles
Run 14 miles

It's well known that the weather is not that great in Juneau, but most of the time it's really not that bad. Today though, it really was that bad. 37 degrees, heavy rain, and 20-30 mph wind. I was planning to head out for a mid morning bike/run but with the weather I couldn't get myself out the door until 2:00pm. It's tough to motivate to get out the door when you know that you're going to be soaked and cold for a few hours. After 5 minutes in this weather you just kind of accept it for what is and begin to forget about it. Or at least that's how it went today. I rode my bike to the Dupont-Pt. Bishop trail head and was pleasantly surprised to see the trail almost completely clear of snow and ice! This is one of the most technical trails I have EVER run on so I kept my pace very slow to avoid injury but I was able to make it about 7 miles out along the shore of Gastineau Channel that this trail parallels. Just as I was looking to turn around I made my way down to the beach where I found an old cabin, outhouse, and several tombstones dated between 1896-1926. This made for some nice photos and a nice turnaround point. Al Sharpton is a jackass

I wore my Montrail Vitesse today. I've had these shoes for over a year but have only put about 150 miles on them because every time I do a run over 1 hour in them they hurt the balls of my feet. I don't know why I continue to try shoes that always hurt my feet. I guess I feel like they will get broken in eventually and not hurt, but obviously they don't fit my feet properly. I was just reading last night about how much Karl Meltzer likes running in Vitesse so I was reminded of mine sitting in my closet and decided to give them a go today. Well, my feet are sore now and I need to just get rid of these shoes so I don't make the mistake of wearing them again.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Too Much Optimism

Road Bike 26 miles

I went out on my road bike today thinking I could get away with the least amount of clothing yet this spring. It was almost 50 degrees and it had been dry all morning. I opted to leave the booties, insulated gloves, rain pants, and neoprene socks at home (all of which I have been wearing on my rides for the past couple weeks). For the first half of the ride I was comfortable, or at least only a little bit cold. And then the rain came. And the temperature dropped. By the time I got home I was wet to the bone and the temperature had dropped to 40 degrees. My hands and feet were in serious pain and my core temperature had certainly dropped as I was shivering uncontrollably. I was planning to go out for a run after biking but once I warmed up a bit I was exhausted and only wanted to take a hot shower and lay down. I've done the hot shower, and had some dinner, and now it's time to lay down. I'll hope to make up for my short day with a good long workout tomorrow.
fuck blogger
Weekly totals: Ski 8 miles; run 31 miles; bike 120 miles; 13.5 hours. Again very similar to last week with the decrease in skiing picked up by an increase in biking. Will hope to ride closer to 150 miles this next week while keeping the running around 30. Also, need to get more consistent with my weight training. Haven't been to the gym in over a week: It's just so damn boring sometimes... but so beneficial.

Rolling Along

Road Bike 51 miles

Got out on the road bike today after work for a nice 3 hour ride. It feels so good to be back into biking enough to get out for 50 miles and not have it wear me out too much. I'm thinking more and more that I'd like to ride the 24 hours of Kincaid in June so I'm really just getting started but right now I've gotten myself into better biking shape than I've been in since last fall.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Happy 90th

Run 10 miles

Today would have been my Grandma's 90th birthday had she not passed away a few weeks ago. I always spoke with her on her birthday and it would have been nice to be able to do so today. I guess it's hard to avoid that helpless feeling when you lose someone close to you. That feeling of regret that you didn't get to speak with them one last time - to be sure they know just how much they have meant to you and how much you have learned from them. My Grandmother was an amazing women and I sure did miss not speaking with her today.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Mini Triathlon

Classic Ski 8 miles
Mt. Bike 15 miles
Run 8 miles

What a difference a day can make. After feeling very weak through 7 miles in 56 minutes yesterday morning I took yesterday afternoon off and also took this morning off. Tonight I ran 8 miles in 51 minutes and felt great... and this was after skiing for an hour and biking for an hour.

It was such a beautiful evening in Juneau. I need to start taking my camera out with me more often. I have many mixed feelings about how much I like living in Juneau, but on a nice calm, partially sunny day like today it's pretty near the most magnificent beauty you could ever find yourself surrounded by.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Time For a Nap

Run 7 miles

Took the afternoon off after a 7 mile run before work. Not sure why but I feel more like I ran 27 miles than 7. I felt this way last night too. Maybe I'm not getting enough sleep. Hoping to have more energy again tomorrow.

Training is tough right now in Juneau. The snow on the trails is too soft for running. Yesterday morning I must have fallen 20 times while I was running on the Dan Moeller trail. Most strides I would only sink 4 or 5 inches but every once in awhile I would break through up to mid thigh and down I would go. There is still enough snow for skiing but now that it's above 40 degrees most everyday I'm finding my interest in skiing becoming less and less. I'd like to ski at least once more this season but I'll be surprised if I actually do. There aren't any trails clear enough yet for mountain biking and they are all too soft for snow biking. Road biking is OK right now, but there is so much sand and gravel on the sides of the road that it's really more like riding on gravel than pavement. And then there's the rain. It's been pretty much raining for 6 days straight and I'm running out of shoes and clothes that are dry. I guess it's pointless to complain about the rain in Juneau... kind of like complaining about the heat in Death Valley.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Free Shoes

Run 6 miles
Mt. Bike 23 miles

I've got this random pair of Asics trail running shoes that I've had for about 2 years. In that time I've worn them about 4 times because every time I wear them I decide that they are too small for me and I put them back in the bottom of my closet until months later I decide to give them a try again, hoping that somehow they have grown larger or my foot has grown smaller. I ran in them this morning for the first time in about 8 months and I don't ever want to run in them again. I would love it if someone who might fit in them would take them off my hands. They're a size 10.5 but they fit like a small 10. If you wear 10.5 they will be too small for you.... trust me. but if you wear a 9.5 or 10 they should be perfect. They are Asics Gel-Eagle Trail. Let me know if you want them and they are yours for the cost of shipping. I would guess that they have less than 30 miles of running on them and I've never once worn them for anything else.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Unplanned Recovery Day

Road Bike 5 miles

Went to bed last night planning to get up and ride about 40 miles this morning before work. I woke up though and had no energy. Eventually I made it out the door into the steady rain. After 2.5 miles I realized that I had left my seat post bag with bike tool, spare tube, patch kit, and tire levers at home. Just after turning around to head back for this I noticed that my rear wheel was very untrue and made a mental note to check it when I was back at home. Riding over the bridge to get back on Douglas Island I suddenly heard a clanking noise and looked down and saw my frame pump bouncing on the road. The bracket that holds it to the frame had suddenly snapped in half. When I got home I had ridden 5 miles and was already soaking wet. At this point I checked out my rear wheel and discovered that I had a broken spoke. I thought about still heading back out on my mountain bike or heading out for a run, but decided it just made more sense to take a day off. After all, I had no idea what the heck was going to happen to me if I headed back out there.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Some Slow Speed

Run 8 miles

Ran a local 10k road race this morning. Kind of forgot how much I hate running hard on the road, especially if it's flat. I didn't race 100% but I did run pretty hard (about 85% effort). I was hoping to get in a good tempo workout and was expecting to feel a lot stronger than I did. Afterwords I thought about the fact that I hadn't really run fast in over 8 weeks so it began to make a little more sense to me that I just don't feel like I have any speed right now. The best thing though was that I was able to run a decent pace for 10k and did not experience any knee, ankle, arch, or ball of foot pain (all of which have bothered me on and off for the past 2 months). The other good thing was that this race had a much larger turnout than the other 2 local races that I've run. I think I finished 2nd, or maybe 3rd today. It was nice not to win another race simply because there were so few runners. Don't get me wrong, I love to win, but not when I'm running an event as a training run and as a way to support the local running club. When I win a race that I've put 100% focus into (like this year's Susitna 100) it's one of the most satisfying feelings, but winning a race that I've put no focus into whatsoever (like the other 2 Juneau races I've run before today) is for some reason very uncomfortable and embarrassing to me. I do not care much for the attention that comes with winning any race, but for some reason it is especially unsettling when I win a race that I do not put 100% effort into. Today was great though. By finishing 2nd or 3rd I was able run a bit of a cool down, sip some watered down urine flavored sports drink, and head for home without ever more than a one sentence conversation with anyone. Not that I don't like talking to people (OK, often I don't, but not all the time), but I don't like talking to people after a race when the conversation is focused primarily on me. I find that when I win a race this type of conversation is very hard to avoid. I can more or less deal with this if it's a race that I've put weeks of serious effort into, but for whatever reason I just can't be comfortable in these situations when I have not put in the effort. Anyone else ever feel this way? Or am I just more antisocial than I'm willing to admit?

Another solid week of cross training. 30 miles running, 39 miles skiing, 75 miles biking, in about 16 hours of time. Very similar to last week's totals.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Back to Normal

Run 6 miles
Lift upper and lower body
-16 lifts: 3 sets of 12 reps

The weather in Juneau has returned to the usual steady rain and after 6 days of sunshine it was hard to accept this. I'm sure by tomorrow I'll be ready to get back out in the rain, but today I ran one mile to the gym and spent my workout time running on the treadmill, stretching, lifting, and watching baseball (the Mets are now 4-0, and still on pace to win 162 games). I got in a good two hours of activity but somehow this type of workout is never nearly as satisfying as a good day out in the rain.

I feel like the weight lifting really helps me though. I'm not sure if most endurance athletes lift weights, but for me I know that I recover much quicker from a stressful workout or race if I have been regularly lifting weights. I also feel as though I can get into shape quicker if weight lifting is part of my training. I really only trained for the Susitna 100 for about 2 1/2 months and I think the fact that I was lifting 2 days a week really helped me increase my mileage as quickly as I did.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Nothing to Say

Skate Ski 8 miles
Road Bike 25.5 miles

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Run, Bike, Rant

Run 4 miles
Road Bike 31.5 miles

After almost no biking in January and February I've been doing a decent amount of biking for just over 3 weeks now and today I finally felt my "biking muscles" responding the way I would like them to. I hit the road north after work and was feeling great right away. I kept telling myself not to go too far because the wind was at my back and when I turned around I was going to wish I had done so a lot sooner. As usual though, I didn't listen to myself but kept coasting along at 20+ mph with very little effort. When I did turn around I felt the wind hit me like a wall but I quickly noticed that I had the strength to push against this wall and maintain a decent speed. I rode most of the way back above 15 mph and felt as though I were just getting warmed up when I pulled into our neighborhood.

It would have been nice to stay out awhile longer but I was hungry and I reminded myself that my next serious race is at least 12 weeks away and the last thing I need to do right now is overwork and burn out before my summer races even get started. So far now the plan is to stick with very slow increases in mileage and intensity. Of course I'll probably push myself too far or too fast one of these days soon and then I'll just have to change the plan. In reality this is the way my training typically goes anyhow. My "plan" more often than not doesn't present itself until after I'm already most of the way through a training cycle. I typically just go with what I feel and then pretend to myself that it was all part of some "plan" all along. I guess this is my way of trying to convince myself that I actually know what I'm doing, that there's more to it than just going out and doing what I love to do and letting things unfold from there.

[Political rant to follow, feel free to stop reading now]

I know this is my training blog, but once again Alaska state politics has my blood boiling and now that I have a blog I can write about it so I don't have to complain about it to Jill a dozen times (a half dozen should be adequate now). Yesterday there was a statewide advisory vote to determine whether the people of Alaska would like the state legislature to pursue an amendment to the state constitution that would ban same sex partners of state employees from receiving state benefits packages which are currently provided to all state employees and their partners. 54% of voters said yes that they would like the legislature to pursue this constitutional amendment. Yes, you did just read that correctly: 54% of Alaskans do not believe that same sex couples should be treated with financial equality! Why is it that people feel such a need to force their personal opinions on homosexuality into public laws limiting other people of equal rights and freedoms? When you raise the bar to the issue of gay marriage you have the typical defense that allowing gays to marry will diminish the significance of heterosexual marriages. Although I in no way agree with this logic, at least it is a reason, no matter how thin the ice is that supports it. This particular issue that was voted on here in Alaska yesterday though has no logical defense for those that voted in favor of it. That is unless you consider intolerance and bigotry to be logical defenses. I've never really liked red-heads all that much. Maybe I can try to convince the Alaska State Legislature to ban partners of red-headed state employees from receiving state benefits. Oh wait, my hair is kind of red. And my Mom's. And my sister's. You might think I'm oversimplifying this issue, but then when you stop and think about it, am I?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The Beat Goes On

Run 12 miles
Bike 8 miles on trainer
Lift upper body
-8 lifts: 3 sets of 12 reps.

Another day with some good mixed cross training. Ran 95 minutes in the morning and lifted in the afternoon after a little warm up on the bike. We're supposed to have one more day of sun tomorrow before we get back to the usual rain/snow mix. Hope to get out tomorrow afternoon for a nice ski or bike ride. I should go skiing as much as possible in the next few weeks since the season is coming to a close, but I find myself being more and more interested in getting out on the bike each day. Hopefully I can get out of work early and have enough time to do both.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Mellow Day

Mt. Bike 10 miles

Jill mentioned yesterday that she thought the Salmon Creek trail would be good for biking so I set out after work to check it out. With my "skinny" 2.1" tires it just wasn't going to happen though. It was another sunny day and the snow was just too soft. Gotta get me a snow bike. Maybe next year. Ended up riding 10 miles on roads getting to the trail and back. Pretty tired out from skiing yesterday so it was nice to take a day "off".

Sunday, April 1, 2007

No Foolin'

Classic Ski 50k - 31 miles

If someone told me this morning that I was going to ski a 50k today I would have thought it was an April Fool's joke. If I had also been told that I would classic ski a 50k in 3:03 I would have known it was an April Fool's joke.

But then it ended up being one of those days in which everything came together much better than expected. The snow was fast, I had the perfect wax on my skis, and I was feeling very strong as I had only skied 12 miles total in the previous 3 days. After a few miles I began to think about going for 50k and then after 25k I began to think about tyring to continue pushing the pace to see how fast I could do a 50k. I didn't end up pushing 100% but I did work much harder than I had intended and it felt great. I'm thinking now, based on how quick I did this that it must have been a short 50k but at the very least it was 29 or 30 miles. Either way it was the longest ski I have ever done. Good times.

And today was the first day of a new baseball season, and my beloved Mets are on pace to go 162-0. No Foolin'.