Friday fun day!

another cloudy morning in tucson

Rolling down River Road looking east towards the rising sun.

After the long day on Thursday, I decided to prolong the fun by getting up early on Friday and doing a brick workout. The day started with a 42 mile bike ride with 1800 feet of elevation gain. That was followed by a flat 3 mile run along the river path. The training plan again called for zone 1-2 on rolling hills. This time for three hours. I brought along the point and click camera and took a few snapshots along the way. My favorite was going down River Road near the end of my ride. It was pleasantly cool do to the clouds and as I looked to the east, I didn’t have to wonder why. Look at all those clouds! Well, for Tucson anyway. This would be a clear day for San Francisco, Seattle, or Portland.

The ride started off well. Heading east on River there were few cars since it was still before the morning rush hour. There’s a weird intersection between River, Alvernon, and Dodge that’s a little dangerous for bikes when there’s traffic. On the odd days I do this loop counter-clockwise, I usually cut to the river path at this point and take that to Craycroft. It’s easier since it’s flatter, but I also don’t have to deal with the cars. But I stayed on River Road and got to do the rolling hills. They’re always fun for me because it seems like they’re downhill both ways! Love them.

Nothing notable happened during my travels along River. The left turn through the River-Sabino Canyon intersection was non-notable; which I guess makes it notable in itself. There’s usually something funky happening there. Must have been the early hour that everyone was behaving. On the way up Sabino I had a decision to make. Should I continue straight on Kolb and ride the Kolb/Craycroft loop or head out to Sabino Canyon. The Kolb/Craycroft loop is not nearly as much climbing and coming from this direction it’s not very steep. I could have gone over and started it on the Craycroft side, but then there would have been backtracking and the perfectionist in me would not have liked that one bit. Plus, that road is really rough. And I don’t like that one bit either.

So Sabino it was! I was expecting there to be a lot of bikers, runners, and walkers out since it was Friday morning and the weather was so nice. However, much to my surprise, there was hardly anyone there! The first biker I saw was at mile post 1. For a while I thought that I had somehow missed a notice about there being no bikes today. But there was hardly anyone out there at all. So the ride up was uneventful and the ride down was uneventful. I forgot to take any pictures though, so you’ll have to use a search engine to find some and then use your imagination and superimpose me in them.

A little pseudo-sprint at the top of the hill got the heart rate to 169 beats per minute. Up until that point I had been averaging about 130 bpm. On the mostly downhill way home, I’d average only about 120 bpm. In terms of heart rate it was a very easy ride. Actually, in terms of a lot of metrics it was an easy ride. But during the whole ride I couldn’t help think of how my legs felt like jelly. And I had a run to do after this as well! Oh goody.

ina road morning rush hour traffic

At the top of the hill looking down on rush hour traffic. Halfway into the 3 hour, 42 mile ride.

On the downhill on Ina, I picked up a rider wearing a TriSports Cycling kit. I tried to keep up with him as he passed, and did a decent job for a bit, but then lost him at a stop light. Heart rate got up to 140 bpm and speed up to 30 mph, so I wasn’t pushing it too hard.

Last time I rode this route I made the left turn from Ina onto La Cholla. This time I went up to Thornydale. This had two major consequences: one was planned and the other not so much. Firstly, by going this extra few miles I cut off one left turn from the route. This is good. I don’t like left turns that leave me sitting unprotected on a bike in the middle of traffic. However, it also was bad because the intersection of Ina and Thornydale was extremely busy. I couldn’t get into the left lane to make the turn. As I got up to the light, I was planning on going straight across and then riding south on Thornydale. But the light turned green in the opposite direction just as I was getting to the light. Some quick thinking, and I decided to walk my bike from the bike lane in front of the cars waiting at the red light to the left turn lane. Totally illegal, but I did it anyway. And as I did, I notice there’s a Pima County Sheriff’s deputy sitting right at the front of the line. Doh! He has his window down, but doesn’t say anything to me. Whew.

The ride down Thornydale, which turns into River, saw a crosswind, and as River starts more westerly that turned into a headwind. At this point, River also starts to head uphill. My legs, which had been feeling like jelly all morning long, now felt like mush. My speed dropped to 15 mph and I was counting the miles until I got home.

I make it home, change into running gear and head out. East, north, east, north, path, and back. 3 miles. 10 minutes per mile pace. Just getting the miles in the legs. Boring. A lot of runners and coaches don’t like runs that just put in the miles. Even though they’re boring, I’m a big fan of them. Non-elite runners, like myself obviously, need to build their base endurance. That is accomplished by running lots of slow miles in zones 1 and 2. You’ll notice this is the same training I’m doing for the bike. Putting in the miles in zones 1 and 2 to increase my cardiovascular endurance. This is also the method advocated by Hal Higdon, who is quite possibly the most notable person ever in the running world.

After nearly three and a half hours training, I still had to get to work. A quick shower and lunch making later, I get back on the bike for the 3.5 mile to work. I’m pretty sure walkers were passing me I was going so slow. At this point, I’m still planning on riding 4-5 hours on Saturday, thinking my legs would get better as they usually have done before. On the ride home, my legs still feel extremely tired. I have a quiet Friday night at home, trying to decide whether to do the Shootout or Lemmon on Saturday. Then it occurs to me. It’s 9 o’clock and my legs still feel like crap! Plus, if I want to do the Shootout, I need to make breakfast and get to sleep ASAP. Since the Shootout has always ended with me getting dropped at the bridge, I decide I don’t really want to do that. Then I realize that I don’t have any portable nutrition to take on a 4-5 hour ride. Thinking again about my extremely tired legs, and my thoughts about overtraining from yesterday, I made the hopefully wise decision not to ride at all today. Well, I did ride into work. And since I’m a total doofus and forgot my keycard to get into the building, back home and then back to work. And since I won’t be sleeping here tonight, there’s a plan to ride home too. So about 14 slow miles today.

This is my first day in a long time without any training of any sort. I’m sort of worried about my calorie intake. I can usually just eat and eat and eat and eat and come out pretty close to a calorie neutral day. Today I didn’t eat anything besides a walnut or two before riding into (and back and in) to work. But I brought along a fruit salad consisting of two apples, two bananas, and two plums. This is actually more calories than I usually have with my breakfast cereal. But I was out of cereal (on purpose, more on that in a future post), and I usually have a mid-morning snack. The fruit should get me through lunch. And since it’s 12:15 as I’m writing this, it has. A chicken salad from Chipotle (black beans, fajita, tomato salsa, corn salsa, no vinaigrette, no cheese, no sour cream) for lunch is about 440 calories and quite filling. Dinner looks like chicken with a small veggie salad.

Racing tomorrow…

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Filed under brick, cycling, daily report, running, training

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