Fitness week recap – 7/8/2019

I’ve decided that I want to try something new in the blog for a few weeks. I’m going to try to do a weekly fitness recap each Sunday night of what I’ve done during the prior week. I’m looking for this to be a way to capture, not just the numbers and stats of my activities, but how it felt.

Week Starting 7/8/2019
Running:
 33.7 miles
Biking:
 78.8 miles
Steps: 117,422
 (59.23 miles –  25.53 walking)

Impression: Had a busy weekend, and so this post slipped my mind last night. However, this week was back to the grind. I built back up to a 33 mile running week, and had my second highest week of biking ever. This was due in part to a nice 30 mile ride on the Paul Bunyan Trail up in the Baxter/Brainerd area.

That ride in particular was significant because for the final 10 miles I pushed hard. Despite being a pretty flat trail, the final miles on the southern end are rolling. I made the choice to see how hard I could push, and managed a sub-19 minute 5 mile segment in this area. It helped me understand more of what a hard bike workout should feel like.

My running this week was good, however the heat continues to suck. I know that heat is going to be an issue at Badger 100K, so I just need to get used to it. This coming week is going to be my final ramp up week, focusing on as much race day simulation as possible.

Fitness week recap – 7/1/2019

I’ve decided that I want to try something new in the blog for a few weeks. I’m going to try to do a weekly fitness recap each Sunday night of what I’ve done during the prior week. I’m looking for this to be a way to capture, not just the numbers and stats of my activities, but how it felt.

Week Starting 7/1/2019
Running:
13.3 miles
Biking:
25.7 miles
Steps: 78,672
 (38.53 miles –  25.23 walking)

Impression: As I hoped, this week ended up being a nice down week for me. I didn’t run or bike until Thursday, and then just minimal miles. I felt like my body needed a solid rest, and that’s what it got. My runs were short, and my Sunday was more of a hike than a run as Lisa and I explored the river road. Likewise, my bike rides were nice and short as well, with just a couple jaunts for breakfast.

I did end up with a full day on Saturday working the Afton Trail Race, but I was mostly standing in one spot, so it was more just time on feet, than any type of training. I’m looking forward to trying to get back to it next week. I’m less than a month away from the 100K, and I’m feeling pretty darn ready.

Fitness week recap – 6/24/2019

I’ve decided that I want to try something new in the blog for a few weeks. I’m going to try to do a weekly fitness recap each Sunday night of what I’ve done during the prior week. I’m looking for this to be a way to capture, not just the numbers and stats of my activities, but how it felt.

Week Starting 6/24/2019
Running:
35.5 miles
Biking:
63.6 miles
Steps:
130,139 (64.7 miles – 29.2 walking)

Impression: This week was much the same as last, but with a few less running miles. The week started out good with some solid runs early, and then a nice long bike ride for my Beer & Bikes ride. I also got in two commute rides, one just to the train station, and one fully to the office. The biking week finished out with a nice ride with my wife and our friend Abe to a cafe.

On the running front I had a solid 20 mile run at Afton on Saturday where my friend Mike and I repeated a bunch of the hills. I ended up with 2,800ft of vert, which is killer for the training. However, during the run my legs really felt heavy and tired. As I finished out the 20 miles I surmised that I might be doing a bit much right now with both biking and running, and need a little rest. Therefore, this upcoming week will be an intentionally low mileage week. A couple runs, nothing over 8-10 miles, and no biking all the way to work. I also will be missing my Wednesday Beer & Bikes ride due to a soccer game, so that will cut down my mileage.

I’m hoping I can get a little bit of recovery going in my muscles and hit things again next week. With my big 100K race coming up the first weekend of August, I need to make sure I’m focusing enough on my running, and balancing the biking more.

Fitness week recap – 6/17/2019

I’ve decided that I want to try something new in the blog for a few weeks. I’m going to try to do a weekly fitness recap each Sunday night of what I’ve done during the prior week. I’m looking for this to be a way to capture, not just the numbers and stats of my activities, but how it felt.

Week Starting 6/17/2019
Running:
40.2 miles
Biking:
62.8 miles
Steps:
137,268 (68.3 miles – 28.1 walking)

Impression: This week was an increase in biking, mostly through commuting, and a really long Beer & Bikes ride on Wednesday. I also ended up commuting a couple extra times than I had planned. My running was mostly solid, and I put down a PR on the Afton 25K course, however I bonked hard on the final 2.5 miles of my 18 miler on the day. Overall, a solid week, and I feel like my legs are starting to realize that this is the new normal.

I also have been working a lot on my calf and quad rolling to help with some tight ligaments near my knees. After having a few years of really high mileage I’m starting to understand more of what is normal for my body, and is just a “niggle”, vs something I need to pay more attention to.

Some fat bike adventuring

My wife has a side gig as a section leader in a church choir up in Anoka, and sometimes when she’s doing a solo, I’ll go up there to listen to her. Today I decided to make an adventure out of it by riding my fat bike the ~12 miles to get there. Normally, this is a nice easy route that passes through Coon Rapids Dam park, on some beautiful paved paths. However, it’s February in Minnesota, do that means snow.

img_4068Things went really well right from the start when I discovered that the trail that I use to get out of the neighborhood has a nice solid packing down. I was able to ride the entire trail section without issue before dumping out on to roads. The next part of the trip takes me on a bunch of streets until I get back onto a bike path that leads under Highway 610 and into Coon Rapids Dam park. However, this section of the trail was NOT plowed at all.

img_4070There was a small rut that I tried to ride, but after fishtailing off into the deep snow on the side, I decided it was better to just hike-a-bike and walk until the cleared section began again. This section was slow and painful, having to climb over snowbanks at certain points. I really wish they’d clear this section as it’s a really nice area and it would be awesome to ride through in the winter.

I might have been able to make a lot more progress in this section if I had stopped and lowered my tire pressure. I was running at 6psi, and if I had dropped down to 3-4 it may have helped me plow through. However, at the end of this section I was going to be on cleared bike path again, before dumping on to roads. I didn’t want to spend 4-5 miles on flat asphalt running at 3psi, as that would make things a lot harder than I wanted it to be. So, hiking the bike ended up being the better option.

Once I got through this area I ended up dumped onto some groomed cross country trail This wasn’t where I wanted to be, but there were no other paths. I very carefully threaded myself in-between the classic ruts and got out of that as soon as I could. Once I was back on pavement I was able to pick it back up again and keep moving. I found one other groomed trail on the other side of the park that was about two car widths wide, with classic track on one side. The other side was covered in footprints so I decided to just bike through this instead of getting back on roads right away. Probably not the choice I should have made, but I don’t think I did any damage to the trail.

After this is was a lot of bike paths and city streets. That city of Coon Rapids made an attempt at clearing the bike path along Coon Rapids Blvd. but it was still pretty blown over with snow. It was in this section that I really learned what it was like to have a fat bike. I was able to handle a few inches of snow just fine until I felt like I was ready to battle traffic on the shoulder of the road.

Overall, it was a mostly uneventful ride. I learned a lot about riding in winter, and I’m slowly dialing in my gear. I got some Bar Mitts, and holy crap those things are nice. I can’t imagine riding in winter without them ever again. I still need to work on my footwear. I think for days like today just a solid winter, insulated, boot will work fine. I’ll need something more for sub-artic temps, but a 20 degree day like today is just fine. My core has been staying warm, and I have a nice pair of Marmot windproof pants that keep my legs comfortable (with a layer underneath).

img_4069One area of improvement though is that I need to figure out a better fitting helmet. The one I have keeps me safe, but it rides way too high on my head. This isn’t just a winter problem either. My head is shaped in such a way that it doesn’t ride right even in the summer. I’ll need to do some experimenting.

The ride today was tough, and my heart-rate stayed in the 140’s which is high for biking. There was a lot of challenging terrain to navigate, but I had an awesome time doing it. Once church was done my wife needed to get her run in, so I headed back out again and did a 6 mile run. Needless to say I’m completely wasted as I type this. It’s time for some beer and relaxing before tackling some house things that need to get done tonight.

I’m loving learning to bike in the winter. It feels freeing and I’m excited to do more of it!