Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Agony and the Ecstasy

Well, let me first start out with last Saturdays workout. I decided that since it was two weeks out from my big triathlon I would do a test run as best I could, but I would do it in reverse so I could swim last. Well, I got to Water Users parking lot after dawn and the temperature was nice and cool. I headed out to warm up and run over to where the run would start in two weeks. The legs didn't want to wake up at first but they soon would when I hit the hills. Speaking of hills, Holy Heartrate batman! I was in the 90% zone quite a few times and I was WALKING much of the way! I kept thinking "what have I gotten myself into?". The first hill was rough climbing up to the road. The scenery was beautiful but the climbing was painful.
Ok, now across the road and the wicked climbing resumes. Not only does it resume, but now there is cholla cactus pom poms on the trail and climbing up the back of my leg, and in the side of my shoe. Note to self, bring a comb or a plastic fork on the triathlon to flick cholla out of skin and shoes. Fortunately I am not the fastest triathlete out there so hopefully all the fast people will sweep the trail clean :) ! Anyway, after going anaerobic a few more times I managed to finally reach the top of the climbing and finally get back into a good running rythm. Descending wasn't any picnic either but that was mostly due to keeping the knees happy (being a clydesale and all, happy knees are important!). Pretty soon I was down into the soft sand of the creek bed and making my way back to the car. I ran into a horseback riding group coming up from the ranch just before hitting the road. I am sure these tourists on a horseback ride they paid good money for to see the natural Arizona landscape were happy to see a Neon Orange clad runner coming down the creek in front of them! Anyway, after a brutal hour and 20 minutes I was once again back at the car. I was totally out of energy but drank some sports drink and got on the bike and pedalled out even if I was going to only go to the bridge and back. Well, I found the energy to do the whole bike route including a climb up Kong (really nasty 1 mile hill that barbeques the quads evenly and nicely until you can smell the juices cooking.
By the time I got to the swim I had to refill a water bottle at Saguaro Lake Marina and I figured I would swim for half an hour but wouldn't try for any records, It was hot, I was physically wasted, and not drowning would be an accomplishment at this point.
All in all it was a killer workout. It let me know exactly what to expect next week, and left me stronger (after all it didn't kill me).
Now for yesterday's workout. At Butcher Jones yesterday morning with the later sunrise I was able to finish my mile swim (30 seconds off my pr) before the sun peeked over the hills so I decided I would do a run up the Butcher Jones trail. Well, the first part of the trail I knew and quickly ran through it, after Peregrine cove though, I stumbled into new territory. I say stumbled because this section of the trail was not unlike Saturday's adventure.d That section was quickly over though and this trail turned into one of the coolest trails I have run on.
After you climb over the first point you have a nice rolling desert run on smooth trail. Ahead of you is four peaks and numerous other foothills in the foreground contrasted in various shades of blue gray due to the sun behind them. As you run further on you are in a saddle between a large hill on the side of the lake and a mountain on the left. Past the saddle you arrive at Burro cove and look across a thousand points of sunlight in the lake with four peaks in the backround and endless foothills in front of that. It was a very nice place to turn around on a run. By the time I got back to the car I had run 5 miles and felt energized and ready to face the day.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Yaaaoagh! Broncitis and overtrained?

Well, it all started with a bit of a sore throat on a Friday night over a week ago. Determined to ride with the local tri club the next day I got up and did it sore throat and all and then kept my promise to my son and took him to sunsplash. Well, by Sunday morning I was in pain and had developed a nasty cough that felt like it was tearing my lungs out every time I coughed. Anyway, the unbearable pain only lasted a few days but the cough lingered and the sinus congestion continued, and after 7 days I said enough and went into the doctor who gave me some stuff and told me I had broncitis. Well today I am 11 days into this and going stir crazy as the legs want to do something but the lungs say no. I guess I understand how Bruce has been feeling the last month. Anyway, it seems to have improved a little today so perhaps I will be back into training soon which would be good as I have a rather intense event coming up on the 6th of October and I would like at least a week left of training before starting to taper!