Thursday, February 20, 2014

H140: Training Attack Plan

Some of the obstacles I need to overcome
  • Soft bicycling butt
  • Shortened endurance since last year
  • Overall conditioning
  • Stupid periformis muscle

Plan of Attack
  • Resume weekly rides
  • Cross training plan to increase regular runs, including fartleks to increase speed and endurance
  • Be more consistent in time and energy strength training sessions. In other words, do it instead of finding reasons to not be as focused or distracted by Facebook or TV
  • Continue with the exercises and stretches I learned in physical therapy to keep the periforis muscle injury-free

What I’ve Done So Far
Last week I put my bike into the mag trainer I purchased last year but haven’t used yet. After 45 minutes, I remembered why starting spin classes are so hard. My butt was not used to that! And I found that I’ve lost a lot of my cycling legs. 

On Monday, a holiday, I went on a 20-mile ride. There were some good climbs thrown in my route for good measure, but not so much that I had to give up. I still have some work to do to get back up to my climbing ability I had last year, but it will come back, probably sooner than I initially thought. 

I put a clarion call out on Facebook to see if any of my local friends wanted to train with me. I’ve traditionally set aside Tuesday and Thursday mornings, my non-running days, for some strength training at home, but with no one to be responsible to, find it too easy to under-train and make excuses for not pushing myself as far as I know I should and could go. Two friends responded, and so I have added a Tuesday and Thursday morning workout with one friend, and Monday and Wednesday evenings with another. We will focus on weight/strength training, and some circuit-type stuff. Today was my first day on that new schedule. It will be good, and they’ve expressed appreciation too at having someone to be accountable with/to. 

Coming Up
In addition to everything else, nother bike ride on Saturday. I’m shooting for a 30-miler this time around. 


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

H140: I'm In Training

One hundred and forty miles in one day. Not that big of a deal if you’re in a car. A lot of a bigger deal if you’re doing it on a bike. 

Last year I completed most of it - a hundred and ten miles. We had to forfeit the middle thirty miles due to time constraints. It was frustrating at the time knowing that I wouldn’t have full bragging rights, but those thirty miles are brutal. BRUUUU-TAAAHHL. They’re across some undulating hills next to Utah Lake, and subject to nasty cross-winds. I was actually just fine not having to complete that part. The rest of the ride was still challenging, and I conquered what I knew was going to be my nemesis - the Eureka climb. 

To be honest, I’d be fine completing the same amount and the same portions of the course this year. Regardless of if I do the same 110 or the full 140, it’s going to be that much tougher this year because I’m not in the same shape coming into the training season that I was last year. 

Last year at this time I was training to run a half marathon. I was a on fairly regimented schedule, completing weekly “long” runs and doing a ton of hill running. I was also teaching spin classes twice a week, so my butt muscles, the tender sit-bone parts, were toughened up. 

After the half-marathon in March, I turned more attention to cycling, replacing my weekly long runs with long rides, the longest of which was 80 miles - down to Long Beach and back. 

This year, I haven’t been teaching spin for six months. The last time I was on a bike was in September. My longest run has been a little over four miles -mostly due to necessity while I rehabbed my busted performis muscle. I’ve also gained some weight, which I’m working on with both my regular physician and a nutritionist. In other words, there’s not a lot of logic behind why the pounds have decided to pack themselves on, and they’re stubbornly resisting coming off. 

There are four months to get ready, and I’m going to need every single one of those days. 

My mantra is now, “I’m in training.” It applies for foods I know I shouldn’t have (or have as much of as I’d like). It applies for when I want to stay up late to watch the outcome of a particular Olympics event. It applies for when i want to sleep in on a Saturday morning instead of getting in another workout. It applies for wanting to skip doing some pushups when I come in for a run. 

I’m in training. 

The cool thing about this mantra is the multiple layers of meaning it has. 

I’m training to be more fit, both emotionally, mentally and physically. I’m in training to be a better me. 

What are you training for?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

H140: This Is Happening

In case you thought you were done with listening to me talk about my hugest goal of the year - riding 140 miles on my bike in one day - you were wrong. Yes, it happened last year, and it's happening again this year.

Memory refresher - in 2012 I watched my sister Neva do this bike ride. She participated partly to raise money for cancer research (all contributions go directly to the Huntsman Cancer Institute), and partly to prove to herself she could. She had just recently finished all the treatments you can imagine for breast cancer, and this was a way for her to prove to herself that she could continue conquering physical and mental obstacles. I was part of her support crew for that ride, and I was glad I was there, because the ride organizers didn't have a lot of support on the actual course. I vowed that I wouldn't stand by and watch my sister do that again on her own, and determined to do the ride the next year.

2013 - two of us sisters joined Neva in the ride, and another provided road and emotional support, along with a ton of other family members. It was a tremendous event and cemented many family relationships. (You can see a video summary of that here: Huntsman 2013 .)

January 2014 - my eldest sister, Sandra, passed away after a short battle with breast cancer. In her honor, and to continue proving to ourselves that we can conquer physical and mental challenges, all of us remaining siblings are going to participate in the ride. We are Team Sandra, and besides the five of us siblings, some nieces and nephews are joining in on the fun also. You can see some fun videos about our goals here

and here.

These ones are a lot shorter, and serve to introduce you to the team. Team Sandra.

I know that most of you readers are family members, so you've seen these already on Facebook, so this post is more about a prelude to many other posts that I anticipate coming in the very near future about what I'm doing to get ready for this ride. It's going to be a different experience than last year, with different goals. The goal is tougher, which means I've got to toughen up this body that's gotten very soft in the past six months.

More to come.