From Tuesday, 12 Feb. to Sunday, 17 Feb., I had another good run of training. I didn’t get in any travel, not even local, but it certainly isn’t bad having a competition pool across the sidewalk from my office and a trail system five miles from my front door. Between the bike and my feet, I got in almost 50 miles and in the pool, I stared at the lines on the bottom for a good 5 miles or so; this pushed me to about nine hours and twenty-five minutes on task, which is another slight increase. I don’t know how much more I can pull off with my busy work weeks, but that is just a challenge I am taking one week and one day at a time.
As I mentioned in another post, Wednesday was great. It rained for just about the whole day before, which made for the best trail conditions in a long while. I strapped on my headlamp and had a great 6-mile pre-dawn run. Once back to the truck, I traded my Zoots for my Five-Tens and hit up the trails for about 10 miles on the bike. Together it was about an hour and forty-five minutes of quality training – not to mention a day out in the woods by myself is just good for the soul. The quiet and peace, especially with the post-rain air quality, makes for a difficult time finding a better way to start my day.
Since there was no Friday ride planned, Bob called for a quick lap at Dairy for 7:00 am. I took him up for a very enjoyable and mellow ride in the woods. The better trail conditions were still hanging around, which, again, made for good riding. He had to leave quickly after, so I used the opportunity to eat some food and head back through the system and do a bit of exploring. I have been wondering where the trail would lead if I continued to the right, instead of left, after the Grueler, and I found the soft and sandy uphill continues on for quite some time and that the Grueler is really a portion of the Overlook trail. It passes along the bluff and through the highest place in the whole system. I’m shocked it took me this long to connect the dots, as I’ve walked the Overlook trail in the opposite direction in the past. Having some new terrain made my day and now provides the opportunity to do a wide variety of loops depending on what I want to work on. With the soft sand and the slight uphill grade, it gives me what I consider to be a sort of mountain simulation. I have to stay in a really low gear and spin to get through the trail and back to the blue loop, which I can re-enter in numerous places on the Overlook or the Inner Loop trails. This also can add up to about 2 miles of riding and is good for intervals.
Highlight of the Week:
With two small children in constant demand of our time, Jen and I never get to run anymore, but my Mom agreed to watch the kids for a little while on Sunday, and we took advantage of the time to get in a nice long day on the trails. We took our Irish Setter, Lily, with us and ran together out to Sunset Bluff and through Bell.
Since I wanted to show Jen my new route, we turned off and ran up the Grueler, to the Overlook Trail, and to the InnerLoop Trail. The trail leads to an opening on Face Trail, so we hopped back on the blue loop and finished the rest. I’m not sure, but I think the addition adds about 2 miles. The run was a bit over an hour. At this point, Jen headed back to my Mom’s, and I headed back out for more time on the trails. I ended up doing my loop out to Sunset Bluff and around, which took a bit less than 50 mins. Overall, I got in just under 2 hours on the trails. A great day of running. I’ll probably measure the new route on my bike this week, but I think my run was between 13.5 and 14 miles.