Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hill Repeats on the Bike

Check out the monster hill I had to go up (miles 0-2) JUST to get to where I wanted to be to do my baby hill repeats (miles 5-8).

Original plan: Drive kid up monster hill to town to soccer practice with bike on car, ride from there during practice and get my neat, tidy little workout in on the baby hills.

Revised plan: Take minivan (circa 2000) in for a "little brake work" and find out that you need to leave car overnight and fork over almost $1400 to cover five different things that are falling apart, leaking, have holes, and are generally worn out.  Walk mile and a half to kids' school, get rides home. Scramble for ride to soccer for kid.  Head out on bike to work off stress of huge repair bill, and pedal up monster hill.

On hill repeats
I learned a few things today as I'm kind of new to this.  When coach suggests a hill for the repeats, trust that he knows best.  I thought I knew better and headed for another nearby option.  It turned out it was a skinny road with too much traffic and gravel.  Plus it suddenly got super steep and I was faced with two choices:
  1. sharp turn on incline with gravel - certain disaster
  2. unclip in virtual standstill despite phobia of falling over - only just possible
After pondering the choices for .000001 seconds, I went with option 2 and by the grace of God did not fall over.  Then I returned sheepishly to coach-suggested route. As it turns out, you don't need all that steep a hill to work hard. Duh.

On being carless
I enjoyed the forced marching around campus today. Plus it's the "Earth Week Commuter Challenge."  So by default, I am now participating!

On training in general
Things are going pretty well!  It's been a packed training schedule with a morning and evening workout most days - swims, runs, bikes, and of course my beloved gym.  I had my first legit speedwork on the track a few days ago and it was the first time that I had no thoughts or consideration of my past injuries or weaknesses.  I was totally focused on the task at hand and nothing felt amiss. What a gift!!

I feel solid in the pool too, whether it's 30 x 50y intervals or a 2000y continuous swim. Compared to where I was last year in the pool - it's just night and day.

The solo gym workouts have gone better than expected.  No big embarrassing screw ups lately, and I've been going at a good clip and sweating like a pig.  I've been the right amount of sore, so I don't think the quality is suffering too much.

I am chomping at the bit to race.  Oh, and you know what I did RIGHT before I got the news about the car repair bill?  I signed up for three more races (cha-ching $$$). That was bad timing, money-wise.  But I don't have to worry about them filling.  Two of them are the Luray International and Luray Sprint which run on a Saturday-Sunday in August.  I'm now signed up to to the "Luray Double" - both races!  So I'm registered for everything I want to do from now through August, unless I throw in a road race in or two.

Speaking of running races, I discovered that the USATF Master's Track Championship is up in Berea, Ohio, very near my sister, at the end of July.  I briefly fantasized about how much fun it would be to experience that (no entry requirements other than age). We'll see...getting a little ahead of myself.  First I need to survive the icy cold swim at my opening race May 7.

Hope your training is going well and that your vehicles are in good repair!!