Friday, March 31, 2006

GRAND CANYON TRAINING



A lady kindly offered to take my picture today, when I stopped my bike at an overlook. I wish we'd placed it a little better, without that bush on the right, so a person can tell it's the Grand Canyon behind me. She knew something about biking. Asked what supplies I carry for flats. Knew what an air canister is. Asked how well my helmet mirror serves its purpose. And offered to take my picture with the bike. Only a biker would know to ask this.

Here's how my training week has gone:

Monday: 60 minute run. The batteries in our GPS had conked out so I didn't measure. I went more slowly than usual, since at 7,000 feet elevation I don't have the breathing power I do down on the ground. But it felt like a good effort, and I figured it was probably 5.5 miles, by how it felt. It was 45*F and cloudy, very nice for running in shorts (yes, my cutoffs) and t-shirt.

Tuesday: 60 minute ride. Again, I took it slow and easy. Used my granny gears a lot --- like, a whole lot, because there were many long, slow inclines, and I still haven't got my "mountain lungs" (I've read it takes 3 weeks to produce enough additional red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen after a significant altitude change.) 13.1 miles. It was about 40*F, with rain showers and a little sleet, and enough wind to make it nasty. I wore tights, a longsleeved shirt, knit full gloves under my bike gloves, earmuffs under my helmet, thin wool running socks which proved not to be adequate -- my feet got wet and very cold -- and a wonderful rainsuit I got about 10 years ago for $6 at Goodwill. Longsleeved full-zip jacket and long pants with on-off leg zippers, it's thin flexible vinyl of some sort, lined with nylon tricot so it doesn't stick to you, with vents in secreted places (behind pockets, under a back yoke). It's made by Izod, which my son-in-law tells me is a well-known manufacturer of outdoor gear. And my blaze-orange hunting vest over the whole costume for visibility. I was actually too warm in that whole outfit, except my feet, which were ice blocks.

Wednesday: Rest day, and a good thing, because there was snow, sleet, and hail off and on all day.

Thursday: 60 minute ride. I went the way I'd run on Monday to measure it and found... well, I'd thought it was 5.5, recorded 5 miles to be conservative, but discovered the run was really 4.6 miles. That works out to 12:40 pace. This means the altitude slowed me down by 2-2.5 minutes per mile, although it felt like a normal effort. Today's ride was 14.1 miles in an hour, a mile farther than Tuesday, and I only felt I was suffocating about twice. 45*F, cloudy -- tights, sweatshirt, orange vest, wool hiking socks. A little too warm, but my feet were good.

Friday (today): 75-minute ride. Again, lots of granny gears because this was an "easy, just getting in some miles" day. I didn't challenge myself on hills, or push, tried to stay in gears that would keep me going easy at about 80-85 rpm. (Count for 15 seconds and multiply by 4... I don't have a cadence computer. Yet.) It was easy and comfortable and I still made 17.6 miles in 75 minutes, averaging 14.1 without undue effort. Only felt "suffocation mode" once.

Tomorrow is a rest day. Sunday I'm schduled for an 8-9 mile run. I have pinpointed my turnaround for 9 on the bike. I have to do it early because Sunday we are also taking my monther back to Phoenix (5-hr drive) to the airport. We'll stay overnight with Steve's sister there.

It is so beautiful here, running and biking. Overlooks to canyon vistas, pine trees, desert junipers, snow patches, crisp fresh air, hardly any traffic .... everything we didn't have in Arizona. Oops, this is still Arizona. Well, everything we didn't have in Apache Junction and Mesa. I loved hiking in the desert and up and down its rocky mountains, and biking on flat roads, but, well, I like trees lining my roads and on my hillsides. You can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl.

8 comments:

Bolder said...

great week... looks like you had some epic rides! thanks for capturing it for posterity!!

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

Great picture and a great ride..

Kewl Nitrox said...

Great picture and thanks, because I have been agonising about what length to set my aero bar on my base roadie bar and it is good to see that I am not the only one who prefers it a bit longer. :)

Thanks also for shaming me about not riding at all this week despite the wonderful weather here...

Downhillnut said...

Loving your pictures lately, both the scenery and the people (and the squirrel!

Great job on cycling in a week full of weather!

Rachel said...

awesome ride! way to be so consistent with your training.

Cliff said...

Oh frozen feet. I know about that. On Sat, my toes were frozen. Need to get some wool socks.

*jeanne* said...

Hi, E!!ie!

Happy APRIL!! :-)

Jack said...

Wow, what an awesome place to run and bike. Thanks for the great pictures!