Another NICE Bike Week!

>> Thursday, March 31, 2022

Well, "trainer" week at least... waiting for a bit of a warm-up...

After my INTENSE end of the week nearly 2 weeks ago (where I hit the track for intervals, did a long and intense spin, and then did a long run in 3 back-to-back-to-back days), I took it easy the first day back in the saddle. But I found myself still doing SOME effort.

• TUESDAY: 3x10 min efforts, not too hard. 90 mins total. This was my "easy" day. Did this early as I couldn't sleep.

• THURSDAY: 7x5 min efforts. 95 mins total. I just mixed up the efforts: seated, standing, alternating every 1 minute, descending, etc.

• SATURDAY: 3x10 min efforts, not too hard. 85 mins total. Very similar to Tuesday. My legs were TIRED, so I did't feel the need to go nuts.

Overall, that's 4 hours and 30 minutes of trainer time for the week when not so long ago I was saying it was a good week when I hit 4 hours. After my spin 2 days ago, I already set a PR for monthly time on the trainer. So if I get in a workout today, my March numbers will really be fantastic!!


First "Good" Outdoor Long Run of 2022

>> Wednesday, March 30, 2022

After dropping off the boys at school on Monday morning, I tweeted this:

My last long run 8 days before that was a bit shorter because I was coming off some harder workouts and didn't want to hurt anything. So THIS was my first real outdoor "test" to see what all of those treadmill long runs have done to me over the winter.

My warm-up miles were faster than the treadmill (they almost always are), and then I wanted to do 6 faster miles. On the treadmill, I start easier and then speed up, and I find myself doing that a lot outside as well. After 3 perfectly descending half-mile splits (3:18, 3:16, and 3:14), I was worried I wasn't running fast enough, so I posted a 3:04 as my next split. I felt good turning around half way though those fast miles with splits leading up to the turn-around of 3:07 and 3:05.

My splits coming back were just bouncing around, with a 3:07 split turning up with 1.5 miles left that made me think I should focus more and push a bit harder. My last 3 splits were 3:04, 2:58, and 2:58. Here were my 6 miles "at pace" in the middle of the run:

3:18, 3:16, 3:14, 3:04, 3:07, 3:05, 3:08, 3:02, 3:07, 3:04, 2:58, 2:58 = 37:26 (6:14.33/mile pace)

After a 2.5+ mile cooldown (that was also not as slow as I cool down on the treadmill), I finished with 11.32 miles in 1:16:11 as I showed in my tweet:

19 degrees felt pretty good!

Fast from split 5 to split 17, obviously (the west side of the river).

So my "pace" miles weren't quite as fast as they've been lately on the treadmill: this run was 37:26, and my last 3 treadmill runs were 37:13, 37:14, and 37:15 (6:14 pace this week vs 6:12 pace in the last 3 "pace miles" on long runs). But my time to get to mile 8.5 (the warm-up through the pace miles) was a lot faster this week: 55:26 this week vs 55:59, 56:09, and 56:12 in my last 3 long treadmill runs. So overall I was faster outside. (My 11.32 mile outside run was just 18 seconds slower than a treadmill run that was 11.50 miles - 6:44 vs 6:50 overall pace.)

Hoping I can keep this up! AND fit a race into my schedule shortly!


More Random Photos from the City of Lakes Loppet (Ski, Snowshoe, and Fat Bike)

>> Monday, March 28, 2022

I did my first fat bike race last month, and it already feels like it was a year ago! I shared a few photos that my friend Cam took from throughout the race (including 2 of me at the finish) about 2 weeks ago. Here are a few more random photos from the weekend of events from the different links found on the Loppet Foundation website:

Before us fat bikers destroyed the course, they had ski races.

Nicely groomed trails near the finish.

Two "lanes" each of classic and free-style skiing at the finsh.

There was a skijoring race that looked like a BLAST! Love the dog here!

There was a 37K race that went off before we started our 20K race, but there was a snowshoe race that started before both of those. Here's fast runner Melissa Gacek heading off Cedar Lake:

More snowshoers.

Shoer and and skier.

Tongue out for the camera!

While looking through other photos, I found one of a mass-start of one of the ski races!

The first little tunnel leaving Bde Maka Ska
(notice the snow packed in the middle on top of the ice).

Heading across that little channel about to go under the Greenway Trail.

And here's the 37K riders about read to start! That's Sean C in the blue.

Here are some from when a photographer jumped down to that area that I described as "a NARROW little tunnel (practically a culvert) as we left Cedar Lake for the tiny Brownie Lake" in my race report. Here were the lead fat bikers of the 37K coming through:

Matt's coach is in the lead, and he ended up winning it all!

That tunnel might look plenty big, but look at the distortion happening
because of the photographer's wide angle lens - it was NOT a wide tunnel!

Sean Cooley in the lead pack (ended up 4th overall).

Another pack coming through later.

It looks plenty wide here...

... but notice it even steps down narrower on the right!

OK, it wasn't SUPER narrow, but it still made me "white knuckle" it a bit as I tried to zip through there at high speeds in my first ever fat tire bike race! Maybe I'm just not brave.

Here's the bearded guy who had a sweet frozen
beard in my first "race photos" post from 2 weeks ago!

A shot from above the tunnel.

Looking out onto Cedar Lake.

Snowshoers and fat bikers. (I can't place exactly where this is.)

It's rare to see a good "full sprint" photo of a snowshoer. This one is good!

I like this vantage point looking over the hill near the finish
(but you have to loop around a lot more and still have a ways to go).

This guy did the longer 37K like this, and as I noted in my
race report
, he passed me in the finisher's chute. :)

Sorry, but I couldn't find any photos of me or Matt in ANY of these other albums on the Loppet Foundation website. Just a few of us that my friend Cam took that I shared recently. Still, I like how all of these albums show fun different parts of that weekend in early February.

Here's my race report if you missed it, and here are some photos from my friend Cam of the fat bike races.


Re-Learning to Train in the Spring

>> Saturday, March 26, 2022

I seem to always forget how to run outside when it starts warming up.

I noted in my post about my first outdoor run this year (some 2x2 mile intervals) that we hadn't gotten a good mid-winter "melt" all season. In fact, I saw on the local news recently that this was one of the winters with a longer stretch of consecutive days with snow cover.

I ran a few weeks ago and posted about wearing shorts for a 15 degree run with below 0 windchill. That run felt great. It was 2nd run outside in 2022. (I love running outside when it’s cold, bit can’t run on slick surfaces as it screws up my knees.)

The day after my big birthday weekend bike ride, I got dressed up for a nice 35 degree outdoor long run. But I stepped outside at 7:00 a.m. and we’d had some freezing rain. Everything was slick. Damn it. So I hit the treadmill yet again:

Miles 2.5 to 8.5 were slowly speeding up (9.1 mph up to 10.3 mph).
This shows the "graph" showing I was in the 9 mph
zone for 23+ mins, and then over 10 mph for the last 7 mins.

Run complete: 11.1 mies in 75 mins.

My crotch got hot after a few miles. I realized I still had on my wind-proof
briefs under my shorts because I was PLANNING on running outside.

The freezing rain (seen a bit at the bottom of the frame)
had turned to snow by the time I came out of the basement.

Luckily, that Friday (4 days later) was when the boys and I hit the track for a 3x1600 workout - that was a beautiful 44 degree afternoon.

And then my long run was 2 days later, and it was outdoors.

Wednesday it was cold and raining, so I stuck to the treadmill. I *do* love having that option!

Yesterday, I ran early before taking the boys to school. It was around 40 degrees, but I had laid out waaaaaay too many clothes. I seem to forget that just because it’s still dark, it’s not freezing. I had a nice easy run along the river withOUT my extra shirt or hoodie.


Friday Funny 2061: Porta Potty Humor

>> Friday, March 25, 2022

Lots more funnies on HAPPY WEEKEND!


Friday Funny 2060: Masking Fails

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