Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Back on the Trails

I hate finishing a workout covered with muck after road biking--car exhaust, street grit, nasty pollution. However, I love finishing a workout covered in dirt from nature--fresh mud, creek water, mountain dust, that sort of thing. Unfortunately, the latter doesn't happen that often for me. But it did today!

These socks perfectly express my feelings :)

My friend Stuart and I went mountain biking at Whiting Ranch, a trail that I'm very familiar with from countless trail runs and mountain biking waaay back in the day... but it's been a long time since I rode it. Like years long. I borrowed my mom's mtn bike because I think my old outdated Diamondback has seen it's day and would be a hazard to ride. Here's a peek at our sported-out garage. We somehow have equipment for just about every sport/outdoor activity imaginable fit in there--thank my dad for MacGyvering that one.Anyways, speaking of hazards, I'm also known to be a charge-hard kind of girl, and, thus, a hazard to myself (why I don't dirt bike anymore), but that wasn't the game plan for today. I sucked up my pride and told Stuart that I'd be "taking it easy" because I REFUSE to get injured so close to Vineman. He's a great all-around athlete and a lifeguard (he kills it swimming, so jealous!), but he doesn't do much mountain biking either, so all was good. Just a fun ride.
As soon as we hit the trail my heart starting racing--a combo of nerves and adrenaline. Like my recent rejuvinated love for surfing, I immediately felt that old love for mountain biking building within me. I had a grin from ear to ear and wanted to go all out but held back through some of the initial technical single-track stuff. And as much as it hurt to do so, I even got off my bike and walked through some super-deep technical sandy parts saying, "It's not worth it!"

Whiting isn't anything too gnarly at all (in fact, when we were done I was like, "OK, either let's do that again or I need a real workout). But, there is one infamous hill, Mustard Hill, that's a decent climb. When I was younger, I was rarely able to make it up the whole hill without stopping or walking. But today, no problem. Right up. My level of fitness is definitely in a whole other realm. After Mustard, I took us up another climb, Dreaded Hill, which wasn't long enough! I wanted more suffering! For a guy who doesn't ride bikes often, Stuart rocked. But I still beat him, just barely :) We chilled out at the top a bit and took in the view. My next adventure on the list--riding up that big mountain right behind me, Saddleback.
After the little break, it was all downhill from there. I guess my concept of speed is jacked up from all my time spent on the Felt TT bike because according to Stuart I was "flying down." It didn't feel that fast to me... I maybe maxed out in the 20-something mph range. But I felt confident and in control, so what the heck! It was a blast. Especially the curvy downhill single-track stuff (is that proper mountain bike jargon?!). After our ride we chowed down some killer sandwiches at a local deli, Bagels and Brew. I swear, mainstream sandwich shops just don't compare to the little hole-in-the-wall mom and pop places in my opinion. A swim followed later on. I'm working on not crossing over at my midline so much, thanks to some great advice from Mike at SPI. Hopefully this will start shaving off time; I've already noticed slightly faster 100s when I do it "the right way."

On the Training/Racing Front...

Nothing too exciting to report, except that I've been taking things up a notch and am hanging in there, especially that I'm able to recover quickly from intense workouts. I attribute good nutrition and early bedtimes to that. Check out this study on the importance of sleep. It's amazing how many workouts I fit in the last few weeks without crashing and burning, sometimes three a day now that I'm doing Crossfit. And, I of course take a recovery day when needed, as painful as that is. (But lately off days have included surfing or some sort of activity.)

I did an 80-mile bike and 35 minute t-run last Saturday and was curious to see how I'd perform after an already hefty training week with no rest. I faded at about mile 60, but got a second wind and did pretty well overall, I think there was like 8,000+ feet of climbing according to my Garmin. Ouch! Surprisingly, the t-run wasn't so bad. Sunday's run, though, was another story. (Crappy.)

I think I'm most stoked on my new love: Crossfit. I'm doing about two a week now and am hooked. It's so intense you want to puke, but in about 10 minutes it's over. And it's incredible the amount of work that is done in that time. It's not your typical strength-training routine, Crossfit does laps around a regular weight-lifting session! I'll leave it at that.

So next week I'll taper a bit for the SD International Triathlon on June 28, then a couple more intense weeks and then time for Vineman tapering. Feels like just yesterday I was getting ready for IMCA.

Time flies when you're having fun!!!

And oh yea, I'm now in the market for a new mountain bike. I'll have one by the end of '09 for sure :)


  1. Glad to hear things are going well. Beautiful screnery! Keeping working hard.

  2. Those socks are great.
    Boys *heart* dirt too.
    Good to hear your training is going well and you seem to be in good tune with your body's needs. Keep it up.
    Your mtn biking sounds really fun and good news on the swim. That is awesome.
    good luck at SD Int. Tri.