Thursday, April 26, 2012

A face full of bugs & the rain returns

Oye, I'm tired.  It's been a productive but tiring last few days of training here in bucolic Silicon Valley.  On Monday - the day after racing the Zippy 5k - I trained just once, hitting the roads for an easy flat 8 mile run on the Stevens Creek Trail.  "Easy" being 7:40 pace and a heart rate kept entirely in zone 2 (113 - 141).

Tuesday was track day so I started with an easy 6 mile run on the roads.  Once again, 7:40ish pace at zone 2.  In the evening I met NB Excelsior teammate Dan Rhodes at the Graham Middle School in Mountain View for a track workout.  Like me, Dan is also over 40 and looking to recapture speeds of yesteryear and we were both happy to have company while running in circles.  On the menu was 8x 400 meters at 75 seconds with 200 meters of easy jogging in between.  After the first 4 intervals we took a 400 meter rest.  Again, not a super-intense track workout; we both just wanted to get some speed in the bank.  With warm-up and warm-down I ended up with 7.5 miles.

Yesterday (Wednesday) I planned two workouts.  In the morning I ran a flat 9 miles of the road at mostly sub 7 minute pace picking up face fulls of bugs near the Bay Trail.  Surprisingly this also kept me in zone 2 (113-141) but clearly at the upper end of the range.  That does get me thinking that Strava's zone calculator could use some tweaking (or I'm just not training correctly).  It feels like I never train in zone 1 which calls for a heart rate under 113.  I know I'm old (41) and my max of 175 is a far cry from the 200+ of 20 years ago but still, sub 113 doesn't even feel like training.  Maybe it's tailored for a non-fully weight bearing sport like cycling where there can be more low aerobic loads (downhills, drafting, etc).

The weather forecast called for rain yesterday afternoon and the skys looked ominous but I went ahead with a road bike ride without a rain jacket because it was pretty warm.  The plan was for 40+ miles of mostly easy rolling to flat terrain.  Mountain View (clouds) to Cupertino (clouds) to Saratoga (clouds) to Monte Sereno (first spits of rain) to Los Gatos (no rain!) to San Jose (clouds) to Santa Clara (light spits of rain) to Sunnyvale and oh shit it's really raining now!

All was soggy but swell until I got to Moffett Field and found Manila Dr was closed.  Great; it's pouring rain, rush hour and now I've got to brave busy roads and highway interchanges to get home.

Could be worse - at least it wasn't dark, cold and windy.  The ride took me on a nice big 42 mile loop around the South Bay in about 2:45.  Total training time for the day - 4 hours.  That night I cleared the contents of the refrigerator and made a deposit in my belly while trying to stay awake in front of the television.