Normally on Monday I take the train to Marin Country and ride with my teammates on the Iron Data Thirsty Bear Cycling Team but not this week. Tough workouts over the weekend left my legs feeling shot so I thought it wise to sleep in and push the day's workouts back a few hours. By the time got my act together for a "morning" run it was noon, the sun was high in the sky and temps were in the 80's. Oh well, I guess summer is inevitable even for winter-lovers like myself. A flat 6 mile run at 7:30 pace gave me a chance to shake out the legs and do some heat training.
Not wanting to give up my regular Monday ride I decided on a one way ride late afternoon ride across new territory (for me). The facilitate this adventure I opted to take Caltrain South as far as I dared given the inevitable sunset. Studying the map and consulting the Caltrain schedule I selected the 4:15 PM out of Mountain View arriving 40 miles South in Morgan Hill (home of Specialized Bicycles) at 5:11 PM. Sunset was at about 8 PM so the clock was ticking.
I set off North on as direct & bike friendly a route as I could find. What I didn't expect was the brutal headwind sweeping across the open agricultural fields. The grass, the trees and even the sign posts were leaning Southward (photo above).
To add some terrain variety I detoured West on Bailey Ave at the 10 mile mark, past the isolated rural IBM campus, past jet-skiers on Calero Reservoir (photo above) and into the outskirts of South San Jose on Almaden Expressway. At Blossom Hill Road I faced a decision - turn due West for a more scenic ride through Los Gatos and Saratoga or head straight through downtown San Jose on a shorter route. As I raced towards the intersection the left turn arrow (to Los Gatos) was red but straight ahead (to San Jose) was green. I took the green light - decision made.
From here the ride was unremarkable and familiar - a mix of bike path and urban roads with decent bike lanes. Along the Hwy 87 bike path, through Willow Glen, past our old apartment (The Elements), The Alameda, past Santa Clara University, onto El Camino Real (briefly) to Monroe St and finally Evelyn Ave through Sunnyvale and home to Mountain View. With a couple photo stops and headwind I averaged 17.6 mph over 40 miles. I arrived home at 7:40 PM - about 10 minutes before sunset. Route map and speed/heart-rate data on Strava here.
Tuesday was my scheduled track workout day which I kicked off with an easy, flat 7 mile morning run. That evening I met NB Excelsior teammate Jon Kimura who along with his Lockheed co-workers have been on a regular track regimen since January in preparation for corporate races. Following the Daniels training plan they recently raced at the Penn Relays and are training for the USATF-Pacific Association Track & Field Championships later this month. Needless to say that I get my ass kicked but that's exactly what I need to stay motivated.
This was my 4th consecutive week of track work and the plan this night was for two sets of 200, 200, 800, 300 after four 100 meter striders. 800 meters would be my longest work period so far on the track but fortunately the plan called for full rest. I felt fine for the 200s coming in at 33 seconds but the 800's were PAINFUL. I managed a 2:23 and 2:27 but was far behind Jon's 2:14 and 2:11. The 300's didn't feel easy either where I came through in about 47 seconds. I didn't mind feeling slow and getting smoked by Jon - it was money in the bank.......which I hope to withdraw in the coming months. Total miles for Tuesday: 14! Strava data is here.
Wednesday (today) was another easy day but I needed some vertical for Strava's Strive for the Summit Run Challenge so it was off to the trails of Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve. My legs felt pretty good considering the previous days speed work but I held back and kept my heart rate under 130 bpm. The run ate up 1400' of climbing over 9.6 miles - a good days work. I took the afternoon off but Android was feeling good about his recent gains in market share so he got in a few miles of trail running. Nice job Android!