Thursday, January 28, 2016

Two Goals Till June

     I figured since I don't know much about cycling and even less about canoeing, why not try some epic adventures regarding these activities.  Two goals I have this year are to ride my bicycle across Texas and complete the Texas Water Safari
     For the cycling, I spoke with the owner of Action Bikes here in town. I'm sure he thinks I'm crazy, but I've dropped my bike off at his shop to get it fixed up with the things I need.  Such items as, lights, hand pump, good tires, and a rack of some sort.  Who knows what else.  I mentioned this idea to some friends who told me about two separate cycling groups, the Hill Country Randonneurs and the San Antonio Wheelmen. These groups have rides of various distances, so I guess I will link up with them.  I picked up a bike trainer off Amazon so I'll do some riding each day during the week as well.
     I'm not sure how long it will take to ride across Texas, but the distance from New Mexico to Louisiana, is about 860 miles. I plan on starting at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino and ending after I cross the state line at Orange, TX. After a some training I think I should be able to ride about 200 miles a day.  We'll see.  So about 5 days.  I plan on going Vol State style with little sleeping, etc...  Riding across the state just sounds like a cool adventure, so I'm in.
     The canoeing is another animal all together.  I don't know shit about canoeing.  I do know one of the guys here around town that has done the race 5 or 6 times and I was able to link up with him this weekend.  He was a wealth of information.  I'll be trying to link up with him as the year progresses and do some training runs.  In the immediate future, I'll be taking a canoe out on Town Lake.  I'm a member of the Texas Rowing Center and they have canoes to rent.

:::::::--------  Update, I started this blog a few weeks back. So as way leads on to way, already there have been changes.

Cycling - I got the bike back from the shop.  Rode pretty good over the last two weekends with a big weekend planned this weekend as well. 
Canoeing - I have a "learn to paddle" class scheduled for Saturday in San Marcos, TX which I'll ride my bike to and from.  About 70 miles.  I linked up with a dude who rents canoes, and has finished the race like 35 times.  After the paddling lesson, I'll go check out what he has for rent. 

Training -  What I'm doing?  Quite a bit actually.  I'm not at 100% of my target goals, but here is what I'm striving for.

0400 - Wake up, foam roll light stretch. Breathing exercise with Expand-A-Lung.
0430 to 0730 - 1.5 hrs on TM walking at incline.  3K row, 3K ski erg, 3k ft Versa Climber. Easy 3 miles with my dog to get her in shape for the summer. (or 1 hr bike) Various core exercies.
1130 to 1230 - Lunch - some rowing, ski erg VC, with heavy DL, GHD exercises and Heavy KB swings.
1700-2030 - Run. Spend some time at 90% max HR or above. Intervals, tempo, etc... Then 1 hour bike.  

Weekends until April will revolve around lots of cycling.   Up to 10 hrs in one day.  Some paddling, and vert training after April 

That's where I'm taking my training for now.   Doing a lot of twisting core work and Indian clubs for the shoulders.  Need to get in some push ups. 

These goals are totally out of my wheelhouse, but I like to do stuff that is challenging. I still have Nolan's 14 this year.  Three big goals for the year.  And if the cards play just right, a Hardrock to complete.  I'm a bit apprehensive, but that helps to sharpen my focus. 


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Snowdrop 55 Hr: Loopity Loop Loop

     Over the holidays I was fortunate enough to run the Snowdrop 55Hr Solo event in Sugarland, TX.   The race started on Dec 30th and ran through Jan 1st.  I ended up with 100 miles and a sweet buckle in about 35 hours. At .74 miles per loop, it took 134 loops to make 100 miles.

     The buckle is pretty sweet.  I'd been saying for at least 3 weeks I didn't really want to run the event.  My training had been slipping since early November, so I was feeling fat and out of shape.  I felt good skinning up the mountain up in Steamboat over Christmas, but I wasn't feeling running around in circles for two and a half days.
     Originally, when I signed up, I thought I could run 200 miles. That was back in August or September.  Little did I know I'd be faced with some work issues.  In early November my employer laid off a number of folks.  Two from my team.  Some guys I'd known my whole career.  One was my old boss who I'd worked for directly for eight years.  I guess I took it a bit hard.
     My flight back from Colorado was cancelled early Monday the 28th of December after being delayed for about 8 hours.  I wasn't able to leave CO until Tuesday afternoon the 29th.  Once I arrived in San Antonio I had to pack, load up the dogs and drive to Houston Hobby Airport and pick up Gina which happened to be about 1AM the 30th of December.  About 6 hours before the race started.
     We arrived at the race venue about 0330.  Thankfully Vincent from Trail Toes had already set up the tent for us.  We knocked off a few hours and woke up to start the race with everyone at 0700.  After about 2 hours, I stopped to send a few work emails and take a nap.  Around 1130 I got back out on the course.
     Being totally tired did not help my disposition.  In the afternoon, I thought that since I had plenty of time I should go ahead and finish the book I was reading on my Kindle. I was reading The Revenant.  The movie comes out tomorrow night! I've already bought my ticket.  By dark I wasn't quite done with the book.  I'd gotten over the fact that I didn't want to be at the race, and decided I should run a bit.
     Through the night I slept two different times for about 4 hours total. I spent time running with Vincent, Dimitry, Kelley, and Will.  I spoke to Matt a bit about his upcoming attempt on the TIR 200 solo.  Also, Gina ran/walked a few laps.  The night drug on and on.  But finally the night yielded to the day.  I pulled the Kindle back out and finished my book.  Once it was done, I picked back up with Catch-22 but didn't finish reading that book.  Pretty hilarious book about military life.
     I had another book on my Kindle called "How to Run Faster with Less Effort" .  I joked with some folks, saying I'm reading this book so that I can learn some stuff. :)  I wasn't really reading it though.  I got a few laughs from folks with that joke.
     Finally the total number of loops reached 110, so only 24 more to go.  I ran a few fast ones with Joe Fejes, who set a 48 hr age group record and reached  250 total miles in 55 hours.  He's the real deal. The RD Kevin Kline is a great guy and made a big spectacle for everyone who reached 100 miles.  He spared no expense whooping everyone up when I finished my 100 miles.  Here is a pic of us with the buckle.
     All in all, Kevin puts on a world class event.  I had a great time.  The food was delicious, hot chow, and ultra food.  A nice warming tent with TV's playing football games.  I think that I will be back next year.  Nice place to chill and celebrate the running lifestyle I guess I've been living for some years now. Life could be worse. :)  I feel like I crossed another mental hurdle with this event.  One of just accepting and getting shit done.  Whether it be on a boring .74 mile loop or not.  Thankfully I had Gina to make sammiches and I didn't have any blisters or ball chaffing.