Monday, October 25, 2010

Mountain bikes, road bikes, tempo runs and record highs!

I left work a little early on Friday. I had brought my mountain bike to work (in the back of the truck) and I was planning on meeting Matt and Raland for some trail riding. However, while at work I was joking around about stuff to take to Australia. My sister has mentioned that cigarettes are $17 a pack in Sydney. So I looked up customs to see how many I could bring into the country. Now, obviously I don’t smoke and neither does my sister or her family but …

Anyway, I could take 250 cigarettes plus one opened pack. I really was just joking around. However, while investigating customs I did notice that I need a visa for my trip next week. I think I remember looking this up months ago but …

I went to the visa site and it said that it could take up to two weeks to be processed – I am leaving this weekend! So I rushed home to apply for a visa – I needed my passport number and stuff. I filled out the form and paid my $20. A screen came up that said in very rare circumstances a visa could not be granted immediately and that I was one of these circumstance – great. My application had been forwarded to the, I don’t know, the Bureau of Visa and Kangaroos or something.

Well, I have learned that you cannot worry about these things. I put it out of my mind and hoped that it would not bother me all weekend. I jumped on my mountain bike and rode to the trails for the ride. Raland and I are very new to mountain bike riding but we have Matt to show us around. Matt rides a single speed, is quite accomplished and designed / created most of our mountain bike trails. Who better to show us around?

We rode all of the trails and had a great time. It was a little over an hour and only 10 miles. This was tough stuff.

When I got back home I checked on the visa – thank goodness it was processed and approved! No worries!

Saturday the group met up at Jackson Station for a morning ride. There was a good turnout of about 12 people. It was a pretty fast looking group. We headed out at a conversational pace. We jumped off of the trace at Clyde Station and made out way south towards Knight Road (part of the Mighty Magnolia Triathlon Course). There are a few hills out that way. I rode towards the front with Ed most of the ride. I was working on my steady state riding. I have been performing more 2 x 20 minutes at FTP on the trainer and wanted to test them out on the open road. I felt pretty solid. The ride was mostly at an easy pace but it was nice to get out in the country side. We ended up with 45 miles in about 2:30.

Sunday I woke up to a fast tempo run. I was not looking forward to this – it was going to be hard. I have a half marathon this coming weekend and I needed to test myself. A week is too short to build any real fitness. This was more for my state of mind. I planned 12 miles with the middle 10 miles at a fast pace. Two weeks ago I did a similar run with 10 miles and 8 miles fast. I wanted to duplicate that effort plus two miles. Once again this was going to be run by heart rate. My steady state hard LT effort heart rate is in the low to mid 70’s. I would keep it glued to the level. I checked the temperature outside and it was unseasonably warm – about 68 degrees and the humidity was … it was dank.  More record highs this week in Mississippi. 
I do realize how soon we forget – here I am complaining of the heat.  At least summer is over but it is supposed to be 92 tomorrow!
I only took a few cursory glances at my pace – my GPS watch was set to only display my heart rate. My legs were very tired from the biking the past few days. After the warm up mile I picked up the pace. My speed was in the good part of the 6’s. That was a good thing. However, I could really feel the temperature and the humidity. The last time I did this run it must have been 15 degrees cooler and much drier. The effort would be close to the same intensity but the speed would differ. And the speed did differ. I was about 20 seconds slower on the 10 fast miles than I was on the 8 fast miles at almost the same average heart rate.

I was pleased with the workout but not pleased with the speed. Running at my LT heart rate in the low / mid 170’s is hard work regardless of the speed. I just hope that for the half marathon on Saturday I can bring the speed. I am betting on a bump in performance from a short two day taper and hoping for a bump in performance with a drop in the temperature.

It won’t happen but I would love to be wearing a trash bag and freezing my butt off at the start of the Jazz Half Marathon!


Caratunk Girl said...

Holy crap! 92 degrees?? NOW? That is way too hot! Here is to wearing a trash bag and being cool at the Jazz HM. I also would rather be a little cool than overheated!

Sounds like you had an awesome ride, BTW! Glad the visa came through.

misszippy said...

So glad you noticed the visa requirement! I think ours came really quickly when we went--you probably would have been safe, but better to be sure.

It's always hard to return to heat when you've lost your acclimation. Good luck at the 1/2 next week, where it will have to be cooler, I'm sure!

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Looks like the weather will cooperate for you this weekend. Good Luck! Have fun in N.O. and safe travels.

Kathleen said...

Wishing you cool weather for race day and a great trip abroad.

lindsay said...

I can't believe the trip is here! Don't forget to pack your smokes so you can make some money while you're there. Umm, what does FTP mean? Google only gave me "file transfer protocol" and I have a feeling that's not what you do on the bike.