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Monday, August 23, 2010

Hiking the Lava Tubes

My brother Keith and his family came up to Flagstaff this weekend.  We went up to Flagstaff on Saturday and hiked the Lava River Cave.

It's a 1 mile cave that was carved out of the ground by lava which pushed out of the ground about 700,000 years ago. 
You park your car and descend into a hole in the ground.  It's 90 degrees outside the cave but as you get close you feel the 35 degree underground temperature.

You descend probably 50 feet.  It's like a rock climbing wall but not straight down.  Almost immediately it's pitch black.  The last time I did this hike was probably 10 years ago.  The second biggest change is that now everybody wears LED headlamps whereas we used to carry flashlights.  The biggest change since then is the kids.  Keith's 7 year old daughter Ella really got into it and enjoyed the hike in spite of the hardships.  Her sister Olivia turned back early and Keith and Vicki went with her and brought their son Jake out as well.  He's 3 and a little young for this trip.

Ken was doing great until he took a little spill and got a pretty bad cut on the side of his head.  He was able to keep going and had a good time.

We got to the end and took a picture before heading back out.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pretty big day

I had some time to kill yesterday morning so I put some extra miles in at level 2 on the way to work. 

Afterwards I went over to the pool and did a 5 x 400 swim at threshold.

I rode straight home in the afternoon.  I had a nice wind at my back but I hardly noticed with the intervals I was doing.  I got about 8 miles from home and the wind turned on me and I was riding into a 20 mph headwind with 40 mph gusts.  The last interval was really hard and I was getting blown all over the place.

Afterwards I went to Shadow Mt. High School and met Don for a track run.  7 x 1000 meter runs at level 4.

Kind of tired today.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A bad case of the Mondays

Spare me the Office Space jokes, please. 

We drove down from Flagstaff this morning and I rode into work.  Slow and easy.  I've got some intervals to hit on the way home.

I was going to swim but I forgot my goggles and swim drills sheet.  Maybe tomorrow.

Nothing Sunday

I got up pretty early yesterday, ready for a 16 mile run in Flagstaff.  It took me a while to actually get out of the house and as soon as I was about 1/4 mile down the hill I realized that the arch in my left foot was giving me some problems.

Friday night I read an article in Runner's World about plantar fascititus so I was really paranoid so I just hobbled back home and stretched for a while.

Really spent the whole day doing nothing.  Not a terrific day.

Perseid Meteor Shower

We went up north on Friday.  It was kind of cool outstide.  We arrived about 10:00 pm and I pretty much got out of the car and looked up and saw two of the best meteors I've ever seen within 5 minutes.

I sat outside for another 15 minutes or so and saw a few more that weren't quite as nice.

On Saturday night we got back from Katie's parent's house kind of late.  Paige went right to bed but Ken stayed outside watching the sky for a while.  After 15 minutes or so I got pretty tired and went in.  All I was thinking was, "Please God, let the kid see a shooting star out there."  After 30 minutes or so he came running in to tell me all about it.  Katie saw it too so I know that he didn't imagine it.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Flagstaff and Snowbowl

I met up with Ken in Flagstaff on Saturday morning and we made our way up to the mountain.  We went up it together.  I did take it very easy making sure never to get out of HR level 2 the whole morning.

Did I mention that I found my Garmin in my glove compartment?  I can't figure out why I put it in there in the first place.

Ken's knee was giving him some problems so we decided not to go all the way to the top.  Instead we stopped at the lodge right before the final 1/4 mile climb.  I never have stopped there before but Ken said this is the main lodge during the ski season.  The bathrooms were locked and there were no drinking fountains but there was a Pepsi machine.  As I rode up to it I said to Ken that for some reason recently I have had a Midas Touch when it comes to soda machines.  I walk up and press a button and free drinks just fall out for me.

I went up to the machine and pressed 'Pepsi' and voila, a bottle dropped down.  I asked Ken if he wanted one.  I pressed it and sure enough another fell out.  Just then a couple on tri-bikes pulled up to the top.  They asked if there was a fountain nearby.  They didn't want to go to the top either so I pressed the button for water and a bottle dropped for the woman.  They were nice.  They said they were both doing IM Canada in two weeks so they were well into their taper.  A 4 1/2 hour ride up Snowbowl seems a bit extreme for that.  I'll have to check my training log for November.

They left and we waited a few minutes before hitting the road.  I got stuck behind a pickup truck for a mile or so until I was able to convince the driver to pull over.  After that I really had a great descent.  I passed the woman on the tri-bike with a little over a mile left and finished 20 or so seconds behind her friend.  I figure I made up almost 3 minutes on him which felt good even if he was on a tri-bike which doesn't handle as well on the descents.  I hit the line at 10:00 exactly.  I'd like to go back and check and see what my fasted time is.  I can't believe it's much faster than that.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

I swear I exercised, even though there's no data to support it.

Remember how it used to be, years ago when you would just jump on your bike and go for a ride or throw on a pair of shoes, spend 10 seconds stretching your calves and then head out for a run?

I think it was 2000 or maybe even 2001 when I started keeping track of my rides.  Simple stuff like date, morning weight, description, distance, and average speed was all I was able to track with the bike speedometers of the day.  I don't even feel right calling them computers.

In '03 I probably got a wireless bike computer.  No longer were cables run up and down the frame of the bike.  The data was the same.  Maybe at this point a Vetta HR100 tracked heart rate data as well as allowed user input of different training zones.  I added Max, average, and recovery HR to the sheet.  There were no designated workouts but I could probably compare rides a little better.  I went up 9 mile hill with an average HR of 165 and went 2 minutes faster than last time.

Finally in '05 I got a Garmin 301.  I was one of the first people with one.  It was amazing!  GPS!  Now routes could be downloaded to the computer.  Spreadsheets were no longer needed.  All that was necessary was to plug the device into a computer and everything that I did that day was captured for all eternity.  Some websites even allowed uploads of the info for the world to see.  This was especially cool for my trip to the 2006 Tour de France.

One of the most useful features of the 301 is the ability to design a workout on a computer and then download it to the device.  The device was also multisport which was a big plus.  As my Ironman training began in the Fall of 2006 I can honestly say that I would not have been as successful if I would have been required to remember my run and bike workouts.  It was very easy though to program the device and after inputing a run workout like:

1.  15 minutes HR level 1
2.  100 yard HR level 3
3.  1 minute HR level 1
4.  Repeat steps 2 - 3 3 more times
5.  7 minutes HR 163 - 167 bpm
6.  3 minutes HR level 1
7.  Repeat steps 5 - 7 3 more times
8.  7 minutes HR level 1

As you can see, intensity could be programmed in terms of heart rate levels, beats per minute, or even pace or miles per hour.  Interval length could be time, distance, or even when a certain HR was reached.

In the next 3 years no one will use HR data on a bike.  It will all be about power meters and watts but for now that technology is still pretty expensive to all but the pros and wannabe pros.

So what is really funny about this, is Friday I lost my HR monitor in my car.  I think it fell under my seat but I need to clean the whole car out to find it.

My Saturday ride looked like this:  Rode for about 3 hours and went about 50 miles and had a good time.