Monday, April 30, 2012

Mixing it back up!

It's that time of year here in the PNW.  The time when trillium's are blooming, rhododendrons are think with flowers and temperatures are rising.  Yes, we still have rain but it's more like "mizall (mist and drizzle). Portlander's are running around with shorts and tank tops on showing way more white pasty skin than you might see in any other part of the country :).  It's really not warm enough but we have to take advantage of any and all globe sightings.  The mood is high.

My mood is high as well. Though who can complain about being extra motivated it can spell trouble for me. I am all to familiar with over training.  Seems I am lucky enough to dodge a lot of bullets but I can't stand the feeling of over training.  The tired, poor workouts, sluggish look like crap kinda thing. I have pushed through too many times and have promised myself I will behave with more maturity.  Last year I never felt over trained. Even with races every other weekend I felt rested and strong. Clearly the addition of MTBing served my body well.  Keeping me from running too much and beating my body to death. 

The Umstead 100M backed up with Peterson Ridge 2 weeks later looked good on paper.  I made it through Peterson in better than expected time and felt relatively fine when done.  I was pleased. I can clearly handle volume. The following week was not so fun.  I was really tired and my body was achy.  I had bits of tightness and soreness in weird places. That was my signal I needed to back off. I took it fairly easy during the week just to pound out some Gorge hill repeats on Saturday. Then Sunday hit the Hood River area for some big girl mountain biking.  I got my butt handed to me there too. Still riding the line of recovery......or ????? It's been awhile since I have climbed any loose terrain on my MTB.  The climbs were long and not so easy.  My butt and quads were screaming!  I was chasing a rabbit too.  Kristen is a killer athlete both running and MTBing so it's a great training partner for me.  We are doing many of the same MTB races this year so our goals for the bike are well matched.  However, she has a big engine! She can climb like crazy then knock of a sub min pace for a long run.  That means she rides back down to get me :).  Though I was beat I came back from the dead better, hmmm.

Since I have stacked my Spring and Summer with a race every other weekend I am finding it hard to get in a good training rhythm. My biggest goal is to have my quads ready for SD100M on June 9th. With the exception of 2 quality runs during the week that focus on speed every other run I am doing includes hills. I am not so concerned about the climbing but am petrified of the long descending.  I haven't been doing much of that in the last year.  I can run/power hike up anything but the downhills will be brutal for me.  That means lots of time in the Gorge!  Who can complain about that?  With a low snow year and any big snows coming so late in the season the melt is fast. Many of my normal haunts are snow free and I haven't seen that in at least 6 years.  Generally I can't get above 2,500 feet before MacDonald Forest 50K without hitting snow.  This year there is none in those areas.  Very nice!  

After my first really big effort in the Gorge I was mildly pleased with how my body bounced back.  My quads were sore for sure but not crippling. I think this is a good sign.  I did this run the following weekend after Peterson Ridge.  The run's up was just ok, not great but not horrible either.  It wasn't until my track workout this last Wednesday where I seemed to have turned a corner. Nervous going into this workout and confident coming out!  I hit my paces but most importantly it seemed to bring me back around.  This was the first super strong effort since Umstead 100M.  I rebound the next day and by Friday tore up my hill repeats feeling strong and fast going up and down.  My quads felt nothing the next day for another killer Hood River MTB ride where we climbed 4000 feet in 13 miles.  I even felt like I had power.  Then on Sunday back in the Gorge at the crack of dawn we busted out a long run with 7K of climb and descend in just about a 12 min. pace.  Sweet!  

I think the moral of this post is that mixing in the MTBing gives me the opportunity to recover better.  Though while I am riding I feel like I am going to breath out a lung I seem to rebound much quicker.  My muscles and cardio system eat it up.  Plus, it is sooooo much fun and still scares the crap out of me! 


  1. Ronda,

    A huge group of VHTRCers are coming out to SD100. If you haven't met him already, be on the lookout for Gary Knipling. He is their ringleader along with Joe Clapper and will entertain you to no end...before you kick both their butts down the trail! Have a great month of training!

  2. I might be bendy, but you're surely crazy with MTB I can't even imagine still! But I do see how all this mixing up helps with recovery. And boy, I miss Gorge repeats! Because I have to reserve to TM, picture that:)

  3. You are brave with th mountain biking.

  4. So great that you have another outlet that keeps up the cardio and strength without being detrimental to your recovery for running. It probably works both ways too! I admire your MTB skills, I am so fearful of the descents that I wind up breaking too much and lunge over the handlebars. Sounds like you are right where you need to be for SD100! Woot!