Monday, October 26, 2009

This is for you Cory.

It's been too long since I posted here and I need to keep you all, and my writing up to date. So here's what I've been up to (athletically at least) since last I posted:

-Late August: Rode a century on the Pugsley (see previous post). It is surprisingly fast even with tires at 15psi, but a pig on the hills. I was wishing for a lower gear than my 22x34 (and yes it's still faster than walking). The hands weren't 100% happy with the handlebar setup. I'll have to look for something different.

-Early September/Labor Day: 24 hour MTB race at Seven Oaks. Felt pretty good fitness wise, but had a few problems. Early on I knew that my Midge Bars on the Gary Fisher weren't the best idea, especially without a nice pair of cycling gloves to go along with them. But I persisted and paid the price for it. By 11:00pm my hands were toast. They were curled up into useless claws and I couldn't shift or brake anymore. I had trouble feeding myself for a week afterwards. I only just regained the use of chopsticks.

-October 1: I put my Arrowhead training plan into action. Five days of workouts per week focused on getting me to the finish line on skis. So far I've been keeping up with it well. I've only taken one weekend off and I seem to be getting better at rollerskiing. Hopefully it translates well onto the snow. Daily workout updates on Facebook.

-October 17-18: Paul's Gravel Ride Across Iowa in a Day (GRAID) is a success. I make it 240 miles from Minnesota to Missouri on gravel roads in under 24 hours. I feel great the whole way and have almost no pain. The course is flat for the first half with just a little tailwind. I crave and receive Chicken McNuggets in Iowa Falls. The second half, almost all in the dark, goes by quickly for me. I just drift off into a hypnotic state and pedal away. In Chariton I feel a little sleepy, but in no way sore or exhausted. The last 12 miles are the hilliest and windiest of the entire ride, but I'm ready to be done and I push it a little to the border. I figure that I must have broken the part of my brain that feels physical fatigue.

-October 25th: I run in my second marathon and finish in record time (for me, 4:38). This time I manage to run the whole way without walking. Beautiful course in and around Mason City. Architecture, gravel roads, rivers, creeks, limestone outcroppings, bike paths, dirt paths, parks, etc. all great. The first and last six miles seem to take forever, but the middle goes by quickly. Picked up the pace for the last three miles and sprinted the last few hundred yards. My legs were pretty tired and my knees are still a little sore, but I wasn't spent at all. I could have gone farther. I refused the mylar blanket at the finish line because I felt so good, but then regretted it because, hey, free mylar blanket. The showers and towels at the high school were a great treat.

That's about it for me. How about you?