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Damn I was a skinny runt. This is circa 1996/7ish I think. I still have that ski suit (don’t wear it) and I still use those poles.
I have no idea why I look so disgusted.
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Gone roller skiing.
Ok technically I’m back, but I went. Did some L3 intervals. ‘Twas good. Need to do more of them. Now I’m off to run a bit. Then strength. 212 days till the Birkie!
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I call it “Ben throws vegetables in a pan and makes it up as he goes enchilada like stuff”. Yeah, catchy.
Frozen peas and corn, onion, zucchini, green chilies, green enchilada sauce, a little salsa, sour cream, and mexican shredded cheese on a whole wheat tortilla.
I give it a B. Which is good, because I have a lot of left overs. Not bad for just raiding the freezer and crisper drawer and making it up as I go.
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I am tired. 15 miles today. That is my longest run since the Birkie Trail Marathon last year, which was preceeded by a 15.5 mile (25km) run, which had nothing more than 10 before that. Obviously I’m trying to do this whole actually train for a marathon before running it thing this year.
The marathon is exactly 10 weeks from today. I have a few more long runs to do. This run was a mix. First, RBN1 and I started together for her fast finish run. We diverged for a little bit as I ran the two side of the triangle on the right while she ran the hypotenuse. Then we met back up again and did her fast finish together. Then we got her setup on the mountain bike and we headed over to the mountain bike trails in town to run/ride together. This worked out well except we got lost on the super twisty turny hilly section which really took the pace down (I had a 12:41 split in there). When we finally got out again she headed home to get ready for work while I cranked out 3 more miles on the roads in town.
Yesterday was also a strong day. Daniels’ cruise intervals. 2 times 15:00 @ 6:45/mile with 3:00 active rest between. The route looks far less interesting but it was ideal for this workout. A long, straight, flat, fairly shaded, paved bike trail. Nothing but working on the engine. It was tough but I generally pulled it off. 6:42 and 6:48. The second one had a HR that was a little high for a tempo run, but it was still good.
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TMI Alert - Inserting a break, if you are mobile… sorry.
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I have had a couple of interesting days roller skiing. Let’s start with last night.
One of the local masters race teams (the only?) hosts a pair of time trials 3 times a summer. The team has weekly practices with coaching and training, but I’m too cheap (plus I love rocking my CyclovaXC gear) to join the team. But the time trials and later in the summer the Sunday morning OD skis are “open”. I participated in two of the time trials back in 2010 after my first season skiing again. Last night was the first time back since then.
The format of the event is, arrive at 6:30, warm-up for 25ish minutes skating, and then self start for a 5k individual effort (no drafting) time trial, change equipment to classic, “warm-up”, self start for a second 5k TT, cool down.
I’m getting to know a number of the other folks in the ski community so I don’t feel completely like an outsider. The crowd was big last night with 16 people which made it a lot of fun.
My results were a significant improvement over 4 years ago, which isn’t surprising, but still a ways off the really good guys. My skate time went from 16:29 to 14:48 and classic from 16:22 to 15:33. Using a dangerous comparison (because roller skis have significantly different speeds) the one Elite wave Birkie skier did it in 12:06 (his fastest time ever) and finished 51st male. There is a young guy who just missed the elite wave this year (219th) who skied it in 13:04. There were a few other folks who skied the Birkie up to 20 minutes faster than I did who had TT times right around mine.
Really, I shouldn’t be comparing directly against other skiers. What will be more important will be what it looks like this fall against this spring. Did I get faster? Stronger? More efficient?
I do know that I need more hard efforts like this on skis. When I go hard on skis I lose control. My normally pretty good technique and balance go to crap. The faster I try to go, the more awkward I feel, the more tired I get, the less controlled I am, the slower I end up going. Not a positive feedback loop. I need to get stronger too. Time to up the strength exercises.
OK, back to Tuesday night. RBN1 wanted to go roller skiing. Unlike my sister-in-law who suggested that she reevaluate her relationship thinking I had peer-pressured her into doing this, all I did was provide her the goods to do it. In fact I think I was more nervous about it than she was. No one wants to watch their girlfriend crash and burn on pavement. She did just fine though and I can expect my skis will be borrowed some more. She is “this close” to signing up for the Birkie this winter. Unlike roller skiing, I may be applying some peer pressure to sign up for that.
I do really like that first picture of her. It kind of has that look of, “what the hell am I getting myself into!”.
218 days until the Birkie
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After several failed attempts to leave the house (forgot sunscreen, forgot body glide), I finally headed of to St. Croix Falls to hit up CyclovaXC and say hi before going skiing and running for a few hours.
When I got there “the other Ben” was working and Micah was hanging out. ”Hey, we are riding at 3:00, join us.” Well crap, I didn’t bring my bike. I had time though, and I hadn’t ridden with the guys in a long time so I ran home and came back with my bike.
Turned out there was four of us and we did the Wednesday Night Sprint Ride loop. 11 miles to the first sprint and then 12 is the Wolf Creek Bar. We stopped to re-hydrate before finishing the route. The second sprint is at about 12.5 miles. Let me tell you that hurt after sitting for 40 minutes.
In the end it was 27 miles and I took 3 of the 7 sprints. Micah took the other 4. I do NOT have biking legs this summer. Unlike last year when I was really concerned about having enough bike strength to ride the Gravel Conspiracy, this year I know I can do it. Last year I rode a lot and ran a little. This year it is the other way around.
Overall it was a fun ride though.
After the ride I headed up the hill (in my car) and went for a hour run on the Gandy Dancer trail. A good 7 miles on somewhat tired legs. The trail is pretty easy on the legs being crushed limestone and essentially flat (1% grade).
Finally, RBN1 came over last night and we got our second NTC of the week in. Broken record mode… it is so nice to have her around to keep me accountable. It would have been very easy to just slack off and skip it. But we got our strength on at 10:00pm.
In the end I managed to get 9:20 of aerobic training in last week. Not quite the 10 I was shooting for but it still gave me a little more buffer for this final week of the 4 week block. I have just over 7 hours to do this week to hit the total block volume. This gives me a lighter week before the big volume block starts next week at 10.5 hours/week.
36 miles, 5:11 - Running
38 km, 2:30 - Skiing
27 miles, 1:38 - Biking
Workout rest day. I had to be ON for most of the day with a prospective customer meeting at work and then running a Cub Scout leader meeting tonight. Definitely need some rest tonight.
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Two Day Summary
Yesterday I left work and went to do my first L4 workout of the summer that wasn’t a race. I headed down to Afton to use the incredible paved, scenic, and hilly country roads to do a 5 x 4:00 L4 with approximately equal rest.
First I started by putting my socks on. Note, don’t match socks in the dark. I felt a bit like a teenage girl with intentionally mismatched socks.
Other than that it was definitely a “fun” workout. At the end of the first interval it was “fun”. About midway through the second it was hypoxic, nauseous “euphoria”. Yeah it hurt and hurt a lot. There are some summer skiing time trials that are 5k. Before this I was thinking “phssh, no problem, I can kill those”. Afterwards, umm, not so much. Skiing hard is hard work. It doesn’t take much to push you right over the edge to being all weebly wobbly with crappy technique. These were really good for me.
This morning was adventure time with RBN1. We did her running workout first and then she hopped on my mountain bike for her first trip on single track. I ran along with her. I was working it pretty hard towards the end. All told I got 10.5 miles in. It really should have been 14 but we were pressed for time.
I’ve been thinking about doing a second run tonight, but it is now 9:00, I just finally ate after walking with the Cub Scouts in the local parade, and I’m nursing an adult beverage. Three hours and eighteen minutes tomorrow to get to 10 for the week. Actually anything over 2:18 will get me to my weekly average total and still leave me with only 8 for the final week of the block for a little “recovery” before the big block for the year at 10.5/week.
Maybe some more skiing and a trail run at Wild River tomorrow. We shall see.
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