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Long Hot Summer

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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sun May 27, 2012 8:22 pm

"Are you writing about me?" - Aileen

Apparently I've been doing a lot of that lately. Guess it's time to stop. ("Hey!")

Just under 2hrs after a VERY slow morning due to a lot of beer, wine, and donuts last night. Go figure. So we went out for 3 miles together before I left her at home and went out for anywhere from 30-90 more minutes. Ended up doing a total of 13.8 miles, so 20 in the last 2 days. Run wasn't too fun; hot, I hadn't eaten anything except coffee and a nibble of a brownie... And I'm a bit tired. Rest day tomorrow.
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Mike MacLellan on Tue May 29, 2012 10:24 pm

Fucking ouch.

If I felt a bit more alive right now, I'd probably write a novel-length recap of this ride. But I'm pretty dead. So here's the skinny:

71.1mi, 4hr50min, 6500'gain/loss. 3500' of that was climbing Mt. Diablo, an 11mi climb averaging 6%. The last 4mi average 7%, and the last couple hundred meters are a whopping 17%. Like hitting a fucking wall.

Then a much shorter but much steeper climb at mile 57. Then a very steep, straight descent with a tailwind, which means topping out at 51mph.

Numbers galore! Will edit together the videos I made and post them in the next entry. I'm tired.

PS: Don't get an icee thinking that it'll be like an endless supply of rocket fuel for a climb. It IS rocket fuel, but it's 2/3 air and 1/3 soda, so you may as well just get the soda.
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Mark B on Tue May 29, 2012 11:39 pm

You biked up Mt. Diablo?! Impressive! Painful.

And how was the ride back down? Hope you didn't eat a bug at 38 mph... alien
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Mike MacLellan on Wed May 30, 2012 8:10 pm

Mark - Yep. Quite a challenge, especially for a non-cyclist.

I truly think had I not ridden 3-4mi of the hill with a fellow cyclist - a Brit, at that! - I wouldn't have made it. It's purely mental, but I didn't have much determination or confidence at the bottom of the hill. This was shortly after the whole icee incident, where I thought buying a 24oz icee would give me 24oz of goodness and then it melted and left me feeling jipped. Not how you want to start that sort of climb.

I literally almost vomited going up the final 200m - "the wall," as cyclists call it. It's 17%, barely wide enough for a car, meaning no possible way to do switchbacks up it, and it just plain sucks. If I had a 3rd chainring up front, it might've been cake. But with a standard cassette/chainring... Oof.

As promised, some videos:

First, this is riding along Marsh Creek road, on the backside/north of Mt. Diablo itself. The reason the video looks so smooth is that youtube did some motion correcting on it. It was a bit bouncy before.


Next, a panoramic view from the top. You can see how good I look at the end of the video. Ha. And yes, I know my beard is out of control. Gonna get on that tonight.


---

Today, 35min recovery with Aileen. 4x strides at the end. Might pop out for an easy 45 when it cools down a little.
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Mark B on Wed May 30, 2012 8:30 pm

Nice videos! That is classic Northern California. Makes me a little homesick... Sad
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Mike MacLellan on Thu May 31, 2012 3:27 pm

Mark - Yep. The whole rolling-hills-with-grass-(dead or alive)-and-oaks thing seems to be the norm. At one point during that video, I started wondering if I was actually riding towards Lake Berryessa from Winters (pretty popular ride from Davis).

---

The run last night didn't go great. I felt pretty dead-legged from the beginning of it, and by 15min in I knew I was gonna shut it down early. I was running with Chip, who kept me disciplined in the 9:45 range... and after 3mi, we walked home. I'm proud of myself for not being too proud (irony?) to stop. I think a previous incarnation of me might have pushed through it and caused more damage than good.

This morning was a planned 1hr run that I was hoping to split 30/30 @ 7/7.5mph. I decided to just not look at the watch until I was less than a mile from home and found that I'd run an average of 7mph on the nose. Effort level was key here: easy. I hadn't done a straight easy run in a while, so having one felt good. Ended up with 1hr4min and 7.47mi.

Mostly-rest day tomorrow. Sort of unplanned, as I wanted to do 5mi (1.5 w/ Aileen, 3.5 alone) but am seeing how much the backpacking trip + Mt. Diablo ride have fatigued me. And since training only creates the stimulus for improvement while rest creates the improvement... It's time to rest. Plus, tomorrow begins my cutback week. So just a super-easy 1.5 in the morning to kick the cobwebs out of Aileen's legs so she can race hard on Saturday.

For the record, I shaved my head and trimmed up my beard last night. So I look a bit more like a respectable member of society.
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Alex Kubacki on Thu May 31, 2012 3:56 pm

Mike, that's an impressive ride.
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Mike MacLellan on Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:57 pm

Thanks Alex. It sure didn't feel too impressive, but it's one of those ones I feel like I can brag about after the fact. First time I've ever ridden an actual mountain.

---

Just a short shakeout with Aileen today. 1.22mi, untimed. As soon as she said she was feeling loosened up and smooth, I shut it down and we walked about 5min back to the house.

I'm totally confident in this girl's ability to run a sub-2. No question in my mind. Tomorrow? I'm questioning myself as a coach and boyfriend.

A coach because I feel like I didn't taper her enough. Should've done shorter runs this week, in my opinion. Her weekly high was 25mi, with her peak weeks being 24(+40min cycling)/23, respectively, and her taper weeks were 18.5 and 7.

As a boyfriend, I feel like I could've been a bit better of a servant this last week. We've been in a rough patch for a while, and although we're coming out of it, there are still some pretty intense emotions flying around from time to time. Not that ignoring big issues would've been a good idea, but I think I could do better letting the little things slide.

Still, our run today was great, she was laughing and smiling the whole time - I told her I wanted to practice "race strategies" and explained that people will be elbowing her during the sprint ("are you serious?!") - and seemed to really enjoy it. I went over our race plan - easy first loop (.7mi), hit 9min pace by halfway through the first big loop (~4mi), hold 9s until halfway through the 2nd big loop (~10mi), then hammer it home.

Guess I'd better make sure my pep-talk counts tomorrow morning!
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Mark B on Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:48 pm

Tell Aileen good luck in her race! I'm sure she'll do great. Approval

As for you... well, of course you're worn out. Definitely a good time to rest up and let the positive adaptation occur.

BTW, are you running with Aileen, or plotting ways to pop up on the course as many times as possible to cheer her on?
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:35 pm

Real quick:

1:57:09 official time!

I celebrated her victory by eating half an It's It (Cappuccino flavor) on Mark's behalf. You're right, Mark, they're AMAZING.

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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Mark B on Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:45 pm

Woo-hooo! Congratulations, Aileen!! Great job.

And nice to see Mike finally sampling fine NorCal cuisine! (What'd you do with the other half?)
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  ounce on Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:55 pm

@Mark B wrote:Woo-hooo! Congratulations, Aileen!! Great job.

And nice to see Mike finally sampling fine NorCal cuisine! (What'd you do with the other half?)


Gratz to Aileen and the coach! Maybe half is all that she would give him. Very Happy
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Julie on Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:05 pm

Congrats on Aileen and nice picture!
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:02 pm

Mark/Oz - The other half actually went to Aileen's mom. Aileen was too tired to even think about food. Meaning she ran a very good race. What a Face

Speaking of parents, though both her parents came to the race and cheered us on at least 6-7 times throughout the race. It was great to see how much they motivated her; her pace would drop to 8:20s for about 3min after seeing them before creeping back up to the 9min range. She's a surge-y runner to begin with, so I figured I could let this go without her crashing later - fortunately, that plan worked well.

Still holding off on a race report until we get some more photos from the race.

---

40min today in Fremont while waiting for Aileen's work event to kick off. It was a 2mi walk-a-thon to support Deaf survivors of domestic violence (her organization, DeafHope, is a non-profit that works with that clientele), so I got 2mi of walking to cool down from a 5mi run. Meant to run easy, but didn't realize the steady hill from the freeway to the Deaf school (where the event was held) was so long. 1.5mi @ 2.5%. Not really a hill, no, but still 200' gain to boot. The way back was nice, though, and I was holding a 6:45 pace on almost no effort for a little bit. That felt good.

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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Mark B on Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:31 pm

Six or seven times? Aileen's parents are seriously cool. You'd better stay on their good side.

Aileen's nonprofit sounds like a very good thing. Cool that you were there to help out.
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Mike MacLellan on Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:48 pm

They are very, very cool. Her mom (who ran way back in the day) had a little noise-maker and would try to run along with us for a few hundred feet every time. And they both made up a little routine at mile 10, attempting to sign to us: "We are so excited for our daughter and son!" But instead they signed: "We are so excited for us girl and boy!" Either way, it was adorable.

More pictures!

Love this one... Note: the guy suffering behind us is running the 10k, meaning he already picked up about 7-8min on us (less than 3mi into the race!). He was in 2nd at the time.


Same place, 2nd lap. Around mile 9, on the toughest hill of the course. Note the difference in our demeanor. What a Face


---

Ran with Aileen today since it rained, which killed our bike plans a bit. Her knee (ITB) gave her a bit of difficulty around 1.75mi in, so she walked the rest of the way home (~3mi loop) while I went on and turned at the 2.5mi mark. Total of 5.03mi in 45min. Felt pretty fresh at just sub-8s, too.
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Mike MacLellan on Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:50 am

Like girlfriend, like boyfriend. Yesterday afternoon while Aileen was writing an e-mail on my laptop, I set a glass of water next to it, reached over to move something, and boom goes the water all over my computer. Have disassembled it (down to the motherboard) 5 times, blow-dried each part, and left it in pieces overnight under a fan to dry out... Will start, won't boot. At one point I got it to boot up to tell me there was a CMOS power failure, but I can't find the CMOS battery on the motherboard. Now I just get a black screen and 3 beeps ad infinitum.

Needless to say, I'll be MIA for a bit while I try to get this fixed and/or replace it. Just hoping my hard drive didn't get fried. Haven't backed it up in ages.
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Mark B on Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:15 am

Nice photos, but bad news about the laptop!

There may be hope for the laptop yet... give it a day to dry out the rest of the way and lose whatever static charges may have built up, and who knows? It might work. Also, I'd take it to the local computer shop before declaring it Dead
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  ounce on Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:10 pm

Yup, good photos. Her folks have warmed up to you. That helps.
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Mike MacLellan on Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:02 pm

Mark - Yep, looks like a bit of patience was the solution. I thought having it completely taken apart overnight and then putting it together again would fix the problem... Turns out, I think it did; however, I didn't understand exactly what to do when it came back. This time, when it popped up with the CMOS power failure again, I immediately hit F2 to set up the utility and re-entered the date and time. This allowed Windows to start up and all is well.

Oz - You are correct. It appears they have. Well, her father is the more recent success story. Her mom has loved me forever.

---

Today is a light at the end of a long tunnel. I finally felt like I was fresh after being pretty run down this week (hey, it's a stepback week, it's what I expected), I got a big source of stress off my back (school-related bullshit), and the computer started up. Not that I really cared that I didn't have a computer; really, I didn't. It's just that I consider myself tech-savvy, hands-on, and love troubleshooting... When it works. And it wasn't making any logical sense as to why it wouldn't work.

Also, it's National Running Day. So all these things culminated in me going out for a planned hour, 7.25mi route. I knew I was running faster than that by mile 2-3, but refused to look at the Garmin. I just ran in that very comfortable "cruise" zone, faster than easy but easier than marathon pace. I call it GA (general aerobic). When my effort would creep over that, I'd ease up. Comfort and flow was the goal.

I ended up running 7.5mi in 57min even for a ~7:35 pace. Felt comfortable the whole time, and had a good sense of accomplishment at the finish. Certainly helped after yesterday's wind-fest recovery bike ride.

Planned double tomorrow: recovery run in the morning, hour bike with a possible LTHR test in the afternoon.
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  ounce on Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:18 pm

Riddle me this, Mike. You run about 5 minutes per mile faster than I. When I run and am looking out in front of me for a smooth foot planting spot, I'm looking about 4-20 feet in front of me. And I don't have to rush it because I have time.

How far in front of you do you look?
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Mike MacLellan on Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:41 pm

Oz - Meant to pay attention to that today, but it totally slipped my mind. My best guess is that I scan the way you're supposed to scan while driving: immediate, intermediate, and long-term. Unless there's something very obvious right in front of me, however, my immediate is pretty lacking. This is why I have close encounters with snakes quite often. Go figure.

---

40min recovery with Chip today. 4.45mi around the Davis arboretum. Felt good and slow.

Can't believe the Kings lost last night.

Also, found a new beer I'm very fond of: Deschutes Black Butte Porter. Their Obsidian Stout is about as bitter as I can handle a stout, but it's a good sipping beer. Something tells me Mark's going to chime in about these ones, as they're made in Bend.
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:45 pm

Can't believe the Kings lost either - my daughter was bummed as she was wishing for the sweep. Congrats to Aileen on her excellent race!
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:20 pm

Michele - Hopefully they'll win in about 2.5hrs, right?

---

6mi run with brother this morning. Progressive: 9:00, 8:30, 8:00, 8:00, 7:30, 7:20. Kicked for a light and according to my Garmin was running a sub-4 pace for about 50m. Kind of cool, if it's true. I felt like I was flying.

1hr recovery/grocery shopping bike ride with Aileen this afternoon.

Both were marked by winds ranging from 20-25 with gusts of 40. Looooove that pollen.
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Re: Long Hot Summer

Post  Mark B on Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:57 pm

Nice running there, Mike! There's nothing like flooring it and hitting a blazingly fast pace, even if only for a short distance.

I'm a big fan of Deschutes Brewery. I've heard good things about their darker brews, but I've never tired them. I prefer something a little less pungent, like their Mirror Pond Pale Ale. They used to have a Cinder Cone Red seasonal ale that was a favorite, but they don't make it anymore. Sad
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Re: Long Hot Summer

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