Weeks 11, 12, 13, 14: Struggling to get back on track

Weekly Summary:
- Life got crazy…bad combination with returning from chest pain diagnosis
– Weather has been great for some longish rides
– Chest pain is confirmed: Stenosis and Forminal Narrowing between the C3-C4-C5 nerves

Monday (1/26): Off
Tuesday (1/27): 12.5 mile BIKE
Wednesday (1/28): Weight Room
Thursday (1/29):  3.9 mile BIKE/12.2 mile BIKE
Friday (1/30): 5.4 mile BIKE (Mass Transit Enduro)
Saturday (1/31): 1.4 mile RUN
Sunday (2/1): Off

Monday (2/2): Off
Tuesday (2/3): Bodyweight Core Lift
Wednesday (2/4): 13.2 mile BIKE/Weight Room
Thursday (2/5): 3.0 mile RUN
Friday (2/6): Off
Saturday (2/7): 3.4 mile RUN
Sunday (2/8): Off

Monday (2/9): Off
Tuesday (2/10): 11.7 mile BIKE
Wednesday (2/11): Off
Thursday (2/12): 2.6 mile RUN
Friday (2/13): Off
Saturday (2/14): Snowboard, Crested Butte, 11,249 vertical
Sunday (2/15): Snowboard, Crested Butte, 10,660 vertical

Monday (2/16): 2 mile snowshoe
Tuesday (2/17): OFF
Wednesday (2/18): OFF
Thursday (2/19):
11.6 mile BIKE
Friday (2/20):
Saturday (2/21):
20 mile BIKE
Sunday (2/22):

Week 11: 1.4 miles RUN, 33 miles BIKE
Week 12: 6.4 miles RUN, 13.2 miles BIKE
Week 13: 2.6 mile RUN, 11.7 miles BIKE
Week 14: 0 mile RUN, 31.6 miles BIKE

2015 TOTALS:
Run: 27.2 miles
Bike: 161.9 miles

Been traveling the last 3 weekends.  Columbus.  San Francisco.  Crested Butte.  Consistency in training has been challenging to say the least.  It doesn’t help that the weekends keep being 60-70 degrees and I’m out of town for them.  Now it seems that winter has finally arrived with 6 inches of snow on Monday and 12 in+ in the forecast for this weekend.  Guess its time to finally get the trainer out of the closet.

With this being a 4 week entry, I’ll focus on the highlights.

Friday, January 30, 2014 (https://www.strava.com/activities/248113753)
Christine was up in Vail so she had the car today.  My job was to get from the house in Superior to school in Aurora by 7 AM.  I left the house at 5 AM for a quick 1.5 mile bike to the bus.


The completion of Stage 1.


Urban road/mountain biking.

Everything went smoothly up to that point.  Got in early enough to make it to Starbucks for a drink.  Always a treat to explore downtown at 6 AM in the morning.  As I was riding back to the Convention Center station, I saw my train coming the other way so I knew I was good on time.  Within a few minutes, I was on it and heading southbound.


The train dropped me off in the pre-dawn darkness and I made my way on the familiar 2 mile path towards school.  Ultimately, the trip took 1:47 and was enjoyable.  However, it will not be happening on a regular basis.

Saturday, February 7, 2015 (https://www.strava.com/activities/251643054)

Had a few extra minutes in SF after dropping off C for brunch.  I hadn’t realized how close we usually stay to Lombard street so I ran a loop up the hill towards it and then down the coast.  It was the only gorgeous day of the weekend.  Felt great and was pleasantly surprised at how smooth I was able to climb up the hill.



Yup…it’s steep. Stairs down the side make it easier.

Interesting thing happened on the long downhill.  As I reached the bottom, my chest pain reached one the highest levels its ever been.  Enough to freak me out a little bit, even though I’m confident its a nerve issue now.  However, as a reflected back on the run, I began to wonder if the pounding on the long, concrete downhill had caused me to somehow compact the nerve or impact it enough to cause pain.  The pain eased after a little bit of walking.

Long downhill runout to the water.

Long downhill runout to the water.

Ran up and over Fort Mason and got a great view of the bridge on the way home.  Finished with a good sweat (we don’t get that very often in the dry Colorado air).


Tuesday, February 10, 2015 (https://www.strava.com/activities/253255307)
With the days getting longer, I’m finally able to start squeezing in longer mountain bike rides at Coalton.  Took advantage of the dry weather to complete the first “Triple Gate.”  Felt good to get 2 climbs in as opposed to the usual out and back.

Legs felt strong and had several PRs on the first climb.  Got blown up by a hardtail and took a little offense to it so I matched him for a little while and had a strong finish.  Couldn’t keep up across the top though.  Gotta build that pedaling endurance to attack the flats.

Beautiful sunset to finish it up though.  Can’t ask for anything better.

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Presidents Weekend
Got to enjoy one of our favorite Colorado towns in Crested Butte.  The snow was not great, but we were still able to squeeze in a few bump runs and get a decent workout in.  Either way, always nice to be outside!


February 21, 2015: 3×10:00 Tempo @ >150 bpm
Getting back in the groove of things now that the parents have booked their flights.  I had definitely fallen into a little bit of a rut with the travel and constant doctor visits for my chest.  Now that we know what the pain is, I’ve scheduled a physical therapy appointment (PT…my favorite!  Somewhere Mike and Jody are laughing).  Hopefully, we can get a handle on the pain, but for now, I’m committing to work through because it won’t get worse.

I ate this workout up.  Look forward to coming back to it in a few weeks.  Would have liked to get my heart rate closer to 170, but struggled to do so.

Hopefully we can melt off the 14+inches of snow (still have 12+ hours to go) and I can get some solid riding in outside.  The forecast doesn’t look good though.  Either way…Elephant Rock in 104 days, Leadville in 174 days.  Lets go!



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Week 9 and Week 10: A Detour From the Plan

Weekly Summary:
- Summarizing 2 weeks because one turned into an off week
– Chest pain situation has a new lead…vertebrae/pinched nerves
– Mixed bag training wise, but closed with a very strong ride today (1/25)

Monday (1/12): 2.2 mile RUN+weights
Tuesday (1/13): Off
Wednesday (1/14): 5 mile RUN
Thursday (1/15): 8.7 mile BIKE
Friday (1/16): 5.3 mile BIKE
Saturday (1/17): Skiing, 10,291 vert.
Sunday (1/18): Off
Monday (1/19): Off
Tuesday (1/20): Off
Wednesday (1/21): Off
Thursday (1/22): Off
Friday (1/23): Off
Saturday (1/24): 8.5 mile BIKE
Sunday (1/25): 20 mile BIKE

Week 9: 7.2 mile RUN, 14 mile BIKE
Week 10: 0 mile RUN, 28.5 mile BIKE

2015 TOTALS:
Run: 16.8 miles
Bike: 72.4 miles

Monday: 2.2 mile run(https://www.strava.com/activities/240310296)
Legs we’re heavy, but nothing of note today.  Running is definitely getting easier!  30 minute lift (Lift Day 1) with my XC kids to close it out.  Core is rounding into shape.

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: 5 mile run (https://www.strava.com/activities/241172471)
Notably faster than last time!  Took around 48 minutes on January 1…43 minutes today!  Not having to deal with a couple inches of snow definitely helped, but I will take the progress.  Legs felt strong climbing up the Superior side (9:45 for the climb).  Good exercise in mental toughness as well.  I’ve gotten a lot better at it when I’m on the bike, but seem to have lost a lot my confidence running to put my head down and climb.

See if you can find the lonely cow who wasn't allowed to eat...

See if you can find the lonely cows who weren’t allowed to eat…

Thursday: 8.7 mile bike (https://www.strava.com/activities/241575301)
Christine’s Loop.  Matched my time pretty closely from last time, but I was focusing on keeping my heart rate down (below 150 bpm) as the chest pain has been more consistent lately and I’m not sure what’s causing it.

Suburban view of Longs.

Suburban view of Longs.

Friday: 5.3 mile bike (https://www.strava.com/activities/241948339)
Hoped to ride Cherry Creek Bike Park, but the mud won this one.  Dilly dallied in the park for a little bit, but finally gave up and just did a little road riding through Cherry Creek State Park.

Saturday: Vail, Day 4 (10,291 vert. feet)
Great day of skiing.  Worked hard and made some improvements on the twin sticks!

Sunday: Off


Monday – Friday: Off
Had hoped to ride for a while on Monday with the 60 degree weather, but woke up to the worst chest pain in a while and a sense of weakness in my left hand.  Decided at this point to scrap the week and see if things improved.  Also got back in to see my doctor and with my vitals being strong (Pulse: 60, BP: 104/60, 99% O2) he shifted away from the heart and towards a potential compressive nerve in my C3-C4-C5 area of my spine.  X-ray somewhat confirmed and I have an MRI scheduled to fully confirm.

This makes a lot more sense to me as though nerves control everything that are my symptoms.  I’m optimistic for the first time in a while regarding this pain.  As it continued to progress, I was beginning to feel pretty negative about the upcoming season and getting worried that racing may not be in the cards.  Now that the heart is eliminated, I can trust my effort and develop a plan to improve the pinched nerve.

Saturday: 8.5 mile ride (https://www.strava.com/activities/245428296)
Reintroduction ride.  Felt OK, but man was it windy.  Forgot to turn Strava on until I got to the post office.

Sunday: 20 mile ride (https://www.strava.com/activities/246058062)
Talk about an emotional boost.  After the off week and the improved diagnosis, I was feeling optimistic and this ride was exactly what the doctor ordered.  60 degrees and dry on a beautiful Colorado morning.  I rode most of the ride in endurance, just spinning the legs out and enjoying being outside.  I actually had to talk myself out of heading into Boulder so that I didn’t over commit myself.  I felt fresh enough to attack the climb from Cherryvale up Marshall Rd and took 9 seconds off my PR (6:42) set a few days before the Leadville 50 in 2014.

All in all, excited to have a firmed grasp on what is going on with my body.  Looking forward to healing and getting stronger.

One of my favorite views in Colorado....coming down S. Boulder Road.

One of my favorite views in Colorado….coming down S. Boulder Road.

Mountains were looking great today!

Mountains were looking great today!

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Week 8: Recovery Week!

Weekly Summary
- Low energy level a lot of the time, so I rearranged some things
– Chest pain came back this week, but still doesn’t affect exercise.  It did affect me mentally though.
– Muddiest ride of my life led to barb wire fence hopping on Sunday

Monday (1/5): 1.6 mile RUN
Tuesday (1/6): 8.6 mile BIKE
Wednesday (1/7): Off (Sick)
Thursday (1/8): 3 mile RUN
Friday (1/9): Off
Saturday (1/10): 9.5 mile BIKE
Sunday (1/11): 18.7 mi BIKE

Run: 4.6 miles
Bike: 36.9 miles

2015 TOTAL:
Run: 9.6 miles
Bike: 43.9 miles

Monday: 1.6 mile run (https://www.strava.com/activities/238599341)
Easy warm up run.  Very nervous about chest pain so I forced myself to take it slow.  CP didn’t get worse or affect the run at all.  Quick day in the weight room on the finish.

Tuesday: 8.6 mile bike (https://www.strava.com/activities/237743482)
New loop: Christine’s loop.  Enjoyed being able to take advantage of the extended sunlight and change up the loop so I’m not just racing to the gate and back.  Also has a 2 decent climbs of about a mile each that create some variety in the loop.  Catching sunsets on top of Coalton never gets old though!

Things were a bit breezy today.

Things were a bit breezy today.

Getting warmed out to go duck hunting with the Buckeyes!

Getting warmed out to go duck hunting with the Buckeyes!

Wednesday: Off
Feeling worn down, listening to my body and took the day off.  Early to bed!

Thursday: 3 mile run (https://www.strava.com/activities/238599348)
Easily the best run of the past 8 weeks fitness wise.  I didn’t feel great (felt pretty crappy actually) but my miles were 8:08, 8:04, 9:05 for a total time of 25:33.  Nothing spectacular in the grand scheme of things, but the times are getting better.  Began to add drills in as well.  Only thing of note though was a strange heart beat at the end that seemed to skip a beat every 7th beat.  I’ll be keeping on eye on it going forward.

Friday: Off
Looking forward to a decent weekend with some longer rides!

Saturday: 9.5 mile bike (https://www.strava.com/activities/239345825)
Absolutely gorgeous Colorado day.  Did a quick out and back with Christine.  Things were a bit muddy from the snowmelt, but nothing too bad.  Legs felt heavy, but did eventually get warmed up.  Always a good day when I get to ride with my wife!


Sunday: 18.7 mile bike (https://www.strava.com/activities/239874863)
Holy mud Batman!  Went out for a ride thinking it would be a bit drier than yesterday.  I was correct for the first 4 miles and then the wheels came off.  I was hoping to do a Dirty Bismarck and take my time in doing so.  Something nice in not worrying about speed and just going out for a couple hours.  There is also something fun in having your ho-hum Sunday ride turn into a journey.  Ultimately I bailed about a mile into the High Plains section of the trail.  It was just too muddy and I didn’t want to trash the trail.

The rest of the ride was a mix of road/muddy single track and then the 2.5 mile climb up Marshall Road.  All in all, not a bad day.  Maggie got a good wash and I felt a lot stronger and tougher when I was done!

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Week 7: Continue to build base, challenge myself on the running front

Weekly Summary
– Longest run in a long long time on Wednesday at 5 miles.
– Great variety this week with 2 runs, 2 bikes, and a day on the slopes
– Feeling confident going forward…getting excited and starting to think about time goals for Leadville

Monday (12/29): 2.7 mile RUN
Tuesday (12/30): 3×8:00 minute tempo BIKE
Wednesday (12/31):
Snowboard @ Vail -15,611 vertical feet
Thursday (1/1):
5 mile RUN
Friday (1/2):
Saturday (1/3):
30 minute BIKE/Trainer
Sunday (1/4):

RUN: 7.7 miles
BIKE: 21 miles

Monday: 2.7 miles (http://www.strava.com/activities/234313872)
New loop that I can easily stretch out to 3 miles through the Community Park with a good amount of soft ground.  Added on a set of Day 1 lifts in the weight room.  Hamstring is feeling clean, even with the snow.  Adding a nice bit of confidence to the running side of things and some motivation to really attack it in the weight room to keep it strong.

Tuesday: 3×8:00 minute tempo @ 160 bpm
Spiced up trainer life with my first higher heart rate workout of the year.  Felt strong and recovered from the day before.  Probably one of the faster trainer rides of my life mentally and I actually enjoyed it for once.


Wednesday: Snowboarding @ Vail (15,611 Vertical Feet) (http://www.strava.com/activities/235293694)
Holy leg burn.  First day off-piste.  Lots of leftover, heavyish pow.  Got the legs massively burning…counted it as a workout!


Thursday: 5 mile run (http://www.strava.com/activities/235436729)
Got ambitious and wanted to run in the snow.  Had Christine drop me off at Whole Foods and run home.  Thought it would be 4 miles or so but remembered halfway up the first hill that it was 3.5 miles from the gate at the top of the hill to home, so it was definitely going to be more.  Knowing it was my longest run in a while and with the 4 inches of snow on the ground, I took it slow and just enjoyed being outside.  My hips were sore from riding yesterday and the snow wasn’t helping, but I just kept looking at mountains and reminding myself that there is nothing better than being outside.

Getting ready to knock out some peaks this summer.

Getting ready to knock out some peaks this summer.

Friday: OFF

Saturday: 30 minutes easy (Trainer)
Needed an easy day of activity.  Put on some basketball and just pedaled around 120 bpm for 30 minutes with a good stretch and foam roll afterwards.  Opened the blinds at the end of the ride and it was dumping snow.

Sunday: OFF

Took my off day with Casey today.

Took my off day with Casey today.

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Week 6

Switching to weekly entries because lets be honest, my training is just not that exciting day in and day out.  That’s the nature of training.

Week 6:
: Continue to build endurance base, stay as active as possible with holidays/travel

Weekly Summary: Feeling stronger, especially on the running front.  My hamstring still bothers me which is cause for concern, but I will continue to be diligent and build the strength up.  Feeling strong mentally as the chest pain has been fading, but definitely regressed with the poor diet and travel this week.

Monday (12/22): Travel day to C-Bus
Tuesday (12/23): 2.4 miles RUN
Wednesday (12/24): OFF
Thursday (12/25): 1.8 miles RUN
Friday (12/26): 3.4 miles RUN
Saturday (12/27): 2.5 miles WALK
Sunday (12/28): Travel day to Colorful Colorado
RUN: 7.6 miles (+2.5 miles walked)
BIKE: 0 miles (Boo travel)
TOTAL ACTIVE TIME: Approx. 2 hours

Tuesday (http://www.strava.com/activities/232143161)
Great run through the Short North neighborhood of Columbus as well as a bit of downtown.  Always enjoy exploring a city through running.  Also found that the Olentangy river is being re-routed as we had planned to run along the river, but found that to be impossible.

Hamstring felt OK, but legs were heavy from the flight and a late night the previous evening.  Mentally, felt great.  The change of pace brought new energy to the run.

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Why don't we have bike work stations in Colorado?!  Brilliant!

Why don’t we have bike work stations in Colorado?! Brilliant!

Thursday (http://www.strava.com/activities/232718367)
It’s always been a long standing policy to do something active on Christmas.  No exception today despite the crummy weather.  It was quick, but just enough to get the blood flowing and help burn off at least a few calories from the night before.  I didn’t feel great, but the crappy Ohio weather did take me back to the days of Xavier!

Friday (http://www.strava.com/activities/233067455)
Percy Warner Park!  A personal highlight whenever we come to Nashville.  I learned to run in this park and instantly feel like a kid again whenever I get to run out there.  The trails are endless and the woods deep.  Christine has grown to love the park as well (how could she not?) and it is something that we make a priority.  Started off at Steeplechase today and took Candy Cane over to the Nature Center.  From there, we climbed to the top of the Old Abandoned Road and soaked in the vibrant greenness of the park.  From there, it was back to Candy Cane (the other side) and up to the top of Steeplechase.

Hadn’t ever done this specific route before, but it was a great combo of climbs and mixed the roads and trails well.  Gonna have to keep it in mind!

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Sea Level Run

Had to take advantage of the Ohio gray weather this morning and squeeze in a few miles.

My legs had felt pretty dead yesterday from Sunday’s workout and flying, but they felt great today.

2.5 miles with a tour of the fun part of Columbus around City Hall and the arena district. Eased into but closed on a strong tempo down High Street.

Feeling like the fitness is progressing!


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December 15, 2014

2K run (10:49)

25 GHD Ext.
15 Burpees
10 Jumping Pull Ups
30 DB Shoulder Press
50 Sit-ups
50 Flutters
2x:30 Plank
Repeat x2

Beginning of the 2nd mesocycle. Main focus is to increase my running miles and clean up the nagging hamstring injury.

Felt good aerobically today. First time in the last 4 weeks that I didn’t blow up when I started running because of my lung problems. Felt good to make progress there.

Much stronger in the weight room. Movements felt much cleaner but the quantity isn’t there yet.

Back in the saddle tomorrow. Amazing how a recovery week gets you focused and passionate again.

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