two rides

I rode 48 miles in the past two days.  That’s approximately 48 miles more than I’ve ridden outdoors in a very long time!  Yesterday I rode through Glenwood Canyon with my sister… a ride I’ve wanted to do for many years.  I decided on the “comfort bike” over the mountain bike with full shocks and a bigger rental price.  It turned out to roll quite easily but was anything but comfortable because I picked out a size too small (something that rarely happens to me!) and was sitting far back on the seat in order to keep my knees in the right place over the pedals.  My sister spent a good deal of time laughing at me- and waiting for me, but we enjoyed a gorgeous, 28 mile ride, up and back through the canyon.  

Today I was on my own again and picked up my road bike rental first thing in the morning.  I’ve got myself a Specialized Dolce for the next week.  I love that in mountain towns, bike rental stores are abundant.  There’s no way I could have traveled with my own bike, like I used to do and when I factor in shipping costs or airplane over-sized luggage prices, I’m not actually spending more money.

This morning I decided to take it easy, as I’d gained 4,000 feet of elevation since yesterday.  I did my standard 20 mile round trip between Breck and Frisco.  I tried to be conscious of not letting my pace get too slow when I felt tired.  I wore my heart rate monitor to keep me honest and as I look at it now, I’m realizing that even though I felt like I was pushing hard, I never moved above zone 4.  I’m giving myself a congratulatory pat on the back!  I’ll try something a little harder tomorrow and see how I feel.  During the next week, I look forward to taking in scenery as I climb passes and enjoying miles of paved bike paths between towns!

water activities

We began our morning with a discussion of when to kayak, when to bike and when to go to the pool.  Rough day.  We decided to fit the kayak into the morning and the swim into the evening.  We were part of a white water rafting/kayaking crew so we got a free ride through the rapids first before they dropped us in our indestructible two man blow-up kayak.  For the most part, we floated the final 10 miles without paddling much because we had to keep pace with the rafts and they were moving slowly.  Every so often we’d start paddling and I would somehow manage to send our boat spinning the wrong way.  We crashed through the final drop, ending up totally soaked but still in our boat.  The next three kayakers weren’t so lucky and the final raft had to chase both them and their kayaks further down the river.  The low point of the day was realizing my new mineral sunscreen hadn’t worked on either of us.  We both have weird burn lines on legs and arms, which I hope I have enough time to get rid of before I wear my wedding dress!  Vanity aside, my main goal of all this time spent in the mountains was to thoroughly protect my skin and not get burnt.  So much for that!

We ate a late lunch then decided to stay inside until the sun went away.  Around 7:30 we trekked across the bridge to the hot springs pool and swam a few laps.  1/2 mile felt easy to me today and exercising in the warm water is easier to deal with when the sun is down.  We closed out the pool and would have been closed out of our choice restaurant also if we hadn’t been rescued by two others who’d just been seated for last call.  We joined their table and made new friends!

The workout:

10 miles of easy paddling- I actually do feel sore muscles in my chest from the unfamiliar movement pattern

1/2 mile swim, mixed strokes

Nikken wellness:

mushroom immunity I just realized that the first ingredient in the mushroom complex I take regularly is cordyceps *, which I always take when I spend time at a higher altitude

omega green for cardiovascular support

*Recent research has confirmed that Cordyceps usage increase both the cellular ATP level (Guowei, 2001) and the oxygen utilization (Jia-Shi Zhu, 2004). ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) is the molecule that actually releases energy in the cell. We talk about consuming fats, and proteins and starches to gain energy, but what it all boils down to at the cellular level is ATP. ATP releases energy in the cell by losing a phosphate and converting from a three-phosphate form of adenosine to a two-phosphate form, called ADP (adenosine di-phosphate). When the ATP loses a phosphate, the breaking of that bondreleases energy that is then available for the cell to use. An increase in cellular ATP means a real increase in actual energy, energy that is available for use.      -excerpted from Aloha Medicinals

10 reason to take the train

1.  There’s no internet so you have plenty of time to finish your latest novel, sleep, watch the scenery, listen to war stories told by the old gentleman across the room or make new friends

2.  Train security doesn’t exist.  You and all of your bags hop on and off the train.  There are no long lines and toiletries don’t need to be under 4 oz.  (bonus- you can finish your morning coffee and yogurt leisurely on the train, not in the security line with luggage in tow, scrambling to find your ID and ticket)

3.  You can enjoy the scenery through floor to ceiling windows in a lounge car.

4.  You’re not vacuum-packed onto the train and actually get fresh air breaks every few hours.

5.  Walk, sit, sleep, eat (at a table with other people!)… your choice at any time

6.  Cut your CO2 emissions up to 90% by taking the train.  My trip was 1,215 miles by train versus 950 by airplane then 157 miles by car.

7.  The food is way better

8.  You can check two bags at no fee and carry on two bags plus a personal item.

9.  It’s much cheaper if you buy tickets in advance and there’s even a AAA discount.

10.  It’s fun and a great way to slow down!

The workout:

Try something new and don’t be bashful!  I spent each fresh air break on the station platform lunging, squatting, jogging, doing planks and yoga.  I moved about the train, stretching frequently and did most of my reading/trio CD listening standing.  When I arrived at the hot springs pool on the other end, I eased into the evening with a 1/2 km swim in the warm water.  Between altitude, lack of sleep last night and temperature of water, I felt as if I were in slow motion but my body sure enjoyed the stretch!

Cold water

I’m a day behind again but yesterday was crazy and now I’ve got nothing to do for the next 26 hours besides sit and stare out the window as the train takes me to Colorado. Ahhh.

We got up early to swim before breakfast yesterday 🙂 I prefer morning workouts then getting on with my day!
It seems, the colder the weather, the colder the pool, although I’m sure there’s no correlation because the pool is heated & indoors. Nonetheless, it was cold all around yesterday. Sitting in the hot tub first really does warm me thoroughly so the cold water only chills my skin when I hop in.

The workout:
1400 yd swim

200 yd warm up, mixed strokes
100 yd kicking drills
RI :20

100 yd swim L6
50 yd kick L7 *
50 yd swim L4
RI :20
Repeat 4 X

100 yd kicking drill
200 yd cool down, mixed strokes

*I did all of the “kick” yds with a kickboard, some in regular position, some on my back & some with my face in the water & board extended in front of me to keep a more neutral spine. My kicking drills are always done without kickboard.

indoor spin

The day starts late when you don’t get out of  bed until 10am!   Quite strange for me to sleep that long but I guess I need it right now.  Of course a pre-breakfast workout was out of the question when beginning my day at that hour, so the bike ride was skipping in favor of a spin at the gym.  Generally I hate trading a ride for something indoors but it was cold and windy today so it didn’t bother me much.

I flipped through The Heart Rate Monitor Book for Cyclists to find a 30 minute workout (that’s all the time I had between tearing the house apart looking for wedding slideshow photos and driving north for a friend’s wedding).  The workout I came up with was specifically for a “recovery day” and working towards a healthier heart.  Everything was done in zone 3 or lower, which meant fat burning zone.  I am supposed to be able to gage how healthy my heart is by how quickly I can drop between zones after pushing my HR up.  I can increase way faster than I decrease but as I do more of these HR specific workouts, I’m finding it easier to stay within specific zones.  I had my iPhone shuffling on a world music playlist and I’ll post my tunes tomorrow.

30 minute Recovery Interval indoor spinning workout:

The point of this workout is to give the legs a rest while maintaining fitness and burning a few extra calories.  I maintained the same resistance on the wheel the entire time and increased or decreased intensity with speed.

0-3 minutes     warm up    HR zone 1

3-5 minutes     warm up to the bottom of zone 2

5-7 minutes      increase HR to middle of zone 2 (65 %)

7-27 minutes   increase HR to bottom of zone 3 for 2 minutes then drop back to steady bottom of zone 2 , repeat as many times as possible in 20 minutes

27-30 minutes  decrease HR to bottom of zone 1

two for one

I’ve been posting my workouts at odd times and have both yesterday’s a today’s to post here!  I’m in my final days before I head to Colorado and get married.  I can honestly say I’m not feeling stressed about anything at the moment- just completely excited.  Fitting in a little something workout-wise each day has really helped keep my stress level in check this week.  So here’s what we’ve got:

Yesterday’s workout:

run, run, run…   I took off from my doorstep with the intention of running to the gym, jumping on a treadmill, then walking home.   Instead, I kept running.  The cool, fresh air felt so good!  I decided to do a hill repeat.  Actually, that’s an oxymoron since I didn’t actually repeat anything.  My crazy friend who no longer lives here actually used to do hill repeats on the 15th avenue entrance to the Presidio, but I’ve always only had one “repeat” in me when it comes to this particular hill.  Done in conjunction with respectable amounts of flat running, hill repeats will build strength, improve speed, and use muscle groups that are only mildly challenged on the flats.  When choosing a hill to climb, look for one that will take 60-90 seconds, depending on fitness level and comfortable pace.  Yesterday, I rewarded myself with a beautiful view of the ocean from the top of the Presidio, then ran home.

10 min warm-up on flat ground

5 min straight up hill, find a tune with a good beat and try to keep pace- I was listening to the same playlist I posted for my last indoor cycling workout and it hit the Alicia Keys tune just as I started climbing.   The pace was perfect to keep me moving.

2 min sprint to the view, 1 min walk to lower heart rate, 2 min sprint back to the hill

down the hill at an easy pace, trying to keep my footing light on the way down so I didn’t jar knees or back

easy run home, toe-heel walks to keep calves and shins in good shape

Today’s workout:

I finally gave myself a little more time at the pool and had a great swim!

1200 yds

200 yd warm-up, mixed stroke

100 yd kicking drills, 200 yd pull paying attention to form and varying breathing patterns, 100 yd kicking drills,

RI :30

400 yd swim, L6

RI :15

100 yd back stroke L4, practicing back flip turns *

100 yd mixed stroke cool down

*These are basically the same as regular flip turns, except the flipping over from back to stomach happens before the somersault.  You need to know how many strokes on your back between flag overhead and wall, then cut out one stroke and flip onto your stomach.  Somersault then push off underwater still on back for more back stroke.  Don’t try this for the first time in a lane with others… it takes a few tries to get the timing/stroke count correct!

Read more: How to Run Hill Repeats |

better than nothing

Once again I tried to fit way too many things into this morning and ended up with very little time for my swim.  Right now, something is better than nothing!   Here’s the workout I would have like to have done today 🙂

The workout:

1100 yd swim

100 yd warm up

speed ladder: 50 yd X 6, each 50 :5 faster than the previous, great for flip turn practice!

300 yd easy swim L4

reverse speed ladder: 50 yd X 6, start at top speed and each 50 by :5 slower than the previous

100 yd cool down