Monday, February 22, 2016

The First Real Test of 2016

This weekend was the first really big test of the Cyclo-Runner-Husband Challenge.  What was going to make this weekend different?  In a word - hills!!!  This weekend I was adding hills to both the ride and the run.  When you add that this was just one week after my PR-setting half marathon, which I promise to write about next, you have all the necessary ingredients for a big test.

Plus, it wasn’t like I had been sitting around all week.  After Sunday’s half marathon, I did a 42 mile recovery ride on Monday.  That was followed by two days of rest. Then, on Thursday I was back at it with a 3.5 mile run followed by another 5.0 miles on Friday.

When Saturday arrived I was excited to ride.  While I have been riding, I have not spent much time on hills yet this year.  That’s primarily because I spent most of my Saturday rides trying to save my legs for my Sunday run.  However, I have an event in late April that includes big climbs so I couldn’t hesitate any more.  It was time to start some serious climbing, which I actually enjoy.

However, at this point I don’t need one big monster climb. What I really need is a ride that goes up and over multiple climbs.  Fortunately, I have several routes that corse through the west county hills.  The goal is to complete hill intervals while enjoying the beautiful day.  As you can see from the profile, the plan called for a lot of up and down.

All-in-all the ride was fun but uneventful.  I approached each hill with simple mindset of making it to the top without over doing it.  Then, I would cruise down the descent as I got ready for the next climb.  It was the perfect route on a beautiful day and in the end I felt great.  But, how would I feel on the run the next day.

Sunday was even more gorgeous and I was really looking forward to the run for two reasons.  To begin wth, I was running the trails of Annadel.  Plus, my new Let’s Run Paris shirt had arrived and it was my first chance to wear it.  Still, even though I have run some hills this year, this was a big run with two big climbs, so I was a little nervous.

To spare you from all the details, let’s just say the run went fine overall but it had its moments when I was wondering what the hell was I doing.  I made a last minute decision to tackle the steeper climb versus the longest climb first.  Half way up it seemed like the wrong decision but I finally settled into a good pace.  The fact that it was truly a beautiful, spring-like day really helped. 

Once again, the profile shows that I did some really good climbing.  Of course, this is nothing compared to the over 3,000 feet of climbing in my next running event which is on March 12th.  It is a trail run in Marin County and I am relying on the fact that I also love running on hills to get me through it.  I’ll also have a running partner with me that day and that will be a big help.

While I must admit I am feeling the efforts today, I’d say the Cyclo-Runner-Husband Challenge is off to a great start.  I managed to climb and run hills in the same weekend without feeling completely wiped out.  I even had the energy left over to perform a few chores around the house, which made Sherry quite happy.

I wonder how I’ll do on next weekend’s test?


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Yes Will (& Lee) Can

Last Sunday was the pinnacle of the one of my coolest running adventures ever.  You might say this adventure started last summer with my Ragnar Relay training.  However, this adventure really begin on the Place de la Bastille in Paris on the morning of Christmas Eve.  You see, that’s when I met Will.

As I’ve mentioned, I joined the Let’s Run Paris running group on our recent vacation.  In addition to regular runs, group members will also post other runs to join.  In this case, Noelle invited people to join her on her 6:00 am run.  I really love running early in the morning so this was the perfect time for me.  Will was one of the brave souls that showed up and at the appointed time we were off. 

Will and I post run.
As we are running along one of my fellow runners asked me where I was from.  Although Sherry and I actually live in Santa Rosa we have discovered that’s easier to say we live in San Francisco since most Europeans are familiar with it.  What happened next was the perfect example of the chaos theory in physics (small changes lead to big consequences).  

Someone mentioned that Will was running a half marathon in SF in February.  So, Will and I started running together and chatting.  During this chat I discovered that Will wasn’t just running a half marathon in San Francisco.  No, Will was on a much larger adventure.  He was running 52 half marathons (one each week of the year) in 52 cities on 5 different continents.

Yes Will Can!!!
The more he talked about his adventure the more I knew I had to be part of it in some way.  So, I immediately tell him that I will join him.  After the run we became Facebook “friends” and later he sent me the link to the Kaiser Permanente half marathon on Valentine’s Day in San Francisco.  After a few simple clicks I was registered for my first official half marathon since May of 2011.

As Will and I continued to stay in contact, I learned more about his adventure, which he named Yes Will Can 2016 (hence the title of this post).  In addition to exploring the world, Will is working to raise funds and awareness for respiratory disease and he is working with Foundation du Souffle.  I think this is truly amazing and I needed to support it in any I could.

Will arrived in San Francisco from Los Cabos, Mexico.  After a few quick exchanges, it was decided that he would be our guest Saturday night.  At 5:30 am on Valentine’s Day, we all headed to The City for our run, which went very well (it will be a separate post).  Afterwards, we had a great breakfast on the Beach Chalet before dropping Will off at his hotel.  He was planning to spend a few more days in The City before heading off to Kingston, Havana, and then Australia.  You can bet Sherry and I will follow his adventures every step of the way.  You can also follow along on his Facebook page.

Showing off our medals.
I want to say a little more about Will’s cause.  Chances are if you follow my blog you are active and know the importance of breathing.  So, I would like to make a call to action to everyone reading.  Unfortunately, Will’s fund raising site it close but you can still make a donation directly to the Foundation du Souffle.  Or, if you are in the U. S. and would like tax credit for you contribution you can give to the American Lung Association.  If you decide to donate, add a comment either here or on the FB page so I can thank you.

Hopefully, through the adventures of people like Will and donations from generous folks like you, people around the world with respiratory problems will get the help they need to go on adventures of their own.