Sunday, August 12, 2007

The road to recovery...Pt 3 (cross-training)

Living inland from the Pacific Ocean you can guarantee that to get there is a matter of going downhill, of course the downside (excuse the pun) is that to come back it’s all uphill. Being that I am sidelined from running it was time to unbuckle my road bike; Walter, from the trainer and head out on the roads. I have for the past week been taking a forty minute/ten mile spin most mornings but today I planned to push a little longer and harder.

My planned route would take me from my home through Malibu Canyon , along Pacific Coast Highway and returning back inland through Topanga Canyon. I mapped it out online and it came back at just under 40 miles, about 3 hours riding time as a guestimate.

I set off early not long after dawn keen to miss the heat of the day and although it was a little breezy on some of the downhill’s I was wearing a windproof which I removed at roughly the halfway point, so I was left with feeling in my arms and didn't have that "is someone sitting on my chest?" thought after traveling downhill in excess of 35mph.

Along the way I passed a Coyote heading home from a late Saturday night on the town and an eight point Mule Deer and his Doe out for an early morning graze. The sun twinkled on the ocean as I passed my alma mater. The surf was up along PCH but was only breaking 2-3’, still, I guess, if you're a surfer; surfing is surfing. I tentatively turned into Topanga Canyon and checked my cycling computer up to that point I had maintained an average speed of 16mph. I have driven through Topanga Canyon maybe a 1000 times and know the twisting and turning climbs well enough however on a bike everything looks very different and climbing at a steady and slow pace I got to see the landscape in significantly more detail, although the steepest part is just before Topanga Village itself and that section was definitely spent with my head down and the “bit between my teeth”, once through the village my pace picked up and the climbing became easier, before I knew it that I was at the top, for a total climb of 1552’ over about 9 miles, I topped out with my average speed having dropped to 13.2mph. Needless to say coming down the other side took all of about 15 minutes. A rolling six miles brought me back to my front door, the time 3:13:32, the distance 40.15 miles

It was a great ride and I really felt that I reconnected with my cycling demons who have taken a back seat this year with the increase in my running. It just goes to show that cross-training can be fun.

Here's the Motion-Based data in case anyone's interested:

1 comment:

  1. SLB - good luck on your road to recovery. I know it blows when you can not run, but hey you are getting a lot out of it. Bike riding actually helped improve my running a bit when I started my tri-training few months ago. I bet it will strenghten your quads and you will become better runner for it.

    I love my Saturday morning rides - they are usually 3-4 hours long and start at around 6am. It is great to ride around the lake. Each loop is around 18 miles and every single one is different - first one is very peaceful and quiet - only fisherman on the lake and vultures on the trees watching you quietly, second loop is little more busy with few more cars and few more boats, few cyclists and runners and the last one is just a buzz of activity - cars, bikes, Porsche car club meeting on the parking lot, see of people, boats, dogs, etc. At that time my ride is over and I head back home for nice breakfast, recovery drink and som family fun with my boy and wife. Life is good :-).


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