Saturday, December 20, 2008

Runathon Day 19 & Day 20's bike/trail run/bike brick

Runathon Day 19
Ran 2 boring miles on the road, up Ft. Lowell to Fennimore and back. Once again, not deserving of it's own post.

Ruathon Day 20
Day 20 was much better, as I got creative. I'm sorry Day 20's awesome workout has to share a post with Day 19. Day 19 is bringing it down.

I decided to mix biking and running in a sort of reverse duathlon. A duathlon is run-bike-run, whereas this was bike-run-bike. This morning I packed my cyclocross bike's trunk with my trail running shoes, hat, water pack, and enough locks to keep any thieves at bay. Zac was up for a ride, so I suggested he put the knobby tire wheelset on his cyclocross bike and join me on the trail.

We rode from our house at Soldier Trail and Ft. Lowell (you know, the round one) to Saguaro East via Tanque Verde loop and Freeman. Surprisingly, there were very few bikes on the road. Perhaps it's the colder weather, or that El Tour is over, or that everyone is out doing crazed shopping. Either way, it was nice and quiet. We took the paved loop all the way around to the north end of the Cactus Forest Trailhead, where I set up my bike-run-bike transition area. Out came the running shoes, hat, and water pack and in went the cycling shoes, sleeves, and vest. There is no bike rack at the trailhead, so I locked my bike to a sign. My trunk was locked to the bike (with the zippers locked shut) and my helmet was locked to the trunk and bike. Since this is a busy trailhead, I wasn't taking any chances.

Running gear inside my trunk:

Bike parking:
My complex locking system:

From cyclist to trail runner, ready to run the trails:

Zac heading out to ride the trail:

The Cactus Forest Trail is the only trail in Saguaro East that allows bikes. So Zac took off on the knobbies, leaving me for my trail run. It's 2.5 miles long one-way, so I decided to run the entire thing as an out & back for a total of 5 miles. Zac did the out & back, stopped at the trailhead to chat with cyclists who didn't know what a cyclocross bike was, or that they came with knobby tires, then headed back out to the steep hill to try to clean the climb (he dabbed).

This is my, "I officially made it to the other end of the trail" shot:

Shots from the trail taken while running:

I finished the 5 mile trail run in 56:33, for an average of 11:14 min/mile. I always like to shoot for under 12 min/mile on trail runs, since running trails is slower than road running. After my run I unlocked my bike, changed from running shoes and gear back into cycling gear, re-packed the trunk, and headed out for the second half of the loop. My legs were not too fond of the idea for the first few feet of the ride, but quickly switched back into biking mode. Then, an amazing thing happend on the big climb on the backside of the loop. I did the entire climb while standing up out of the saddle! I felt more comfortable standing, and discovered it engages the muscles I've been using to run for the past 20 days. So it was very much like stair stepping or running up a steep hill. Maybe this runathon IS paying off?!? I don't know, but I totally wasted the climb and Zac. ;)By the time we got home, my legs were toast.

Total biking = 26.69 miles, 2:04:46
Total running = 5.03 miles, 56:33

And according to my BeginnerTriathlete training log (where I have logged EVERY workout for the past 4 years since I started triathlon) I just passed the 3,000 mile mark for total miles ridden in 2008! Woohoo!

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