I'm back from the mountains where I had lots of time to think, digest, relax, and enjoy life. I got in a great workout Saturday. I swam in our pond at the cabin! We have this private pond right out the front door and we NEVER swim in it. I went for it. It was a nice 54 degrees, so it wasn't the "longest" swim I have had, but I got it done. The neighbors came over and watched for awhile as they caught up with Troy and Annie, I think they thought I was loco! After that I went for a nice 10 mile run. I hit this great flatish trail from the cabin and didn't see anyone for 10 miles except squirrels and chipmunks. It was a meandering trail, crossing over a stream several times, cute little bridges and all. The views were great, and it was upper 70's. Divine! Here is a shot of the pond, can you see the moose?
I sat in the creek that runs through the cabin property to "ice" my legs after my successful day of high altitude training (cabin is a 9000 feet elevation). We had a great day catching up with Todd and Minna and Annie ran around like a wild child. We must have taken 10 mini walks with her, she loves nature!
Sunday I was EXCITED! It was bike riding time. After a great breakfast from Troy I headed out. Troy and Annie even walked with me to to the edge of the property and then I was off on my own for an adventure. I love bike adventures. My goal was to ride from our cabin to the top of Cameron Pass (10,276 ft) and then descent down the other side 10 miles or so and re-summit the pass, then head home. The first climb was great. People were giving me strange looks because our cabin lies in a very...ahhh...how do I put it...recreational area? There are lots of hunters, ATV riders, beer drinkers, large diesel truck drivers, you know that kind of bunch. Typically not too friendly to cyclists. Well, people were great. Everyone gave me my piece of the road, and I didn't get any beer cans thrown at me or anything. The top of the pass was gorgeous and the descent down the back side was frightening. Like really scary. I haven't felt very good on my bike recently during descents. My confidence has faltered after a near crash. Well, I'm descending like crazy, trying not to touch the breaks when all the sudden it feels like my tire has gone flat. My front handle bars start shaking and I can't seem to get them under control. My thoughts are, I'm gonna crash, and I am out of cell phone range. I'm going at least in the 40's and I start to slowly apply my breaks. I come to a stop, check my tires...nothing. Then I am a little weirded out...why did my bars shake like that? I thought I was going to need to change my shorts if you know what I mean.
So, I get going again and about 2 minutes later I hear "thump, thump, thump". I stop. Again. This time, oh yes, my rear tire is flat. I haven't had a flat on a ride...ever. Nice timing. But, honestly I wasn't worried at all. I got out my goods, sat down on the side of the road and changed it in about 8 minutes (not that I was timing myself or anything). Quite proud and on my way again. Now my bike felt normal again. I got down to Pouder Falls, turned around and started climbing. I really prefer climbing to descending. I was happy as a bird to be going up up up again. A little over an hour later I hit the top and descended all the way home.
By the way, on the way home today we saw a cyclist on the crazy section of the descent and he followed our car. We clocked him at one point going 62 miles an hour. So I wasn't kidding when I said it was a crazy descent. I don't think I was going quite that fast, but still, 40's or 50's are pretty doable on that stretch. Eek!
After another icing session in the creek we had a great evening of dinner, chatting, and card games. Relaxation at it's best.
Today I had a crazy workout to do and I didn't feel I could get it done up at the cabin so we packed up around noon and headed homewards. I dropped Troy and Annie at home and headed for the gravel pond to do 4X (400 swim, 2 mile run). Back to back to back. It was one of the most fun workouts I have ever done, but totally intense at the same time. I wasnt' able to do a 400 swim, but instead I set my watch for 4 minutes and turned when it beeped, so an 8 minute swim followed by a 2 mile race pace run. Then repeat it all 4 times.
The last one was the best. It was about 15 minutes until the pond closed and everyone had gone home. As I slipped into the water the surface of the pond was flat as glass. When I sighted I just had to tip my head up a little and the glassy pond stretched out ahead of me. The sun was about to go down and it was so low on the horizon that you thought it was under the water. The suns rays came at you almost parallel to the waters surface. Pretty neat. There were clouds all over the sky and they reflected on the surface of the water. I felt very special to be in that water by myself. After my 4 minutes I turned around and booked it to shore, threw on my running flats for the 4th time that hour and took off. I just ran like I had no worries. It was like the icing on the cake, the speed came easy, and gentle. I was all alone and I just allowed myself to take in the beauty of Colorado that was in full force. I reminded myself how much I love workouts like this, and I also reminded myself how lucky I am that my body can do what it does without pain, or injury. Just a nice thankful run...at race pace...or below...after over an hour of LT work...wow, I guess the speed is coming.