Morning Bike On the Canal

Just another clear, crisp, sunny morning in Arizona. Skipping todat’s 14 mile Team D run (I needed to be in Tempe at 10 for a friend’s wedding), I opted for another bike ride. This time, I rode east from Pima road, along the Arizona Canal, crossing the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

The way out had the 2 ingredients of riding directly into the morning sun (making it harder to see the dips and bumps) and a bit of head wind. Again, I love this ride because it is so open, one can see directly north to the McDowell Mountains, northeast to Red Mountain, east to the Superstitions… And very typical, I saw at least 2 great blue herons (or the same one twice) take off in a long, powerful gliding motion. The farms nort of the canal are carpet green with new grass (hay?) and perhaps lettuce or spinach as far as the eye can see.

I was watching my watch for a turn around, a bit short of the Beeline highway crossing, actually just at the trash dump where Gilbert Rd hits highway 87. And woah, baby, on the way back, I was flying much faster with light at my back along with the wind. I probably could have gone farther since my time back was about 10 minutes less than out.

Legs felt good, getting some of the long formant bike muscles working. And now, my weekly mileage charts show a rising ride spike of bike miles.

Sitting Miles

In exercise switch mode, this morning I tried to make up for yesterday’s no run with a bike ride, taking the Arizona canal west through the “perennially under contruction of condo towers” that is downtown Scottsdale. So I am getting my miles while sitting down.

It’s been almost 2 years, and still vrtually impossible to ride a bike safely or even find the same route 2 days in a row from the canal at Camelback and Scottsdale Road to to where the canal crosses Goldwater north of Indian School. That’s what knobby mountain bike tired are for, I guess.

I cruised out passed the very cool Arizona Falls at 56th to a turn around at 48th Street. I would have gone further, but with daylight not peeking out til almost 7, and I did not want to cut too much into the work day.

Tomorrow morning, I’l be forgoing the Team-D 14 mile run, I would have missed it anyhow as I need to be at a friend’s wedding by 10, but I think I can get out and squeeze in a good 2 hour bike ride.

Back 2 Track

It was a beautiful still night, not hot, not cold, for the Team D Wednesday night track training. On my warm-up laps, I am still feeling some tenderness in my shin… it is not pain enough to prevent runnning, and more like an annoying reminder that I am starting to just accept as hanging around.

I was pretty much able to run near normal (a.k.a. slow) speeds. We did 6 x 800s; on each lap we were to run the curves at “marathon” pace, and the straight-aways at mile sprint speeds. I ended up taking those curves really, really slow, resting, but went pretty much all out on the sprints. And we had only a 2 minute breather in between. That’s 3 miles plus another mile for warm up and cool down laps.

Ow, those were hard, but somehow feels like it is doing… something. The test is seeing how well I do on a recovery run tomorrow morning.

And for what its worth, I got an extra ~ 2 mile biking this morning (big deal) as I had to ride to my wife’s office to pick up our truck. Every little bit should count, right?

Ride No Run

Wednesday night I was still feeling stiffness in my left shin, so I opted out of the Team-D track training for some more rest, ice, advil, ice, rest, advil.

It felt much better this morning (it seems to start up later in the day), but I decided to do a bike ride instead, heading west towards Camelback Mountain, through the shabby neighborhoods of Paradise Valley (that is sarcasm- this is mansion-ville, in PV, the median house price is an order of magnitude larger than elsewhere in town).

10-26-06_0730.jpg I rode, winding on MacDonald north of the big Camel, and down to Lincoln and Tatum, stopping at the Barry Goldwater memorial park, something I had driven past many times, but never stopped at.

That’s a closeup of the hat in hand on Barry’s statue- he is facing southwest looking towards the hilltop home he lived in just a mile from this spot.

Lots of traffic on Lincoln, so I took as many back streets as possible. Again, I’ve not done much biking in the last 18 months, and it feels like I am hitting muscles never used! But it was a great way to spend an hour and ten minutes this morning.


I might do more biking as x-training even when the leg feels better. I like the feeling of going a bit faster than I can just via my feet!

A day of rest tomorrow, and then it is time to test the legs with the Payson Rim Country Challenge 1/2 Marathon.

I Do Like Biking

With continued stiffness in my shin (and good advice from Jerry), this morning I got out my mountain bike for some cross training.

Now, while the blog title remains “I Hate Running” I can categorically say that I have always enjoyed biking! But its been a really long time since I pedaled farther than to the grocery store up the street.

So over the weekend, I picked up as new helmet (old one was cracked), and a new seat puch so I did not need the backback to carry tools and spare tubes, so I could hit the local trails again.

So I had a short ride today as I needed to be home in time to run an online meeting, but wow! I am using muscles that have sat used for a while! But I had a decent ride along the Arizona canal, heading east acrosss the Salt River-Pima reservation from Pima Road. It’s just so peaceful, quiet, and open out there.

So I hope I am up for Wednesday night run and the Payson 1/2 marathon Saturday.

Saturday At the Track

So Team-D opened training season officially with a 6:00 AM session at the Scottsdale Community College track (SCC is so conveniently located to where I live, I am rather lucky…).

Since I joined the team much later last year, this was something I missed. But first of all, what a great team we have! I did not count, but it seemed nicely crowded, with runners, walkers, people form all over the Valley (and a few even from Payson). I counted at least 3 others wearing the same insulin pump 😉


So today was to benchmark our future progress with some timed laps around the track. First there was 4 laps of slow warm up. Then we ran one lap for time, 400m, supposedly to be at the speed we would do a mile, but I confess I cheated and went a bit faster… 2:09. Then it was a short rest, and we ran a timed mile… I think this was near my times last year of about 2:20-2:30 per lap, or a mile of 9:24.

Now that is nothing really to brag about; there are people that do much faster than that pace in a real marathon… but the only person I am competing with is myself. I think I’d be happy for the marathon to do a 10-11 minute pace… actually I am going to be joyous to finish.

Then we had a great equipment review session, mostly on shoes, from a rep from Performace Footwear who offer this free Footstrike Analysis service where they video you on a treadmill to analyze your foot work. I am due for some new shoes and will try this out this week.

And just to top off the day, I ended up getting some bike miles in. My wife and I had a meeting, and she needed to leave early, so I took the bike along with me, and did the 7 mile ride home. It was stinking hot, and I am pretty rusty on the bike, but it felt good to groove some extra leg work.

4/6 plus Biking

I did not get much running in at all last week while I was in Cleveland for my organizations annual conference. Do you want the excuse parade, as I have a long list of drummers and baton twirlers.

So I am home now, in the lovely AZ heat, and with 3 days off this week, the parade does not have much steam. I aimed to go today for my “regular” 6 mile loop, ultra easy pace. I was about 4 in when I felt myself dragging and the blood sugar dropping, so I ended up walking the last 2 and sucking the glucose tablets.

Even with the sun peaking out and over the top of the wall along Pima, it was not too bad. My shoes are getting worn, so it is about time for a new investment. And I am not doing anything special yet with the insulin pump routine.

I did register today for Team Diabates to run the 2007 Rock and Roll Marathon, the full enchilada this year and I hope to try and do the July 5ks from the Arizona Road Racers series.

For extra exercise fun, I rode the bike 2 miles to my wife’s office, where our truck was parked, to take it in for repari, then rode home. It is still a decent warm breeze when one is moving. We’ll see about that after lunch when I need to go back to pick up the truck.

(Slow) Six-cess

Ugh, I was slow poking today. But I’ve not run diddly squat in the last month, and the purpose of today’s run was to climb back in the saddle, and run my 6 mile loop. That I did. So it was 6 miles, success.

The sky was unusually cloudy for a May morning, and the sun glasses were not even needed. The temperatures are still tolerable at 5:30 AM.

It will/should only get better.

Biking To Work

With the knee still in recovery, I’ve crossed from running today to biking.

Today might have been a bit early or not enough coffee…. my wife has been biking to work as well, so when she suggested we ride together, I was thinking of following her route to work in downtown Scottsdale and then following my normal route to Tempe. So this morning at 6 I asked, “If we bike, what time to you need to leave?” and she said, “I’ll be ready in 15 minutes”. That’s earlier than I needed but I got all assembled. Then she wondered why I had all my gear on as she was tihnking of us doing some loops around the neighborhood… we were in different route spaces or frames of mind.

So we did a loop up to the canal and back to our house, so I got a few more clicks than a commute, and then I rode the normal 11 miles to work. Not bad going in, the knee was yummy with Advil.

Riding home was a different story! First there was a hair of a headwind. Then, it’s been so long since I dealt with darkness, so I had to get in the defensive mindset of baeing invisible to drivers, despite my headlamp, reflectors,a nd blinking tail lamp… it calls for extra concentration. Then about 3 miles in, I felt my blood sugar bottom out, so I had to make a pit stop for a few glucose tablets.

As is, I got home with about 20 minutes to shower and get ready for the history class we are taking together at Scottsdale Comunity College. So today was something like:

  1. bike
  2. work
  3. bike
  4. sit in class for 2.5 hours and try and concentrate

A long day. It did feel good to get some miles in, even if they are not running. Maybe, the new blog name is “I Miss Running”?

Two Wheeling

My knee is still feeling tender, so I am resting it by switching todat to some bike riding. Since I am off for Veterans Day, I took the opportunity to bike over to the Runners Den on 16th and Maryland to pick up my packet and stuff for Sunday’s New Times 10k run. It’s a nice ride along the canals.

It was hardly a competitive bike ride! First my blood sugar bonked low so I stopped at the Safeway on 48th St as my supply was kind of thin. Yum, Gatorade and chocolate bar.

Then it must have been the headwind, because it was a pokey slow roll to my destination. It was a bit better on the return trip, but I feel way more tired than I should for a ride this length.