Saturday, July 29, 2006

Elevation Training, woo!

First things first: after typing the first "e" in this post's title autocomplete gave me one possible completion: "Ed man! Man ed!" So apparently on some message board I've made a post with that title. Anyone that can tell me who I ripped off that title from wins 10,000 points.

Second, I just did some elevation training in the Sierra Nevadas. Ended up running probably around 10 or 11 mostly-flat miles (uncertainty is due to how many times I got lost and ran up and down random hills at the beginning of the run trying to find some logical trail). I realize that running once at elevation doesn't really provide much training, it won't quiet the pain. But it will give me some rough idea of what the pain will be like. Some observations:

- I really, really have no sense for how far and fast I'm running. At all. It doesn't help that I don't wear a watch. Neither does unfamiliarity with elevation. Pace was somewhere between six and seven minutes per mile, and that's all I really know, other than that I was running slightly faster than the traffic on the road was moving on my way back. That was really my motivation as I was starting to really feel tired, "I have to catch that red convertible with the dog hanging out the window".

- The trail was sandwiched between a road (which was suffering from major congestion) and a river. After getting back I went down to the river to get my feet wet. There were rafters on the river. One of them was a kid that couldn't have been much over 10 or 12 (it was definitely an even number of years, he could have been a small 14-year old) holding a can of Coors Light. Wrong mountains, kid. What he should have been holding was a bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Mmmm, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

- Some automatic-transmission cars occasionally do this thing called "downshifting" when you stomp on the gas to pass someone or, say, get up a huge mountain instead of rolling back down like Calvin Butterball after he ran out of gas (again, 10,000 points for identifying the reference). Mine isn't one of them. The transmission just sits there in fourth sticking its tounge out at the engine. So that's what the "3", "2" and "1" settings are for. I really have to learn to drive stick. With an automatic I averaged 38MPG for the trip (no, I am not one of those fancy-pantses with a trip computer, I am a dork that likes to do math in my head to break the monotony of freeway driving), so with a manual I probably could have broke 40, which is always exciting.

- I cannot stress how much I regret not bringing my bike for some post-run riding. Although if I would have left it out on the rack and someone had stolen it while I was out running (I could lock it to the rack, but you could just remove the whole rack off the car and take it back to your lair if you were determined... my bike isn't worth that much effort, but unfortunately it looks very similar to other bikes that are) I would have regretted that even more.

- At a used CD shop up in the mountains I bought three albums: Van Morrison's "Moondance", Hüsker Dü's "Zen Arcade" and Modest Mouse's "The Moon and Antarctica". That's a reasonably eclectic mix, but I think I could do better.


Danielle said...

See, I like to go into this not knowing how the pain will be :-) Good thing there is nowhere I can even be tempted to run at elevation around here! See I think this is a fundamental flaw in the Flatlander division - I think those of us without anywhere to find long hills and who are stuck at 1000 ft are at a disadvantage to the Flatlanders from the west coast who have plenty of mountains to run up and who can at least get a taste of the elevation! I can't think of a hill that lasts a mile anywhere around here! I mean technically the division should be the Lowlanders, not the Flatlanders, since CA, OR, WA are most definitely not flat. Not that I am complaining too much, because if they required flatness, you wouldn't be able to run with us :-)

Anyways, if you keep offering 10,000 points for your references, you are totally going to dilute my offers of ten... I had to look them up, so I shall not claim any points this time :-) But in retrospect I have to laugh at when I warned you and Shaun that our team was a little nerdy...

I hope the fact that we are in the Rockies doesn't mean we have to drink Coors when we finish! Pete Coors Jr. was in my calculus class at Cornell.

Joe said...

the only time i've heard "ed, man! !man ed" is in a joke about the old computer text editor, ed.

is that where you know it from, or am i just highlighting my total dorkness here?

Lisa said...

I totally half-ass my timing and pace and mileage, too! I think it's the way.

I'm bummed that I didn't get any of your obscure references, but then, I don't know what those 10,000 points are good for, so where's the motivation.

Joe said...

Lisa, assuming my understanding of his ed man man ed comment is correct, you getting that reference would have been a combination of extremely awesome and extremely scary, and I probably would have just proposed to you right here, because girls who gets a good ed joke are so few and far between. :)

If I do win the points, though, I will share them with you, because 10,000 seems a bit ostentatious, and I can probably live quite comfortably with "just" 5,000 points.

Al Dimond said...

10,000 points for Joe (and you highlighted your dorkiness, extra bonus)! Well, 5,000 each for Joe and Lisa!

I forgot about the existing point system in place when creating rewards, and focused on giving superlative amounts; to rectify this we need to distinguish between the various point currencies and have an international point market. Initial market values would start around 1,000 Al Points per Danielle Point, but if either of us flood the market with low-hanging points we'll face devaluation/inflation problems.

The flatlander/lowlander distinction is indeed a big one. I live at about 88 feet above sea-level (and Santa Clara and San José are as flat as Chicago), but I'm just a few miles from the Santa Cruz mountains and a few hours from the Sierra Nevadas.

Joe said...

Hooray for being king of the dorks!!!

I just checked, and I am 65 feet above sea level. And I live just a few miles from places upwards of 100 feet above sea level. Woo!