Wow! What a week!

Posted by in MTB XC, Other Stuff

I typically like to wait until I actually have something about which to report before I go on writing my long (yes, I know they’re long) reports.  Now, with no race in sight for about four weeks, this is not an entry I would ordinarily make, but there is a reason the title is “Wow! What a week!”

Following my third place finish at  Racers & Chasers in Poway at the end of January, I came home ready for some good hard training.  The plan was to really ramp up the effort both running and cycling.  There have been some very obvious improvements in my fitness so I wanted to try to take it up a notch.

That was the plan, anyway.  My training week goes from Sunday to Saturday, so having raced on Saturday it gave me the perfect opportunity to start my training on the first day of the week.


Isa and I rode a lap around Fullerton Loop on the mountain bikes where I actually managed to get in her way on one of the climbs.  We made a deal, however, where she agreed to train hard for ‘cross season and I would help her win the series . . . More on that in another post.  Fun. Easy. Recovery.  That was my Sunday.



My typical five mile run around the neighborhood didn’t go as well as I would have liked, although I still made it around all 5-miles feeling pretty darn good.  I averaged about a minute slower pace, but my heart rate was right for the effort.  I have been talking (electronically) to Justin Mann about meals and recipes and cooking.  Cooking is one of the things I’m trying to do more of, to try to take the load off of Claire a little bit at home.  So Monday I made slow baked salmon with lemon & thyme, a spinach & arugula salad with home made dressing, brown rice and edamame.  Claire works marathon hours on Mondays and teaches for 15 hours or something, so I had everything ready for her.

Preparing the salad and the salad dressing (2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1.5 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp of minced shallots, and salt and pepper to taste).


Claire loves this salad, she would eat it every day if I made it.

Then I made the salmon.  First mix a tbsp of fresh thyme in with a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and 1 zest of lemon (my sister had to help me with that “zest of lemon” business).  Then spread it on the salmon, which is on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil that has a half tbsp of extra virgin olive oil brushed on it to coat it.


Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on how big the salmon is and voila!  Dinner is served.  A happy wife is a happy life.


Claire chased it with a glass of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, I with grape juice from Trader Joe’s, and Isa with good ol’ H2O.  I think Justin would be proud.


Awesome commute to work on my Look KG451, which is for sale by the way.  I like my commute to work because it’s constant, it never varies and I can measure against myself in all aspects: speed, HR, even cadence.  Now, I even get an estimate on watts, although I don’t know what to do with them except try to figure out how many bulbs I can light up.  So, I keep it simple: Perceived Effort vs. Speed (distance over time).  I know where I should be (geographically) at about every 30 minute interval.  Rudimentary, I’m sure, especially for all you roadies with fancy PowerTap stuff that’s out there, but this works for me.

Anyway, distance over time was pretty darn good and the perceived effort was easier than ever before.  So I was rather pleased with myself.


I scheduled a meeting with Stevo at the Cyclery Bike Shop and planned to follow that up with an easy 2-mile run.  I wasn’t feeling that great so I decided to call it a rest day and went straight home after work.


It’s the day Dave Williams and I head out from his house for a lap around Fullerton Loop for 30-miles of mountain bike fun.  I hit some snags that almost kept me from making my ride and Claire couldn’t help because she got a message that her 95-year old grandmother was in the hospital for pneumonia.  Claire prepared for the worst as she is wont to do, luckily that was not the case and had it been the case I sincerely believe that the pneumonia didn’t stand a chance against the punch that this 95-year old woman who survived the Bataan Death March with two infant children and a husband who was actively sought after by the invading Japanese army and single-handedly managed to keep her sisters and children from meeting certain doom . . . you get the idea . . . she’s as tough as they come, even at almost a hundred years young.

Claire and Nanay

She didn’t have pneumonia and I’m still not exactly sure what happened, but suffice it to say that she is home again laying down the law.  Oh, and I got my ride in around “the loop” but Dave bent his rim and had to hitch a ride back.  Don’t worry, he went home and promptly fixed his wheel.


Try again: 2-mile run after meeting with Stevo.

“Sorry Stevo.  I’m not feeling well.  See you Monday.”

No run either.


I planned to go on another 30-mile mountain bike ride to Turnbull Canyon this time, but I still wasn’t feeling good.  I called it a rest day again.


This time I had a 50-mile road ride planned that would include about 3000 feet of climbing with Dave:

“Sorry Dave.  I don’t feel good.  I’m going to have to sit this one out.”

Dave’s dad, as it turns out, had spent Saturday in the hospital.  “Possible dehydration,” Dave told me, which prompted my gallon of “Super Bowl Beverage of Choice” picture on Instagram.  He described some of the same symptoms I was feeling.


By Monday I had gone three consecutive days without the ability to train and I woke up feeling shitty again.

“Better go see my doctor.”

At about 11:30 AM he walks in:

“What’s wrong?”

“Lot’s of things.”

I went on to list everything . . . I won’t bore you anymore with anymore details.  He listens to me and then listens to my breathing and says:

“You need a chest X-ray.”

X-rays and blood tests followed and I went home to sleep.

5:15 P.M.

The default iPhone ringtone interrupts my nap.  It’s my doctor (that’s never good).

“Hi Chuy, I got the film from your chest X-ray and you have pneumonia.”


“Yes. That’s why you’re feeling so exhausted and why your back has been hurting.”

He prescribed me antibiotics or something and told me that my training was over for a couple of weeks.

“Pneumonia is the 6th leading cause of death in the US.”

“OK, but when can I ride my bike?”

Stevo understands.


So here I am.  In bed.  Bummed.  Hoping I can kick this annoying condition or illness or disease or whatever it is that won’t let me ride or run.  The doctor said I may be OK to race at Black Mountain on February 25, but I won’t be able to train for it.  I’m planning on racing it either way, even if it’s not for the win.  I don’t know where I’ll be after a minimum of 2 weeks without any training.  I have to keep eating well, at least.

My Comfort Food

Admittedly, I didn’t take the news well.  But I’m back on track.  I can’t forget what I told Dinorah (who is also suffering from respiratory problems):

“I’m doing so well! I’m running more than ever before and enjoying it. I’m faster on my bike, actually won a race – first time ever! And I’ve lost 10 pounds since January 1st. I don’t wanna stop.”

Although Geoff Albert, who is injured from both biking and running, made a very interesting point:

“If god had wanted us to run, he wouldn’t have invented the bicycle!”

Ok, I know that this covered more than a week, but barring any additional anomalous circumstances, you won’t be reading anything from for a few weeks.

Ride on!  . . . without me :(