Friday, March 13, 2009

First time workout

Red = Capital Crescent Trail, Yellow = Rock Creek Trail, Blue = Mt Vernon Trail, 4.6hrs worth of riding

I dropped my rental bike off on Thursday morning after riding, as Friday was going to be stressful enough without having to drop a bike off and barely make a flight. Thursday's ride was relatively easy, about 1.6hrs worth putzing around the nation's capital and a jaunt up the Rock Creek bike path. Nice climb at the end, actually, about 300ft vertical. So after I sifted through work email, I pondered how I could anneal the muscles before what was sure to be tough meeting coming up.

Brett travels more than I do, and he often finds himself in high-rise hotels. Nobody uses the stairwells in those things. Perfect personal gym actually. He'll do repeats. One time he intervalled 40 floors three times. I was in a much smaller hotel, only 14 floors, and only 12 of those were connected by a continuous stairway. Still could work, I thought. I brought some casual running style attire along for just such a contingency.

Along Rock Creek

The idea is to run up by two's at a pace you barely hold for the duration. I had no idea how quickly I could run up 160 steps, in my case. There were 19 u-turn landings along the way too. I brought the HRM along just for curiosity, a device I haven't used in maybe a year now. First time up, about 1.1 minutes. I took steps down by one's to go easy on the knees and reduce risk of rolling an ankle. It was perfect built in recovery. I continued doing repeats. As I warmed up, I was able to take seconds off each time. I got it down to well under a minute. Heart rate was still rising rapidly upon reaching the top. These were pure, explosively anaerobic intervals, something I don't regularly do on the bike. It was all quadriceps. After seven of these bursts in 20 minutes, I pretty much managed to turn my quads into jelly. Mission accomplished. I'll definitely have to keep these kinds of workouts in mind for future business travel. I'll select hotels based on how tall they are. I never encountered another person during my workout. They probably would have exited at the nearest floor, seeing this freak fly up stairs at 10x the speed most people go down them. Wish the Washington Monument was still open to the public. 555ft of stairs. Unofficial record is 6.7 minutes, although I bet it wouldn't be as vacant as my stairway was this morning.

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