A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Ride the Rockies 2014 Total Elevation Gain is Like Riding from Sea Level to the Summit of K2

Ride the Rockies 2014 elevation gain
I put together this infographic to illustrate the total elevation gain of Ride the Rockies 2014.
While I was riding yesterday I got to thinking about the total elevation gain of Ride the Rockies 2014. At 28,265 feet, the total elevation gain of RTR this year is equivalent to riding from sea level to the summit of K2, the world's second tallest mountain!

Then I saw Pikes Peak rising in the distance and it dawned on me that K2 is twice the size of Pikes Peak! I have hiked up Pikes Peak, starting in Manitou Springs at 6,720 ft. From there, the Barr Trail climbs 7,395 feet to 14,115. So essentially we will do that four times in six days and 473 miles of riding. Wow.

Ride on!


Friday, April 18, 2014

Ride the Rockies 2014 Training: Putting in the Miles

Ride the Rockies
I've been having trouble getting motivated to write about Ride the Rockies training. Maybe that's because I've had trouble getting motivated to train! It could also be that there's just nothing very exciting about peddling for hours and hours on an indoor trainer. I'll blame it on a combination of both.

Logging miles in the saddle is an important part of endurance training. My goal is to ride 2,000 miles between January 1 and the start of Ride the Rockies on June 8. That would be the most I have ridden prior to the start in my previous seven RTRs. To date I have ridden just over 1,000 miles (three-fourths of which have been on my Cyclops Fluid2 trainer). However, I'm trying to do more than just log miles.

I've been reading up on the importance of mixing up workouts and doing lots of interval training as well as some "long steady distance" rides, also called "long slow distance" or LSD rides (I prefer "steady" to slow after reading this post on five mistakes to avoid in endurance cycling and this one on the myths of long slow distance). If you search "long slow distance" on Google you'll find posts touting both the benefits and the drawbacks but most experts seem to agree that both long, steady rides and shorter interval training rides are both beneficial in building endurance.

My MapMyRun workout calendar from February shows my typical workout schedule this time of year (except I was traveling the entire week of the 3rd while normally my travel is more spread out.)
From January through April I typically ride on the indoor trainer 10-20 miles 4-5 times per week and try to get out outside on the weekends for longer (30-40 mile) rides, when weather allows (we're getting hit with yet another Spring snowstorm as I write this!). In the coming weeks as weather warms up and the days get a little longer I will start riding to and from work (25 miles each way). Eventually I'll be able to put the trainer in storage until Fall. I look forward to that day!

It's hard to believe that two months from today Ride the Rockies will be OVER! That means we only have 8 weeks left to train. That means I need to average 130 miles/week to reach my goal. I've been averaging about 75. Time to kick it up a notch :)

Ride on!


Saturday, March 15, 2014

BEEFWIFE: Tenderloin Steaks with Arugula Salad and Sweet and Spicy Beets

I’m getting spring fever! Every chance I get, I’m sitting on the deck in the sun and looking in my garden for bulbs to come up. If I were planting a garden this summer (but I’m not), I might consider arugula. I’ve really developed a taste for this salad green. My copy of “The New Food Lover’s Companion” describes it as a “bitterish, aromatic salad green with a peppery mustard flavor” and a “source of iron as well as Vitamins A and C.”

I’m looking forward to enjoying this recipe from The Healthy Beef Cookbook, Tenderloin Steaks with Arugula Salad and Sweet and Spicy Beets. I made it this past summer for a light supper with the BEEFMAN then had the leftovers for lunch the next day. I think it might have been even better leftover as a little time gave the heat from the cayenne a chance to come up; nice ZIP!! I’ve included my notes in the recipe below.

Leave a comment here or on BEEFMAN's Facebook and tell me what tasty treat you’re yearning for this spring. I’ll draw one winner from the comments received and send you a copy of The Healthy Beef Cookbook!

Tenderloin Steaks with Arugula Salad and Sweet and Spicy Beets

Makes 4 servings; one hour prep and cooking time.

2 cups diced peeled beets (smaller beets will be tenderer)
1 cup orange juice

2 Tbsp. honey

1/8 to 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper (also called Cayenne)

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/4 tsp. salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. cumin seeds

4 beef tenderloin steaks, cut 1 inch thick, about 4 oz. each (we used flat iron steak, also called a top blade steak)

Salt, as desired

1 can (15 oz.) Mandarin orange segments, drained

6 cups arugula

Freshly grated orange peel (optional)

Combine beets, orange juice, honey and pepper in small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 40-45 minutes or until beets are tender (less time if you like them a little crunchy). Drain beets, reserving cooking liquid; cool.

Heat beet-cooking liquid over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup; cool slightly. Whisk in vinegar, oil and 1/4 tsp. salt; set aside to use as dressing.

Press garlic and cumin seeds evenly onto beef steaks. Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 13 to 15 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally. (Now the BEEFMAN would tell you to sear the steaks on both sides and then move them off the direct heat and cover...low and slow for about 20 minutes. And be sure to let the meat rest at least five minutes before slicing.) Season with salt, as desired.

Toss beets, orange segments, and arugula in a large bowl; drizzle with dressing. Serve with steaks. Garnish with orange peel, if desired.

The Healthy Beef Cookbook provides these two additional tips: 1) to broil, place steaks on rack in broiler pan so surface of beef is 2 to 3 inches from heat. Broil 13 to 16 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning once; and 2) baby spinach can also serve as a tasty substitute for arugula.


Leslie (aka the BEEFWIFE)