Years ago I used to do a lot of road running and road biking. And I mean a lot. I used to do brick workouts; that is do a bike ride then go right out for a run. I loved doing duathlons. Not a swimmer so only ever done one triathlon (plus a reply - I biked). I once did the Chicago Powerman Duathlon which is a long course race.
Maybe that is what got me into ultra running plus picking up a copy of Ultrarunning magazine on a trip to Arizona one year. OK I've only done five ultras all 50k (well one was a 8 hour but I did 50k at it). Most ultras are held on trails rather than roads. Guess that is easier than closing down roads to traffic for hours. My first real trail run was at Wisconsin Glacial Trial 50k many many years ago. I trained for that race on the Chicago lakefront. Not the best type of training plan but it got me to the finish and GT50 is not an easy course for the Midwest. I loved it and went back the following year. Of course that is all Nikki's fault and maybe Mary's.
As mentioned I used to do a lot of road biking and running. I swear my marathon PR was due to an great year of biking that year. Think that was my Powerman year as well but I'd need to check and confirm.
With my discovery of trail running, that I still love to this day, I knew I'd end up mountain biking. After I moved from the Chicago lakefront to the western burbs I finally purchased that bike in 2003. A Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo. I got a good price on the bike from a good local store.
I purchased the bike right before winter 2003/2004 knowing I'd have to wait to ride until 2004, at least that was the plan. Sadly I got ill in early spring of 2004. Not really sure what I had but it was a nerve disorder in my legs causing me trouble with walking and some strong prescription medicine. It took six months to cure the issue and then I had to get my leg strength back. That I did but for some reason my bikes, the Gary Fisher plus a Specialized road bike sat gathering dust while I set about to get back into running with the goal of a return to marathons and ultras. That goal was achieved in 2010 when I finished both in the same year (you can read the reports elsewhere on my blog), but the bikes just sat there.
That is about to change. I still will be running and really want to do an ultra in 2012 but know cross training is what really works for me. Time to get the bikes ready. Few weeks ago I unlocked my mountain bike, gave it a good dusting and pumped air into the tires. I posted to Facebook and ChiAcycle group to get advise on what may and maybe not be needed for maintainance as the bike as sat for way to long. Got some great advice which I'll be doing very soon, just deciding on the course of "action". I'll soon be hitting the trails. Likely start off on the nearby Illinois Prairie Path to get the feel of biking again before trying the trails at Knoch Knolls. Doubt I'll get up to the level needed for Palos this year as I will be combining my training time between running and biking with running will come first due to ultra running plans. Mountain biking will play a big part of my crossing training plis something else I need get back to is yoga, one of the best recovery tools a runner can use.
Lastly before I sign off I have to give a BIG thanks and shout out to my friend Dave Johnsen. He noticed a comment at the end of my bike maintainance question about next getting a bike rack for my car. Dave had won a Saris Bones 2 rack in a raffle in a ride in the Ozark's a number of years ago. He already had a rack he used so this prize sat in his home unboxed and unused. Dave very kindly offered me the rack. I actually had not seen Dave in a number of years so he meet me in Wilmette this past week where I was attending a talk given by ultrarunner and author Dean Karnazes. It was great to catch up with Dave, just like old times. Thanks a million Dave. Once I get my biking back in gear we should ride my friend.
This is the Saris Bones 2 rack (photos from the Saris website)