Monday, May 28, 2007

Hanging It On Out There

One of my top 10 training rules has to go something like "if it's working, keep doing it. If not, try something different." ... Well, it IS working. But I also needed a break from "homework". Not a break where I work 90 hours in a week and can barely sleep, much less train (see a week ago). This past week was much better. I moved some days around, but hit all my training. My long run isn't up to "plan standard" yet (see earlier knee references), but otherwise I was there.

I busted out of the mold this weekend. Having not been on my mountain bike since February (in many feet of soft cushy snow). And before that, I hadn't been trail riding for years.. One might argue that I'd never ridden trails more than a few hours, and certainly no more than say 15, maaaabye 20 miles. Well, life is different now in Ironman training land.. We don't do things in 20 minute blocks.

Thanks to the prodding from Tmontee, I entered the 6 hour solo mountain bike race at the WEMS New Fane race. Thanks to MTB Girl, and her crew, for putting on fun time for all. Where else can you pay someone to count laps while you ride your bike as long as you wish. Trust me, 6 hours was longer than I wished for. I managed to clock 4 plus hours and 6 laps (28-ish miles) of mountain biking. Absolutely everyone was beyond courteous. I knew I was the slow guy, I did what I could to stay out of the way and get my training in. The faster guys (near everyone) all thanked me as they blew by.. I forgot how much fun trail riding was. Though, a guy used to 3.5 hours on the road finds new places to be sore after 4 hours of mountain biking. My legs had a good amount of go left in them, but my shoulders and hands screamed "DONE!".

I highly recommend these type of events to folks who can mountain bike, but might not want all the hubbub of some of the shorter races. It was low key, good clean fun. Show up with your 35 bux, 30 minutes prior to the race, and you're in.. Set your cooler off to the side of the track, and make your own pit stops. Just beware, the trails might not be as "easy" as some might say..

I recognized Coop from his wedding pics on some blog, at the start of the race. Bubba came up and introduced himself. I saw Coffee King, whom I new in a past life.. I hate to list, cause I'm probably leaving out tons of folks I met.. I even met a triathlete or two out there.

Tee up for next weekend the 100 mile ride at Trek 100 Ride for Childhood Cancer. See you all out there. Time to put my head down and hammer through the week.


MTB Girl said...

Thanks for joining us at New Fane! Glad you enjoyed the day.

jdz said...

Nice job!

I'm considering a return to IM next year but am thinking of including this kind of thing as a significant part of my "training" (quotes because mountain biking is so damn fun its hard to consider it training). I need to shake things up a bit IM training wise and god knows I love the dirt!

As a side note, I'm impressed that the arms/core made it that long on the MTB after spending all your time on the road. The first few times I hit the trail after CDA last year my arms and back were shaking, regardless of how good of shape I was in otherwise. The trail uses muscles the road doesn't even know exist ...