Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I Think I'm Done Now. Really.

The bike on top of Taylor Pass after riding up Express Creek Road.
Monday was a day off and I certainly needed it after the long day on Saturday and some light walking around and a short ride on Sunday.  Yesterday though I had an awesome long (in duration) run up Midnight Mine Road to the summit of Aspen Mountain (Ajax) and road the gondola down.  The first hour wasn't so great but as I got higher up Midnight Mine Road I started to feel just fine.

Ran the entire thing, kept everything in check and in the MAF range.  8.95 miles with 3976 feet of gain.  Felt solid the entire run... well, except for the warmup that is.  My brain is becoming engaged now and thinking of "other things" past Leadman.  Definitely a good sign.

The route from the apartment up to the Sundeck.  It was pretty rainy from mile five on.  Glad to ride the Gondola down!
Today was to be a long ride. With all the rain we have been getting it was rather sketch if I could pull it off or not.  Fortunately the weather held, I mean it rained some and it did get wet for a spell but nothing nearly as bad as it could have been.

Ambitious would best describe my plan for today's ride.  My goal was to leave the apartment, head up to Ashcroft via Castle Creek Road, catch Express Creek Road up to Taylor Pass then Richmond Ridge Road North all the way to the top of Aspen Mountain then just bomb down Aspen Mountain on Summer Road.  My goal time for all of this was five hours.  I did it in 5:21 and that includes a good portion of dicking around time and even stopping once to clean the chain and re-lube it.  I made the Sundeck right at five hours... it only took me 21 minutes to get down off the mountain and home.  I was flying!

Anyway, 34.38 miles, 8107 feet in gain and I did it in 5:21:32.  Avg elevation was 10585 for the day.

Today's loop up to Taylor Pass and back to Aspen.  I rode it counterclockwise.
And for s's and g's, here is the elevation profile for today's ride.
The past two days have been huge confidence builders for me.  I am going to need all that I can get to get through the next three weeks.   As far as the bike goes, today proved to me that I am more than strong enough to finish the 100.  Speed?  Well, I'm just going to have to wait and see how that plays out for me on the 9th. I'm still working on the bugs in the programming...

But past all of this?  There is still RRR100 in Steamboat on the 13th of September.  THAT is actually my endgame for the summer.  Survive the next three weeks, recover and then do what I have to do to get ready for that race.

Really RRR100 has been lodged waaay back in the back of my mind these past few months, even if I did register in January.  But now it is slowly moving to the forefront which is good.  It's another sign of my confidence rising.  I can look past the next three weeks and see myself on the other side and then getting ready for Steamboat.  Actually I am starting to look forward to RRR100.  Again, another good sign.

But for now, I am done.  For the next 17 days or so, no more big workouts.  No more big runs, and no more big rides.  The past three months at least I feel as if I have been on the ragged edge of training, always exhausted and always fatigued.  It has shown in my races for sure.  But now I am feeling way stronger, not as fatigued, and with this window of rest opening up for me now I can't see my confidence, my ambition, my drive, and my optimism going in any direction except for up.

Nope... no last minute desperation training here... :)

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