Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mountain REST Road

The key word here to focus on is REST, which is not in any equation of tonight's time trial attempt. The course (8 miles) starts out flat, then pitches sharply up Dug Road, decends a bit then hits the monster, chew you up, spit you out, 2 mile climb before ending at the bridge in front of the entrance to the Mohonk Mtn House. It was 95 degrees at the start.
I had several epiphanies tonight. I realized that even after a couple of days of really pour sleep and 3 days off the bike, my legs felt really good. Rich also worked on my hip for an hour this morning, which felt as if it had a full range of motion for the first time in years. Spending 5 hours up at Minnewaska, hanging out with Pete, while really relaxing, was somewhat taxing, the sun and the water made my more tired. Pizza, while usually a really good fuel, doesn't do so well under anaerobic conditions.

We pedaled to the start, I was lagging behind a bit, but I just decided to increase my cadence (spin) and found that I caught up easily. I still had to pee. When we started, every tree was covered with Poison Ivy , so I decided to hang up the stump queen act and tough it out. Ok we start, 5 miles flat, several things I noticed in that 15 minutes. I was caught much later tonight, last week on this course it was 4:38 with 30 second interval starts, tonight, it was 7:58 with my start being a minute and the rest 30 seconds (same amount of people). I was excited about that. I hit the first climb at the 15 minute mark (5 miles) and managed to climb well at first holding off going anaerobic until the really steep part, which then I buried my heart rate to the point of feeling like I was going to pass out. Jon had gotten a flat so at the top of the climb I stopped to give him my supplies (really I was trying to get my HR to recover a bit- sorry Jon, I did want to help too). I got a stern "you still have some climbing to do so get out of here..." only to loose my chain in front of an old cemetery 3 times after hitting that climb. I get myself underway and it was grueling, at one point right before the preserve, where it gets really steep my dinner decided to make an exceptional and forceful exit, the only problem was that I was clipped in and could not unclip under that pressure so rather than hurl while pedaling and risk a crash I made the split second decision to turn around, unclip, leave my mark and then continue up the hill. OK, I know you are all thinking this is a race against the clock and...
I had a number in my head that was very conservative, given the heat, knowing that course, and given my ability. I only wanted to make the bridge in an hour. I made it in 55 minutes. It was slow, it was grueling, it was my 110% without passing out. The only thing I would have changed about tonight's ride was my sunglass lenses. I had to descend without glasses, and between the bugs and the dust, I had to take that fairly slow too.

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