Saturday, May 10, 2008

Ski to Sea Training Report #3

So I've been meaning to post a Ski to Sea Training Report after every training session, but as you can see I haven't gotten around to it. So we're starting with 3. I am doing the road bike this year - last year I did the canoe, and let's just say I wasn't the first to sign up for that leg this year. The road bike leg is the longest leg at 38.5 miles, and takes the race from deep in the mountains out to the Nooksack River, where the Canoe leg takes over.

Michelle and I started training just over a week ago (the race is two weeks away - May 29th). Our first outing I went 13 miles in about an hour and a half. Not bad, considering it was all flatland stuff, compared to the race which will trend more towards downhill. On Thursday we went out again, but only did 5 miles.

Today was the big cheese. The whole ball o' wax. I went up the mountain with our runner (leg before me), our cross country skier, and our downhill skier. They dropped me off at the exact spot where I'll take off from on race day, and I had 38.5 miles ahead of me. The first third of the race has the most downhill sections. My top speed was 34.3 mph, but there were some uphill sections, most notably just as I came into Maple Falls. It was tough enough that I needed a break, and I stopped for about 5 minutes. From there it was again mostly downhill, but less dramatic. At Kendall the race takes a sharp turn north on Kendall Road. This section was tough because it is essentially flat, and my legs were pretty weak by that point. My left calf actually started cramping mildly. The route turns west again at South Pass Road, and at this intersection I took another little snack/rest break. When I got going again I struggled up a steep but short little hill, and a few miles later came upon a more drawn out uphill climb. My legs gave out about half way up, and I paused again. I recovered enough to make my way up the hill, but it was getting tougher. I noticed on South Pass Road that the uphill climbs were more frequent and less likely to end with the relief of a downhill section and more likely to gradually give way to a flat section or slight downhill incline. No rest for weary legs. The final 3 miles into the towns of Everson and Nooksack was actually very pretty, and I got a nice rhythm going, averaging between 14 and 15 mph most of the way.

All in all I think it took me between 2 and 2 and a 1/2 hours. I finished at 1:35pm, and I think I left between 11:15 and 11:30am, but I didn't check before I took off (d'oh!). Not bad for my first outing. I think a really good time is 1.5 hours.

More later as the training rolls on!

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