The temperatures tried hard to finally beat the freezing mark and generally broke in to the mid 40's over the weekend. Hardly shorts weather and I was still using toe warmers. But at least I wasn't fighting snow and ice like last weekend.
Friday I was training by doing micro intervals, pushing had up the hills. I was supposed to do it on a trail if possible but we won't be riding on any trails for some time. So I used a portion of my back road route that had a lot of hills on it. I managed to see some of my highest wattage and HR numbers on this ride and was worn out when done. The intensity of the short efforts was not something I had been doing yet but is the phase I'm moving into now.
Saturday was a long ride and was intended to get used to riding at the endurance level I thought I would sustain for the 100 mile races. Trying to keep a steady pace while monitoring wattage as well as nutrition and hyrdration. Starting off in the morning my legs were definitely feeling the effects of the previous day.
I noticed that while I intentionally kept the effort in check I was only a couple of minutes off my pace of some of my faster times at the early checkpoints I use on my route for reference. I was slower by the time I hit my turn around spot but part of that was due to the roads becoming worse the farther I went into the ride.
The roads were starting to dry in spots but others were full of holes and water and mud were in quite a few spots. by the time I got home I knew my bike was going to need some parts replaced due to the constant wear of the mud and grit over the last few months. Even cleaning the bike after each ride does not prevent the wear that build up with repeated use.
The first local mountain bike race is supposed to be in two weeks but the condition of the trails is questionable. Every year the promoter has an early race and every year there is a debate on whether the race should be held, damage potential to the trails, etc. Last year the weather cooperated just in time to make the trails OK. This year we may not be as fortunate. And people may not wait for the trails to really be OK for riding so that they can practice for the race which will tear up the trails even more.
I wonder if the Cohutta race in TN will be the first time I actually get to ride off road this year? Although the dirt roads lately have made it seem like I'm on a trail :-)