Monday, March 31, 2008

Warmer but wet

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 :-)


Justin L said...

I went and checked out a 2 mile stretch of a rail trail right by my house and in spots I was down to the tops of the rims on the cross bike. I rode has much has I could on the grass along the edge to help me to not sink in but there was a few spots it didn't matter and there is still ice and snow in some parts. It could be until the end of April by the time most trails are ready to ride. :(

Are you able to come to the Wednesday night ride.With the group?

Danielle said...

Luckily Cohutta is mostly roads. Your training will be perfect for the race!

Steve Kinley said...

Danielle: And if Cohutta is wet I'll be ready for sure. You have been working your butt off I see. Be careful you don't blow away in a strong wind.

Justin: Some trails do dry pretty fast, especially on the west side of the state where it's sandier soil.

I don't normally do the Stony rides; too much talk and too little riding :-) Most of my rides have a set schedule and purpose to them, and on weekdeays I try to get out (or on the trainer) by 4:00 and finish by 7:00. Actually this Wednesday is an off day on my plan anyway.

Justin L said...

Hey four of us at the stony ride broke free really early on and turned at a good speed. I wish there was someone there to really push me I. I got up to 28 mph at one point but I felt like I could hold 20 to 22 the whole way that night. Let me know when maybe I can come up and you can show me some of that loop up there. I should have my new bike really soon. Maybe we could hook up and ride on one of your easier rides. That way I am not holding you up any.