08 March, 2009

Training Adjustments

Yesterday I got all the news about the final podium line-up at Snake Creek Gap. As awesome as it is that Shane "Dedicated Athlete" Schriehart shattered my time, along with the second place guy, it certainly smacked me awake about the season basically slipping away due to the work schedule. I'm basically not gonna race anything, PMBAR, DSG and SSUSA withstanding. Luckily they are all back to back to back, so I'll kill myself in May and then get back to work I guess.

The only thing still on the agenda is CTR. My hope is that I have enough basal fitness, willingness to survive, and back country experience to make it through the "race" from Denver to Durango. Still, one can't rest on his laurels, and I do need to continue to put in miles. CTR is about a whole lot more than the miles though. Its about performing in all kinds of heinous situations, levels of misery or all out bad planning.

I've developed a training schedule, and tested it out this weekend. I figure at any given point of that race I will be dehydrated, sleep deprived, malnourished, exposed to weather, suffering some sort of bike set up issue, or experiencing low morale. I need a way to experience that fantastic starting line up of suffering each time a get a little time to ride out here on the road.

So here's how it went down. Started last night with a lite dinner at a friends house, accompanied by two bottles of red, and a bottle of port for dessert. Decided we should all step out, and hit two of Los Feliz' local bars, the Tiki-Ti and some place I don't remember the name of. The Tiki Ti is a family owned, authentic to the next level Tiki bar with fruity rum drinks drank by hardened old men at the bar because they are strong as hell. Its a paradox of alcoholic proportions if I've ever seen one. That surely oughtta take care of the Dehydration part for tomorrow.

Not enough room on the couch for the two of us, so I take the floor. She's already asleep, and the vacancy left by me needs be covered up with my only blanket, because I'm just that kind of guy. So now I'm on a cold wood floor with a sheet mummified over my entire body trying to hold my exhale warmth in. I'm pretty sure I slept a little, but it was mostly all about tossing and turning and shivering. Sleep Deprivation taken care of.

Wake up at 8, now 9 thanks to DST and make a cup of Intelligentsia Coffee (lucky friend has one of their only shops around the corner). That's breakfast. Revisit Dehydration, and enter under nourished.

Ride from Los Feliz back to downtown LA, where my paid for but unused hotel room awaits me. Rather than sit around all day and get shit done, I decide to put some miles in. A quick thievery from map my ride, and I've got my route all planned out.

I grab the cross bike, because that makes perfect sense for a road ride. I don't have a floor pump, so the hand pump has to do...probably running about 60 psi in the tires. Perfect bike set up right?

And because its LA, and sunny, I take off in shorts, jersey, some Swiftwick 12's, and shove a vest in a rear pocket on my way up to a snow covered 5700 ft Mt. Wilson summit. I was so cold, even working on the way up, that I lost feeling in my entire arms, and my knees turned purple. The hour descent was pretty painful too. Perfect suffering temperatures.

And much like I'm fully expecting of CTR, the scenery was amazing. Scrubby rocky, craggy hills, covered in the dead husks of century plants, slowly morphed into snow dotted slopes and thickly clouded vistas. The roundtrip was 72 miles, and Motionbased's most conservative elevation profile puts the total gain at 11,500. I had two bottles of plain ole H2O, and 3 packets of Sport Beans, the last available at a shop in LA. I by no means "killed it" out there today, but I did get a nice 5 hour ride in. Data for ya

Gehry architecture on the way out of LA
Hills along the bottom of Angeles Crest Hwy
A little higher up, and still clear.
Almost near the top, but the last place to get a clear shot, there's some snowy peaks off in the distance.
Two things here; the cloud I climbed into that blocked my summit prize, and the fact that the only way you know you reach a summit is when you see cell towers. What gives?

I'm now one step closer to finishing the CTR.


John Davis said...

And some cannot understand why I like LA so much. As usual, nice write-up, Rob!

If you are looking for some fast guys to ride with, I have a friend who manages the West Coast Fisher MTB team. He lives in Pasadena. Let me know, and I will provide you with his contact information.

Ohio Robb said...

and I got to pass Mr. Armstrong on his way down the Crest hwy, just out riding with a handful of guys...pretty cool

doug said...

Kudos! What a story. Hahaha. Behind the 8-ball from the getgo.