Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Rocky Training

Mid-June I left the State for a slow trip to a cousin's wedding in Denver.  At one of the first stops along the way I explored parts of the 75 mile Coeur d'Alene bike path.  A rails-to-trails path, the Coeur d'Alene path is fairly tame with grades rarely exceeding 2-3%.  In-spite of this, I highly recommend the area as the view's and wildlife along the trail are quite magnificent.  On my first evening out, I saw moose, not once but twice, first in the lake adjacent to the path and then on the path itself.

After, Coeur d'Alene it was on to Montana, and then down to Yellowstone.  Cycling through Yellowstone and the Tetons was particularly special.  At Yellowstone, I did a number of training rides.  The two most notable were a 110 loop around the inner park and then a one-way trip from the lake area over to the Roosevelt camp.  Besides offering a dramatic backdrop one of the truly special things about cycling at Yellowstone was the chance to train consistently at higher elevations (6,000 - 9,000 ft).  While the higher elevations did make climbing a tad more difficult, cruising on the flats at elevation was awesome.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

May to June Infections

Last December Race Across Oregon plans were hatched.  The crew was rounded up and the wheels were set in motion for another greater race.  Mid-may hot in the middle of stage racing season, I raced the first 3 stages of the mount hood stage race.  As a whole the race seemed successful, a fitness builder, all in preparation for RAO, but on returning to Corvallis I was almost immediately hit with a respiratory infection.   Out for two weeks, it was slim, mucus, hacking.  On the third week I started to feel better, began to slowly bring things back online.  The legs felt atrophied, power was down but not out.  Then a week later, the infection was back, and this time lasted until early mid-june.  Back again on the bike, I started to ramp back up.   For the first few weeks I was winded climbing over the freeway and the local training-ride-race had me hacking up residual lung scum at every sprint point.

The first major fitness test came at the watermelon double, a fast, easy, and fun double century located right here in the Willamette Valley.  I took off strong, and the first, 60 miles were easy as pie.  But then it got harder, and harder.  I finished with a respectable time but was physically exhausted to a much greater extent then one could be and still be a finishing contender at RAO.  Seeing the writing on the wall, and after consulting the crew, I withdrew from the 2008 RAO.  After, three years of racing RAO, once solo, and twice on two person teams, the one thing I know for sure is to that going into RAO, there needs to be no reservations, no doubt, no question, and this year given the unfortunate mid-season illness I wasn't sure I could make it up Bakeoven much less past the reservation dogs under my own power..