Well, the 8th edition of the pre-Silver Rush BS sessions was carried out as planned, despite the merciless heat and humidity. BS # 8 took place on Saturday morning and it completed my longest training week in the 11 week program. Actually, it was the longest training week I can remember, ever! I know that carries little value to the typical high-mileage athlete, but a guy's biggest week is his biggest week. Right?
My previous training for CO running and climbing matched this last week only in that I ran about the same number of miles -80. Cycling was not a factor in any of the previous CO programs because I had previously focused on the running - of hills. Last week I also rode hilly courses four times for 144 (gross!) miles.
BS #8 started at 5:30 am after an evening at the Cheeseburger in Paradise. I had spent the evening out with friends who will be meeting me in CO next month for the Silver Rush and some climbing. We had great conversation and good beers while planning for CO and reminiscing.
One notable story that was retold Friday night was about an incident that took place six years ago while I was on a training ride. While I was riding on a seldom-used farm road, on a spectacular summer morning, a red Mustang passed me with a roar as the driver stepped on the gas. He not only brought the car within inches of my left shoulder, he cut over within inches of my front wheel. To say I was pissed would be an understatement. There was little time to react, though, because driver steered the right wheels off of the edge of the pavement. He then over-steered back onto the road in front of me, crossed completely to the other side of the road, and then turned hard back toward my side of the road. Ten foot deep ditches line each side of the road, so I sat up and waited for the show to play out.
The Mustang flew across the ditch on my side of the road, hit the far side of the ditch, and flipped twice through the air before landing upside down on the six-inch high corn. I slowed as a huge dust cloud spread out like a nuclear mushroom cloud. Amazingly, the guy came crawling and cursing from the open passenger door. He looked over at me as he brushed himself off and I flipped him off. I smiled upon realizing that I would come by a fifteen minutes later after I turned around on my out/back course. Several emergency vehicles were already there when I returned to the scene. I smiled at him as I rode next to the ambulance he stood behind. He flipped me off. Carma!
Anyway . . .yesterday's run was 30 miles. It wasn't easy, but I forced myself to drink a gallon more water than last Sunday. Knowing that I had limped home 12 pounds lighter in similarly muggy conditions on Sunday, I drank a gallon more with hopes that I would come home only about four pounds light. And that happened. And I felt great at the end of the run, despite the constant sloshing of water in my gut, as I covered the last three miles at sub-7 pace while averaging 7:16 for the entire run. I ran up that hill at the end two times to make up for Sunday. What a difference a few days and better nutrition can make. Lesson learned.
A sub-2 hour 40 mile bike ride followed the run. It was carried out on the same hilly loop I have used this year. Believe me, I was elated to be climbing hills while seated near the end of that ride. There might be hope for me yet!
While I am not sure that needing to consume nearly five gallons of water and a dozen salt tablets in one day is good for a human, I am certain that my overall fitness and strength is increasing. Increasing enough, hopefully, to help me reach the goals.
I am writing this from the Boone, NC Panera. Tyler is safely tucked inside of the A&P camp at nearby Appalachian State University. Me, I will be running, riding, and climbing my way around the area for the next five days while he cuts up critters and cadavers. This should be fun for both of us! ST