Changing My Best Laid Plans

I have a three week digital plan laid out for my training camp here in Gunnison.  The first week was fairly low intensity, heading to what looked like a low key road race outside of Denver, then a week of harder more balanced triathlon training and a week of taper leading into Tahoe.  Or at least, this was the first draft of my ideal plan.  However, when uncontrollables start to interrupt an ideal plan it is very important to include one other quality – flexibility.  That will be the new buzz word of the 2006 Tahoe Preparation Plan.  Flexibility.

The first surprise of this camp came shortly after I picked up my rental car to drive to Parker which is just outside of Denver.  I was super late getting out of Gunnison and had not picked up the car until 6:30 pm and by the time I packed it and was out the door it was after 7:00pm.  I had somewhere between three and four hours to get there.  Yuck.  I found a good radio station and hit the road just as it was getting dark and resigned myself to a long non-stop mission to my homestay i for the Parker Omnium Road Race.

It is amazing to me how sometimes you know before it happens what is going to happen.  It was dark and I was in the middle of a giant stretch of open space.  I thought to myself, “What would I do if I broke down here?”  I considered that I had a road bike in the back seat so if it were absolutely necessary to get somewhere from nowhere I could ride there.  I guess that gave me some comfort to know that.  

I bet it was only 15 minutes later that the engine light came on in my rental vehicle and all of a sudden I was coming to a stop.  The engine was in the red for the temperature gauge and the check engine light came on.  I was in the middle of I-dunno-where and no-cell-service-here.  Plus it was freezing cold out, not a nice night for a bike ride on the side of a very dark highway with no shoulder and lots of large vehicles.  I can add to that dilemma that I left the house with less than a bar of cell charge to start with and roaming drains the battery pretty heavily.  My worst nightmare was playing itself out…


Read more

Oh off to altitude train I go…

I finished XTC Canada, an offroad triathlon in Port Moody, BC which will become our Canadian Nationals in 2007, just before heading down here to Gunnison, Colorado.  This will be my home base for my three week altitude camp leading into Lake Tahoe for the US Xterra National Championships on October 1st.  I think I am going to be ready.

The race on Saturday at Buntzen Lake was hard.  Hard not only because I felt like poo coming off a week of being sick but also just plain hard.  It was cold and rainy.  The bike course was pretty unforgiving, with lots of loose steep climbs that my crappy legs just could not get me up.  Plus the run was hilly and sketchy in sections and after a hard bike course with bad legs I was suffering.  Danelle Kabush was right on my heels the whole race making it a hard day at the office.  She schooled me on the run by almost 2 minutes!  I was glad to put that race in the bank because I needed to shake out the cobwebs before Tahoe so I think the next race is going to be much better. 

That being said, Xterra Canada is a must attend.  It is stunning.  The scenery is incredible. The swim is in a clear lake that is smooth as glass.  The bike course is sketchy when it rains, but just plain fun no matter what .  The run course is PERFECT training for Maui… just the right amount of hills interspersed with speed.  You should go.  Next year I am going to claim the national title so I will see ya there.

 Now I am up…. waaaaaay up…. sucking air through a straw at 7700 feet.  Gunnison is so cool.  I ride a town bike to go grocery shop, swim, to the bike store… you don't need a car here which rocks.  Ashley and Jackie Burt are my hosts who are also training for the race in Tahoe.  We are united with a common purpose… Tahoe domination.  It is so great.  Ashley, Jackie and Brian Smith took me out on this ride today to the top of the earth where I could barely push my granny ring (I think they were all about 15 minutes in front of me on an hour climb… wait till next week you guys!) and then we rode down a sketchier than Maui rocky descent that rattled the fillings I don't have out of my teeth.  FUN!  I was dropped mercilessly.  The swim and the run before dinner were accomplished because we are united by a common purpose.  Train hard and smart.  I love training camp.

 So I will be back with the details of my Tahoe preparation in a week.  I go road race this weekend, then I do a week of specific training before I head to Tahoe.  I will fill you in on the deets before the race so you have some info to take to the bookie before you place your bets on finishes in Tahoe.  

 I know who my money is on Laughing

Where do we go from here?

Ok, I could not stand another day of my "wee wee wee oh cry cry I had a bad race in Chicago" post so I am posting something new.  Yes, Chicago was so incredibly bad I wish I could erase my presence on the start line.   What do you do?  If you are sick, you are sick.  Probably should not have started but I did and it went poorly and wow, that is terrible.  Yes, you are only as good as your last race.  However, now that I have spent the last week recuperating (read: not training) I am fortunate to soon have the opportunity to toe the line again and turn my  next last race into something worth talking about.

So the question is:  what is the next race?  Unfortunately, not Los Angeles.  7 days of no training means Mel is flat and I think I need to go bike racing.  I am going to fly straight to Colorado and do two stage races instead, one road and one mountain, to make sure I can fly uphill on sandy terrain, going from 6,700 feet to up to 8,800 feet in somewhere over an hour and less than 90 minutes, then scream the descent with the greatest of ease and then run a freakin fast 10km.  Oh yeah, and swim in 50 degree water with higher surf than Hawaii.  That is Xterra Nationals and that is the next race I am going to win.

 You heard it here first.