Sunday, July 01, 2012

Higher and Higher

Wasn't exactly feeling all that recovered from last week's race but I'm already started to obsess over my next race and by Saturday I knew I had to suck it up and get back out there for something beyond easy recovery training.  The School Bus Trail is not in the West Mag closure area and there's a way to access it also without going into the closure area if you know how.  My next race is the Xterra Mountain Championships in Beaver Creek, just outside of Vail, and that race is all about the climbing.  And not just climbing but climbing at a high elevation.  The bike ranges from 7425' to 9456' so I decided I'd better hit the high country at least once this weekend.  Plus, so hot in town, not quite as bad up at 9000'.  This trail felt so much steeper than 900' in 3.25 miles though to be fair I rode more than that.  Not sure where on the trail this map is measured from.  In all I rode 11 miles in 2 hours, 5 minutes, the portion up School Bus taking about 50 minutes from the start of the trail at the road to the top which I suspect is farther than the 3.25 miles shown on this map and measured from a different starting point.  I think I was around 5 minutes faster than a few weeks ago.  Didn't feel as hard anyway.

School Bus Trail

The bike portion of my race has a climb of 2000' in 5 miles and an overall elevation gain of 3600' in 15.5 miles.  The good news is that I don't think the trails are all that technical but I'm not sure I'll make it up there to pre-ride the course.  The run has a total elevation gain of 1300' in 5.75 miles and consists of 2 climbs separated by a downhill section.  The biggest of the climbs is around 607' in 2 miles.  So today I went up to Heil Ranch which isn't all that high but I didn't feel like driving and it's only 12 minutes or so away and provides a climb of 822' in 2.5 miles, just a bit steeper than my race.

Somehow the trail didn't feel as steep as it usually does but this could have been due to the snail's pace I was running thanks to the over 90 degree heat.  I was in the woods and there was occasional cloud cover but still, a hot day for a nearly 2 hour run.

I went a bit farther than this, linking up to Wild Turkey via Ponderosa Loop and turning around after I'd run for an hour.  I'm guessing it was maybe 6 - 6.5 miles in 1 hour, 52 minutes.

Not sure how this bodes for my race in 2 weeks but not much I can do about it at this point.  Most people pick Mountain Championships and Nationals for their 'A' races but I'm not feeling the love for this race being an important one for me, mostly because of the timing.  I've decided to look at it as another nice hard training day in preparation for Xterra Indian Peaks three weeks later.  Since I've already done that race and have a point of comparison I can try for some better times, especially on the run.

So the next 5 weeks leading up to Xterra Indian Peaks will see bike intervals, run intervals and as much hills as I can shake a stick at.

Poor dogs, it's too hot for them to do very much.  I'll have to pull out the hose and the weave poles so at least we have some kind of practice before Wednesday.  I found out the site isn't air conditioned, just swamp coolers so that could get interesting.  Don't know why I thought it was air conditioned.  I think I'd almost rather be outside but I guess we'll see what it's like and it's only Grand Prix and Steeplechase so hopefully won't be too long of a day.  Have a hilly bike ride scheduled for after the trial and Jonny laughed pretty hard when he saw that but I'm on a mission here so I'm determined.  But I do have some wiggle room in the training schedule if I end up too tired.  Hmmm, who's idea was all these races?


  1. almost 1000 feet in 2.5 miles is pretty challenging even for hiking. Can't imagine doing it on a bike. Whew! No wonder you always look so comfortable on the agility field, between biking up and running up hills, loping around an agility course must seem like a piece of cake!

  2. I'm not much of a sprinter so running agility is still challenging and I'm often behind on the dogwalk but the Bootcamp classes and interval training have definitely helped me out there on the course.