Funny thing about weekends when you’re
un self employed… they don’t mean quite so much – except you get to hang out with your workin’ friends. ~ Primus
Yesterday: Ride – Fish Hatchery to Twin Lakes and back, ~ 4.5 hours
Today: Hike – GGCSP, ~ 1 hour
Tomorrow: Hike – GGCSP, ~ 1 hour
I need to get my Zen on.
Things have been pretty stressful of late and I need to get control of everything. I am super busy with work and that, coupled with this leg injury, has detracted from my ability to train as effectively as I had planned for these past couple of weeks. I did manage to get back up on the course yesterday for a long ride that took a bit longer than I anticipated.
I started out at the Fish Hatchery around 12:30 and felt solid heading out the main road toward Halfmoon. I had a healthy tail/cross wind that pushed me along at a nice clip. It was a beautiful, sunny day and the temperatures were in the low-to-mid 80s, I believe. This portion of the course is probably the least interesting – several miles of relatively flat paved or improved dirt roads. Pretty boring, actually. There are some nice views of the nearby mountain ranges that I plan to use to distract me from the less-than-exciting running conditions of this section during the race.
As one gets closer to Halfmoon, the road begins to climb and features a long-ish false flat up to the checkpoint. About a mile later, we will turn onto the Colorado Trail which is pitched steeply for about the first mile then settles into some very tasty, smooth singletrack running through green aspen groves. This is definitely the prettiest part of the course I have seen thus far (and the nicest portion of the course per racer accounts). This singletrack rolls along for a few miles then reaches a trailhead. This is where I proceeded to get off-course yesterday. The trail crosses a large bridge then dumps onto a jeep road for about 200 meters where it reaches an intersection. Here, I banged a left, following the main road down and should have gone right briefly to follow the partially obscured singletrack to the south. My mistake dropped me several miles east of Twin Lakes where I followed the main highway back into town. This is why I am visiting the course regularly – to work out these kinks prior to race day.
Twin Lakes was bustling. Tourists were everywhere, checking out the history of the area and generally being tourists. I stopped briefly at the Windspirit Lodge to confirm my reservation for the race weekend (confirmed) and then headed back out on the course (for real this time) for my return to the Fish Hatchery. Thus far, I felt strong and fresh and didn’t have much concern about being able to get back smoothly. I was a bit slower to Twin Lakes than I hoped but chalked this up to poor route finding and getting off course.
On the climb (push) out of Twin Lakes, I whacked down and sandwich and started to hear a hiss coming from my rear tire. Yup, apparently I pinched a tube on the descent and I quickly found myself on the side of the trail changing the flat. Not the fastest exchange I have ever accomplished either. Once that was repaired I was off again, pushing a lot more than I liked. For whatever reason, I was really uncomfortable riding marginally steep sections that I should have been able to ride and found myself walking much of the course at this point. Not sure why I was unable to ride but I just tried to keep moving upward along the trail. Soon I was back to the spot where I had missed my connection on the way out and back on familiar terrain. I began feeling a bit better and moved at a steady pace back to the top of the steep, technical section and jammed back down to Halfmoon and along the dirt road in a big gear – even passing a couple of cars along the way. The pavement section was a bit less forgiving as I contended with a stiff headwind back to the Fish Hatchery in about 4 and a half hours. Given the extra miles, route finding problems, stops in Twin Lakes and to fix the flat, not really such a bad effort in the long-run. I am guessing I did about 42 miles or so total.
Heading back home, I thought I would have smooth sailing as the traffic was light all the way past the Loveland Pass exit on the East side of Eisenhower. Then, the dreaded I-70 parking lot set in with a vengeance. For whatever reason, I was unable to hook up the frontage road and kept missing key exits. I think it took me 3 hours or so to get home. Ugh. I have said it before (and unfortunately will probably say it again) but I would not be sad to never have to drive I-70 on a weekend again.
Once I got home, Rach and I hung out for a bit and I got up early this morning to get some work done. This is going to be a crazy week and I need to get a jump on it. So… here I am updating my blog. Yeah. Gotta get to work.
See you out there.
More: My parents made the trip over this weekend as well and I got to play golf with my dad on Saturday at Fossil Trace. I like this course, actually. It is pretty sweet for a municipal course. I think I shot about 170. I still rule. Definitely no threat to anyone out there who is a golfer.