Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Raining Again

I realize that many of the posts lately have focused on the weather, but if you live in the East half of the country you know why. It just feels like it has been a really wet, cold winter and now spring. It started raining this morning and is suppose to rain solid until Sunday. While it certainly messes up my workout plans for the week, I feel so bad for all the Canadian cyclists that all seem to have picked this week to train in Greenville SC. Hope you brought your rain gear. It's been a while since the last post so I will try to update a little bit of all the goings on. Got back from Miami last Monday and took a couple of recovery days before getting back to it. Headed out with local cyclist Paul on Wednesday for a great road ride through the Asheville countryside. The great thing about winding country roads instead of the perfectly straight ones at home is there are never any long sections of headwinds. Thursday, on the recommendation of one of the local MTB girls that race the snake with me, I headed out to one of the local trails for some hill repeats. Trace Ridge Gap turned out to be one of the steepest, rockiest trails I have ridden, never mind tried to do hill repeats on. Hopefully it will be really good prep for the upcoming races, even had a hike-a-bike section to really get the HR going.
Saturday I had a good hard tempo run planned so Willie suggested I join "the girls" for the Dupont Forest 12km Trail Run just outside Brevard NC so Willie, Nicole, Julia, Tamara, Kimmie and I piled into Patricia's SUV for the quick trip down to the Dupont Forest. What a great race, a nice mix of single track and dirt forest roads with lots of climbing. Team Innov8 member and top USA trail runner Amber Moran took the pace out hard for the women and I settled in second with a really great group of men. We held a nice steady pace until the halfway water station, where the group mysteriously exploded. One minute I was running in a group of five, the next all by myself. Not quite sure what happened. Anyways, ended up second and totally scored some great prizes: a Nathan's water bottle, a race pint glass, and a $75 gift certificate to the local running store, wow! The race even gave out great wicking race t-shirts. Willie and Nicole also picked up 3rd places in their age groups and everyone had tons of fun. Sunday was a long MTB ride so I decided to head to a different set of trails further south in the Davidson River area of the Pisgah National Forest. Ended up being a combination of singletrack and fire roads and I only managed to get lost once, but got to see a great little waterfall because of it. As seems to be the trend here, there wasn't a flat section of trail so it was either straight up or straight down. I really feel like my skills are getting better as there were definitely sections I rode that would have totally freaked me out last year, lots of root gardens and big drops.

As I mentioned, Greenville SC seems to be a popular place for Canadian cycling teams and groups to train. Lots of great riding and plenty of rental houses. A group from my local bike shop in Guelph, Speedriver Bicycle, was down for the week and I made the trip down the mountain on Tuesday to join them for the ride to the Saluda Bakery. I think this is one of George Hincapie's favourite rides. It ended up being about a 120km out and back with the beautiful climb up to Saluda. The highlight of the ride is suppose to be sticky buns at the bakery when you get to the top, but someone forgot to check their hours and they just so happened to be closed on Tuesday. No sticky buns!!! Very disappointed, but we headed back into town to the local coffee shop which was sporting a collection of bikes learned up against the window. As it turns out a whole other group out of Toronto, Lapdogs cycling and Z-Team, were already inside enjoying latte's. We grabbed some coffee and snacks ourselves then headed back down the mountain. The problem with training with cyclist is after the ride they all get to sit down and relax, fix some dinner, while I had to jump in the car and get to the pool for a weight then swim session. Oh to be a single sport athlete again.

So that's about it. I am now sitting at my computer, hoping the rain will magically go away so I can go out and play on my MTB again. Probably won't happen but one can always hope.


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