CTR Training Update

It’s Been Awhile…

It’s been awhile since I posted anything to Pedals, Packs, and Pinots, partly because a number of transitions have taken place in my life that prevented me from sitting down and doing what I love to do – write!

First, I just completed my Master in Counseling, and with it came a host of parties, final projects, tying up of logistical loose ends, and other sundries that provided me with little to no free time for blogging.  Additionally, we just got a new computer and I haven’t been able to easily access my site’s administrator feature, as my only other means of writing on my blog – my ipad – is grossly outdated and can hardly keep up with the wordpress interface.  Finally, I’ve been training a ton after work, and this coupled with finishing grad school over the past few weeks has made for little time in front of a computer screen.

So how has training gone since my initial training schedule was posted back in March?  Here’s a quick synopsis of my successes and struggles in the training department.  My goal was to cross train hard, with biking, running, and lifting being my major areas of focus.  And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, my plan this summer is to ride the 550 mile Colorado Trail with a friend in early July, take about a 10 day break, and then ride the trail again for the Colorado Trail Race (CTR), for a total of about 1,100 miles of mountain biking.

Bike Training

Biking has been one area of major strength for me, as it should be, since it is what I’ll be doing a lot of in a few short weeks.  I have ridden 5 days a week pretty consistently, bare bones being 16 miles to and from work, with a run following, but Mondays and Wednesdays usually includes 20+ additional miles of riding.  My rides from work include all of my work stuff, i.e. lunch box, school clothes and shoes, and other miscellaneous stuff, plus I ride with my 36 pound behemoth Kona Sutra, which should serve me well on the CT.

Backcountry farm roads in the North Salem are some of my most frequented post-work rides.

I also made it out to some of my local trails most weekends with my mountain bike.  These rides usually were 3 to 4 hours in length and I tried to keep a relatively challenging pace throughout.

Sisters is a short 2-hour drive from Salem, and has trails like Peterson’s Ridge and the Metolius Windigo Trail, both worth the weekend ride.
And when in Bend for an entire weekend, the trail options are limitless.

 

But most weekends or weekdays I can be found riding the Shellburg Trail System, which is a quick 35 minute drive from Salem and is quickly becoming a popular mountain bike destination.

There was only one real opportunity for me to get a bikepacking trip in this spring, due to weather and a full schedule, but it was a great opportunity to tweak a couple small things with my setup and verify that the Why S7 can indeed ride effectively loaded down.

Bikepacking the McKenzie River Trail.
Dialed setup = Check.
I wanted my DIY framebag to work for the Colorado Trail, but it just has too many small issues, so I went ahead and splurged on a Revelate Designs framebag, which will work great.

I also competed in a few bike races: The Mudslinger, the Pole Pedal Paddle, the Bear Springs Trap, and the Sisters Stampede.  All of these pushed my limits in ways I can’t do when riding solo.

After the Mudslinger.
This was the only spot on the trail where I wasn’t slinging mud all over the place. No wonder the camera person set up shop here.
Grinding out the last 1/2 miles in the Mudslinger.
Found an old coworker of mine at the race, which was fun.
The Pole, Pedal, Paddle is a race in Bend where some of the teams dress up. We always dress up. This year the theme was “Pizza,” which we all interpreted with a slightly different flavor, but it worked out.
Bear Spring Trap was another mucky mess of a race, but it was still a great workout and a lot of fun.
My last race was the Sisters Stampede, which was the complete opposite of the other two races, Dry conditions with somewhat gradual climbs (for the most part) made for a VERY fast race. I ended up averaging 14.3 miles per hour on this race, which is a rare feat on a mountain bike.
Trish also competed in her first ever mountain bike by completing the Sisters Stampede as a Category 2 racer. She killed it.

Finally, I got a few tandem rides in with Trish, which are always great interval training opportunities.  I can push REALLY hard with her on the tandem for a few minutes, and then back way off and still maintain a decent speed since I’ve got my workhorse stoker in the back.

 

Run Cross-Training

Running is another area I have done well with in training.  I have been able to pretty consistently run 2 times a week, and during the few vacations or long weekends I took where there was no bike access, I ran even more.  My usual running companion is my dog, who keeps things interesting, but I did get to go on a few solo runs as well throughout my training, which is a nice change of pace.

My ever faithful running companion making sure the trail is free of all rabbits. Thanks for clearing the path Bryn.

Lift Cross-Training

The only area where I dropped off in training was my lifting.  I hurt my back lifting in mid-May, and decided that rather than risk further injury, I’d do core work on my own and stop with the lifting classes 2 to 3 times a week.  I have continued to get into the gym for spin classes whenever possible, though.

Overall, I feel pretty good about where I’m at with my overall fitness level.  Things could always be better, but while working full time and completing grad school, I still was able to get a lot of saddle time, especially in the last month, and I’ll definitely get into trail shape during my initial ride with Andy on the CT.  I can’t say for certain whether this level of training will prepare me for the rigors of the race, but I’m excited to see how I do and to meet some amazing people on the trail.

 

 

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