Back in the saddle…

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted… well, since the Carter Lake road race.  It finally felt like I had training back under control after what seemed to be a disastrous start to my CritFit Phase 2 plan.  And then of course life struck.  Life and the springtime crud that had been going around amongst my co-workers.  For the beginning of March I had planned a road trip to Fruita and Moab in hopes of getting back some mountain biking skills.  The Frostbite TT snowed/iced out (and was rescheduled for a day I couldn’t make it), so west I headed to Fruita with a scratchy throat and fever, trying to ignore what I knew was happening.  Breathing hurt, my body hurt, etc.  I still managed 17 miles at the Kokopelli trails followed by another 23 miles in Moab on the pathway and some of the Brands trails (where I had my first instance of an asshole not yielding to me and then proceeding to wreck his bike into me even though I had stopped off the side of the trail…).  That did me in… I awoke on that Monday morning feeling like absolute crap and couldn’t barely move.  The drive back to Cheyenne didn’t do me any favors with the elevation changes and sinus congestion.  Sucks to have gone all the way to Moab and not really do any riding 😦  But the riding I did do managed to push all the yuckiness deeper into my lungs, causing what I believed to be bronchitis.

Constipation face and Kokopelli for the win!

I did feel awesome on the mountain bike aside from the extreme amounts of mucus and lack of ability to breathe.  My technical skills seemed to be the sharpest they’ve been in awhile, which is good because for this time of year I seem to be usually battling confidence issues.

Needless to say, training went way off course these past two weeks.  Combination of being sick and once again life stuff.  I managed a road ride outdoors a few days after Moab and a mountain bike ride on Blue Sky earlier this week.  And then magically, bam, I was feeling better about this past Thursday.  Mucus clogs all gone.  So bring on a race!

I signed up for the Oredigger Classic Hill Climb put on by the CO Schools of Mines today.  Pretty simple – individual time trial hill climb up Lookout Mountain in Golden, CO.  4.5 miles, and my Garmin told me 1400 feet of climbing.  It was cold, cloudy, and windy.  I didn’t think the wind was that bad until about halfway up the mountain when I turned a corner and nearly was stopped by the headwind.  I’m not sure I put in 100% effort (my cough reappeared, there’s my excuse.  Yep, excuse!), and I had a lot of people pass me it seemed from my class.  But I still enjoyed myself and think it was a good effort considering the craziness of the past few weeks.  I actually liked the climb up Lookout Mountain – it’s a gradual climb with only a few parts I’d say were “steep.”  No grinding at a slow cadence in the granny gear, instead very spinable and I even got out of my granny gear several times!  I’d like to redo it on a less windy day when my lungs are back to normal!  Luckily I packed my wind jacket so I could throw that on for the descent, which was one cold experience!  And scary at times due to the wind, so I kept it pretty sane.  No results are up yet (which ehhh… kinda weird considering the simplicity of a time trial, they weren’t even posted at the event), so I’m not quite sure how I did.

Spinning up Lookout Mountain at the Oredigger Classic HC – yay for first race photo in my new kit! (Photo by shotwilliam)

Tomorrow I am planning a few hours on the road bike just to get back into the groove.  Phase 3 of my training plan starts on Monday, and it’s the final push to the opening of mountain bike season at Rumble at 18 Road.  My threshold and VO2 max workouts will now be 3 days a week, which might be challenging since I was struggling doing 2 of them a week this past phase.  But I know I just need to mentally buckle down and not try to throw away everything that I have done so far up until this point.  I also have some more road events planned, if anything just for the excuse to put those miles in on weekends I have off of work.

I do have some new exciting goodies coming to help motivate me back onto the bikes!  I ordered a SRAM Force 22 group set for my road bike which I am absolutely excited for as I think I’ll finally have the Ruby where I want it (no more upgrade-itis???).  The good part of this means I’ll have shifters to complete my original Crux frame that I cannibalized for the S-Works frame, so I will have a pit bike for cross season.  A few weeks ago I upgraded the S-Works Crux with SRAM Force front and rear derailleurs and Avid Ultimate Shorty canti brakes.  I have Force crank arms waiting to go on as soon as new chainrings are in.  All the take offs can finally go back on the original Crux, and I now have the S-Works represented by more respectable parts, haha.  To top it off, on its way to me is a 2013 Specialized S-Works Fate!!!!  I am soooooo excited!  It was the last one available in my size, so I managed to fetch a good deal.  I’ve always wanted to own an S-Works bike and here it is!  Now, of course the bike far exceeds my cycling capabilities, but I’m hoping I can do it some sort of justice!  I’ve been wanting a hard tail for awhile now.. nothing against my Epic, it’s also an amazing bike, but after months of riding a cross bike I hate having rear suspension when it’s not needed.  The Fate will probably become my primary race bike as I simply do not race on enough trails that NEED full suspension (I think the Gowdy Grinder and nationals in PA might be the only ones for this year, and maybe the Death Crotch descent LMBS race).

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