Four By Big Bear
The last four weekends I have found myself deep into work again on the weekdays and in Big Bear on the weekends exploring trails, laughing it up with some of my friends I consider family and just training as I feel like it. Basically, living the dream!
I did not plan on being up there for any of the weekends except for the weekend of Holcomb Valley and that weekend did not turn out like I thought at all. That is where the learning comes in…. Here is how it went down and some of the things I learned along the way.
Girls MTB Camp (May 27th)
My “recovery” from the Zion 100 was much, much better than expected. I kept a 15 day “nothing over an hour” running and ez training but I felt great. Good news for me to smash myself next time. At the same time, I started getting on the bike and running FAST(relative for me). I just felt like I could nail it and did not have to back off…that is when it is time to find a race! My idea was to blast a couple of 50K’s and see how quick I could go with my base training miles in my back pocket.
The weekend of the girls camp, I was setup to race the Shadow of the Giants 50K up in Yosemite but decided not to go. I was the only one I knew racing and after a week of late night install for work and having to spend the night (unplanned) in Pasadena on Thursday I just wanted to get home – I was beat. I knew I also had Holcomb Valley 33 mile running race the following weekend and there were over a dozen of my friends going so I had no worries paying for yet another race I would not attend. When we got news about Karen’s Girls Camp in the Bear we headed up the next day and got to play on the trails. I also learned a ton from watching and talking to the girls. Teaching completes the circle of learning…much more of that in the future.
That weekend girls camp was my first good load back on the bike and I felt incredible (not riding incredible just felt that way ;). I just felt like I never stopped riding and after all of that running the easy of turning my legs in circles felt so dang easy. It was a good and bad thing. My aerobic system was at idle but my cycling muscles had not seen that much action all year and were in serious overload. Here is a video of the girls ripping some single track
Pacing Super K at 50mi MTB race (June 3rd)
The next weekend, I headed up to run and ride on some of the trails again with a MTB race in the back of my mind. I ended up missing the start and getting to ride with Carl and then Karen for most of the race that not only saved me from destroying myself but Karen pushed me further than I would have gone alone. That is always the case when you are in the right crowd and I am learning that sometimes you get more out of not doing a race and just being a part of it…somehow you get so much more back in the long run. That ended another week of fun training and started getting me thinking about building the barn. The hardest thing for me to do in the summer is hold back and not race every weekend or put in big weeks of intensity. Week by week I saw my “race efforts” slipping away and by the end of this block I was actually very thankful for it. I have a long road to the start of my race efforts.
Cyril & Karen – Team Work!
Holcomb Valley 33mi Trail Run(June 10th)
Next up was the weekend wrapped around the Holcomb Valley race. The race just a cover you know… It gets people out and together to some place where we are not in front of a TV or stuck in our own little world. It also pushes you to dig a little deeper and go a little more than you would have alone.
Although I was looking forward to really smashing myself with some high speed running it just was not my day and I only made it about three miles before twisting my ankle worse than I have in years. I did get to run with my good friends Jessee, James, Josh and Brian and my new friend Peter in the pick below before I blew it…
I will be honest and say that I was very bummed about it a first. I always sprain my ankles but I love to run on technical single track trails. Why? I felt all the training miles behind me from Zion and I really just wanted to run some fast races but I guess God had another plan for me. I would not hold back if it was up to me and there was no way I would have taken a break or gone back to the bike but I know now that unload was needed. I know exactly how I felt last August and when I want to feel like June this year around. I was also a good reminder to me that I am a not the best trail runner and I have always sprained my ankles(skating, etc) and the real miracle or question of why is how I managed to run 100 miles in Zion without spraining my ankle.
Jessee ended up taking 2nd overall at a blazing fast time behind Jorge who broke his own course record in a time of 4 hours 11 min for 33 miles in the mountains. wow! James smashed his first ultramarathon (and not an easy one at that!) and finished 4th place overall. James is one of the fastest runners that i know and to see him go that distance was super inspiring. This crowd is always willing to try something new and challenging
Jesse and Keira – uber ultra couple at the finish line
Felt Bikes shoot and 50 Mile MTB race (June 17th)
Our last weekend in Big Bear was one we didn’t plan on. Monique and I were setup to do a photo shoot with Felt Bikes and when we got the email that the location would have us back in the Bear we just had to laugh. Nothing like a solid day of training riding back and forth with a big smile all day. The shoot was actually so much fun and the Felt team are some very cool people with innovative technology. Two of my three tri bikes have been felt and I know my next one will be a Felt DA…I want no excuse by myself for slowing me down. That bike is FAST! I have also had my eye on the new full suspension 29er that is coming out next year but Monique maybe getting her bikes first…actually its on the way so she is getting it first ;-)
That weekend just happened to have another 50 mile mountain bike race on Sunday so we decided to stick around and give it a go. James came back up to back up his Holcomb effort from the weekend before (his MTB race report) and we had the entire crew lining up to start. I had a big ride on Thursday and had been going non-stop into the race but I still signed up and filled out all the paper work at the race start. I was going to dig deep and rip my legs off. Then at the last minute I just decided not to pay for another race and just ride and pace out my friends. That is a really tough call for me but I was so stoked about it later. RACING on the edge takes a full commitment and I was not ready to give it all and my ankle was still not 100%. God protects me from many things but sometimes I think he does best when he protects me from myself. I put the brakes on myself this time and ended up having a blast riding with Paul and James until James dropped all of us.
The race ended up being just short of 50 miles but I wanted to get in over 7K of climbing so I headed out on a few more trails working back to base camp to round it out. I was training and could afford and build from the extra time without digging in a race. When I had my volume at the end of the block I did decided to race but it was short, at sea level and HIGH intensity. My first XC race at Over The Hump. That was fun.
and it HURT.