making the rounds
In the last month or so Monique and me have seen a lot of old friends and had a lot of time on the road and in the mountains. We do not like the road so much but the mountains are calling and our friends are always worth the drive.
After a better than expected recovery from Zion, I found myself making a transition back to mountain biking and that is calling me into my next short term challenge and further onto what I ultimately find the most challenging in sport.
The first part of the year had set me up to become a runner. Running was something I never had the confidence in before and was my weakest of my primary weakest sports. Zion was a final celebration with friends and something I will never forget but it was the months leading up to the race that I finally started to feel like a real runner. For training, it was the first time I departed from a balanced training among sports and just was stoked to run. No plans for the rest of the year beyond Zion.
The following four weekends in a row I found myself in Big Bear with some of the most inspirational friends I know – Team Sole Base Camp with special appearances every weekend by a new truckload of friends going big in the mountains. They always have fun at the top of the compass!
It was hard getting back on the bike and CLIMBING. I did learned some interesting new things along the way. Biking takes much more muscle than running (just look at the track cyclists legs compared to a Kenyan runner) and it is a very different combination of muscles than what is used in running. I believe there is some cross over but it showed me just how specific the adaptation needs to be and what order its best for me to work on. The aerobic adaptations that occur from running “for hours on end” make breathing on the bike like “a walk in the park” even at elevation under a high load to the legs. The muscle and miles come quick on a mountain bike and faster still on the road making the transition a fun one. Strength before speed – work before work rate.
I put in more time on the bike in the last few weeks than I have all year so far and it was not without some repercussions. No injuries but my legs have been SORE and I have moved my running into maintenance mode until I finish my bike block. This year I have really learned to focus on blocks of training, blocks of recovery, blocks of racing, etc. This helps me keep a bigger focus in completing my rounds and bringing them back together…maybe not ideal for a race here and there but when I need to be sharp on all points for THE race.
After the Big Bear rounds, Monique and I headed up to Tahoe to pace our good friend Amber at the Western States 100. Another weekend of heavy breathing at elevation! After my ankle issue in Big Bear this was my first real long run and Monique did 50% of the pacing. I know it planted a few seeds in her dream machine and maybe next time we are out there Amber will be pacing Moe… We also got to see a bunch of friends and witness some of the fastest (and coldest) experiences in the WS100 history. THAT is one cool race! Here are a few pictures
early morning starting off UP Squaw Valley
the coldest part of the day just around mile 30
my homeboy Eric Wickland just starting to warm up at about the 100K mark
The girls running down canyons and dreams on the way to the river
riding more epic single track the next day with mighty moe