Monday, March 9, 2009

Blankets Creek Bike/Run

Countdown to: Blankets Creek: >7 days !! Xterra: 47 days

Saturday: Mission; accomplish Blankets Creek!!

So, I thought it would probably be smart to actually get the chance to ride the entire race course before the big day on Saturday.
After a long day in a hot room to get my CPR cert, I was ready to head to Blankets. The class was suppose to be done at 3, but complications pushed it till 3:30ish.. I was running out the door to my honda after we were freed.. I pushed play on my mtn biking play list, rolled all the windows down, and made my way NW!
When I got to the parking lot, it was packed! I just imagined where they were going to have the transition set-up for all 300 racers. Speaking of which, what the hell would 300 bikers do to a trail in one day? I was pondering this as I hunted for a parking spot. I geared up, got my running shoes in place, and rode onto the trail.
First, the Van Michael Loop, I had never been on this trail. All I knew from looking at the map, was it was hilly and windy. I was excited and started off a little fast. Then the hills hit me! Ek! I was starting to realize how fucking it HOT it was, the sun was blaring on this side of the trail. I knew it must have been at least 78 in the sun. I had to stop a few times to catch my breath. I think the problem was, it was a lot of work for being so fresh on the trail. I regained my composure, and heart rate, and carried on. It started going down hill, so I flew into the cool air. Down over the bridge, what a fun little jump. Even with the people stopped, I had to grab some air! After all that effort downhill, it began again, the UP HILL! Ugh! So HOT! Trying to keep my rear wheel from slipping I hunkered down low to the bike, trying to keep my momentum. More climbing, I was HOT, and tired! I need to start this trail way slower! After a few windies, I started to reach the top, I knew it must be mostly downhill from here. With the lake in site, I started to whined my way downward. Coming to the ledge of this one hairpin turn, I knew that I need to take it nice and easy here during the race. The large rocks with dirt on the cliff side can certainly spell disaster, I guess that is what the rope is for! :) A little more ledge time and I was rolling to the bottom of the trail landing on mosquito flats. I put my polar speed on my mtn bike, I kept thinking it wasn't working because I did not see the distance change, and I was looking at 0, but in fact it was cadence, and I had forgot to start the workout! So much for that map! I started the timer, and went on my way.

Next, Dwelling Loop. Luckily today was Saturday, so I get to try Dwelling loop in the direction of the race, and the opposite of the two previous times I've ridden it. Feeling amped after tackling Van Michael, I was ready to ride fast on the mostly flat Dwelling loop. Somewhat experienced at this trail, I felt confident I could rock it. It felt great, and I was moving along pretty quickly, jamming out to my mtn biking mix... The sun started to get lower and as much as I wanted that so I could be less hot, I knew I was limited in my time on the trail, especially for the run (which I really needed to do). Towards the end of Dwelling loop, I found where they had blazed the new trail, it was rough and bumpy, with loose dirt instead of packed. It smelled of fresh dirt, and roots. At least I knew that if I was at this point, the end was near. I pushed on, and came out on top!

Transition: at the car, I packed my bike on, threw off my helmet, shades, and layers.. Pulled on my trail running shoes and headed back to Dwelling Loop. To my dismay, I've realized that the race is actually, a run then bike, but oh well! Atleast that means I will be warmer for the 4 miles of the hilly Van Michael trail. The run felt great, and I feel confident that I should do ok on race day!

An evening of recovery is exactly what I need. My couch, some pasta, a glass of wine, and True Blood on my tube.

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