Monday, May 16, 2011

Final "Long-Ride" Weekend Before the TSE

Mist on the mountains, chipmunks, flowing and sweet singletrack, comfortable temps, and good friends to ride with. What more could you ask for?? The Dubya's and me headed to Rothrock State Forest this weekend to get our final long-ride weekend in before the Trans-Sylvania Epic. Scott and Jen Hildebrand joined us for Friday afternoon's 2.5 hour ride. The trails in State College are U.N.B.E.L.I.E.V.A.B.L.E. They are very well built and maintained and I think Donna and I will be having SO much fun on them for 7 days that we'll forget the fact we might have aches and pains and worries about making the cut offs. Saturday, we rode all of Stage 2 and some. Greenwood Furnace is about a 3 mile ride to the course, so we got the 43 mile stage and the 6 and something miles to and from the camp leaving us with 50 miles under our belts on Saturday. FIFTY MILES. All in one day. The Stage had maybe 1/2 fireroad/hardtop road and 1/2 singletrack (I'm guessing). We spent 6.75 hours on our bike seats. I just realized the Dubya's are half way to their Shenandoah 100 goal with this ride! At mile marker 40, I was ready to call it a day and Brett really wanted to do Sassafras to the "new trail" to Pig Pile. I was tired, but pushed on for 10 more miles and was very glad to have ridden Pig Pile to know what to expect in the race. The "new trail" is a connector between Sassafras and Pig Pile and has some amazing rockwork on it. Somebody puts a LOT of tender loving care into those trails. Our training has been very kind to Donna. I was having some trouble staying with her as we tested our speed to make time where we could so we are sure to make cut-offs. There was this crazy downhill section near the Boy Scout camp that I was praying the entire way down. Donna was running it like a professional downhiller and I lost sight of her about half way down. I was skeered! I guess the reminder of my $6,000 front teeth from a bike accident held me back a little and come race week, I will likely do the same because I was only a minute or so behind her and we typically catch up to one another at other sections. It started raining Saturday night and we packed up Sunday morning and headed home, hoping the rain would stop enough for us to get our 3 hr endurance ride in on Sunday. I eeked out a 2.5 hr road ride before getting rained upon. Today is a rest day, tomorrow is an easy ride day, and back at some high intensity stuff on Wednesday and Thursday. The weekend is less hours as is next week. We're starting our taper for race week. Yeh! It's so close now I can taste it. And how do we feel?? Ready to ride for 7 days! I think we'll pull this thing off!

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