Sunday, June 5, 2011
Chili's Adventure Vacation 2011 - Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic
We trained for 8 months to endure 7 days of mountain bike racing. Many of those training days were very wet and very cold. Mom nature was looking out for us and left the skies loose AFTER we finished on Saturday. Every day was sunshine, warmth, and beautiful trails and yes, I finished every stage. We weren’t void of mud holes though after the past few weeks of downpours. We encountered a mudfest or stream bed somewhere along the course each day. It would be very, very difficult for me to write a report for every day and every detail. Suffice it to say it was an incredible journey and experience. I bulleted the highlights below. The one thing that really stood out for the week was learning how the human body can endure and adapt to the condition. We rode every day except the first and last for between 5 and 6.5 hours. We rode hard: up many mountains climbing thousands and thousands of feet and over many rocks. Our wrists went numb on the downhills and the balls of our feet burned. And this is the part that astounds me: my heart rate was low the entire time. On some of the climbs I’d look and it would be 126 bpm ON THE CLIMB. It never once, went over 165. On the downhills, it would drop in the 60s. Obviously, a bunch of fat burning was going on. I dropped 4% fat over those 7 days burning on average about 3,000 calories a day. Of course, we consumed probably more than that in a day to fuel the body for the next day. And yes, the body was slow and tired to start the next day, but after an hour of riding was ready to perform. My beloved 26 inch Specialized Epic Marathon had no issues at all and got me through every day with no mechanicals. I was one of the very few people with a 26 inch bike. I’m going to miss a bunch of details, but its impossible to remember everything while writing this. So here are some of the highlights. Leave a comment if you have questions.
-Bald-Eagle-Coburn was my favorite stage. 96 degrees and 46 miles (I like heat!).
-The old rail tunnel freaked me out when everything went black.
-Raystown was my least favorite. Will never go back
-RB Winter still has a lot of rocks.
-The Queen Stage (Tussey Mountain) was breathtaking on the Tussey Ridge
-There was a streaker in the woods on Stage 2 (yes, a naked man!)
-We had delicious big-ass burritos after RB Winter.
-My legs are black and blue and scratched. Bug bites too.
-We ate a lot.
-Eat, Ride, Eat, Rest. Repeat.
-Little time to do anything else but eat, ride, and rest.
-The body recovers after 9-10 hours of sleep.
-Hammer products work.
-Coach Eatough’s Trans-Sylvania Epic-specific training plan works.
-Sitting in an icy cold creek or lake helps muscles recover.
-I’m old fashioned - no iPhone! (was disconnected for an entire week).
-Will stay old-fashioned.
-Donna and I thought each was ahead of the other and chased each other for 38 miles on Stage 3. Finally caught up at checkpoint after a guy told me my friend is behind me (and I though she was ahead).
-15 women started, only 12 finished all 7 stages. Thrilled to be one of the finishers.
-Lots of pollen and road dust made us cough and stuffy.
-Sheena saved the day on Friday - sent Marshmallow PB dessert with Brett!
-Pushed to finish -- just wanted to get it over with on Saturday.
-Will not ride bike for a couple weeks - tired of biking.
-May not race anymore - no desire to train.
-Glad to be home.