Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cannondale Scalpel for Xterra Worlds

Once again the crew at Focus Cyclery has come up big!
The Xterra Worlds bike course is rocky, real rocky. To climb faster over rocky terrain, descend faster over rocky terrain and to be more fresh for the run, a full suspension bike would be an optimal solution, for me. One problem, I only have a hardtail. It's a very nice, 19lb Cannondale Taurine, but not the right tool for the job. Here is the Taurine looking pretty on one of my favorite trails here in NE Mesa, AZ.

This is where Focus Cyclery comes in....they hooked me up with this, a new, full XTR 2008 Cannondale Scalpel...SWEET!

I've personalized it a bit with some neon green ESI Grips, Stan's ZTR Race wheels and Maxxis Larsen TT tubeless tires. I've been riding the bike now for over a week with two really solid workouts on some very Maui-like terrain. Wow. The bike is great. I was concerned about loosing some climbing pace not using my hardtail, but totally not the case. The Scalpel has made me faster all-around over very rocky terrain. Goodie. The new bike has tons of variability with both front and rear shocks to dial in the perfect speed-to-handling ratio. I found the sweet spot today.

On a workout note, for the most part, the hard stuff is done. Let me say it another way, 11mths of focused working out is done. All that remains is to rest up and to then go nuts and leave it all on the course next Sunday. Being "done" is pretty motivating in and of itself. I feel extremely well prepared.

Swim - I did 6x300s and 6x100s earlier in the week...fastest splits ever for both distances.

Bike - I did 2x30min race pace efforts up a gnarly, rocky climb today...set a :30 PR on the first one and held the second one within 1:00 of the first. So, pace and endurance are where they need to be. (The PR I broke today had been set last week where I took 3:30 off of my pre-Tahoe/Xterra USA Championships PR).

Run - I hit the track for some 400s earlier in the week and was easily able to hit my target pace, a pace that took everything I had only a couple of weeks ago. Also in recent brick runs, I have been able to engage race-pace running speed much more quickly (unlike at Tahoe/Xterra USA Championships).

All systems GO.