Friday, January 02, 2009

Kicking Off '09 Right - Triple Bypass

What a day 1/1/09 was here in AZ. Backtracking a bit, we had a simple New Year's Eve by grabbing some dinner and hitting a moving. We didn't bother staying up late to ring in the new year which was totally fine by me! In the morning of 1/1/09 we went to IHOP and had way too big of a breakfast, but boy was it good. Just the kind of calories I needed for the day ahead.

At 11am, I met with Dan and Travis (both on the Focus Cyclery MTB team) in North Scottsdale on the west side base of the McDowell mountains. Tough MTB climbing was on tap. The weather was sunny and 70....even though the Phoenix air quality was crappy as usual.

We set out for a triple-bypass, which meant, up-and-over the mountains 3x.....or 27 miles and 5,500ft of vertical ascent...over 4hrs...yeah, its slow going. Riding in the McDowells presents some of the most taxing riding I've ever done. The climbs are steep and long, but the rocks....oh the rocks....make it very hard. It is a total body workout and requires total concentration. I was on my Cannondale Taurine (hardtail) the last time I did this ride and was pretty beat up afterwards. This time I was on my Cannondale Scalpel (full suspension) and was not nearly as "rocked." I usually ride the Scalpel with the rear shock in its most locked out position. However, for this ride, I had the rear shock fully open for about 2/3s of the ride. It made a huge difference by improving my descending and by softening the blows of the constant rocky terrain.

Great way to welcome 2009.

I am really digging First Endurance's products more and more. I put three scoops of First Endurance EFS into my 100oz Camelbak and carried an EFS Liquid Shot flask for my other nutritional needs. Worked perfectly.

I forgot to mention that I found a new trail while running out at Hawes. I had heard there was a new trail, but I haven't been able to find it on my MTB...even though I've been trying. But, thanks to a mellow, long trail run, I found it! As a kid, I played a lot of Nintendo / Super Mario Bros and the like. The feeling I got when finding this new trail, was similar the excitement I use to get when finding a hidden room or moving onto a new level in a video game. What fun! I can't wait to integrate the new trail into my training. Sweet.