SMASH Camp 2015: Day 2

SMASH Camp 2015: Day 2

Day 2: March 6, 2015

Day #2 meant a ~100 mile ride that included climbing up Madera Canyon. Considering I hadn’t ridden outside since the previous October, I was very curious to see how my body would respond to being out on the open road. Knowing that I have a tendency to go out hard and then crash at the end of rides, I made a very concerted effort to start out easy, in the middle of the pack, in order to have energy for the way back. This was great because it gave me a chance to talk with several of the other athletes and get to know them. We were fortunate enough have to two SAG vehicles that provided complete support throughout the ride. Several times we were able to stop and fill up on nutrition, hydration and drop off/pick anything that we might need. I definitely got a little spoiled with this luxury!

IMG_1271The Madera Canyon portion of the ride (see the above picture) is comprised of 10 miles of gradual incline followed by 3 miles of steep, up to a 14%, grade. As we got onto the gradual portion we were greeted with a stiff headwind. I took a turn up front with Maik Twelsiek, and he said that he thought the winds were worse than what he’s encountered in Kona; we were working really hard to keep 10-12 mph. And then we got to the base of the mountain…we were now sheltered from the wind, but the incline got pretty ridiculous. I wanted nothing more than to enjoy the scenery, but it took just about everything I had to spin up in my easiest gears. Coming from the Midwest, I just don’t have the opportunity to do work like this. Once we completed the ascent, the remainder of the ride was very smooth, after I got through descending the 14% grade (~40mph through winding, mountainous roads). I was very pleased with how I felt through the end of the ride, and the amount of time I was able to spend at the front of the pack was very encouraging. Little did I know that I was setting myself up for some creative nicknames.

Post-ride, I had about 1 1/2 hours to recover and refuel before having to be in the pool for what Team HPB calls the Forever Set. This consists of ~1,000 yard warm-up and then a main set of 16×25 band only (swimming with an bicycle tube wrapped around your feet); 200 sprint with paddles, buoy and band (PBB); and 100 easy PBB. This happens 3 times before the cool-down. I knew this is where I was going to hurt the most for the day, and it lived up to it’s expectations. I was struggling to push a pace that should have been easy during the sprints, but I was getting some major payback for the ride.

The only thing left to do after the swim was re-fuel and get ready for Day #3, which would include my most feared session…

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