New Hampshire Training WeekendMay 19, 2008
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Last weekend was my triathlon team’s training weekend. There were about 40 of us that all headed up to Franconia, New Hampshire to do some training in the white mountains, booze up a little, and actually hang out with eachother when not wearing workout gear. Overall: absolutely awesome weekend.
After pulling in to the Inn where everyone was staying on Friday night, hanging out and tossing back a few beers, I headed to bed to rest up for the 9:00 ride on Saturday morning. We split up into a half dozen different groups based on speed and distance of the routes we wanted to take. I jumped in with the 60-ish mile B group.
After a few miles, It was pretty clear why we headed up here. Northern New Hampshire is HILLY. About 10 miles in, and after one long steady bitch of a climb, it was all down hill from there. Nice smooth pavement, no big turns, it was beautiful. I just kept picking up speed, tucking down as aero as I could get in my drops and VERY cautiously passing a few other riders.
I was 100% focused on the road ahead of me and keeping a nice smooth line through some gentle sloping turns. I only looked down at my bike computer once and it said 54 mph. HOLY FUCK! I started screaming with excitement, but with all the wind blaring past me, I could barely even hear own voice. It wasn’t until a few miles later, when I was actually going slow enough where I could start pedaling again, when I looked to see what my max was. 57 mph!
I know that the pic is fuzzy, but trust me. It was Ca RAAZY. It was the fastest I had ever been on a bike by at least 15 mph, and I’m still absolutely terrified/excited thinking about it 2 days later. I’m SO not telling my mom about this one. She’ll flip.
I do feel the need to give a shout out to ROL Wheels. While I’ve admitted several times to the high crap factor of my Fuji Ace, I did upgrade to some nice few wheels that I won from a Simply Stu TdF contest a few years back. I can’t imagine the stock wheels would have handled so smoothly at a 57 mph decent, but those things were amazing and (for whatever ungodly reason) I felt pretty damn confident on them. If a high speed decent isn’t a good test of a set of wheels, I’m not sure what is. I ride the SL 28’s, which are discontinued, but all there stuff is made for the “cost conscious” rider and I’m a real big fan after really pushing their limits this weekend even after I’ve been riding them for two seasons now.
And as with any downhill, it is inevitable that you have to start heading uphill again and we headed to the top of the Kancamagus Highway. For reference, the Inn we left from was at 800 feet and the top of the Kank is 2855. That is 2000 feet of climbing (not counting the first hill we did. DAAAAAAMN. After training like this I better bust through the bike course at Mooseman in a few weeks like I’m racing in Florida.
In the end the ride was about 67 miles with 4:25 in the saddle. The ride took much longer, but we had to stop a few times to refuel, rest up, take some lunch, etc. After we got back, a few of us headed out for a 20 minute run, which actually felt pretty good. Now I’ve actually been doing a lot more running in training (since I slacked on my running so bad last year) I’m super psyched to see it is actually having an impact. Sure, my HR was in the high 160’s the whole time, but it still felt great.
And now, more pictures:
Cruising along the bike path past Echo Lake (i think).
More bike path. While these pictures don’t really do it justice, this was by far the hilliest bike path ever. It is like a mountain bike trail that was paved. I was switching gears constantly. Not cool.
Taking a quick look at directions to make sure we weren’t lost.
After boozing it up at the Inn’s bar and pulling the late night party crew into the hot tub until they ended up turning the lights out on us the night before, we packed up our wetsuits on our backs and headed to Echo Lake for a nice chilly swim.
Bike ride? You guessed it, more hills. 4 miles, straight up. It was like trying to ride my bike up the side of a building and I kept tapping my shifters hoping that I had one more magic gear that would help relieve my quads. I don’t think there was a single one of us that wasn’t blurting out expletives at some point in the climb.
Thankfully, once we got there, it was gorgeous. Cold, but gorgeous. The water was about 55 degrees, and wasn’t so bad once I got my feet and hands in the water, but it made me want to tear my face off. I had to “man up” and get at least about 600 meters in, but it was a really nice swim and totally made the ride up there worth it.
Here is the view from the beach.
Jane taking a swim after a run around the lake. She was an absolute machine. She forced a few brave souls to take a different look and go on a 90 mile ride with her on Saturday and never let up all weekend. She is turning 50 this year and I can only hope that I’m that bad-ass when I’m older.
Matt and I flexing. Flexing somehow turned into the theme of the weekend.
And just to be clear, YES. That IS SNOW in the background. (me on the left)