28 November 2010

The prep and the Fall Series

After Ogden everything focused on Maui and getting ready for the heat and humidity, which has been my biggest problem when racing.  It doesn't help being in Colorado either as the weather is getting cooler and cooler the closer the race gets.  My plan dress in layers and bike and run in the warmest parts of the day.  On the bike I had on my normal shorts and jersey and added thermal bib tights a long sleeve base layer, some times a thermal, then a light to medium jacket over the top and a skull cap under the helmet.  There was not one day when I didn't feel the heat and wasn't soaking wet by the end of the ride.  Running I was always in a long sleeve with a base layer underneath, gloves, a running touk and tights.  When I did a few track workouts I added a jacket as well since the workouts were in the morning.  I was hoping that all of this would help with my acclimatization for the expected mid 80's race temp with much higher humidity than Colorado ever sees.

In addition to my heat training I also jumped in the local Fall Series Cross Country races that were going on every other weekend.  The runs provided a great race scenario for me and I used them as a brick workout riding for 1.5 to 2 hours before hand and just about immediately jumping off the bike, (changing in to dry running clothes since my cycling clothes were soaked) and running the race.  The running races were great because they are later in the day and so it was easy to get in a good ride without it being to early or cold and then dealing with the warmest part of the day for the run.  There are a total of four races, two were before Maui and two were after Maui.  The first race was held about a mile and a half from my house in Monument Valley Park so it was nice and easy to do the ride and end at home then run to the race and back.  A unique thing with all the races is that they each have a unique feature, the first one involved running about 3/4 of a mile through the "river" that flows through Colorado Springs.  I was a fun race and I ended up 5th.  The next couple pics are from the race, because of the river run I elected not to wear tights, the long sleeve base definitely kept me warm on a beautiful October day in Colorado.
Paul (red shorts) and I in the melee of the start.

Running through the river.

The key is to find the hard ground and avoid the water when possible.
The second race was in Bear Creek Park, it is a rolling hilly course and the unique feature is a the wall you have to ascend at the end of the race.  It is about a 70 degree slope that you need to use ropes to help you get up and this year they sprayed it down so the bottom half was muddy.
 I am easy to pick out, Brooks is just in short and I am dresses expecting freezing temperatures.

Tights, check, long sleeve thermal base layer, check, touk, check, CRC race singlet, check

Sweating my arse off on a 70 degree day, check, hoping it pays off in Maui TBD

Jumping the stream before heading up the wall!
The final two races happened after Maui so I could just dress appropriately according to the weather didn't have to worry about trying to acclimate and I could let off the gas and have a bit more fun.  The third race that happened on Halloween was in Ute Valley Park and it is another hilly course with a bunch of up and down and the ankle turning rocks.
Cruising through Ute

Much more enjoyable when you back off the pace and are not overheating.

The fun feature at the end up and over hay bales across the finish line.
The final race was in Palmer Park, it is a great place to ride or run with some very fun and technical trails.  It is a very hard course as well with a lot of steep hills that you are going up and down.  It was a bit chillier that day so everyone was in some added clothing.
Chilly morning in the thick of things at he finale of the Fall Series.

Sean and I ripping it for CRC till Sean decided he had enough and left me in his wake.

Some hay bales towards the end for fun.

Not a bad place to run, some nice sites too.

Since these races I have run a couple of times and did a Turkey Trot Predict, where you estimate the time you will run and the closest people to their predicted times win turkeys.  Since I hadn't run much I had not feeling for pace and was way off what I thought.  It was still a fun time and nice to see my legs had some zip in them.

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