When I awoke this morning, it felt like somebody had taken a ballpeen hammer to both my legs. They were still reeling with DOMS from my stairway workout Friday morning. I think the soreness peeked Saturday night. After a small handful of ibuprofen and moving around for an hour, I decided I wasn't going to let another fine day go to waste.
From what I read about DOMS, you can train through it. As long as you don't have a muscle injury, you won't worsen the condition. It just hurts like hell and you probably won't be at full potential. This was my situation Saturday. Dave P and I went up to Waterville to ski, possibly our last recreational ski session of the season. Next weekend is the Sugarloaf race, then it's Hawaii for me.
This is my favorite time of year to skate ski. Usually the snow is transformed into sugar granular. This can mean simultaneous speed and control. These were exactly the conditions we had Saturday. On a scale of 1-10, I'd rate speed at 9 starting out, control at 8. Afternoon sun softened things up a little, so speed deteriorated at the end. We did a full perimeter sweep, starting with the north end. After a Swan's/Moose/Wicked warmup, a punch up Osceola primed the muscles for Tripoli. Despite being beat down from the stair workout, I decided I should get at least one good interval out of the ski session. I drilled Tripoli, even timing myself from the Y. Normally I TT from the road a little further down. I reached the top in 17 minutes, 23 seconds. Not bad, but I don't have a previous PR baseline from this starting point.
With sore legs and an interval to add insult to injury, I went downhill for the rest of the ski session. Dave proceeded to pommel me up Livermore and Cascade. Thought I was going to die. We (really just whiny me) bagged going up Beanbender this time, opting for the much easier direction going down it. Insanely fast. The Nordic center shoveled snow across the several paved sections so we didn't have to take our skis off today. Sweet.
We still had the whole south end perimeter to do yet. This included the Jennings Peak, Upper Fletchers and Criterion climbs. I consumed only two Gu's and 50oz Gatorade and did not bonk this time. Finished on fumes though. We did 45km, 4100ft climbing, in under 3hrs moving time. I think this was the best or at least tied for the best skiing day of the season. Later that night I could barely move.
Back to Sunday morning. I got to Otis later than I normally do. Still many cars there. Conditions were approaching short sleeve. Brilliant sun, zero mud, snow or ice to be found anywhere. In fact, some areas were starting to get loose and sandy.
I nearly ran into a raccoon. It is very odd to see them out midday. You first think rabies. I scared him good and he piddled all over himself scampering up a tree. He seemed healthy and timid enough to probably not be rabid. A short time after that, I saw the biggest tom turkey ever. His head must have been a foot higher than my handle bar.
About 80 minutes into my ride, I ran into a huge group of riders. As I flew by, one yelled out my name. It was Thom P with what looked to be a shop ride. He invited me to join, so I tagged along. I occasionally join large NEMBA rides or participate in fun rides like Turkey Burner or Wicked Ride of the East. I try to time them with "off" days, where the drive to maintain a certain pace takes back seat to the social aspects of off-road riding. Today wasn't one of those days however. I was looking to get about 3hrs of steady tempo effort in and barely enough time to do it. Large group rides can be quite peaky with lots of down time. After a couple stops, I told Thom I'd catch up with him another time and continued on. I hate to be a dick like that, but I needed to stick to the plan.
Covered almost all of Otis with little repeating
I rode for nearly two more hours, stopping only to eat a Clif bar to ward off the bonk. It was definitely the nicest riding day so far this year. It might only have been 50-55F on the Cape. It was much warmer inland driving home. I managed to cover almost every area with trail in 28 miles, 2900ft vertical, 3.2hrs riding time. It is interesting to note yet again I skied faster with more vertical the day before than what I can do on my bike on relatively flat trails at Otis. How is that? I do tend to go much harder on skis, so I survive only on leftover crumbs the next day when I ride. 7000ft total climbing in 56 woods miles is a great weekend. Skiing will be done when I get back from Hawaii in April, so the pace will pick up on trail rides. Need to bring the Titus out to play too. I rode my hardtail today. Needed the gears for my sickly legs.