For the first time in probably more than a year, I did a primary training workout off road today. Normally, Tuesdays are VOmax interval days on the road. Instead, I threw the Titus dualie in the car, made sure I packed properly cleated shoes, and planned for 90 minutes hammering.
It was probably just as well that it was oppressively hot. I need the conditioning. My 100 miler in a month will be hot. Thermal shutdown came much further into the ride than I thought it would.
My legs were still in a funk from racing both days over the weekend. Once tires hit dirt though, it doesn't take long for rejuvenation to occur. I'm on singletrack in about three minutes from the parking lot, heading south. Which singletrack, I cannot say. What I can say, it is swoopy, a little curvy and covered in pine needles. You can go way faster than what traction around the corners allow. Pine needles are so slippery.
If I'm asked, I traced this route in Topo...
Mid ride I got into some technical hilly stuff. The trails have names, which sadly I can't use here. If I did, the Google bots could draw visitors that give me grief. It is sufficient to say a couple features are barely cleanable, and two hills make for nice 1-2 minute VOmax efforts. This is less than a mile from my work building as the crow flies.
I next interval up gravel Greens Pond Rd to Wasserman Park. This place I can talk about, in upper left of image. There's a nice loop that drops down from Naticook Rd to the lake and then climbs back up again. Pinchflat city on the way down, unless you run tubeless with reasonable pressure. The climb out takes at least a couple minutes. I was over half way through my ride at this point.
I cross over Continental Blvd into property that has been threatened for retail development for many years now. It is not posted, so fair game, in the upper right of image above. In the middle of the parcel is a hill with a cell tower on top. We creatively call it cell tower hill. The service road is one of my winter favorites with studded tires. In the summer, the loose gravel can be even more challenging than ice with studs. Today was a piece of cake with gears, except it was in full sun with tormenting deer flies. More than an hour into non-stop hammering, my thermal fuse finally popped on this one. You know, when that nauseated feeling with chills comes upon you quickly.
I bombed down cell tower hill, bore left and did the ATV loop counter-clockwise around the cell tower parcel. Another bony climb ensues on the back side, barely cleanable. Briers hang over the trail and shredded my arms, making nice red streamers. Then it was a bit of pavement back to the shop.
The ride went 20.7 miles, mostly dirt with 1200ft of climbing, in 90 minutes. I was more wiped out than a 90 minute road ride with interval work. The off-road intervals were shorter and more intense, plus I kept the pace up the whole time. I hadn't been on some of these trails yet this year. It was wicked fun to hit them hard. I didn't want to stop, but it was time to cool back down.
Good chance I may bail on the Tokeneke road race Sunday. This weekend is an off-Friday weekend, and the weather is looking nice. If I race, I'll want to do well, and that means no 5hr rides Friday or Saturday. I'd hate to waste a long, nice weekend on a two hour race. Instead, Dave P and I may opt for an off road epic on Friday, maybe in the mountains. The land is starting to dry out, finally.