Monday, June 30, 2014

Raystown and Roadiness

Since we no longer have any Rothrock-centric races for which to prepare, Frank and I branched out a bit and expanded our Pennsylvania mountain-biking repertoire. The Allegrippis Trail system at Raystown Lake is the next-closest trail system to us beyond the Rothrock and Coopers gap trails. At an hour away, they are still reasonably close, but we just hadn't made it out there yet.

Whenever you read one of those Internet "best trails" lists, Alegrippis comes up as the pick for Pennsylvania, so I was excited to check them out. I was also excited to ride some flowy machine-cut trails after not really ever being able to open up the throttle in Rothrock. It was a lot like French Lick, except that were no "features", man-made or otherwise, at least on the 15-mile section that we rode. Now that I've ridden it, I will definitely be bringing my singlespeed next time, because the climbs are most the whoopy, stepped kind like the climb up from the creek at French Lick. They were mostly alternating few peddle strokes of really steep, then a few pedal strokes of flat or slight downhill, rather than the steadier climbing of Brown Country, so I don't feel like my Lust did particularly well on it. My utter lack of anaerobic fitness at the moment didn't help either. The downhills were also extra-super bomby with lots of chances to catch air, so the proportion of time going downhill to uphill was way out of whack. I could of used some more flat-to-downhill fast-paced turny time mixed in. It was a nice break from the Rothrock grind, and would definitely be more fun if I were in shape, but at this point, I actually kind of prefer the Rothrock rocks.

Unfortunately, the #sceniclake in this week's selfie is washed out.

Sunday we went out for a road ride. We've been doing that a lot more because it doesn't exhaust me as much as mountain biking, and I think Frank kind of misses it. It's kind of nice, because unless you intentionally go out to climb a mountain, the road riding here is no tougher than it was in Bloomington. And if you want to go out and climb a mountain, you totally can.

I always laugh at this sign when we drive by it on the way to the airport.

I'm still not really sure how I'm doing as far as coming out of my funk. As you may have noticed, I gave up on my week numbers in the blog titles, although I'm still keeping up my weekly posting commitment. I'm feeling a little directionless right now, since I don't have anything important on which I'm focusing my training, which is both good and bad. It's good in that I'm not stressed about not being ready for something in time, but bad because I lack the specific motivation of trying be better for "X" event.

Right now I'm mostly just wishing for the fitness that I had a year and however many months ago and trying to determine the best way to get it back. The other big thing on my mind is next year's Transylvania Epic. It may be my only chance to do a major stage race on my home turf while sleeping in my own bed every night. How many people get that opportunity at all?

It's still 48 weeks away, and Frank laughs every time I say that that might not be enough time to get ready, but I've got some pretty huge leaps that I need to make before then if I want to be successful. If you subtract 'cross season, it's going to go by quickly. So my focus now is trying to figure out how to get lean and fit again as quickly as possible and also try to do so in a way that will provide the best foundation for next year's TSE. I'm not sure what the answer to that is, but hopefully I figure it out soon.

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