Monday, July 11, 2016

The Hay Is In The Barn

Scene:Friday Night, Bedtime

Me: After tomorrow, the hay will be in the barn.

Frank: The hay will be in the barn?

Me: It’s something my old coach used to say. It means that all of your fitness is packed in before a big race, and all that’s left is to taper.

Frank: I guess that is where you put hay.

Me: Until you take it out and feed it to the cows in winter, but I’m hoping it will be a gentle winter and the cows don’t need too much hay.

Frank: So you’re already getting into your blog post metaphor for the week, huh? Are there any pop song lyrics about cows and hay?


My official Wilderness 101 training concluded on Saturday with more of a fizzle than a bang. It really served to reinforce my belief that the Bald Eagle side of the course somehow has it in for me, as any time I’ve tried to cross 322 this year, things have gone badly. Stillhouse has treated me okay, as well Stillhouse knows how to treat anyone, but a good day on the opening climb or any of the final parts of the course have eluded me.

Things went well during the 4th of July weekend, when my teammates came to town to ride. Taryn came on Saturday to join my W101 training ride, since she was considering signing up for the race herself. I always knew she was fast, but I was kind of astounded at how she was riding out of sight so easily on my home turf when I was actually riding pretty fast myself. I ended up PRing Seeger and all of the singletrack on the ride by huge margins.

Laser Cats in the Wild 

Several other girls came on Sunday for a “best of” tour of Rothrock, which included the XC Loop, up Lower Lonberger, Tussey Ridge, and down Camp. I struggled to keep up after the long, hard ride the day before, but I made it through. I think I dug myself into a hole, though, and going to a 4th of July party and drinking too much on Monday instead of resting also did not help.

With two weeks before the big day, I wanted to get one more good, long ride in, but my body was simply not having it. The temperature was hovering just above my breakdown level (maybe 85?), and though I forced myself over the 4.5 mile opening climb, it wasn’t pretty. Since that was the hardest part of the ride that I had planned, I was hoping my legs would wake up along Decker Valley Rd., but they never did. I ended up sending Frank ahead to get car, which resulted in a miscommunication about our meet-up spot, and him driving around for an hour and a half looking for me. It was a much less productive day than I was hoping for.

Now I’m past the point of being able to do anything except come into the race well rested. Instead of a gentle winter to save my hay, I’m hoping for reasonably cool weather to save my legs. If I actually ride everything as fast as I have in training on race day, I’ll do pretty well, but I’ve also seen the damage that heat and fatigue can do.

So the hay is in the barn, winter is coming, and the big question is whether my legs will win the great battle between the living and the dead? Yes, I just made up a really mixed metaphor about bikes, farming, and Game of Thrones. Sometimes, that’s how it goes.

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