Monday, August 9, 2010

Another Mountain Biking Weekend

We spent another great weekend in East Burke, Vermont mountain biking the Kingdom Trails. Saturday we put in a lot of hard fast (for me) miles. I wanted to ride a few of the trails that have given me problems in the past, and it went very well. I think part of the problem I was having on some of the more technical trails last time we were there had to do with a combination of wet slippery roots on the trails and a mis-adjusted front suspension on my bike. Somehow my suspension had become set to be very rigid without my noticing. Kevin fixed this and also made a minor adjustment to my saddle, moving it forward a bit. This really helps me gain traction on the steep downhills because now I can drop my butt back behind the seat.

Saturday evening we chose to avoid the brewfest and instead had a nice dinner and enjoyed a few drinks in the mellower atmosphere inside the Tamarack Grill. Thanks to my love of a good Zinfandel, I soon befriended an old gentleman who had very recently lost his wife. Eighty-plus-year-old Barney now has our address and an open invitation to "drop by anytime". This morning I jokingly warned Kevin that he might come home from work and find Barney and me soaking in the hot tub and enjoying a few drinks.

Sunday we had a BIG breakfast at the Miss Lyndonville Diner and then drove over to the trail parking at Mountain View Farm. In the last 24 hours I had overindulged in mountain biking, wine drinking, and breakfast eating. As soon as we parked I reclined my seat in the truck and told Kevin I needed to take a nap. Ten minutes later my eyes popped open and I announced "I'm ready to ride!"

We had another perfect day of riding. We hit some of the trails that I haven't been on much and a few that I have never ridden. We did a huge amount of climbing. I don't notice it so much while I am actually riding because none of the climbs are very long and there is always a nice rewarding down after every up. But by the end of the ride, my legs were kind of shaky and my quads were getting sore and tired. We stopped on the way home for an Iron Mike's Pale Ale and a burger at the Moat Mt Brewery. Back home, we were in bed and asleep by 8:30.

This morning I dreaded how tired my legs were going to feel for my planned 4 mile run with strides . This stride thing comes from Jack Daniels (the running coach, not the drink.) He prescribes this as a transition from slow base building to speed work. I would like to find a little of that old spring in my step and I think the strides are moving me in that direction. This is my second week of including strides on my easy runs. I speed up to something just short of a sprint for 40 or 50 strides and then jog until I feel completely recovered before doing my next one. I do 8 to 12 of these in the middle of a four or five mile easy run. I've been doing them on straight stretches of trail, dirt roads, pavement, and school athletic fields. Today I ran the single track trails near the river and was very surprised by how good I felt.

The rest of today is reserved for cleaning up my flower beds and working in the vegetable garden. In other words, loafing around in the yard and soaking up the sun.

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