March 08, 2008

100 Miles Was Not The Plan!

(The only pic I took all day! Kinda lame, but as you can see the clouds had just cleared, and Bryan Tasaka is one sexy bitch!)

My alarm went off at 6am and I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only was it not raining, but that it did not appear to have rained significantly overnight either. I was a perfect morning, with overcast skies, for a solid day of road riding!

The I.M.S. that I had almost two weeks ago ended up setting me back in my recovery process. This is not common at all, and in the end I went from running pain free for an hour, the day before the treatment, to a twenty minute pain filled run three days afterwards. It's gonna have to be all biking for me for the next little while until I can fully recover. No skate skiing, no ski touring, no hiking, just riding and some gym time.

I put in a solid gym session before work on Friday, then headed to N.V. early for a G.F. breaky and full day of work. The workout routine is front loaded with quad exercises and within the first 25 minutes you end up performing five different, high intensity, quad busting variations. An hour later I basically limped to my car and headed off to work for the day.

Within the first five minutes of my ride this morning I could feel my quads screaming at me! I was wondering if it was a good idea to stick to my initial plan of a big 100k day on the bike. I was going to bike to North Van and then head up Cypress Mtn to check out the final Yeti of the season, The National Championships, which of course I can not compete in due to my ongoing issues with my calves.

My legs eventually started to loosen up and the climbs leading out of Squamish and towards North Van disappeared quickly. The day was looking like it would be perfect with numerous blue patches breaking through, then I hit Lion's Bay. It always rains in Lion's Bay...always!! I got pummeled with rain and although it kinda sucked, I was dressed appropriately and didn't find that I was getting too cold or really hating it that much. I hit the turn off for Cypress in just over two hours.

I have only been up Cypress twice and nothing recently, so I was baffled as to how big the climb was, how long it went on for, or just how much it might hurt. I was completely in the fog for the entire ride up...literally, with as little as twenty feet of visability at times! They mark off each KM and elevation profile, and it seemed to go on forever. I thought MAYBE a 30-40min climb, but it ended up taking 55min to cover twelve km and gain almost 3,000 feet of elevation! After a three hour ride I was pretty toasted when I hit the parking area...which is not to be confused with toasty! I had brought a change of clothes and some warmer gear since I knew I'd be standing around for quite some time, and although it helped I ended up having to steal a puffy coat for thirty minutes to stop shivering.

After a two hour break, in which I used The Yeti post race food as my own personal aid station, I was off again. The sun had managed to crack through and had warmed things significantly. I threw on every single layer I had in preparation for the 3,000 foot descent, knowing it would be cold either way. Thankfully I was layered properly, with my ski gloves coming in very handy, but the cloud was lingering below and at one point I came to a complete stop as I could not even see ten feet in front of me! I thought it might have been fogged glasses, but I should know by now that my Rudy's don't fog up!! I was done up like a Christmas Tree with flashing lights up and down my backside, and rightfully so as I'm sure many drivers were not expecting to see cyclists out on the roads this early in the season.

After loosing about 1,000 feet of elevation the fog dissipated and the sky's grew continually brighter. Just twenty minutes later and I was back at the intersection with the highway. My original plan was to head straight back to Squamish, but there were a few errands I had been meaning to attend to in Lynn Valley (opposite direction), and it was looking to be another glorious afternoon, so I decided to go for it. My new roomie (just moved into his super sweet brand new home) said he'd be in North Van until about 3pm and that if I wasn't feeling like riding the Sea To Sky Highway home that I could give him a shout and hop in with him. I figured the timing to be perfect, took a left and continued further from home. On my way to Lynn Valley I managed to puncture a tire and had an unscheduled ten minute stop. Immediately after replacing the tube I decided to turn on my phone and check my messages. My buddy Adrian has been dealing with some injuries himself and decided against going to the city after all! His message basically said, "Hope yer feeling strong today, cause I can't make it down, sorry!"

I was pretty much in Lynn Valley already, so no sense in turning back now. There would be numerous friends from Squamish heading home following The Yeti after party, so I knew I could still flag down a ride if need be. Once in L.V. I managed to get turned around, a few times, and subsequently ended up climbing and descending the biggest hill I could find, three times! I hauled out the cell, called for help and eventually managed to wrap it all up by 3:15pm. I realized that if I were to bike the entire route now I'd be right on the cusp of darkness, and if I flatted again I'd be hitch hiking. I put my head down and went to work, although my body, now 4.5 hr's into the ride, was not really liking me too much!

As I knocked down the kms towards Horseshoe Bay the weather only seemed to improve. I did some math and realized that I'd be pushing 165km of riding if I were to bike the entire hwy sounded like a damn good number to me so I decided I was gonna go for it, no matter how tired and sore I seemed to be. As I glimpsed at my water supply I realized that I would need to make one additional water stop along the way and was left hoping that The Lion's Bay Cafe, just off the hwy itself, would still be open.

For about thirty seconds, I felt like a pro rider. My friends from Squamish, Chris and Yun drove past, they slowed but did not say a word, Yun was stretching her arm out of the car window with a full water bottle and a smile upon her face. I laughed, she retracted, and then I yelled,

"SHIT, no, drop it, I NEED that!!"

She pitched it onto the shoulder and I was left laughing at the perfect timing of it all. A fresh bottle, some not so fresh legs, and only 50k to go. The views out over Howe Sound were incredible with the sun shining bright and clouds dotting the mtn peaks and islands throughout. I wanted to stop for a pic...for numerous pics, but my body was being very clear about it's lack of interest in pics at that point in time.
"Get me home ya bastard!!"

Shortly before 6pm, I rounded the turn to my new place, a super sweet three level, three bedroom, three bathroom, hardwood floored, detached home. I was actually closing my eyes for stretches at this point as I was truly shattered.

My dog Roxy was just chilling, leash free, on the front patio, and she bolted to my side as she noticed me approaching. It ended up being the energy boost I needed to drag my ass into the house, stuff my face with food, and take a two hour shower. I am currently delaying the stretching bit...

All in all I covered just over 100 miles of road, in seven hours of riding, spanning a 10.5hr time frame. It was the longest ride, both distance and time wise, that I've ever done outside of an expedition adventure a long shot!

My Fuel On The Day:
-1/2 a bottle of Carbo-Pro 1200(600 calories)
-Carbo Pro powder mix (500)
-8 Thermolyte Tablets, for electrolytes (0)
-Four gels (400 cal)
-Two Cliff Shot Blocs (400)

At The Yeti Aid Station!
-1/2 nana (50)
-2x Pomegranate Blueberry Juice (300)

At Delany's Coffee Shop:
-2x Fruit Smoothie (~500)
-1 Planet Juice (~250)

Total: ~3000 Calories, or just enough to allow me to crawl through the door to the house and grab every piece of food I could find. I even started chewing on Roxy's leg until she resisted. If I had located the BBQ sauce it would've been all but over for the pooch!!

Congrats to all The Yeti runner's today, especially the new National Champ, Jason Loutitt

Bed time for this kid...after stretching of course!


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