500 miles in one week.

Big Thompson Canyon century ride. The start of my 500 mile week.

I know it has been forever. Finally gonna write something. I will also try to be better about writing more often. Try.

Why 500 miles in a week in late August? I'm coming out of race retirement to enter a race in Hope, Alaska. The race is called the Soggy Bottom 100. Check it out at http://aksoggybottom100.masony.com/
Yup! 100 miles of single track fun.

The whole adventure got started when I called my friend to ask how his racing was going and what fun rides he was going to do do finish up the summer and he told me he was going to Alaska to race in the Soggy Bottom.

This guy is the 9th person I know that is going , or has gone, to Alaska this summer. I wanted in. I haven't been to Alaska since the late 80's when I rode my touring bike from Florida to Alaska. I've been waiting for a good excuse to go back. Just found it.

I had this week off from my job at the gym. So, why not ride 500 miles? 500 miles just seemed like a good number and something do-able. I got it into my head that I needed lots of late season base training. I already had about 5,000 miles for the year but with no real structure. A big exciting goal is always a good excuse for a lot of miles on your bike.

It's best to do this kind of blocked training far enough out from the event to be able to recover before the event. I know I have time before Labor Day weekend to recover.

My 500 mile week started out with a 27 minute time trial/ lactate threshold effort to work and a fast ride home so that I could walk our girls, Lucie and Kayla before dark. 26 down, yikes, too many more to count, just yet.

The next day, Friday, I did my favorite century with Steve and a friend and client from Nevada, Larry. The Big Thompson Canyon to Estes Park.

The ride was incredible. I love that ride. I think I've actually been up The Big Thompson Canyon 7 times this year. 132 miles done.

A great time was had by all of us. BTW, Larry did awesome coming from sea level.

I loved the ride so much I rode it again on Saturday. I went this time with my friend, Charlie, and we picked a slightly different route and still had less than a 6 and a half hour day. 239 done.

Day 3 of the 500 mile week was a ride with Steve. It was pretty good but we started really late in the day and everyone who knows me knows I hate the heat. I really hate the heat. We were headed back up to the Peak To Peak highway by way of ward. Man was it hot. I was going so slow. Training was catching up. Steve was so patient. I stopped to get more water at the spring water hose and took the time to eat more food. On we went up to the Peak To Peak. Then over to St. Vrain Canyon and down. We had a head wind and half way down I was getting kind of spacey. Finally, we made our way into Lyons for more food and water. We were now running late on time and decided to come back on Highway 36, a faster way into Boulder. About as much as I dislike heat, I'm also not so keen on going south on 36 when I'm tired. That's when all the miles of the 4 day block of training took a toll on my legs. And my mind. I felt like I was going so slow. Steve was awesome. Just kept blocking the wind and finally we made it back to Boulder. Note to self: do not start the ride when the temperature is already 90! Lucky for me the training block was finished and I had a rest day. 304 miles. Not far to go now.

Next day-OFF! The girls are happy, they get extra hikes today.

Tuesday it was back to training. Get the 500 done by the end of the weekend. Now, onto the mountain bike. Steve overhauled my bike. New chain, cassette, cables, tires, the works! Nice to married to such a nice guy. Being a mechanic for me is a bonus.

Tuesday I rode up the Switzerland trail to Sugar Loaf Mountain. Out to the Peak to Peak Highway and played around some trails before heading back to Gold Hill. Then, I climbed out onto Sawmill Road and rode the pavement to Rowena. Up Rowena and a few trails around Sunshine. Down the Church Trail and back to house and home. Miles now up to 343.

Wednesday was another great ride. Headed back up towards Sugar Loaf. Down the other side and onto some jeep trails to head up-climbing, to a road called Ridge View. I think that's the name. It's a cool dirt road that parallels the main canyon road up to the town of Nederland. Awesome views for miles and miles. I ended up very close to a friend's house so I dropped in to say hello. Lucky for me she was home. Had a nice visit and it made the ride that much more fun. From there I headed (again) towards the Peak To Peak and bounced on and off dirt for the next hour and a half. From there I was getting so tired that I went straight to Gold hill, which is just up the street from where I live. I have to say, I could get used to not working much. Mile total, now 383. So close....

Today is Thursday. Only a couple of days left before going back to work and going into moderate training and a rest period. I'm dreaming of that rest period. But I'm also dreaming of lush forest, single track, bears, moose, and an awesome trip to Alaska.

I got up early and rode some dirt roads near our house. Just a quick 15 miles before coming back to the house and hiking the girls.

Then back out on another ride with Steve. We headed up to Sugar Loaf Mountain and then turned around and bombed back down. This was a great way to check out the new set up of my shock (Steve got it Pushed for me) and to check out how the new tires felt on rough terrain. All good. Steve had to turn back at the bottom and head home while I continued up toward
Mt. Alto on the Switzerland Trail and did a bunch of other trails in the area. I decided to head back the way I came so I could get more rough downhill time on the new tires and chain.

It was a pretty easy effort today. Seemed like more down hill than up. Just what I needed because I wanted to make sure the girls got a really long hike in the woods today. With all of the riding I've been doing, I feel a little guilty that they have been left out. I like them to get 1-2 hours of walking/hiking every day. They were happy I was home early. They're so much fun.
Today's ride brings me to 429.

So tomorrow's ride will be another version of the best century. Steve is coming with me and I think we'll head up to Peak to Peak and go to Estes that way. Looking forward to the ride. Back to the road bike will be good too, as the road bike allows for better spinning and a different position from the mountain bike. After tomorrow I should have the 500. Stay tuned for the outcome.