Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sufferfest 2008

This past Saturday, June 28th, I woke up at 4 am to meet my buddy Jimmy for our training adventure for the day. The two of us departed Westfield at 4:30 am and headed for Princeton, MA. We arrived just before our 6:00am start time with our friend and fellow cyclonaut Mike Roberts. We had the oppurtunity to stay local and ride the flats upto Vermont with our buddies Steve and Peter, but as Jimmy stated, "you can't pass up a workout with 'fest' in it!"

Mike lives in the Princeton area and put together an awesome Ironman Lake Placid (IMLP) workout for us. It would entail a 26 mile loop that we would ride 3 times, then hop off our bikes, run 3 miles, get back on the bikes for another loop plus an additional climb up to the summit of Mt. Wachusett and back to the start for another 3 mile run. Each person was responsible for their own nutrition, refueling, and mechanicals. With that said 20 of us began the adventure at 6 am in the fog and mist.

The first 4-6 miles is all climbing, followed by 6 miles of down hill, then a rolling section, and the last 2 miles back to the start is up hill as well. The first lap was the easiest and we completed it in about 1 hour and 15 minutes, with an average close to 21 mph. At the end of the 2nd loop, we stopped by our cars, grabbed some more fluids/food, and headed out for the 3rd lap. The great thing about this workout was the oppurtunity to test your nutrition plan for IMLP all while spending lots of time on the bike.

We finished the first 3 laps and I was feeling great. I had the help of Jimmy and our friends and teammates Andy, Matt, and Sara P. The five of us headed out on the run, and after 3 miles Jimmy and I were the only ones of our group of 5 that were going to continue. He and I met up with Mike R (the workout host) and two of his buddies. We finished the fourth lap of the bike and began the 5th lap up to the base of Mt. Wachusett. By the time we got to the base of the mountain, it was just me and Jimmy. Mike and his buddy Neil were ahead of us, while the last guy fell off the back. Jimmy and I worked together to get to the summit. As we climbed through the still present fog, it got warmer and warmer. Once we hit the peak it was still foggy but you could feel the sun burning through. We exchanged complimentary words, took a swig from our bottles and hit the descent.

The descent was fun except for the fact that it was freezing. The sun hadn't hit everywhere yet and we were still in a wet fog. On the way back to the cars we passed Dawn and Mark on their way to the summit. Mark was out enjoying another ride as he always does (even though he doesnt race, he puts in more miles than most people I know) and was keeping Dawn company as she is training for a ride up Mt Washington in August. We said quick hello's to them and continued out our way. We got back to the car, put he bikes away and were off on our second run. Jimmy and I completed the 2nd run holding about 7:30 pace, and both felt pretty good once we got back to the car.

We met up with the others that completed the workout and headed to a local pizza place for food. Overall it was an AWESOME training experience. It gave me great confidence for IMLP and I had a blast along the way. Jimmy has been really helpful with my training on the bike and is great at motivating and pushing you in a workout, so thanks Jimmy for all your help.

In total we covered 120 miles on the bike, 6 miles running. The bike covered 9250 ft of climbing while maintaining a 19.7 mph average. On the car ride home I called Uno's to double check that I wasn't working that night and they informed me that I WAS in fact on the schedule. So instead of recovering once I got home, I threw on the uniform and headed to 5 hours of work on my feet. Great way to the end the day