Monday, June 27, 2011

This Week in Training-Please no more rain!!


Finally today I'm able to put the sneakers outside to dry without threat of a lingering storm to refill the shoes with water and hopefully the stench of old moldy sneakers will disappear too.  One can only hope.  I have a new dryer with a high tech drying rack.  Not as good as the sun.

Sneaker drying rack..

This past week has been a busy one.  It was the last full week of intensive training before a gradual somewhat taper to prepare for some upcoming races with the VT 100 Mile less than 3 weeks away and the Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc after that.  I think I managed to get through one, maybe two days of running without being rained on.  Monday started out as a beautiful day, fooling you into believing every day could be like this.  To fully take advantage I snuck in a shorter run just before lunch.  Got some work done and then headed down to Addison to get the skydiving season officially open.  Vermont Skydiving is an awesome place.  Very low key but they know their stuff and also how to have fun.

Vermont Skydiving
After my quick refresher it was time to go up.  Adam, Colin, Ole, myself and a student got comfy for the 20 minute or so ride up with Joe, our faithful pilot.  It's a very relaxing ride up, a bit noisy but you get in a totally relaxed state of mind and at times fall asleep.  The views this day were incredible and the air was cool and clean, except Joe had a bit of a gas problem and when you are locked in a small Cessna, there's not much you can do except turn on the miniature vents.  The plane from the inside is stripped out of seats except for the pilot's seat and the interior is held together with lots of duct tape.  Finally at about 12,000 we are ready to exit.  Adam is first out with myself following about 7 seconds later.  My favorite is the door dive into a forward roll then settling in.  It's so much fun to play superman.  I cruise around for about a minute or so, rolling flipping looking at the sites while dropping at 120 mph or so and also looking for the other skydivers.  At around 3500 feet I throw out the chute, all good.  I see Adam down below and shortly Ole comes cruising by and drops below. Colin goes zipping by too, not too far and I follow along behind.   They have smaller chutes which makes them drop faster.  After a nice soft landing, I feel great.  There's nothing like diving out of a plane.   At the end of the day, the kegolator flows but not for me today.  I still need to get more mileage in.  So after I get home, it's another 10 miles or so.

Tuesday's are always busy.  We have the Tuesday Night trail running series at Catamount Family Center.  It's a rolly, twisty 5k trail run with about 300 runners in a mass start.  That in itself would be fun but usually I get in an hour or so of running before the race.  This week I ran with Aliza for a while which would be her last home turf run until she came back from running in the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run on the weekend.  After a pleasant run, I ran some more and then it was race time.  It's always a wild, too fast start but soon mellows just a bit, mainly because it becomes a narrow single track and it's almost impossible to pass in certain sections.  But that also gives you time to regroup and catch your breath for a moment.  This night I'm a bit tired.  Getting in max miles this month is catching up.  I can't seem to stay up with Sam, he's running well tonight and Alan is gone too.  Oh well, enjoy it.  Afterwards we head out for another loop.  This turns out to be a 20+ mile day.

Wed. arrives and it will be another night at Catamount but this time for mountain bike racing.  I ran about 10 or 12 miles before the race and then the rains started, just in time for the bike races.  It's coming down enough to make it greasy and each lap gets worse.  Tonight I just did a 2 lapper as I still needed more running miles in.  But I took full advantage of the mud and wore as much as I could.  After the bike race, I threw on the running shoes and off on the trails I went.

Muddy night at Catamount
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, the rain just would not let up.  The shoes are starting to smell as I go through my inventory of Mizuno's looking for dry stock.  I got in some great runs starting at the Forest and then heading over to Sleep Hollow.  There's a great loop called the Jedi Loop which is up and down and all around on great single track thanks to the efforts of the Fellowship of the Wheel.  But of course it's raining, the only good thing, not as many bugs and the temps are cooler too.  Sunday I'm trying to plan a trip to run the Pemi Loop in NH but the weather is not looking good either so I decide I can run up at Stowe in the rain as well as I can run in NH so I might as well save some drive time.  Sunday morning I head over to the Toll Road at Stowe.

The Toll Road

Where's the sun?
The lower elevation temps are ok so I head out with shorts, no shirt and a cap.  The usual summer attire.  As I gain elevation I can feel the temps dropping and the wind is slowly picking up but nothing like on Mt. Washington the weekend before.  About halfway up I feel a bit of a sprinkle but it lets up, maybe it was just fog.  Once I get to the visitor's center I decide to go right up to the summit as bad weather could come in at any time and at the moment, it's bearable.  Deep in the clouds with a little wind but overall a pleasant trip to the Chin and an immediate turn around and down.  It's not warm enough to hang around.  As I head down the Toll Road the drizzle picks up again and then turns to a downpour.  I remember I left a pair of shoes out to dry next to the car.  I don't think they will be dry any time soon.  As I drop in elevation the rain increases and the body temp is dropping too.  I think this really sucks, I'm tired of the rain.  Soaking wet with about a mile to go on lap one I see two girls on mtn. bikes going up in the rain.  As I'm going by one of them says with enthusiasm, "Looking good!".  Well maybe this isn't such a bad day.  A good ego booster is always helpful when the day really sucks.  When I get to the car I'm totally drenched and decide to put on some dry clothes.  Luckily I had one other pair of shoes inside the car which were dry.  So new dry shorts, dry shoes and socks, some food and off I go.  Loop two was ok.  It was dry for most of it with the exception of some sprinkling here and there.  Up to the visitor center and back down.  Next up, the final loop.  After a snack and drink I'm off.  The skies are overcast as they have been.  About half way up, first a fine drizzle which turns into a steady downpour.  This really sucks.  About 3/4 of the way up I am so tired of rain which almost looks like sleet and hail at this point that I remember a portolet which I'm contemplating going into to get out of the rain.  But just as I come around the corner, the rain lets up, for the time being anyway.  Another 5 minutes up, turn around and down I go.  The rain is still coming down on and off and at times just pouring.  I can hear my feet slapping on the downhill in the wet.  Finally it's done, a 30 mile hill workout in challenging conditions.

Mount Mansfiield covered with clouds.
And so it ends, another stellar week of training including jumping out of airplanes, mountain bike racing and 120+ miles of running.  If it just would stop raining...

1 comment:

Joyce said...

wow, what a fun post Jack! And a 30 mile hill run in crazy weather! I can't wait to do that Stowe hill climb when I'm ready! Maybe by then we'll see more sun!