|New swag from the RACC|
Had a tremendous ride today! Christine and I did the metric century (100 kilometer/66 mile) Ride Around Clark County (RACC). It's an annual ride sponsored by the Vancouver Bicycle Club (VBC) and they offer 18, 36, 65, and 100 mile options. We chose the 65 because it only had a 3,000 foot elevation gain, unlike the 4,500 foot gain in the 100 mile option.
The weather actually wasn't too bad, sprinkled a bit at the beginning, light rain every so often, then sun breaks and one downpour that only lasted 2 miles at the end.
I have done parts and pieces of this ride with the VBC and solo from their cue sheets, but had never done the whole thing. Well, I tell you what, it's HILLY! It is a beautiful ride, though, winding through woodsy areas, along Lacamas Lake, and into vineyard and farmlands.
Notable events on this ride...
- There were only two rest stops, Heritage Park at Lacamas Lake, mile 15.2; and Daybreak Park, mile 42.2.
- It really, truly has 3,000 foot elevation gain! The worst hill was Felida hill at mile 60, which Christine aptly noted, "Sucks monkey balls!"
- We only had one mechanical problem, which was my chain coming off my front gear stack while changing to high-high gear readying to head down a steep hill in Ridgefield, about mile 55.
- The worst part of the ride is between mile 50 and 60, despite what the elevation chart looks like! Maybe we were tired!
Due to the rainy forecast, I installed a mud guard on my rear wheel (would have put one on my front wheel but my ride computer receiver is in the way) so I could keep my butt dry and not spray other riders. It worked! Nice and dry and no skunk trail! My bike is filthy, though, and will require a intensive cleaning session tomorrow. My front derailleur is acting up now and I think it's due to dirt.
All in all, a great ride! I do recommend it. It is beautiful, even with all the hills.
I did do something different for part of my recovery after this ride. At this week's Tri Club meeting there was a discussion amongst several of us about ice baths after hard runs and rides and the great recovery benefits people get from them. I did a little research on them and found that ice baths reduce swelling and tissue breakdown by constricting blood vessels and decreasing metabolic activity. Once tissues warm up, blood flow returns faster to the area to flush out byproducts of tissue breakdown (see http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-241-285--12810-0,00.html). So I did a 15 minute ice bath when I got home, and it actually felt pretty good, surprisingly!
This Week's Training
Well this week was full of garden cross-training... I worked four days removing 1,500 sq. ft. of sod, digging irrigation trenches, and filling raised garden beds with 2 yards of soil. Needless to say, I was tired at the end of the day, and in the mornings too. I did get a couple of swim workouts in, but no runs. Will remedy that this week.
We did try to catch an open water swim with the Tri Club at Klineline Pond here in Vancouver after our swim practice Thursday, but we got there too late and everyone was gone. The water looked great, but we really didn't want to go out just the two of us, for safety. Hopefully we can get one in this week.
It's finally here, the Mock Tri! May 14th at Vancouver Lake will be my first Triathlon experience! It has a short swim, less than 1/4 mile, but sprint distance bike (11 mile) and run (3 mile). There will also be clinics, a barbeque, etc. More info here: http://www.pdxtriclub.org/content/view/211/1/
That's it for today! Have a great week and will see you again next weekend after the Mock Tri!