Endurance Race Training, New Trails, Electrolytes, and The Full Story of Life

I wanted to add a quick blog post about a variety of things, which I could establish a common link for if I wanted to, but I think I will just leave it as implied for now and let you come to your own conclusion as you reflect on your own life.

First, Labor Day. What a great holiday. is the Wikipedia page on the holiday as observed in the U.S.
So, to me, Labor Day means getting a day off that is a paid holiday which celebrates working, with the absence of working. Awesome. It also is the symbolic end of summer. I love summer, but dislike the heat and enjoy spring almost as much as fall. I love fall the most. My allergies die down, it gets cooler and I can plan some local camping trips. Fall colors on the trees, holiday get togethers are up ahead. I love fall.

My wonderful wife said to me on Saturday, 9/3/11, “So where are you going to ride and who are you going to ride with on Monday morning?” She knows this is a surprise gift she is giving me. We are in the middle of moving and I assumed all weekend, even Labor Day, would be spent packing and moving items to our new home. I was ecstatic. She told me just to be home by 10am. That gave me at least 3.5, maybe even 4 hours of ride time. Right at the lower limit of whats needed for me to do a training ride for endurance races. For Endurance Race training, I like to do around 30 miles with 1,000ft elevation gain for every 10 miles if possible and I can normally average 8-9 mph on some of the local trails around here.
So I got an early start, waking at 445am with almost all my gear already in the car or on the couch, waiting for me to wake up. I got out the door by 515am and drove out to MTRP. As I drove, the roads were wet. Wet? In September? In San Diego? Yep. Weird. I guess summer really IS over.

As I got to MTRP, I realized that it was still really dark from the heavy clouds. This time of year it is usually kinda light around 530am, even though sunrise doesn’t happen for another half hour.
I decided to park at Mast and Medina in Santee instead and “commute” on Mast to MTRP to complete the short road section of my planned loop since the street lights were still on. This worked out well.

Early on my ride up Spring Canyon, I spooked a Grey Fox. Only the second time I have ever seen one. Way cool.
As I climbed up the ridgeline to the west of the Sycamore landfill, I realized some HAB (hike-a-bike) was bound to happen and I got off the bike early to save my knees for later. When I got to the top and started my descend down the Herbivore trail, I saw one of the largest Mule Deer I have ever seen. Sweet.
I continued down Spring Canyon to the climb up the trail named Western. This is a great, well constructed trail with wonderful switchbacks and a gentle, but still somewhat challenging climb. Following the fire road on top of the ridgeline that Western lets you out on, you come to the trail named Toads on your left which is a fun, bumpy downhill run crossing the creek bed numerous times. I followed the Oak Canyon trail up to the top of the ridgeline and as I climbed, I realized my helmet felt too tight. During my ride on 8/2/2011, one of the hottest days this year, I forgot to bring electrolytes and did 20 miles in the heat with lots of climbing. I felt this same “tight helmet” sensation on that ride and realized that it had to be because of a lack of electrolytes. On my Labor Day ride, I had been drinking water up to this point and really hadn’t felt bad or felt like I needed anything, but since I felt this tight helmet sensation, I decided to start in on the water bottle that had the Endurolytes FIZZ in it. I think with the high humidity, I had already started to leech out my electrolytes without realizing it. This decision to start in on the electrolyte mix at that point led to me feeling better than ever at the end of this ride. It normally would have wiped me out and now I think the wiped out feeling must have a lot to do with my previous approach to hydration and electrolytes. I came up with a saying to remind myself to take the electrolytes:

IF THE HELMET’S TIGHT, TAKE ELECTROLYTES

After reaching the ridge again, I took the fire road to a trail I had ventured up before in the spring, but never actually taken as the connector trail I wanted to use it for. This trail is apparently named Coyote. It is off camber in spots, very rocky when you get dumped into the dry creek bed and lumpy in other spots, but it is pretty fun and has that adventurous feel to it which makes it worth the head aches.

At 745am, I was supposed to meet up at Powerlines with my buddy Dave who plays drums at our church, but I was late. I raced as fast as I could and met up with two other groups of guys who pointed me down the trail saying I could catch them at the next junction if I took the low route instead of the climb they were on. That worked.

Met up with those guys and rode this new loop that has an awesome, well built, topo following, flowy downhill singletrack that is amazing. It was my second time riding this trail and after 20 miles of riding, it was a great recess to the training, especially since I was riding it with 5 other guys now.

I broke away from the group of 5 to go up Sycamore Canyon to the gate and rode back to the car to finish up with about 30 miles total. A GREAT way to start off celebrating my day of not working.

Here is the route I took:

Lastly, my buddy Ezra sent me this youtube video last week too and I can’t stop thinking about it.

Enjoy.

THE FULL STORY OF LIFE IN 4 MINUTES:

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About Nick

A servant and worshiper of Christ, a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a gecko breeder, a guitarist, a mountain biker, a GIS specialist.
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