Typical Training Day
At times training can get monotonous. Each day you wake
up and its swim, bike and/or run. Too spice up the
flavor of training, every once in a while it is nice to
have a training day for the memories. Here is one embedded
in my mind.
In July of 1995, pro triathletes at the time, Nate Llierandi,
Darren Wood and myself embarked on an adventure at 6 AM
on a beautiful Wednesday morning. We began on our bikes
and rolled out of town to our destination forty-six miles
away, the entrance to the Longs Peak trailhead. Boulders
elevation is 5, 400 feet. By 2 oclock in the afternoon,
we wanted to be at the top of Longs Peak where the
elevation is 14,180 feet.
The bike ride there was uneventful as we climbed up Lefthand
Canyon to the Peak to Peak highway and finished the climb
to the entrance of the Longs Peak trailhead by 9 AM.
The elevation at the entrance is about 9,200 feet. This
is where the pavement ends and the trail begins. Some friends
of ours had driven a car and brought our running shoes.
We then began to run the trail to the top. About an hour
ten into the run, we approached the base of the keyhole.
Below the keyhole was a rock field that was
partially covered with snow. We began running this segment,
only to realize that if we continued, we feared slipping
into one of the cracks and possibly breaking an ankle. Frustrated,
but still enjoying the training day and scenery, we turned
around and headed back to our bikes. After climbing on our
bikes and running two hours, you might think the hardest
part of the day was done. Thats what we thought too.
All we had left was a forty-eight mile ride descending through
South St.Vrain Canyon to the town of Lyons and then rolling
hills back to Boulder. Heck, I am riding downhill for almost
four thousand feet!
The excitement began as we descended through the canyon.
Normally, I speed down the canyon at around thirty-five
miles an hour while pedaling most of the way. However, today
I wasnt pedaling and I hit a high speed of 57 mph!
The wind had become so strong out of the West and it was
at our backs pushing us downhill. Although I was enjoying
this, I was also dreading the last fourteen miles of the
ride from Lyons to Boulder. Why? Because Highway 36 from
Boulder to Lyons runs North-South. The current tailwind
will become a dreaded side wind. After over six and a half
hours of training, we began the last fourteen miles. Lets
say drafting off each other was very hard as we had a minimum
of road to work with and we were tilting our bodies and
bikes at twenty plus degrees just to stay upright. An hour
and ten minutes later, we finally made it to Boulder. The
nice thing about doing an eight hour training day is that
the next day easy!
That is one day to remember. There is also the spontaneous
bike race of the Six Hills of Boulder. We climbed
over thirteen thousand feet and we were never more than
sixteen miles from downtown Boulder. Or the Boulder to Breckenridge
weekend rides, but those are other stories to tell my grandchildren.