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Typical Training Day

At times training can get monotonous. Each day you wake up and it’s 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 Long’s Peak trailhead. Boulder’s elevation is 5, 400 feet. By 2 o’clock in the afternoon, we wanted to be at the top of Long’s 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 Long’s 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. That’s 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 wasn’t 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. Let’s 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.

© Wes Hobson Performance Inc.