As race week arrived, I planned to get in some light training to not accidentally de-train, but I didn’t want to go into the race on tired legs, which definitely slowed me down in Miami – my day before pre-ride was just too much.
On Monday, 13 May, I went on a long bike ride on the road. I have a strange Giant Revive that was my dad’s. I took off in the dark with the goal of keeping it real mellow and find a place to do my morning blend of stretching and light yoga. I ended up feeling good and riding out over the north causeway to the beach – maybe 5 miles or so – and stretching while watching the sun rise. Nice way to start the day and week. I rode home the long way and over the taller south causeway bridge. I’m not sure how far I went but the ride fit perfectly with what I wanted.
We left town really early on Tuesday morning and made it over halfway to Pelham before we needed an extended family stop. I guess I’m not using “needed” so well though. Our boys (4 and 6) were doing great, but to keep the peace, we took an extended stop for some lunch and time out of the car. We ended up at a great rest stop in Ozark, Al on highway 231. The place was clean and vacant. After lunch, it was time to get our bodies moving. We did some family calisthenics, and I ended getting in a bit of a workout. I must file this technique for the next trip. We may lost an hour on our drive time, but we gained something so much more important – sanity.
Wednesday morning began in our cabin on Oak Mountain. The weather was quite cool, and I started my day with a bit of riding around on the trails around the cabin lake to get warmed up and to get my bearings. Later in the day I met up with Casey for a ride/tour of some of the bike course. We climbed the road to save my legs and ended up riding the notorious Red Trail from about the halfway point. The total ride was about 15 miles in about 1:45. Casey’s tour was perfect. We dropped onto the trail from an area around the Bump Connector and through Blood Rock > Johnson’s Mountain > Foreplay > Rattlesnake Ridge. I got in a super fun ride and hit all of the really tough parts of the course. The ones I would be facing at the end of the ride, when as Casey mentioned, “You will be ready to be off the bike.” Damn was he right.
My main taper really began on Thursday, though I did get in a super fun ride with Shael and Phoenix, a 14-year-old who I had not seen since he was about 5. He led the way with Shael in the middle. We rode an out and back on some of the red trail from the area around the BMX track and up through the Rock Garden. It was a great way to stay loose and have some fun with the boys. And then I did relatively nothing but rest and stretch on Friday, the day before the race….