Thursday, October 02, 2008

Moving on

Date: Oct. 2
Mileage: 30.1
October mileage: 30.1

My recovery from my Golden Circle ride seems to have been nearly instantaneous. The typical muscle rigor mortis never set in, and by Sunday morning I was raring to go again. I only had a five-mile ride to the ferry terminal, but I felt energetic and strong (the pseudo-hurricane of the night before had mostly let up by daybreak.) I took a day off Monday to deal with my wreck of a house and a bunch of other chores, and took advantage of a sunny window Tuesday morning to hike up Mount Jumbo. These pictures are from the quick Jumbo jaunt.

I did my first ride since the bike trip today. My finger numbness and saddle sores have almost entirely abated. This surprised me, actually, because the pavement along the Golden Circle is seriously rough. I'd say gravel road rough, in many spots. By the end of the trip, I was really wishing for full suspension, or at least rear suspension. After I rode the Golden Circle last year, my pinkie fingers were numb for at least 10 weeks. I expected the numbness to linger this year as well, but it's almost entirely gone already. In fact, it seems the only "injury" I have left over from the trip is an itchy chafing rash around both knees, caused by wearing knee braces all day long. Sometimes I wonder if those things cause more maladies than they prevent, but I've gone more than a full year now without knee problems, so I'll continue to hold on to my placebos, even if chafing is the cost.

I think my lack of need for recovery time shows I really am becoming better at pacing myself for multiday endurance trips. Although my Golden Circle trip was pretty lax by "ultra" standards - 10- to 12-hour days as opposed to 16- to 18-hour days - I think I have found a moving pace and a comfort level that I can maintain day after day after day. Of course it would be nice to find ways to go "faster." But, for me, "sustainable" is a pretty good victory.

My final stats for the trip:
Mileage: 367.45
Total ascent: 15,624 feet
Maximum elevation: 3,451 feet
Minimum elevation: 0 feet
Moving time: 29 hours 59 minutes
Stopped: 3 hours, 26 minutes (this is only the time I was stopped while riding. I turned off my GPS at the end of each day.)
Moving average: 12.2 mph

My next big trip is a hike across the Grand Canyon with my dad and his friend on Oct. 11. After I voiced my frustration about not being able to get time off in early October to ride Trans Utah, my boss pulled some strings and helped me take a few days off over the second weekend so I could do this annual trip with my dad. It's a fair compromise, and I'm really excited to take a trip down to the desert, even if is a brief one. Trans Utah, as it turns out, was first postponed and then moved ahead to deal with a major storm that is supposed to move through the area this weekend. I believe some of the riders are out there right now. Here's wishing them the best of luck and the driest of weather.

I'm hoping to get out for a longish hike tomorrow, depending on the weather here, just to make sure my hiking muscles are still in good shape for a long trek across the Grand Canyon. After I return from my desert trip, October is typically my "speed work" month. I hope to spend more time on hill intervals this month, as my Golden Circle trip proved I still have a lot of work to do on my climbing. Then, after that, who knows? The season is young. :-)