Monday, August 23, 2010

2010 TransRockies Run - Stage 2 Report


About time things turned around...

Today was a good day - But with all the damage I did to my quads (legs) over the past 2 days, I'm not so sure how tomorrow will turn out...

I love stage 2's profile...Not only does it remind me of my own Rockies' trails, but it also caters to my strengths - steep up, and fast, technical down.  The only problem is that this year they added a additional 5km of flat after we bottomed out.  I have to admit that this section had me a bit worried...time would tell.

After yesterday's performance, I wasn't quite sure what to expect today - My main objective was to go out easy, have a strong steady climb, and cruise down the backside but not out-of-control-blow-up-the-quads fast...just in control, and leave some juice in the tank for the flats at the end...Of course, I never follow plans.
 
Before I had a chance to catch myself, I was flying down the road with the leaders (idiot!), and followed them up the start of the steep grind...Oh well, might as well go with the flow!  As I started climbing, I settled down and simply got into a cruisy walking pace, setting the tempo with my poles.  It didn't take long for the lead teams to start walking themselves, and I slowly started picking them away one by one.

As soon as we moved above the treeline, Hope Pass (our target) became visible, sitting pretty at 3,600m! One switchback after another, I picked away at the poles, staying in contact with the leaders, who hovered 30sec ahead...After an hour of climbing, the flip side of the valley opened up with an amazing view, that I did actually enjoy for about half a second...

It didn't take long for me to catch up on the descent, and next thing I knew I was sitting 2nd overall - only the current TRRun-3 leader, Justin Ricks was ahead.  I knew that if I totally let loose on the downhill I could do some serious damage to my quads (like last year!), so after passing the TRR teams, I eased back a bit, letting the steepness control the speed (as opposed to pushing the pace more).  Max King and Andy Martin actually caught back up to me in this part of the decent, but after a few technical sections, I found myself alone again...

The new 5km of flats added to this years route actually turned to be quite rolling, and very similar to the Minnewanka trail back home - and that's what I used to motivate myself to keep up the pace.  I was sitting about 2+min back of the lead at this point, and wanted to hold off Max/Andy...but the stiffness was starting to creep up. 

"Tempo, tempo..."


How bumpy was the ride into Vicksburg?  Very!
Not knowing the trail always makes things seem longer...and time was creeping by..."Where is that damn finish line!" Eventually, the forest cleared, and the finish line appeared in the distance...A quick look back...nobody there!

I crossed the line in 2nd overall, losing a further ~4min to Justin, who was absolutely flying. After losing over 30min yesterday, I was already at a big disadvantage starting the day, but this result helped boost me back in contention - Currently sitting 4min and change off 3rd. I'm hoping I can chip away more time tomorrow and 'eek' my way onto the podium...

So there it is...One more day to go! Tomorrow's 38km stage will be difficult as it's more rolling than I like, but you never know...

A few pics of post-Stage 2

At the start...Runners get ready to run up to 3,600m!
Martin Gaffuri: A man of many talents - Seen here adjusting his fancy poles for the climb up...
Les Filles Salomon - Le Coureur:  Amelie and Danielle sporting their leaders' jerseys!

More ice cold recovery action - Ted and Ross getting chilled!

2 comments:

rumon said...

Dude, you're running Max King and co. off your heels?! F'n impressive, brah! Good luck tomorrow - be rooting for ya back here at sea level.

Man Overboard said...

WOW! that ice baths are awesome!Would love to see them introduced here!