Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Green Crush

If you've been reading my blogs for very long you know I like to make bold (and sometimes ridiculous) assertions and proclamations.  It's just kinda this thing I do.

Recently many checks have come due.  I said yeah I'd take the AICP and become a Certified Planner.  I gave in to peer pressure and signed up for the Mohican again this year.  Tuesday I took the AICP.  Tuesday I didn't quite crush the exam, but I did pass it.  By one point.  It's not official yet, but I'm confident in a few weeks it will be.

The Mohican looms.  It's the same old song and dance.  I didn't lose any weight.  I didn't train enough.  Now time has run out.  I'll do as well as I can do.  My only real goal was that I wanted to best my Alpine Odyssey time of 6:45 for the 100k.  Well, that and to finish.  I don't know how I'll do.  I'm just going to go and have fun.  No stress.

I had so much free time this past holiday weekend that I had decided at some point I was going to bike to Long Wall, rope-solo Big Country, and return home victorious.  Due to my other housekeeping and fitness activities I failed to muster the gumption to make that trek.  It is high on the list of treks still to make.

One of those fitness activities was a return to Pilot Knob for a trail "run."  Technically it was more of a run/hike because I'm fat, but the upside is that I didn't sprain the heck out of my ankle like I did last time I trail ran there.

Looking west from the promontory

Otherwise I didn't run or bike over the four days (I'm counting Friday) though I did work diligently on the backyard trail and in the garden.  I did study for the exam.

Tuesday I did make it over to Cave Run Lake (CRL) and I rode the ridge section of the Sheltowee Trace with Dave and Dirty Harry.  I beat them there and decided to get in as much riding as I could.  I climbed up from the visitors' center and rode out Lakeview Ridge.  As I left the Sheltowee fat drops of rain fell.

I didn't go far before turning back and at the junction with the ST I stopped and dried off a bit.  I had a text from Dave that they were getting ready to head up.  And then another that they were going to wait out the rain.  Then the rain started falling on me in earnest.

Finally I got another text that they were coming so I got ready.  Standing in the woods in the rain with nowhere to go is actually quite relaxing.  The ride at Cave Run was my victory lap after taking the exam.  I was enjoying it to the fullest.

Dave approaching the Sheltowee/Lakeview Ridge junction

Harry came out of the soup first.  He swam ashore out of the flood of humidity.  Dave lagged slightly behind.  We commiserated a few minutes before striking off for "the sign" (at the Big Limestone Trail junction).  I felt infinitely stronger from that point on. The climb up from the VC is a tough warmup.  The ridge proper gently rolls and sucks you in to the deep end of speed.  Current conditions are thick growth overhanging the trail and despite the rain dry as a boneyard. 

I blew my line a few times.  I reined it in but only just.  I glided and gouged over the roots and rocks like a surfer on a perfect wave.  I was deep in a state of flow and reluctant to re-engage with the confines of time.

We gathered at the sign for a few minutes and talked shop.  When thunder rumbled back over the lake Harry reared like a wild buck.  It was time to chase ourselves out of the woods.

My warm-up was complete, and I gunned for glory.  I didn't hold back on the downhills and I jumped up and down on the pedals to coast over the small hills.  I only slacked on the long final descent, the uphill crux, until I was back on a wider section of trail, and then I throttled up for the final push.

Despite Harry's gunshyness (from a recent broken collarbone at CVP) he came rolling into the parking lot right behind me.  He really wanted off that ridge before the rain came.  Of course it never came.

For a final hurrah before the Mohican it was beneficial.  Am I going to go wide open in Loudonville?  Uncertain.  I'm going to go.  I feel good after Cave Run though.  I don't feel quite like Superman, but I feel good.