Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Weiser River Trail: Buck-O-Five

Weiser River bear from Jeremy Humphrey on Vimeo.

I spent yesterday biking the Weiser River Trail.  I have raced there, but never biked it.  It is a rather smooth (rocky in places) and gently rolling path next to the gurgling Weiser River.  It travels from the high mountain meadow of New Meadows, ID southward through a deep canyon before reaching farmlands and open country desert, and finally terminates where the river dumps into the Snake River in Weiser, ID.  It is 84 miles one-way.  I got an early start and entertained thoughts of a double crossing.  However, after a few hours, I realized with the fresh crushed rocks laid down recently and a nasty wind swirling, I was not going all the way.  So, I focused on a century ride.  I've never biked more than a few hours, so a hundred would be a good challenge. I would go from the north terminus at Wye Trailhead, south to Midvale and back.  At Midvale, I would stop for a meal at the Country Coffee Cabin for my midday cessation of activities for consumption of mass quantities.  With a few trips off the trail for snacks, Gatorade, etc- I would get 105 miles.

Along the way, I saw: 2 black bears, 2 owls, many elk and deer (whitetail and mule), eagles, hawks, turkeys, ducks, snakes, rabbits, beavers, assorted rodents and fish splashing.  Lots of cattle and horses grazed in the idyllic meadows along the lazy agricultural stretches.

There were 2 bears together in these bushes.  One was much larger, but I could not get her on camera.  I zoomed up to get these pics.  I don't go close to wildlife on purpose.  Except in September.
Typical stretch of river in the middle miles near Cambridge, ID.
Looking north towards Council Mountain on the return trip.
The best Blueberry Pie I've ever eaten at Country Coffee Cabin in Midvale, ID.  After dispatching a double decker "Titan" Burger, fries and a delicious double espresso- I went for this treat.  Tons of fresh fruit, very little sugar and fresh cream.  WOW!  If you are driving up the Rt 95 corridor for any reason, this place should not be missed.

Near Council, with about 20 miles to go, I blew a tire.  Yesterday, I purchased some tools, pump and an extra tube at Gravity Sports in McCall.  I also watched a 2 minute video on Youtube, so I was pretty much a mechanic by that point.  When the tire blew, I got the old one off, switched tubes and pumped it up. had a big tear in it!  I put the old tube back on and tried to get the SLIME to work. I spun it and pumped it and nothing.  I sat there dejected in the stifling heat.  After a while, I decided to walk the bike over to the road and try to hitch a ride up canyon to my rig.  I tried one more session of furious spinning and amazingly it worked.  I pumped up the old tire, with the SLIME now holding and off I went.  It is hard to come back when you have resigned yourself to defeat, but I took this opportunity to challenge my mind and finish it off.  One problem, my ASS HURT HORRIBLY.  "Biking is dumb and I hate it.  Why am I doing this? Why am I wearing my Old Man's cotton bike shorts from 1990?  The chamois is freaking BURLAP! AHHHH." I swear it I felt like I was sitting in a pile of fire ants.  My legs felt fresh, but the saddle sores were sucking my will to live.

Marsh full of ducks near Council, ID.

Bonking, slowing and stopping frequently.  I have some weak Gatorade in the bottle, but it was not getting it done.  I desperately needed fat and protein.  10 uphill miles to go.
Almost done.  Usually, I cringe at the sight of the old Lumber Mill- a blight in the beautiful valley.  After suffering greatly while climbing the final canyon, I was so happy to see it today.  Only 2 miles to go.
Done.  105 miles in 8:30.  3000' vertical gain and loss.
Bike: My wife's Marin mountain bike.  Quite a bit lighter than mine and slimmer tires.
Ultimate Direction Jurek pack
Ultimate Direction 26 ounce bottle in my bike mount.
5 VFuel Gels
1 VESPA Ultra Concentrate.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

May 12- 18: Almost like training...not quite.

Totals: 70 miles, 21,000 vert.

5/12:  90 min massage, then 7 mile trail run (1000' vert) at Bear Basin.  First run this year on local trails, even if they are the lower ones.  Still some snow here and there, but good enough for the girls I go with!

5/13:  Brundage Skin and Ski 3 laps 4800'.  2 hard laps in 24-25 mins each, then 1 easier lap with Brandi.  Sweet, sunny spring conditions.  Mega dosage of Vitamin D today!

5/14: Brundage Skin and Ski 1 lap easy, then Goose Creek Falls Trail 3.5 miles.  2750' vert.

5/15: 12 miles, 4000' vert run with Jacob in Rapid River.  Up and down Rattlesnake plus some more miles in the East Fork Rapid River.  Camped at Trailhead w/Jacob.

5/16: 10 mile Mountain Bike (Wildhorse Loop), then 5 hour/19 mile/7000' vert run in Rapid River.  85deg F and super humid.  Tough day with lots of snow, bushwhacking and route-finding.  With 10 miles to go, I found some morel mushrooms and decided to eschew my water and fill my bottle with shrooms.  A memorable dehydration bonk ensued with dizziness and racing heartrate, but at least I have something to take home to the wife besides a sunburn. Another humbling thumping at the hands of Rattlesnake Hill.  All hills that matter or have meaning must have a nickname. I have taken to calling this one the "Commute," as it is the necessary evil of tangling with the canyon.  Camped at Trailhead w/Jacob.

5/17: Fartlek/Tempo run at Wildhorse with Jacob.  8 miles/1000' vert.  3 harder fartlek miles in the 6 min pace range on rolling hills.  Felt great to shift gears from humping 20% grades to some actual striding out.  Very happy with how the legs responded after yesterday's beating.  Drove home and went straight to the Donnelly Fire Dept BBQ Fundraiser.  Threw down with heaping piles of primo smoked meats and picnic fixins. 

5/18: Rainy/cold GYM day.  40 minutes Pool Running (DWR): 5 mins warmup, 30 minutes of 30 seconds sprint/ 30 seconds easy, 5 minutes easy cooldown.  40 minutes Spin Bike: 2 minutes easy and 2-3 minutes out of saddle in top resistance.  Went pretty hard today and lost touch with sanity on a few of the pool intervals.  Finished with an hour of plyometric box jumps, core work and stretching/rolling.  Solid day.

Quarter mile to go on the "Commute."  Photo by Jacob Robinson.
Still skinning. Pretty psyched to see what my summer peak looks like when stacked on top of a skiing base.  Every season is an experiment with an unknowable outcome.  I feel that the strength gained from repeated climbs of over 30% slopes will tip the odds in my favor to enjoy a healthy and satisfying year.

Rippin' spring corn with Brandi on a 70 degree day.

Bike, ski,or run?  Yes please!
Ski Fox trying to poach some food.  I don't feed wild animals, but he sure is cute.
Payette Lake and the Crestline Trail to the north.  Brandi and I were married right at this spot.
Jacob biking the Wildhorse Loop above the East Fork of Rapid River canyon.
Jacob climbing the 1000' feet per mile slope of Wyant Creek.

Rapid River.  I have been trying to open this loop for 3 years, but snow has always stopped me.  Rattlesnake TH, down to Wyant Camp, up Wyant Creek to Bryan Mountain, down to Potter Place and the West Fork of RR, back the East Fork of RR, up to Rattlesnake TH to finish.  10 mile mountain bike warmup.  Big day.  I have one more mega loop proj down there this year.  Should be ready by mid-June.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

9 Years

The Old Man in front of Mount Foraker, AK.  9 years ago today, the Old Man took a tumble in Alaska.  He was "horizontal" for a short spell.  The lack of motion must have been hell for him.  A few months later, he was lifted into the winds high above the Colorado Rockies.  Still climbing.  Always Vertical. 

Training Update
Three things I dislike.  Bikes, Biking and Bikers.  They all seem to be sponsored and need ridiculous amounts of logo'ed up spandex for a cruise on the bike path.  I am coming to find out that hate it or not, biking is a workout.  I pedal the same steep hill in 16 minutes that I run in 10.  It's different though.  It's not as boring or pointless as I thought it would be.  It seems to be working.  I rock the Old Man's mid-90's vintage Trek.  Probably 50 pounds of metal and rubber.

I've been combining the biking, skiing and some running together to get my training hours up and build my endurance.  I just logged a 60 mile running week, plus a ton of other cross training.  That is the most I have run this year.  Everything is feeling groovy.  Itching to race.

My first photo of a wolf.  He was 200+ yards away and running away from me.  Not a very exciting pic, but I finally got one on film!  For you, Lucho.

A break at snowline to cool down in some snow.  An ancient 2 point antler- whitened in the sun after years of lying about.  Rapid River, just under Pollack Mountain.

Pollack Mountain with my nugget in the way.  A bunch of my pics from this day got cut off during the upload to my computer.

Brandi skinning.  

Skinning Brundage.  Tons of snow this week made for good skiing.  Should be ski-able until June.
My protege Jacob scores a podium at The Weiser River 50k in 3:57.    Since we have been working together this year, he has been 5th, 2nd and 3rd overall.  Watch out for him this year.  One who laughs and celebrates the worse he a man you should fear.  A guy like THIS.
April 27- May 11

Sun April 27:  Gym.  Bike intervals for 78 minutes.  Rolled the spin bike into the 80+F pool area and knocked out intervals. 1 min hard, 1 min easy, then 2 hard, 1 easy. I wore 3 layers.  Lost 6 pounds.  Shorted out my ipod I was sweating so bad.

Mon April 28: Easy Recovery.  30 min elliptical at high resistance. Stretch and core work in sauna after.

Tues April 29: Bike 14mi, Run 8mi.  Started at the bottom of the Whitebird Ridge Road on the bike.  Ride 7 miles up the mountain to the Rattlesnake Trailhead (2500' vert gain).  Then stashed the bike in the woods and ran down the trail to Wyant Camp, then back up (2000' gain, 2000' loss).  Rode the bike back down to the truck (2500' loss).

Weds April 30: 14 miles, 3000' vert.  Run up Thorn Creek Road (snowy) to Brundage Resort.  Snow power hike up to Brundage Summit.  Run down the Cat Track (snow), then down Goose lake Road at good tempo to truck.

Thurs May 1:  2:30.  20 mile bike with Brandi at Fish Lake Forest Roads.  Did some of the climbs pretty hard.  2000' vert gain.

Fri May 2:  14mi bike.  27mi run.  Same bike as Tuesday.  From the Rattlesnake Trailhead, I ran down to Wyant Camp, went up the East Fork of Rapid River to Frypan Creek.  Climbed a few thousand feet up there to above 7000'.  Tried to make a loop of it, but snow stopped me.  I reversed it all the way back.  Spectacular bonk on the way back.  Mid-80's F down in the canyon scorched me good.  Barely able to ride the bike back down the hill to the truck.  Perfect endurance builder.  6+ hours and over 10,000 vert combined.

Sat May 3:  OFF.  Pretty sore all over.

Sun May 4: 90 min yoga.  2 hour, 21 mi bike at Fish Lake.

Mon May 5: My 35th Birthday.  OFF.

Tues May 6:  14 mi run at Last Chance.  2 hours, 2250 vert.  Ran some of the hills very hard.  Took easier stretches as needed to keep the effort reasonable.

Weds May 7: Bike 25mi + 9 mi run.  I broke the derailleur off my bike and had to run home.  4 hours of hard work on 1 gel and 16 oz water.

Thurs May 8:  Brundage Skin and Ski 1 lap with Brandi easy.  1600' vert.  Then I ran home 4 miles through Whitetail.

Fri May 9: Brundage Skin and Ski 3 laps. 4800' vert.  Moderate effort.  Lots of fresh snow.  On the way home, I stopped at the Little Ski Hill and ran 3 laps up their main ski run.  It is 375' vert per lap in just .38 miles.  That makes it 1000' per mile. I run these in a controlled effort in around 5 minutes.  This gets the HR way up.  Workout totaled 3.5 mi and 1100' vert.

Sat May 10: Brundage Skin and Ski 3 laps 4800' vert.  Harder efforts.  Lots of people on the hill today with the fresh, deep pow.  Freshies all day.  After ski, I went to the gym and did 30 mins elliptical, then core, mobility and strength work.

Sun May 11: I got my bike fixed and tuned.  2 hours biking at Last Chance.  2000' vert.  Some harder pushes on the hills, but pretty chill.