I originally signed up for the Sun Mountain 50k back in January when Sarah and I first committed to the race in the Alps. In fact, I originally signed up for three 50k's until I realized what I actually needed was shorter back to back training days this time of year. So needless to say, I am passing on the 50k this weekend and instead, aiming to turn the weekend into back to back semi-long days.
Unfortunately Sarah was unable to come this weekend, as it would have been our first training block together. Luckily, I have other amazing training partners and friends along with us this weekend who are inspiring and motivating me with my training and Sarah is highly motivated herself and is hitting the trails back in K-Town to do her own version of suffering :)
Like our first day here. 6 of us set out from the campground and rode from Winthrop, through Mazama and up the Washington Pass Hwy. What a friggen climb!! We rode for a total of 4hrs, 5500 feet and 100km. It was an amazing day to be on the road bike. Bright sunny skies, good company, steady pace and snacks at the Mazama coffee shop before making the last 25km back to Winthrop.
Trent and I both commented that in all the places we have been riding and have seen via the saddle of our bikes, the Washington Pass Hwy hit the top 3. With views of the East Cascade Range, a fairly favorable grade, wicked descent and awesome paved roads - we were in heaven. Not to mention, we lucked out in that they still had the hwy closed and were just in the process of completing their blasting and road clearing in hopes to open the hwy the following day.
We hammered the pace line back on the way home and in some sections pulling 46k +... I got to the exhaustion point of my workout. This was my longest ride this year, so despite the fact I knew I would be tired the next day - I knew this was exactly what I needed. The challenge to even get started the next few days and to try to create stage II, III, and IV in the days to follow.
A dip in the pool, Mexican food, beer and good friends finished off the near perfect day. We have plans to go out to Sun Mountain for a mountain bike ride tomorrow and then the trail race on Sunday. Gotta keep thinking 'Alps'... 'Alps'... 'Alps'.