Last year I did a lot of writing and not a lot of training for the 2009 edition of the Assault on Mt Mitchell. Here's a chronological list of the several posts I made about it:
Have you been training?
Getting Psyched for the Assault
Who Conquered Whom? The man or Mt Mitchell
It is interesting to go back and read those posts a year later. I was in such a different place last year. This year is a little different. I have been doing a lot of riding and not a lot of writing - especially about such a big event! The Assault and meeting this year's time goal is one of the big ones for me this year. I'm a little surprised that I haven't written something about this year's assault, but based on my post count for the year I shouldn't be.
To date, I have ridden a total of 1898 miles on my road bike. That is nearly double the mileage I had completed leading up to last year's Assault. It is an interesting number - with the 102 miles for Mt Mitchell, that will put me right at 2000 miles on the year at the summit of Mitchell.
Yes, despite the fact I currently show 1898 miles, I may not have an opportunity to ride my road bike again before the assault starts on the 24th. This week is a busy week for me at work, and I will have to substitute running in place of riding for the week.
Next Saturday (22 May) I won't be able to get on the road bike either - I'll be helping out with a charity ride to raise money for a flow park in Travelers Rest (www.gonnalovethisplace.com). That will be a mountain bike ride in Dupont State Forest - a really great place to ride. Come out and ride with is - meet at Sunrift Adventures at 9am to purchase raffle tickets for a 10am drawing, or meet us at Guion Farms Parking area (off of sky valley road) at 1130am (directions to Dupont Forest found here).
With the Assault just over a week away and with all of the riding I've been doing, I've had a lot of time to think about my goal this year. It started out that I wanted to trim an hour from last year's time of 7:55 (In all honesty, I would have been happy with anything less than 7 hours). However, with the riding I've been doing, and the climbing I've been doing, I've revised my goal for the year.
A few things went into this decision. My time for the 3 state 3 Mountain century was 5:13 (ride time 5:07). I rode wheel to wheel with my new friend John for the Saluda Grade Repeats. We finished the 84 miles and (approximate) 8400 feet of climbing together in under 6 hours (5:40ish I think) total time. A few weeks ago, on the Grey Ribbon Ride, I managed to crest the summit of the Green River Cove Road climb to take the KOM honors. I felt strong on that ride and we finished in just a couple of minutes over 4 hours for the 76 miles.
So, what is my new goal? John finished both of the last two years in around 6 hours (one year was about 5:55 and the other year was about 6:05). He (and many of my friends) are convinced I am going to be at the summit in less than 6 hours. I feel confident that I will do much better than my last year's time, but I am setting my goal for 6:30. I think this is a goal that will push me quite a bit. The key is going to be keeping with the lead pack until Marion.....
Because after that, it's all uphill.
2 years ago