Saturday, October 5, 2013

Pack Monadnock

Day two of the Government shutdown was also day two of my attempt to ElliptiGo and bike up the paved mountains in New England.  This time Pack Monadnock was my goal.

I was up at 4 am and off for Wilton NH, the early hour meant little traffic on my rides but also meant starting in the dark.  I put on a bunch of reflective gear and wore a headlamp as I headed off on the 10 miles of the Pack Monadnock race course.  The first mile was tough with a steady climb but after that it would be rolling until five miles.  From 5 to 8 miles the climb was tough but then it really got tough with the last 1.5 miles climbing 900’ (total climb 2,500’).  The hardest part of the first 5 was the unpaved section, which I bounced along without really being able to see where I was going. 

I hit five miles in 27:01, about what I’ve raced it in, and then the grind started.  I had trouble with the steeper parts on dirt road with the back tire slipping a bit.  I got to 8 miles in 44:46 and knew it’d be a real grind from that point.  The next .7 on Route 101 wasn’t too bad and I hit the gate into Miller State park in 50:42.  Wow, the next 1.3 was tough.  There was a guy walking his dog and it took me forever to catch him.  I grunted and sputtered to the top in 1:05:03.  I’ll claim a PR and maybe a first ever ascent on the Go?

I spent 7 minutes on top getting pictures, checking out the fire tower, and chatting with some of the hikers.  The trip down the mountain was wild, my hands got sore very fast from gripping the brakes.  I reached the gate in 5:06 (15 mph average).  Then it was off to Route 101 and the 9 mile descent back to Wilton.  That was a blast.  I worked it the entire way and the miles zipped by.  Not that I wasn’t aided by the 1,100’ of descent.  I covered the 9 miles on 101 in 27:05 (20 MPH).

It took me about 5 minutes to lock up the Go and transition to the mountain bike.  I pumped the tire pressure up to see if this’d improve my riding on roads.  My legs were already a bit trashed from the 1:47 I’d already spent on them.  The first mile again kicked my butt, but then I enjoyed the next four miles.  I hit the 5 mile mark in 25:49 which put me up over a minute on the earlier ride.  I really felt it during the next three miles which took me 17:30 to cover (on the Go I’d done it in 17:39).  I lost ground on the climb to the gate (a MINUTE slower than I’d gone on the Go and that was only 7/10ths of a mile!) it was getting ugly.

I kept it going despite my brain continually asking me “why are you doing this”.  I gasped to the summit in 16:18 (almost 2 minutes slower than on the Go) and a total of 65:50.  I spent no time on the top and zipped back to the gate in 3:51 (20.5 MPH).  Then it was off to the races back down Route 101 pedaling like mad the entire way and watching the 2/10th mile markers as they zipped by.  I covered the last 9 miles in 26:48 (20 MPH) and got off the bike all wobbly legged, a sure sign of a good workout J

I finished the day with a 5 mile run in the woods with Dan.  I don’t know if I’ve ever done a harder workout (the double Pack ascents, not the run with Dan).

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