There have been a few things missing from training this winter, one of which is getting really worked/being outside of my comfort zone. Normally I can hold myself accountable for self inflicted pain, but going hard is always easier with others around, especially when they are faster than me. So, I headed up to Solvang this past weekend to do some training with Chuckie and 2 of his pro's, Angela and Trevor. After being up there almost a year ago, and seeing this pic from his blog post, I was pumped to be heading up there.
Saturday, we had a nice little 113 mile jaunt around the Solvang valley, amassing 7,100 or so of elevation gain, on a nice mix of flats, rollers, and hills. The road quality varied a bit as well, with some very smooth roads, and ones that even broke a water bottle cage of mine - for real! Chuckie played the domestique and sports photographer. Here are a few from the ride - there is a reason why Mr. Armstrong calls Solvang his favorite place to ride outside of Europe:
Me launching a double nostril snot rocket (as an aside, I have moved away from the single nostril action I blogged about before):
Trevor and I descending drum canyon (where my damn cage broke!):
If you can get past this being an ass shot, it really is a cool pic:
My personal favorite:
We also finalized my bike fit, which is looking pretty aero while in hot pursuit:
Yes, I am pulling up the rear in all of them, but I'll take that when riding with a male pro and probable future olympian.
We then headed down to the local track, where I was tasked with 8 x 800's at about Half Marathon pace, then 8 x 400's at about 5-10K-ish pace. After the work was done, I proceeded to eat anything and everything in site for about the next 5 hours, while being completely incapacitated to even communicate with anyone. It was a freakin great day all around - company, workouts, weather, scenery, challenge - everything.
Sunday, I pretty much did a half marathon at the track as part of a MAF test. "Brutal" you probably say to yourself, but I have always enjoyed running at the track (not to mention, this track was hands down the nicest track I have ever seen), so I actually enjoyed it.
The ride home involved a quick stop at a Kalyra to grab a bottle (or 2!), as seen in Sideways:
This weekend was exactly what I needed - ass whoopin, great weather, and a change of scenery! Stoked to keep the ball rolling! Good luck and have fun to those doing Oceanside this Saturday!