Thursday, August 28, 2014

Epic Camp Day 9: Jasper to Sunwapta Falls

The day started off a little later than usual (thankfully - sleeping in is always nice!)  The pre-ride plan was to bike up to Pyramid Lake and get our daily minimum of 3k in.  It wasn't a particularly eventful morning.  We headed up to the lake around 7:30.  It was a 7k ride, but it was not an easy 7k.  It was straight up into the hills north of Jasper.  The swim wasn't too eventful either.  Other than being absolutely frigid, Shannon and I did easy loops and hopped out.  Biking back to the hotel was pretty sweet though since it was entirely downhill.
We headed out towards Sunwapta Falls just after 10:30.  It's a short ride there, so we did a climb up to Marmot Basin for the KOM competition.  Technically we had two KOMs scheduled for the day, but the other one was closed due to a mud slide (some people did it anyway, and with it being closed to cars, I hear it was pretty amazing.)  Marmot Basin was a 13k climb which we reached just a few miles out from Jasper.  An eight mile climb is no joke, and let me tell you, it felt like it went on forever.  I'm still getting used to the new bike, and so far it isn't great.  Losing my R5 (named Wildflower) was soul crushing.  I felt like that bike was an extension of my body, and this new bike just feels...foreign.  Anyway, I made it up the climb in 5th place.  Zach was first as usual, and Adam Bardsley (current yellow jersey holder) was second.
The rest of the ride was a grind to Sunwapta Falls.  I felt completely drained - no energy whatsoever.  I tried to do a pull at the front, but that lasted about 15 seconds.  From there on out, I mostly just hung on to the back and drafted whoever or whatever I could.  I was in a dark place.  This is the first time during the camp where I've felt a significant lack of energy.  It's almost certainly physical, but with everything going on, there's definitely a mental component as well.
Eventually I made it to the destination.  We had to do a 10k run, and most people went out on the trail out by the falls.  My plan was different: Fast 10k for points.  Since I was low on energy, I ate and drank as much sugar as I could and let everything digest for a bit.  My stretch goal was sub-38min which would net me three huge points.  My primary goal was sub-40 which only nets two.  After a short warmup, I headed out.  Initially the pace was good, but as soon as I headed out on Ice Fields Parkway, my pace dropped to around 6:40.  Crap.  This is no where the 6:07/mile pace needed for 38min and way off the 6:27/mile pace I needed for sub-40.  Sub-40 was supposed to be EASY!  I grinded it out for almost 5k.  As soon as I turned around, I started flying at way under 6min/mile pace.  AH HA!  Turns out I had been climbing the entire way out and didn't even realize it (severe case of poo-brain.)  Almost the entire way back was downhill, and I was crushing it.  By the end, I just barely missed the 38min mark.  I was maybe 20 seconds off.  The initial climb, 4500 foot elevation, and the fact that I did a swim and ride beforehand put me in the hole.
So given the points situation from yesterday, I knew I was close to yellow.  How close was tough to say.  Regardless, I waited a while and decided to head out for 10k run #2.  This was worth one bonus point, and all I had to do was grind it out.  Pace was irrelevant.  And that's what I did.  It was slow and painful, but I got it done.
After adding in all tack-ons for the day, I'm tied for yellow.  Mission accomplished.  Secretly all I wanted to do was wear the jersey for one day, and I'm happy to say that I'll get to do that.  Given the bike situation, I'm going to drop down a lot in the KOM competition, and once that rolls into the overall points, I won't stand a chance.
Tomorrow is going to  be a tough day.  There are two KOMs, and the weather is going to be bad.  There's a lot of rain in the forecast, and it'll be cold since we're going up high (~6500 feet.)

1 comment:

  1. Hey Adam,

    My entire family has been following your adventure for the entire time ... very sorry to hear about Wildflower but keep at it!!