Two weeks ago I made one last attempt at a Strava segment that I have been lusting over since the end of June. The segment up Route 63 from Hinsdale to Chesterfield known as Leviathan is a third category climb that lasts roughly fifteen minutes. My first attempt at this climb mid summer came the day after a wedding so I had less than ideal legs. I posted a 16:30 time which landed me just inside the top ten on a very competitive list. It was humbling to know that even though I had posted numerous KOM's, that on a stacked list, I could land so low by my standards. My second attempt at Leviathan came on a hot August night during a Monadnock Cycling Club ride. This was my favorite ride of the year with almost all of the major local players there and on good form. I jumped way up the list and became only the second rider ever to crack the 15:00 barrier. I over cooked the lower slops and despite taking the intermediate segment I slipped away at the top and missed the overall KOM by nineteen seconds. Both of these rides came on the heavier bike formally known as The Soloist. Two weeks ago while nursing the final vestiges of form I ventured south for one last try. I had attempted to run earlier in the week which was the first foray onto the roads since my ill fated final triathlon in July. Needless to say my body was over compensating for my still present pain in my right foot so I hobbled away with a sore piraformis and hamstring to complement my foot. Immediately on the ride I knew that I wasn't on and that a serious attempt at sub 14:30 was a pipe dream. I gave the climb a solid effort but my power felt down and I only managed a still respectable 15:06. As I waited for Tim and Brad in the breakdown lane the writing was on the wall, I was in need of my yearly week to ten days off. The following week I essentially sat on my rump and tried to put on the weight that I had lost during my peak period the weeks leading up to Greylock. This was accomplished quite easily and by the time last Sunday rolled around I was in a constant state of bloat desperate to get on the bike. I literally had to fight the urge every day to not get on the bike! I did breakdown once and go on a night MTB ride with Tim, Ben, and Ian which was loads of muddy fun.
During my break I was also able to sit down with Tim and Darren to begin mapping out my training and racing for next year. We are all in agreement that it is an exciting time in the Monadnock cycling scene with a newfound sense of community and collaboration bred by Strava. I really think we are on the cusp of something big in the near future. Tim and I have decided that the goal for next year is going to be to increase my hours into the low to mid six hundreds while focusing on races that will cater to my strengths and allow me to climb through the categories quicker. Depending on how things go, as it stands right now, the big goal for next year is going to be taking a shot at winning the Green Mountain Stage Race as a Cat. 3. I think this is an awesome goal and Tim, Darren, and I are all in agreement that it is feasible with a lot of hard work. With that being said training has restarted per say but right now I am in a transitional phase. My plan for right now is to slowly build my hours before starting my proper training plan in the first weeks of December. As that time approaches I will be more specific on the blog. I am planning on upgrading to a Garmin 500 which will allow me to better quantify my indoor training via Strava with the use of a cadence sensor. I think this is going to be a major step toward improving my training to gear up for the challenges of next year.
As for right now I am going to establish a base of aerobic fitness and focus on my core strength which is an area that was lacking in my training this year. I will also be hitting the trails again on a weekly basis to work on my handling skills and in the saddle climbing. I'll try to get into a habit of posting data on a regular basis so everyone can follow the progress as form and fitness build.