|Enjoying the cool down after the shock of Colorado Gulch hill repeats.|
With five weeks behind me since my slow-but-generally-positive-finish at Gorge Waterfalls 100k, I'm starting to re-build the volume and address some of the weak areas the early season has highlighted. The two most pressing both have to do with speed - or lack thereof: descending pace and flatland pace.
Never a fantastic descender, I nevertheless used to be able to tap out some pretty effortless downhill miles at a decent pace. But that sensation has really been lacking lately. At both the White River 50 last summer and Gorge this spring, I was never able to enjoy the descents. They felt more like a chore than anything else, which is a sad thing to write, let alone experience. Not surprisingly, when you can't relax on the downhills of a race, even in the early-going, it can make things feel like much more of a grind than they really should.
How did this happen? I think it's likely a combination of factors. I'm getting older, of course. But I think that's largely an easy excuse. The bigger issue, I think, is simply a lack of speedwork. With spotty, at best, trips to the track for at least 5 seasons now, I've just lost the speed that makes it possible to bomb the downhills in training that can make for great cruise-control descents in races.
So, today, I officially started working on re-awakening those fast twitch fibers, meeting up for hill intervals with a new-to-me group of Thursday morning stalwarts.
Off the line for the first repeat, all I could think was: "Holy sh**! They're sprinting!"
You have to start somewhere.