Monday, May 20, 2013

Spring Training Camp - Bend, Oregon

While the weather in California is generally sunny, warm and very conducive to running and cycling, I needed to get my snow sports, North to Oregon for Spring training!  My plan was to boost my training volume for the week while being mindful of recent injuries and not going overboard.  After an easy 38 mile road bike ride last Sunday in Silicon Valley I took the late flight up to Bend; ready to hit the trails on Monday after a full nights rest.

Easy 9 mile cross country ski at Mt. Bachelor in soft spring conditions with Torsten Heycke.  Torsten is the race director for the popular Mt. Ashland Hill Climb Run; a 13 mile trail race with 5600' of climbing.  He's still got spots available in the 2013 race so go get one!

Dirty, dirty snow on the Mt. Bachelor trail system.

Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center - Tumalo Mountain in the background

In all the years I've been coming to Bend I've never been to the popular Tumalo Falls trail.  Since it was a slow, early season Monday afternoon I though this would be a great time to run the trail and avoid the crowds that can overrun this scenic spot during the weekends.  After only 1.5 miles I hit intermittent crusty, soft snow and opted to turn back.  3 mile trail run, 450' of ascent and a great photo opportunity.

 Tumalo Falls

Looking downstream from the falls

I've run to the summit of Mt. Bachelor several times at the now defunct Sunrise to Summit race but never in the winter.  Since the mountain was now legally open to uphill traffic I got up early to make a speedy ascent on snowshoes.  It's only 3 miles to the summit from the Sunrise lodge but is very steep near the summit.  In fact, the final .75 miles climbed 1500' and I was glad to have brought lightweight cross country ski poles.  Not a long snowshoe, but it was hard: 6.5 miles, 2700' of ascent & descent and a PTE of 4.9!

Mt. Bachelor summit - 9000' above sea level.

Looking down on the ski area parking lot with Brokentop Mountain in the background

In the afternoon the weather was still clear and the trails at Phil's were dry so I went out for a quick 12 mile mountain bike.

A trail traffic circle complete with public art on Phil's Trails

Time for an epic workout.  I've always wanted to bike out to Mt. Bachelor and run, ski or hike and with the light mid-week traffic and road freshly swept for the upcoming Pole Peddle Paddle race, this was the week to do it.  Since I'd already been up Bachelor, I made nearby Tumalo Mountain my target and planned to ascend the firm spring snow with Katoola running crampons and Gore-Tex +Salomon Speedcross trail running shoes.  The assault on Tumalo was made in 3 phases:

Overcast & drizzle on Tumalo summit.  Mt. Bachelor in the background.

Footwear of choice for the run/hike ascent.

My equipment set-up for the bike & run. Running shoes fit perfectly in my bottle cages.

Superfit Productions race director +Dave Thomason introduced me to the "Whoops" trail out at Phil's.  Made by local mountain bikers, this trail is a challenge for all abilities......... particularly for me and my fully ridged +Specialized Bicycles S-Works Steel mountain bike.  14 miles with 950' of ascent at a pretty calm pace.

My old-school mountain bike.

Lot's on banked turns, tabletop jumps and kickers on the whoops trail.

Just a couple hours after biking with Dave I met up with Torsten again; this time for to kayak on the Deschutes River.  The paddle course was set-up for the PPP so we made a couple circuits.  For me it was 2.6 miles in 40 minutes in my very slow whitewater kayak.  Torsten did 3.7 miles in the same time with his slippery surf-ski.

Torsten making it look easy.  Me on the shore in my beached whale.

This was going to be my last cross country ski of the season so I hit the mountain early to get as much skiing as possible before conditions got sloppy.  21 miles, 1600' of ascent and a little extra time for photos (below) and videos.

Courtesy of the new +Google+ "autoawesome" photo feature.

Oh my!  More autoawesome!

My last day in Bend.  While I was tempted to ski again, it was going to be more expedient to trail run before my 1:00 PM flight.  Back to Phil's trails and running the "whoops" trail again - ostensibly to take photos since it was raining when Dave and I rode it earlier in the week.  10 miles of trail running, 950' of ascent with an nice mellow average heart rate of 120.

The +Salomon Sense Mantra - the perfect shoe for the whoops trail?

So that was it; my week long spring training camp in Bend, Oregon was wrapped up.  Here are the totals for 5.5 days:  11 "moves", 15 hours, 126 miles, 16,000 calories burned.  It's not a ton by some standards, but since I was still recovering from an injured sacrum it was enough for me.  Most importantly, I got an epic mix of activity types - running, road biking, mountain biking, XC skiing, snowshoe, kayaking and running with Katoola crampons.  Nice!