Saturday, June 23, 2012

BCT Whole Enchilada Whole Shot

Last fall (October), I had done the quintessential BCT ride, time trial style...It's a 24 ish mile ride, a bit over 3kft of climbing and generally some of the best single track we have in AZ.  My time (as recorded by Strava) was about 2:45...faster than I had ever done before and enough to give me the KOM for a while.  In the meantime, others had attempted it and earlier this year, another PHX guy bettered my time by about 2 minutes.  I'd sort of figured that I'd get back out there this fall and see if I could reclaim it.  Meanwhile, my friend and fellow Strava-addict Randy says he's headed out there to better his PR.  I trash talked a bit saying that if he could take about 15 minutes off his (which he took about 19 off ), then certainly I could do the same. I decided that I'd do a bit of homework and put some split times on my bars so at several points along the way, I could get an idea if my run was going to be KOM material, or just a failed attempt.  I sent this pic to Randy who replied "Damn dude, that's some aggressive shit."  I thought, yeah, but if a record is gonna happen, I've gotta set the bar high.

Met Randy up there at the trailhead just a few minutes before 5AM.  Set off at about was 76 degrees and not too bad.  I was kinda worried after the first section down to the downhill mojo just didn't feel right...on the brakes more than I should have been and just not flowing around the turns. After the dry river bed, I walked the short, deep sandy section and then got back on.  The first big climb felt good...I thought I'd get my PR on the segment, "BCT Climb up from River to High Pt", but turns out I was 2 seconds off my PR.  On the descent, I still didn't feel like I was flowing like I could until the section heading south with some woop-de-doos....for whatever reason, I loosened up and just let it flow from there.  I must have done something right since I beat my prior PR on the "Skyline Ridge to Road descent" by about 50 seconds...weird since it didn't feel that fast...  From the road to the top of the pan loop was the usual...made most of the minor techy stuff except for the little set of switchies down into the creek and across the rock bridge.  As I approached the top of the pan loop it was surprised to see that I was about a minute faster than my split time.  The next section down to the river actually went well...didn't clean that other little set of S turns but otherwise, motored pretty well.
After the second river crossing, I was sort of dreading the short climb out and dead cow.  I cleaned that stuff after the yellow gate then at the bottom of the pan loop had to stop and pull some cactus needles out of my hand.  Checked my split there and I was 3 minutes faster...The next section called Dead Cow was tough...I knew that the first part is steep, then you get a little rest and then steep at the end...just kept thinking of the top and the downhill.  I grunted it out and hit my high HR on that...175.  Rolled the ramp and then took a few huge breaths to try and relax for the downhill.  Cleaned everthing from there to the next river crossing where like I said, I got caught up in some big rip rap...ran across that crap and the sandy section till I could get back on.  Up the road, I looked at my time and compared it to the split, and it looked like I gained more which mentally helped.  HAB's up that short section to the bottom of the pan loop and checked my split as I got back on the bike...7 minutes ahead...the trend looks good! 
By the time I got to the big road, I was at about 1:46 so I knew I was in pretty good shape...just wanted to keep it steady.  Up Cheapshot to Skyline I tried to keep the HR up..mentally just picturing the downhill...finally, crested the top, took a few big breaths again and thought. "just flow Ray, just flow".
Hit the river bottom, HAB'd up the deep sand and checked my time...2:21...damn, a 2:30 time seems unreachable.  I hopped on and hit it hard...over the ramp, up the trail to the peak then just tried to hammer out that last section.  I kept looking down at my Garmin and as I neared the lot, it clicked over 2:30...then rolling into the lot, it was 2:31....whew!  That was tough.  My actual segment time (since it starts just inside the trailhead) was 2:30:48.
So, in the final analysis, today's run got me 7 KOM'  Something tells me I should put all my bike crap on Craigslist and simply get a new sport since that kind of day will be tough to repeat.
A little word cloud to capture the experience!