The Aftermath of Lake Lure

Lake Lure was quite an experience and I learned a lot about where I’m at physically. Since I am in the final phase of training, I figure now is a good time to discuss the progress I’ve made.

The Hamstring: Some people asked about this and I guess I didn’t provide closure last week. The hamstring was a mess for about 4-5 days, very sore and inflexible. I was not able to extend my leg straight out without resistance and soreness. I was worried this was a pulled hamstring, which it may have been.

The massage worked wonders. It was sore the rest of that day, then the next morning – voila! – it was fine. It has remained fine ever since. I have been making sure to warm up before attempting any difficult riding (like climbing), and it hasn’t flared up ever since. Hopefully it was a very minor pull and will not resurface. I did not bother me at all on the Lake Lure ride.

Final Phase: Since I am back in the fold, I am pushing the volume back up. I have ridden about 150 miles since the injury and will be back up to 200+ miles each week. The next few weekends will be busy — all out of town. This weekend is Assault on the Carolinas. Depending on how things go, I might get crazy and climb Caesar’s Head twice. The following weekend will be a test run to Mount Mitchell. After that will be a cycling weekend from Table Rock State Park, with lots of climbing and Isaqueena’s Last Ride mixed in. After that I will slow down my weekday riding, test out some things on Tour de Cashiers, do the Tour de Midlands, then taper for the big event.

Climbing Challenge: Taking some time off the bike was necessary even without the hamstring injury. I had pushed for a few weeks and deserved some recovery. Unfortunately that set me back on the Strava Climbing Challenge. At first I wanted to waive the white flag and not worry about it. Now that I’m back and have some upcoming climbing events, I’m pushing towards it again. Barring any setbacks, I have a shot at success, but it will be close. I am still trying to get climbs in when I can.

Lake Lure: Marathon runners will know what I mean when I say this was like doing Yasso 800s. This is a series of shorter runs one can do to get an idea of what their marathon time will be. Tour de Lure has a lot of similarities with the Spartanburg to Marion ride, including sharing a number of the same roads. Lure has some additional early climbing and Spartanburg has an early fast and flat section. The Spartanburg ride also has about 5 more miles. In my opinion, you could probably take 15-20% off your Lure time and that’ll roughly be your time from Spartanburg to Marion.

Because of the hamstring issue, I was almost fully tapered for Tour de Lure and time was 4:15, which was not at full effort and included some short stops. This would put my Marion time at 3:45, much better than my 4:30 from last year. My goal was to beat last year’s time by half an hour, which I am certain to blow out of the water. Now there’s a good chance of under seven hours.

Lake Lure always helped with the eyeball test. I got to experience the rolling hills into Marion, which is probably the toughest part of the Mitchell course. They were tough and kept coming, but I felt okay. They didn’t seem as imposing as last year.

Another good sign is that, although tired, I could have kept going on Saturday. Mitchell is now 40 days away and I’m feeling more confident with each ride. Hopefully this continues.

2 responses to “The Aftermath of Lake Lure

  • Alvin Frias

    Hey Aaron, great blog. I’m doing assault of the carolinas this weekend as well. Quick question: Can anyone join you for your test ride up mount mitchell the following week? I’m looking for test ride up mitchell myself before the big event, but I don’t want to do it alone….It’s funny, we both did the assault on mount mitchell for the first time last year. I finished about 4-5 mins ahead of you. so we probably are about the same level…But, since then you’ve done some serious riding and climbing…I’m in better shape than last year also. I’m hoping to shave about 1hr to last year’s time. Happy Trails! Thanks, Alvin.

  • Ben Foxworth

    Great news about the hamstring and training freedom! Pulling for you, my friend! I just wish I could be out there with you, but my progress (knock on wood!) is ahead of schedule!

    I look forward to your next report!

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