The second and last week in N.C.

The second and final week in North Carolina wasn’t as productive as the first week in terms of training.

Last Sunday was a big day. Rich and I originally intended to go mountain biking on the trials at Lake Crabtree County Park. But due to the heavy rain the day before they were closed. Being Rich’s local area he knew somewhere else we could go that wasn’t trails, but also wasn’t the highway. This was a good ride, some hilly climbs and nice down hills. We rode these ‘trails’ for over an hour (1hr 11 mins to be accurate) and we covered 22K. Rich kindly offered to put the bikes and gear away in the car while I went on a 2.5K out and back run for 15 mins – 7.30 out and 6.30 back.

We also went to Rich’s Country club later in the afternoon and did a 50 mins swim set. As laid out by Mark.

So a big day’s training. This was intentional as I knew Monday would end up as a rest day as we were travelling to Beech Mountain where we were staying for the second week. Beech Mountain was only 3hrs 30 mins away, but include packing and ‘being on holiday’ everything took longer than first thought.

On Tuesday we set off to the mountain bike trails at the top of Beech mountain. But these were hard, very hard. The trails look good, as you can see below, the dot in the distance is Rich who shot off.




My beautiful picture










I have never been good on a mountain bike and these trails and terrain were new to me. The picture below shows more of how the terrain was and goes someway to how why I found it so hard. Rich is an experienced mountain biker and put the trails on a 9 out of 10 for difficulty, so I didn’t feel too bad when I kept dropping behind. I was also quietly pleased when Rich got off and pushed his bike, as I was doing most of the time, on the difficult sections.

My beautiful picture









The above picture was the easy part. The other trails where you were surrounded by trees, with the trails full of tree roots and branches across the trail. We can only assume it had rained so much in the past few days a lot of the mud had been washed away leaving the exposed roots all over the trails.

We ‘rode’ for 90 mins and covered less than 10K – I say ‘rode’ as I think I pushed my bike more than I rode it! I did run back to the condo after the ride, 15 mins to cover 1.6K – not bad but it was all down hill.

Not a very productive day but at least I got some training in. We then spent the afternoon driving the area looking for a 25 metre pool, or a gym or a run track etc . No luck!

We did find a route near the condo of circa 4K. The problem was the condo was half way up Beech Mountain. A 5,500 feet elevation meant it was either an easy down hill and then a severe up hill or the reverse. The loop was the same but not as long.

I run the loop the following day and found out just how hilly it was. I really struggled and on some uphills I had to walk. I wasn’t sure if this was due to the severity of the hills, the training done the previous week catching up with me, or the previous day’s work out was harder than I thought. Pushing a mountain bike around a trail maybe more of a work out then riding it!

With limited training available Thursday was a rest day – Rich, the wife and I walked the 4K loop in the morning to work up an appetite pre breakfast. Then we did some sight seeing which included some more walking and all of it hilly.

We drove home, back to Rayleigh, Thursday evening so Rich and I could tackle the trails at Lake Crabtree County Park again Friday morning. And this was a good call. I don’t usually train the day I fly, but I was keen to try the trails Rich said would be good for a beginner (he rated them as a 4 out of 10).

And he was right, the trails were a lot easier, very shaded, very smooth, some roots etc but mainly perfect for a beginner. We rode for 1 hr and 20 mins covering 18K. So not a massively intense work out, but a fun work out none the less. We meet the wife and aunt Theresa at the country club and while there we did an easy 35 mins swim set in the pool there.

So a good end to the week, before the flight back.

We flew back over night Friday night and landed at 7am yesterday morning. We did some unpacking and at 10am had a few hours sleep. As the afternoon was chores galore I didn’t train. I did unblock the sewers, cut the grass, unpack, weed the garden, cut my hair etc.

Today (Sunday) I got up at 8.30am and have had a fairly restful day. I will do a 75 mins easy turbo session later this afternoon and then it’s over to Mark for sessions for next week. I also have the Ringmer sprint triathlon next Sunday, which should be fun and will be thought of as a training session rather than as an out and out race. I consider it as a ‘C’ race, not even a ‘B’ race, so it shouldn’t interrupt training.

Thanks for reading.

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