Friday, July 29, 2011

Last Hard Training Session

Last weekend I completed an extended training session in Death Valley. The plan was 60 miles over three days. I did not meet that mileage, but achieved my goals and feel the training was a big success. As far as a test of readiness, this is a little like wading up to your ankles into the water to see if you are ready to swim the channel.

Here is how it went --

First day was one of those days. It was like pulling a plow. My plow was attached to my stomach. Breakfast sat like a brick. After 12 miles into the "dead zone" (the region on Highway 190 between the Borax Works and the sand dunes) approaching 115 degrees F, breakfast made a rather sudden reappearance. I felt great after that! But, Deborah (and I) thought it best to declare my effort done for that day. Fitness and heat training wise I felt great.

Second day was a good, even 21 miles from where I left off to Stovepipe Wells and a ways back. Temperatures exceeded 117 degrees F with no wind.

Third day was 11 miles into a 20 mph headwind and 120 degrees F heading from Furnace Creek toward Badwater. It was just like trying to jam myself down the nozzle of a blow drier! Given the necessary slowness -- wearing sun protection clothes in such a wind is like pulling a parachute, take a step, push forward, take another, repeat.... --  and the amount of effort required, I went on the clock, rather than total miles. Ended with 16 or 17 in about 6 hours. This was a good day overall.

While in Death Valley, we had the distinct honor of being at the start of Lisa Bliss' amazing journey (see What, Me Worry?) and again on the course. Incredible. Just incredible.

Here are some photos, just for fun!

"Badwater" Bill
Tujunga, CA

Bill in the "dead zone" climbing a hill.

Bill just ignores such warnings and keeps right on going!

Lisa Bliss setting off into history - 06:20 hrs, 25 July 2011.

The wonders of the desert are boundless.

Lisa approaching Keeler in Owens Valley, still smiling after traveling over two mountain ranges and deserts to finish on the summit of Mt. Whitney, near 00:00 hrs on July 29, 2011.
Teakettle Junction - obviously.

A race rock taking a test run at the Racetrack

These things kept trying to catch us. Good thing they are slow.

1 comment:

  1. wow, Bill! after all those comments we were trading re: Lisa and Tim, I had no idea you were heading out on your own adventure Aug 8!!!!! Good luck! what inspirational footsteps to follow in, as well! I'll be cheering you on, as well!!!!!
    Kristin Z.