Chelan, Day 6

Man, oh man, what a week! Pardon any interruptions of thought – I’m watching the opening ceremonies as this is written.

I met up with Jeff (a client) on Tuesday morning, around 7:15, and we did one of my favorite rides. We headed down out of Chelan, then crossed the bridge and went South to Wenatchee. I am telling you – the ROADS HERE are incredibly, incredibly smooth. I mean, we were riding on the shoulder, and I don’t think we hit one single patch of chip-seal the whole distance. We took roughly 2 mile pulls on the outbound leg, then got to Wenatchee and made the return trip on the newer highway, which was up-river. There, we took alternating 1-mile pulls, and man, they were spectacular. Jeff is looking really, really smooth, and though he says he’s uncomfortable in the saddle area, he really didn’t move much at all on his upper body. He’s down to about 170, and when we got to the uphill climb that ends at Lake Chelan itself, well, he FLEW up the hill. I was about 600 calories short, and in order to stave off a more serious bonk, I backed off to about 235w, while he took the climb at what later turned out to be 285w. So it was good. I left him to head back to the room and the beach, and he said he’d meet up with us on Wednesday evening when he hosted us for dinner at their place.

Amy’s bike was still out of service on Wednesday, so I went out on a basic flat course, out to the campground, and then did about 3.5 repeats up sr 971, I think it’s called something coulee road. Anyway, I was originally a little tired, but I hit the hills and did two at 300w for 8 minutes, and one at 287w. I was halfway up the fourth climb when I realized that I had a massage in about an hour! OH MAN! I better git! So, I packed it in, and tempo’d to the resort, showered up, ate a little something, and headed out for the massage.

Oh man, 90 minutes of bliss, makes you feel like a wrung out sponge. A dehydrated, semi-hairy legged wrung out sponge.

Lessee, I’m trying to think. What’d I do on Wednesday night? Well, I finished “The Art of Racing in the Rain”, a book about a dog and his man, and the conscience that conflicts us all. Helluva read. Pretty emotional, and it all takes place in familiar Seattle territory. I also finished Johan Bruyneel’s book, “We Might As Well Win”, and honestly, I think it’s pretty darned good as well. A good mix of anecdotes with some philosophy on sports as a business. Every time we bitch about something organizer or athlete-related or team-related, we need to harken back to some of the things he says in there. I just wish my father was as interested in my career as an athlete, and later as a coach, as his was. It IS something I regret.

(Geez, watching the drummers now – Holy cow this is impressive. I don’t care what you think of the politics and smarminess behind the IOC and their chump-buddies the WADA, the opening and closing ceremonies really are spectacular totems of goodwill.)

Wednesday night’s dinner was simple, sweet, and fun. Jeff and Leann are two wonderful people, and their kids are, well, they’re just good solid simple KIDS. They play, they giggle, they love their parents and their grandparents, and they cleaned up afterward, and the funnest part of it all was the homemade ice cream they prepared. Later than night, Jeff’s parents both came over, and we enjoyed their company as well. I can’t forget the dog – Abe is one smart pooch. He taught Amy how and where to throw the tennis ball — right straight out in the lake.

It’s meals and conversations like that with clients like the Crosby’s that make coaching worthwhile. Coaching is important, but communal self-esteem and family are just as critical in the infrastructure of performance as watts or heart rate or volume and intensity. They’ve got a solid family unit, at least from what I could tell,  and Amy and I were grateful and privileged to be a part of it for an evening.

But back to the riding. I met Jeff again Thursday morning, and we headed back down to Wenatchee for a duplicate ride from Tuesday. This time, we were at least 15 minutes faster, and after 3 strong days, I really felt like I had jet packs on the Soloist. I took longer pulls on the outbound leg, and stronger pulls on the return leg, and dangitall if I didn’t smack 300 watts on the last climb up to the Chelan Pass. But you know, Jeff, as tired as he was, actually rallied and CAUGHT ME within 40 yards of the top. Wow – guy’s got heart.

We cruised back home, went past the lodge, and then he showed me Boyd Loop Road, which is a biyatch of a climb, just over 1 mile from Campbell’s. We made it to the top, but there I needed to say goodbye and head back. We shot some photos, gave each other some sweaty hugs, and I headed back down. Amy’s bike was back in working order (busted spoke took 2.5 days to get fixed), and she and I met up about 30 seconds apart. We ate something, headed out to the beach, and I think I started my 3rd or 4th book. I can’t remember. Anyway, it was burgers, shakes, and fries for dinner (yeah, I know), and we both hit the sack early.

Friday (today), we got up early and had expected to ride with Erik and Dana Fykeruud (Kurt & Trina, poor souls, had gotten some bug that had swept through a chunk of the other Campbell’s families. They left early, but only made it to Leavenworth before getting a hotel room with their kids and battening down the hatches, only to have to get up and get to the hospital to get their youngest one a flippin’ IV. Man, you mom’s are some serious caretakers – thanks for always being there!) Anyway – Erik and Dana were pretty tuckered as well, so Amy and I headed out and just did a lollygag ride up Boyd Hill road, and then over to Blueberry Hill, where we had breakfast (never ate TWO waffles with peaches and cream at teh same time!), and then rode back.

SO, what’s the moral? Well, I didn’t hit my goal of 600 miles, I know that for sure. But I DID ride every single day I was in Seattle, and I got to see some awesome average power values, and I got to recover in some cold as heck lake water, and I saw family and friends, and Amy and I had a really relaxing, yet healthy, week of vacation. Soon enough, it’ll be back to coaching, training, JCC crap, heat, money issues, etc., but right now, it’s all about getting ONE MORE NIGHT of good sleep, with the sound of the lake in the background, the clean air, one more good dinner and breakfast, and then getting packed up and leaving with one more Chelan vacation in the books.

I love my wife, and I’m eternally grateful for the best gift she’s ever given me, the joy and wonder of this gorgeous corner of the world.

Photos have been added to the picasaweb.com/whareagle “Seattle Trip 2008” album. I may add details to it later, but not now.


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