Vermont Challenge

Ed told me, “Frank, at some point you will need to decide between cycling and running in your training.” This was a few years ago when I was training for my first marathon, but still cycling a few days a week. Over the next year I made a big shift, devoting more time to running, and putting fewer miles on the Pinarello. Now, I still ride to work when I can, and get in the occasional longer ride. Ironically, the last longer ride I took was out to Valley Forge with Ed, Michelle, and a resident of mine named Mike. Ed’s knees don’t allow him to run like he used to, and he has become a cycling and swimming demon.

Today, I awoke at five AM, because that is my habit, but I’m in a condo on Stratton Mountain getting ready to ride the four-day Vermont Challenge. This is the inaugural year for this event, which, on paper, looks very daunting. It’s four days of cycling in the Green Mountains of central Vermont, going from point to point. We start from Stratton to Manchester, then Manchester to Okemo. The third day is Okemo to Killington, and the last day is Killington back to Stratton. Each day is around 60 miles, except for the third day which covers 104 miles and includes a long, hard climb in the middle of the route. Of course, this being the Green Mountains, it appears every day is all climbing and descending, since there is not much flat here.

Whether this will hurt my training for Steamtown, or be a good counterpoint, with a successful cross-training effect, I don’t know. I am up here with three friends, two Dans and a Keith, with whom I ride every year, and we are out to have four tough but fun days of cycling. I think I’ll be riding into shape during the event, and not hoping to shine the first day. I will try to write each day to let folks know how this respite from marathon training is going. I brought my running shoes with me in the fanciful belief I could get in a run or two. We’ll see if that happens…


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1 Comment

  1. Michele S.

     /  August 17, 2012

    Good luck, Frank! I look forward to hearing your daily ride reports!


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