The team very exctited the night before climbing the mountain.
Team Mild Seven adventure racing second week training campTeam Mild Seven Training Camp, Week #2
18 days down, 6 to go. Seems like just yesterday that I arrived after the two-day trip to get to Dali China and take the team through their first 24-day training camp. But then I realized that I’ve done wash 5 times, cleaned by bike 8 times as it rained everyday for the first 10 days, have 8 receipts from Café De Jack (a local restaurant where I can get pizza, pasta and fries that taste amazing compared to the hotel food), have gone through a three pound container of carbo-pro, and am rationing the last of my one pound bag of Starbucks coffee that I have brought with me. So I guess it has been a while, but after yesterdays climb to the top of the mountain, I love this place more and more.
We climbed the mountain directly behind the hotel yesterday in place of a long run. We still got in a good workout as it took a total of 8 hours to climb up to the radio tower at 13500ft. It was finally sunny with a just a few clouds so I sprung the change in training to the team at breakfast. They were all excited as they thought it would be just an easy trot up the mountain, but little did they know that the air gets thinner and the trail was “hands and knees crawling” at times to get up. They were all doing the Ironman shuffle today and looking like zombies.
I even took in some local history during the climb. Just before you reach the top of the mountain you run into “Horse pond.” From what I could gather from our translator, it was named after a famous Chinese General who, after defeat during a battle, retreated high up into the mountains to mourn his mistakes and think of better battle plans so that when you returned to another battle he would conquer. His only companion was his horse and in this lake he washed his horse frequently, so the name “Horse Pond” was created. Not sure how correct I got the story, but lets see what Huddle can pull out of the translation when he is here in October.
Last week was a great week of training for the team. The key workouts included a 2 hour paddle, run, uphill bike and paddling intervals, three strength training sessions, two long rides in the hills, all totaling 35 hours of training for the week. The team is getting very fit.
I sprung one more surprise on then for Sunday’s training. Rather then a long 5-hour ride and 60min T-run that was on the schedule I told them the night before that they were going to race tomorrow. They were all excited until I explained the race. It started with a 2 hour paddle that included a 400m portage across an island, a 2 hour bike ride with a 1500ft tough off-road climb, a 6km run, another paddle taking about 75 minutes, a 6km combo ride and tie and inline skate (two members do the ride and tie while the other two members skate) and then another 6km run to the finish. At times the teams were up to 15min apart, but it came down to the last run and they finished within 30 sec of each other in 6:30:30 and 6:30:50. They did great and will do the same race again during the last day of the training camp. I will switch the teams around and we can see how much faster they can go the second time around.
The week had one very low spot. On Thursday we were riding on the road up over one of the local passes that included a 9km climb up one side, a 12km descent down the other side then turn around and ride back. A total of about 150km for a 5-6 hour ride. Unfortunately Liu Xin (pronounced Lew shin) came upon one car passing another on a blind corner while he was descending down the backside at 60km/hr. He swerved to miss the cars and crashed hard. He spent 4 days in the hospital. His helmet saved his life. He is doing fine now, but gave us a good scare. He suffered a mild concussion, major road rash, and 20 stitches to his right bicep where he hit the tree that stopped him from falling off the cliff. No guard rails on these roads. He will be back to running by mid week and should be able to paddle during our last training day on the 23rd of July as he gets the stitches out of his arm on the 22nd. Could have been any of us, but fortunately he was able to avoid a head on collusion. Gotta be big time careful when riding here!
Look for one more update after training camp ends on the 23rd of July and I get back to the USA and finally get my cheeseburger and fries.