What a difference a day makes…

I rode two days in the Palomar Mountain area.  Both days were lackluster but today was slightly better.  Yesterday was such a shitty day I turned around and went home.  I started in Escondido and climbed the lower portion of Palomar Mountain on Hwy 76 (approx 4.4 miles 1,500 gain) I couldn’t get myself motivated to climb the second half of the mountain.  I was tired from the work week and I hadn’t had a good night’s rest. So I turned around yep, I DNF’d on a training ride 😉  It was still a 50 mile ride with almost 4,000 feet of gain which is a good enough ride for most people.

Today I started in a different part of Escondido and climbed all the way to the top of Palomar Mountain, albeit slowly.  I felt so much better today.  In fact, I even descended a couple of times to pick up my straggler.

Epic Training Tip:  When the day isn’t going well go home, eat and rest.  Your body is telling you something.  Take care of it and go back the next day and try again.  It’s ok to miss or quit on a training day to have a better training result on another day.

Living up in Orange County I haven’t been going to Palomar Mountain as frequently I used to when I lived in San Diego County,  On a regular basis, typically once a week, I would make the 100 mile 10,000 feet of climbing round trip from Encinitas to the top of Palomar Mountain.   Palomar is a great climb beginning in Pauma Valley about 1000 feet elevation topping out at 5,200 feet.

There is much debate as to how long and how much gain is attained on the climb. Most people time themselves from “store to store”. Which means from the Stage Stop and Liquor at the bottom to the Mother’s Market at the top.  That distance is about 11.7 miles with about 4,200 feet of gain.  Some like to time themselves from Harrah’s Casino which is understandable because it is the very bottom of the valley.  The store is on the left hand side of Hwy 76 when you make the right turn onto Hwy 76 from Valley Center Rd.  You can see it in the Google Satellite image I have included below.

March 15 not a good day (notice low normalized power)

March 16 a little better (notice much higher normalized power)

March 16 just the major climbs — 40 miles with 7400 feet gained

Alright and now for some good things to take away from these two uninspiring days.    On Thursday when I made the right turn onto Hwy 76 I saw a rider alongside the road, just across the road from the Stage Stop store, wearing a Furnace Creek 508 jersey.  I had to pull over and ask who he was.  I asked “What’s your totem?”  He knew who I was but I didn’t know him.  He was David Nash a two-man finisher from 2011 with my friend Steve “Desert Duck” Teal.

Later when I was about 3 miles from finishing my ride back in Escondido, I see someone flagging me down.  I pull over and start chatting with the gentleman pictured above.  Apparently, Roland has been reading my blog for about a year.  He recounted his progression from racing as a young man, coming to the states, having a family and now riding again.  He had just completed his first double century in Death Valley put on by AdventureCORPS.  Good work Roland I hope to see you at an event sometime and thank you for reading my blog.  You brightened up my day which was otherwise a total wash.

UPDATE  3/17/12

A question came in from one of my readers.  He asked if my Performance Management Chart reflected the lack of motivation or over-training that I felt on Thursday March 15th.  Well the graph above is from November 14 through March 15.  You can see the pink line is the stress I put on my body and yellow line is how much rest or recovery I give my body– in layman’s terms.  I don’t see anything unusual when compared to other times I have stressed my body more and still been able to put in a good training workout.

Thank you for reading my blog and please refer a friend.

Please consider AdventureCORPS in your 2012 ride calendar!  I hope to see you “out there”

8 thoughts on “What a difference a day makes…

  1. Did your performance management chart correlate to your underperformance on those days? Hope your well. Wife and I are off to Maui and Haleakala in a few weeks. Contemplating 508????

    Good form!!


    • Hello John,

      Thank you for your comment. I updated my post with the PMC. I don’t see anything out of the ordinary. I did do a hard 45 miler the day before and I was up late the night before. I also had a light recovery meal and very light dinner. I’m trying to loose weight …yet again.

      I want to do Haleakala!!!

      george “red eyed vireo” vargas
      Furnace Creek 508 Hall of Fame

  2. George,
    Nice seeing you out on the road Thursday. I was feeling like you and had put in 51 miles up to the point I saw you, mostly against a headwind. I felt like crap and turn for home there going up Cole Grade Rd. 94 miles total by the time I made it back and now fighting a headwind back to the coast. It must have been something in the air! I agree that when it’s not going well, one may be better off turning for home to eat and rest. The next day I was unusually sore from that ride, I guess my body was right and my mind didn’t want to listen.

    Keep up the good write ups and I enjoy your blog. Be safe and see you on the road.

    Dave “Iraconji” Nash

  3. Hey George, your “uninspiring” rides really turned out to be inspiring for these reasons: 1) You created an honest post- which us mere mortals appreciate, 2) You included an “Epic Training Tip” that is so true to training, especially as we get older (and we try to balance out the mental drive with the physical reality), and 3) You went back and kicked ass!! Thank you for your heart-felt posts and the always informative graphs, pics, and charts.

    • Aaron,

      Thank you for enlightening me that there is value in sharing my experience whether it’s mediocre or record breaking. I will continue to post and share my triumphs and defeats.


  4. Pingback: Fitness Check for Hell’s Gate Hundred | George's Epic Adventures

  5. Pingback: Fitness Check for Hell’s Gate Hundred | George's Epic Adventures

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