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Chris Highlights his Senior Year PCB Trip
16th Jan 2015Posted in: Blog, Featured Posts 0
Chris Highlights his Senior Year PCB Trip

The winter training trip is always one of the highlights of the year, and our 2015 journey to Panama City Beach, FL, was the most memorable of them all. Going into the trip I was looking forward to three things: how we would be in comparison to last year, how Hyndman would perform on his first training trip, and how focused we would be as a team. I was very impressed in all three aspects.

Enjoying being out of the car

Enjoying being out of the car

We left B-town around 10:30 PM on January 2nd. The total trip time was expected to be 12 hours, but we were determined to shave off time – nobody enjoys driving through the night. After feeling like we would never see the ocean, suddenly we found ourselves in line for breakfast at the same McDonald’s PCB we stop at every year.

Upon arrival we discovered our reservation wasn’t until the next day. So after Anderson made some calls, we adjusted our reservation to Saturday thru Sunday (giving us an extra day of cycling). So, a negative quickly turned into a positive. Once settling into our hotel we kitted up for our first ride in PCB. We rode up and down the beachfront confirming we are still the only non-locals in town during the offseason. After a 40-mile spin on a very familiar route, we relaxed at  the apartment and took a trip to Sam’s Club to grab food. Just to give you some context on the  amount of food we were eating, we cooked up 25 eggs for every breakfast.

Stocking Up on Healthy Foods for the Week!

Stocking Up on Healthy Foods for the Week!

On Sunday, we awoke determined to get a 4-hour day in. It was warm, yet very rainy with  scattered thunderstorms. We decided to wait until 1pm to hit the road. Only after being a mere  5 miles from the apartment I flatted. After further inspection we noticed the flat was caused due  to overuse on the tires. The decision was made to use the day as another spin to ramp it up later  in the week.

I see Monday as a defining moment of the trip. While going up a bridge I went into my lowest  gear and suddenly hear a loud, pop! Upon inspection we noticed, due to a bent derailleur  hanger, my derailleur hit the spokes. The derailleur was completely off the cassette and all hope  seemed lost of me ever riding a bike. We determined the best option was to leave me at a nearby  gas station where Michael McHugh, the new initiate who volunteered his time to assist us with  our trip, would pick me up; the rest of the team continued the ride. McHugh and I quickly headed to Steve’s bike shop. Miraculously Steve was able to fix my derailleur! As

Steve said, “It was a 1/100 chance I had the correct part”. I took the good luck with stride and decided to finish off the rest of the hours solo. A potentially catastrophic situation was averted!

We Saw a Lot of Road on Tuesday

We Saw a Lot of Road on Tuesday

Tuesday was my favorite day of the trip. With beautiful weather, and perfect wind the conditions were perfect for a great ride. We completed 109 miles–my longest ride–in perfect stride.

Wednesday was another defining moment of the trip. Laughlin began to have knee pain and determined it was best not to ride. The last thing we need is anyone to be out of commission for multiple weeks, so it was the best move. Then, 10-miles into the ride Hyndman’s cleat broke off his pedal (something I’ve never seen before). As today was interval day, we were concerned about all the issues. McHugh quickly picked up Hyndman and drove him to Steve’s. We met Hyndman after the first interval. Thus, despite all the issues – we dealt with them and created a successful day.

Thursday was relatively uneventful – an easy 1-2 hours of spinning in cold 42-degree weather. After proper recovery we spent the night playing euchre and watching football.

Friday met with us a cold 48-degree day with zero sun and wind. I created a new route for the team to do. But, unfortunately the route was much busier than we’d hope. As a result, we decided to turn around, after 2 hours, and gear up for a big day on Saturday.

Chris pushing the pace

Chris pushing the pace

Saturday was when I realized our true strength. It was our big interval day. Joe was feeling better and decided to join us on the first of two intervals. Our goal was to beat the KOM of the 2013 Champion team on the second interval. The KOM required us to hold 26.5 mph for 12-miles and most likely a wattage of 300+. We set off on the interval starting a little sluggish. But, as the interval progressed we became faster and faster. Around halfway, Knight, Anderson and I were traded off on monster pulls.Then later on, Sood came in with a pull at 30+ mph. Hyndman was shocking all of us by not only  holding on, but increasing the speed. In the last ½ mile Knight and I set off on an all out sprint  to get the KOM. Absolutely exhausted, we rolled into the gas station both with heart rates over  200 bpm. After arriving at home we uploaded our rides, we got the KOM, by 22 seconds! I was  so proud of our team and our accomplishment. This interval showed me how our fall training  has paid off.

One of our key priorities on this trip was a focus on refueling and recovery, which we did  consistently after every ride. The nutrition was on point, with McHugh having all the post-ride  essentials at the ready as soon as we got back. During our recovery were ice baths. Ice baths are  a frigid and painful 10 minutes of hell, but the anti-inflammatory benefits made for a dramatic  improvement. Joe and John got pretty animated to help pass the 10 minutes. Post ice bath we  usually watched race tape, played Grand Theft Auto, and after some light stretching, we usually  passed out around 11:00 PM.

All in all, as I mentioned in the intro, this was without a doubt the best training trip I’ve ever been on. Not only was it the most beneficial from a training perspective, but also the most fun. I think we’ve finally got a solid TEAM dynamic established, and you can just get the sense that we’re really starting to fire on all cylinders. The motivation’s high, but 8 days of training mean next to nothing if we don’t stay focused for the next 100. Get fired up for the spring and we invite you to continue along our journey to race day!

in _kai_
Chris Craig
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