Sunday, April 29, 2012

TEST Bike and Climb (and ski) Day!!

It was a glorious morning yesterday (see above) to start the "Golden Week" holiday in Japan (a week of national holidays that are conveniently close together so that you can tie a few together for a longer holiday). After last Sunday's hard day at Shokanbetsu-dake and then Thursday's crazy adventure, I thought I'd take the opportunity to test the body on something similar to what I'll be doing at the Sea to Summit races which start in less than a month now (yikes).
After driving the car (full of bike, climb and ski gear) up to the Asahidake Ropeway (tram or cable car depending on where you are from) parking lot, I got on my bike and rode down to Lake Chubetsu where I will be starting the Asahidake Sea to Summit on June 17th. I met my friend, Nicole, there and we turned around and started the 15km (10 mile) climb of 700 meters (2,300ft) back up to the ropeway. Above is Nicole with the arrow on the road sign pointing to our destination.
After reaching the ropeway parking lot (in 53 minutes, 13 seconds), I transitioned to climbing gear and started up the trail (No, I didn't ride the ropeway) towards the summit of Asahidake. As you can see in the above summit post picture, I reached the top at 2291 meters (7,516 ft) and it was a beautiful blue sky day! My climbing time for the 6.5km from the parking lot to the summit post was 2 hours 33 minutes.
In the above picture, I am pointing at my starting place, Lake Chubetsu from the Asahidake summit post. It was 21.5km (13.4 miles) of climbing with 1871 meters of elevation gain (7,140ft). Total climbing time was 3 hours 26 minutes. The Asahidake Sea to Summit will be easier for we will ride the ropeway, I won't have all the added weight of my ski gear, I'll climb with much lighter hiking boots AND there will be much less snow, if any, on June 17th. My bicycle time was about the same as when I did the Sea to Summit last year so with the added 7 weeks of training and my new bike (I still haven't ridden it yet), I am confident I will get that time down another 10 minutes or so. All in all, I was very happy with the test day. I still need to get stronger and faster for the Sea to Summit in Shimane (Mt. Daisen) on May 27th is going to be much harder than the one here. While I'm confident I will do well on the bicycle, I need to practice with the kayak and do some more stair climb workouts. The climb section of Daisen's Sea to Summit is 1,000 meters (almost 3,300ft) in just 3.5km (just over 2 miles). That is steep!!
Back to yesterday, after having a snack and enjoying a glorious view from the summit (again), I had a great ski down the north face of Asahidake. Above is my first of 3 long lines. The snow was great at the top, but got heavy and slushy when I got down to where the regular ski courses were.
In short, as you can see in the above picture, it was a GREAT morning!! Exercise: See above Calories consumed: 3413 (I apparently burned about 3,368 calories) DQS: 19 (due to my lunch of snacking on carb food that didn't get me points)

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