Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ramping up the training.

I got an email from a fellow rider who will be riding the 1,000 mile route with our small group, starting May 1st; 35 DAYS TO GO! Wow,it was almost a slap in the face, a wake up call. It's coming fast now. I got the hotel list emailed to me today, and most of the details are in place. Before you know, I'll be shipping my bike out, picking out my gear to bring with, and trying to figure what 3 or 4 street clothes outfits to bring with. I've got a lot of detail to go over yet, and time is starting to slide by!

Well, on that slap in the face note, I feel like I'm right where I need to be training wise. I rode again today, and the weather was worse than predicted by the weather gurus. Here are today's #s:

40.0 miles
2hr 19m 18s
2,000 kcals burned
152/168 HR avg/max
17.2/28/5 mph avg/max
weather: cloudy/cold, 42 degrees but only 35 degrees with wind chill. Winds, SSW 15 mph constant, gusts to 25 mph.

Total road miles YTD: 185.20

This was a non-stop ride, except for about hopping off at a stop sign for about 2 minutes at Interstate I94 on Hwy K, waiting for traffic to move out so I could cross the underpass. I wasn't too bad off, as I've got the cold weather gear to make this ride pretty doable. But, I opted not to wear my neoprene shoe covers, yeah, that was a mistake. My feet were NUMB when I hopped off the bike at home. Considering the initial ride was about 18.8 miles either directly into the headwind, or with a stiff crosswind, no wonder it took 20 minutes to regain the feeling in my toes! Other than my toes, I felt very good. I even wore my summer riding gloves. It was nice heading back into town on Hwy K, with a (partial) tailwind, I was able to put the hammer down and ride along at 24+ mph with even getting close to blowing up the HR. Had a bite to eat, a Chocolate Cliff Builder Bar and some Powerade and, yeah, water.

Tomorrow, I will drop the kids at school and head out for about 20-25 miles. My legs are feeling better already; I'm sure the 3 glasses of Aussie Cab/Merlot blend hasn't hurt (though it might hurt my head tomorrow AM a bit). We had a nice dinner of home-made spaghetti (well, the sauce was home-made at least) with corn mixed in to sweeten it up a bit, also twisty bread sticks and salads. I love being able to eat the high carb dinners after a workout like I had today, I mean, blowing out almost as many calories as I normally consume is the bomb! Wait until the long ride starts; each day will see me blowing up about 3,500-4,000 calories (or more on the really long days, maybe as much as 4,500 kcals on the longest days). The pasta and carbs will get old quickly, but it won't be an option to eat like I'm on a diet. It will be a matter of keeping in the ride or riding in the SAG wagon!

This weekend will see me do another 30-40 miler; the next pair of days off ( 3/31 and 4/1) will see me doing at least one-50 mile ride. My training plans, as they stand now, are to ramp up to maximum mileage during the week of Easter, from 4/12-4/19. I'm scheduling at least one century ride that week, possibly two, if I can get off work one day during the week and the weather cooperates. I want to log a minimum of 500-700 miles before I head out, and I feel I'm right in line with getting there based in how my rides are going so far. Remember, much of the long races or rides is a mental thing. Today's ride was a definite "HTFU" mental points earned ride! If I can suffer thru that, I can handle anything the Carolinas, Virginia or DC can throw my way. Yeah. Well, I will let you know about Day #5 or so, when the ride miles are taking their toll!

As far as bike choice for the long FLETC ride, I am strongly leaning towards taking my CF Giant with. I want to have the best components, least amount of weight and not have any significant mechanicals on the ride. The new Aksium wheels and Conti tires are working good so far. I want to get a new headset installed; I've noticed the steering tends to be a bit stiff or binds a little. It's the cheap-o stock headset on the bike with over 3,600 miles, so changing it won't be a big deal, I just need to figure out what I want to order. And I want to take the crankset and pedals apart, clean and grease them up before heading out.

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