Friday, March 27, 2009

I got our ride patch!

Today. I got our long ride FLETC to Washington DC patch(es)! One of the organizers actually sent us all four of the patches for our jerseys, coats and/or jackets. They are pretty sweet! Check 'em out:

Going to look good on our PUT kit:

I got another decent ride in on Thur, the weather was actually much nicer than Wed! It got up to 50 deg and little winds, with a tail wind on the way back in.

1hr 53m 22s
32.5 miles
17.2 mph avg/28.3 mph max
1,494 kcals
HR 144 avg/167 max
cad 88 avg/106 max

My ride #s were very similar to Wed's ride of 40 miles. So 72.5 miles in 2 days at the same avg speed, and I'm happy with that. Today was my first of four back at work, I'm shot tonight, got so tired I fell asleep on the couch during our family movie night. A day or two off, then I'll get back at it.

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.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Update the blog.

Man, it's been awhile since I've even been on blogger, let alone posted something new. Think I lost some motivation for a few weeks, bad weather, bad moods, not training enough, etc etc. Then I get busy with work, a few long distance training classes so another few weeks go by, still no posts or even visits to some of my favorite blogs. I can imagine how pathetic this will get in the summer months! WOW.

So, training update; I've been training hard, longer sessions than '08, and my March '09 totals so far this month are equaling my entire March '08 totals. I've started doing some hill drills on the trainer, man, those are leg blasters! Good article from the April '09 Triathlete Magazine, the 300th Issue. The main focus of the article was training for extended out of saddle time and even seated, lower cadence training. The last trainer session consisted of a 2+ hr ride, with out of saddle "intervals", starting at 1 minute, rest, up to 2 minutes, rest, up to 6 minutes continuos out of saddle pounding in a big gear, like 14, 15 or 16t. Legs were blown up after this session. The article also plans out how to train for low cadence, hammer training or a mix of out of saddle then seated hammering. This seated and combo training requires you to block the front wheel up, simulating elevation. I have not tried the seated/standing combo drills yet, but I will next week one night, when the weather is supposed to go to crap again. But, did these drills help in the real world?

Yeah, I'd say. A buddy of mine and I went on my 17.6 mile out and back the other day; now there are a few rolling hills on this route, and normally I'll get out of the saddle and pound on those pedals. This time, I could stay seated on one of the last tough uphill sections, and I had one gear left to spare. The legs feel much stronger, and it is early in the year yet.

Today, I got out for a 2hr 3min ride. Did 35+ miles, averaged 17.2 mph and felt good, despite the cold (it was about 33 deg when I got home, with a WC of 25!). I also ran the new front Aksium wheel with the new Conti 4000 tire for the 1st time-not the rear wheel, as I haven't swapped out the cassette from old to new rim (yet). I got the new tools I need for this today, and will do so over this weekend. I also reserved my bike shipping box at the LBS, next pricing out how much it will cost to send there and back! I've also got to figure a good way to send about a case of beer (bottles) from the local brew houses to my buddies' place in VA, we need to have a few and give a few to his local garage that is letting him use a van/trailer to haul us and our bikes/gear to Charleston SC.

YTD totals: So far, so good. I am down to T minus 6 weeks until I fly out and get ready for the 1,000 miles. So here we are:

25 rides
time in saddle-30 hr 6m 53s
21,000+ kcals
HR- 142 avg 172 max
speed 17.14 avg 37 mph max
117 road miles

I'll try to shoot some pics on one of these rides and post some here. I'm working on getting a Milwaukee news outlet to do a story on our ride, and we will need to gear up for the interviews and scene shots anyways.