Monday, June 30, 2008
I started out from the usual place (Grocery Bag) with dark clouds in the foreground. I should've known that I would get wet. I rode a good 10min warmup then started my first interval. I felt pretty good doing the first one, though the last 2 minutes were difficult. Passed the Hammers going in the opposite direction - need to call Lawrence tomorrow and see if they are riding Tuesday evening. I need to ride with them.
Anyways, did another interval and turned around because I started to feel rain drops. Yes. I would be getting wet. At least it wasn't a downpour like last time. The third and fourth intervals were difficult. I haven't done intervals in some time now and I'm going to have to work up to 2 sets of these. Or maybe I'll do two longer intervals, like 2x20's. Or just ride with Lawrence. That should provide plenty of zone 4 interval time!
Numbers for this evening:
#1: 194/182/90 180/169 (np/ap/rpm maxhr/avghr)
#2: 181/175/90 178/170
#3: 190/182/96 177/172
#4: 186/175/91 179/165
Not exactly great...the np/ap should be much closer together than they are. Maybe the lack of closeness is due to the fact that I had to slow to cross roads or turn on every one of the intervals. Maybe not. Cadence could be better too. Hell, everything about the intervals could be better. I'll try them again on Thursday.
Here's the plan - I went all the way back to February/March and looked at what I was doing during the week and this is what I've come up with for this week:
- Monday: 2 sets of 4x8min zone4 (168-195w), cadence>95, 6min between intervals, 8min between sets.
- Tuesday: 2 sets of 4x2min high cadence drills, cadence>120, 2min between intervals, 3min between sets.
- Wednesday: 2-2.5 hour zone 2 recovery ride.
- Thursday: 2 sets of 4x8min zone4 (168-195w), cadence>95, 6min between intervals, 8min between sets.
- Friday: Fourth of July - metric ride somewhere.
- Saturday/Sunday: Don't know yet.
Guess I'll see how this goes. I probably wouldn't be doing 2 sets of these intervals back in February/March, but I think I've got the base (2700+mi) to handle this kind of training now.
I don't know what I'm doing for the 4th. There's the local metric ride I can do or maybe travel is in the plans if it's going to be terribly hot. I don't do heat very well. Maybe someone with more knowledge than I will chime in to the above plan and tell me what they think. All I know is I can't do non-structure very well and need to figure out how to ride otherwise.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Sunrise from my neighborhood:
Pics along the ride - Chris & Nick:
Nick being silly:
Hwy 222, more flatness:
One of very few "climbs", overpass of Hwy 117 (i think):
This overpass is just before you come into Fremont. Once in Fremont, we got a bit of water and headed on. Here's where the adventure begins....my route wouldn't load last night into my Garmin, so I just wrote the turns down....couldn't find the roads in Fremont, so we just wandered in the general direction of Goldsboro. Eventually, we found the road I was looking for and things were good.
Of course, my ride would not be complete with out a pic from my favorite riding position - behind the guys:
Big Daddy's Road:
Some scenery in and around Goldsboro:
Once in Goldsboro, we were at the 55mi mark due to the wandering around after Fremont. Nick and I were concerned about Chris because he had taken a couple of really long pulls and that, coupled with the increasing heat was taking it's toll on him. We spend prolly a good 20min at the convenience store looking at a map, trying to find the shortest/best way back to Clayton. Even had some woman trying to call her husband so he could tell us....I'm like "umm, yea, thanks a bunch, but neither of us will remember more than the first or second turn....".
So....we start to wing it the shortest way back to the cars. This entailed following someone's directions where, neither Nick or I could remember the turns to take after the first couple. Even so, we got headed in the right direction. Did have to stop and ask once more, when we got close to Micro. We turned left and I wasn't sure, so we go to this house and learn that we needed to go the other direction, otherwise we'd be adding more miles in the heat.
Anyways, we made really good time to Goldsboro/Princeton, but then we were into the wind the remaining 30-40mi back to the cars. This was really hard - taking plenty of breaks to make sure Chris was doing ok and, it was getting hot. Then, Nick wasn't feeling too good because he didn't eat any breakfast and only had a Clif Bar in Kenly. Nothing else, till after Goldsboro, when Chris made him take his Clif Bar. He seemed to feel a little better after eating and getting more fluids.
A few more pics as we are getting closer to the start.
And, finally, me afterwards. My shorts were crusted white with salt. I did really well on the ride. No cramping, tho there were times I had to fight them off in my quads, I had none to make me stop riding.
I fixed a bottle of Sustained Energy for the ride and drank that during the first half of the ride. It made it all the way to Princeton actually. It didn't taste all that bad either. I also ate a banana in Goldsboro. Lets see....prolly drank 5 bottles of water too. Got a Snickers & Coke in Princeton cause I was getting really hungry and had nothing left but some gel. I don't think you should do that tho, if you are using the Hammer stuff. My stomach started to get upset not long after eating that.
Anyways....it was a great ride, I didn't think about stuff going on here any and that was the whole purpose of the ride. Oh yea, weighed before I left this morning and when I got home - 7.5 pounds gone. Guess I am a bit dehydrated, huh?
Total Time=8hr (lots of stops)
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I have no other training to do, no more advice from my coach/mentor guy, other than maybe you can ride with the hammers or do 2x20min at 5% of FTP, so I'll just wing it. I guess since he helped me train and prepare for AoM, he's done with me now that that ride is done. And, that's just not what I need at this point. I need the structure and direction I got from the coach/mentor guy - I need this stuff more right now - not to be left to figure this stuff out on my own. I haven't a clue what to do now.
I don't have a clue what to do about anything anymore................
Monday, June 23, 2008
Driving approximately 650 miles to WNC and back home over the weekend netted me just shy of 60 miles of bike riding and 5400' of climbing! I think that's a little better than the last time I drove 650 miles and only rode 30 miles.
Yesterday (Sunday) was just a "wing it" route, with Andy & Neal, leaving from the pull off at the Little Tennessee River and riding part of the Burningtown route. It was a good ride, but my quads were a bit sore from the mtb ride on Saturday. Seems like every time I do this route, my legs just don't feel great. I did pretty well until Andy takes a left turn and we immediately start climbing, grade being something like 10-12%. But it was fairly short. Ended up with just 24 miles and 1600' of climbing.
I'm considering doing the half-century route of the Blood, Sweat, & Gears ride this coming weekend. But, I'm not 100% sure, due to the way my leg feels and due to some personal stuff happening right now in my life...but, if I don't do that, I wanted to do the Fabulous Fourth in Tryon. But, that's sorta out too most likely. It all pretty much depended on what my son was going to be doing either of those weekends.
I thought he was going to be gone this weekend, all of next week, and not back home until Sunday, July 6, so the BSG ride would be doable as well as the Fabulous Fourth. But, it looks as if he's going to be gone the following Saturday (July 5) and I hate to be gone next Thursday evening and all day Friday, as he'll be leaving early Saturday morning....so, what to do???
Saturday, June 21, 2008
On today's agenda, a mtb ride from Parson's Branch to Cades Cove and back with my friend Andy & his wife.
Andy: oh it's not too bad, about 25 miles and probably around 2500' of climbing.
me: ummm, yea. ok. sure.
We leave his house around 6:30pm heading towards the start area, which is in TN. The whole ride takes place in TN. We get there around 8am (not sure, no watch), get the bikes unloaded and head on out. Initially, it's not too bad and I'm doing ok. Really beautiful out there and quiet. Quiet, except for the sounds of nature. We follow a stream for a while, making several crossings of the stream and getting wet from the overspray.
Eventually, the road starts to have more grade to it and then it's the first really hard climb. Andy is, as usual, leading, me in the middle and his wife next. She is some kind of climber! I swear, she goes soooo slow climbing grades but does not fall over! If I tried to go as slow as she went, I would have fallen over. So, this climb....it was really hard...down to the granny gear and the easist in the rear. Slow, but I managed to make it up w/o walking. I just refused to walk at this point.
There are a few more climbs & then a really long descent. The disk brakes I had, were great on the descents and I let the bike go, flying down them. After this long descent, we finally reach Cades Cove. Lemme just say, wow! It is just beautiful there! Mrs. Andy elected to not take a trip through CC, instead, waiting at the visitor's center while Andy and I took a little 30min trip. It was very nice. Saw several deer out in the fields and in the woods. Then, we got to a turn and the cars were starting to arrive.
Andy says the cars are lined up for like 2hrs waiting to get in and just drive around. The people don't even get out, they just drive through! So, we get in behind a line of cars and then everyone really slows down....someone has pulled off the side of the road and people are out with cameras, peering into the woods. Seems like there are 2 black bears up in the woods. We stop and I get a pic of them. Head on back towards the visitor's center.
Back at the visitor's center, everyone takes a potty break, re-filling bottles, and eating PB&J sammiches. Then we head back the way we came. I'm not feeling great at this time. My hamstrings & inner thighs are starting to feel crampish and it's not very long before they hit me. That means trouble. It was really hard (and I mean REALLY) for me on the way back. It's about a 3 mile climb back to a point where it starts heading back down. I have to walk several times on the way back; well, maybe more than several. My legs are just like jell-o. Cramps and just no energy. I even take a fall because I have a cramp hit me and I can't get unclipped. So, I have a few scrapes from that.
Finally. It is the downhill section. OMG. I loved this section! Just flew down it, hitting the fords without braking and getting splashed with the water. Fun! Lots of it! Again, disk brakes FTW! Back at the car, load the bikes, change clothes and head back.
We rode on the Tail of the Dragon and that would really be a blast on a motorcycle or even a bike! I believe I took a nap on the way back too. I was (still am) tired.
Andy just killed me today! I never know what I'm getting myself into when I come up here to ride with him. Always taking me somewhere that just pushes me to my limits and beyond. I guess that's a good thing.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I'm gonna ride my bike this evening tho, because I feel like I'm gonna lose what I've gained and becasue I have got quiet grumpy this week. Usually, when I get grumpy like this, it's because I haven't ridden in a while. And, it's been a while. The temps around here are a lot lower than last week and the humidity isn't quiet as bad either.
Sigh.....I think next week I need to get back onto some sort of training plan for the Roan Moan on July 26. This is my next ride of the year (treating it as a B ride, I suppose) and it will be a mountainous century. So, five weeks to get into some sort of shape for this ride. I wish I could drop about 10 pounds by then, but I doubt seriously that will happen. As far as that goes (weight), I'm stuck at 45 to 47 pounds and can't get another ounce to come off it seems. Yes, I am eating. Probably still not as much as some would like for me to, but it is what it is.
I'm done for right now...just feeling lost, blah, unhappy, etc. I soooo want to be happy again.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Started out by spending about 3 hours talking about boats, safety, water, safety, etc. We had to try on all of our stuff - spray skirts, helmet, pfd. The spray skirt that I had borrowed was a tad small and a bitch to get on. I borrowed one from one of the instructors that fit much better. After a break for lunch, we carried our stuff down to the lake to begin our water training.
OMG. That boat was/is freakin' heavy and killed my shoulders. There is no easy way to carry the thing plus everything else. Guess I should have put the pfd, helmet, skirt on but didn't think about that. Our first exercise consisted of performing a wet exit. This is with the boat flipped over, you underwater and you have to pull the spray skirt off and exit the boat. I did this fine, but didn't wear nose plugs and got a crap load of water up my nose. This made my head hurt the whole day.
Once everyone had done this, we headed out to a secluded area to practice different paddling strokes/maneuvers and to practice bow rescues. Bow rescues involve another boat coming up to the overturned boat and that person uses the rescue boat to help right themselves, therefore, not having to wet exit. My first one resulted in a wet exit and towing the boat back to shore, emptying it of water and trying again. More paddle stuff, then we headed across the lake.
Good grief. That boat just didn't want to go the way I wanted it to go. It is a very fast boat, but once it starts to get offline and you don't correct it soon enough, then I had to start over or I over-corrected. On the other side of the lake, we practiced paddling on an edge to see what it's like on a river. Then paddle back across the lake and be done. Before we headed back, we were just floating around, resting I guess, for probably 15 minutes. I think the tiredness set in on me during that time becuase I just couldn't get the boat back across the lake without difficulty. And, the muscle soreness was already setting in.
Once back to shore, carry everything back up to our cars. OMG. My shoulders hurt so bad from carrying the boat. I have bruising on both shoulders from this. And bruises on my thighs from the thigh braces. There was no padding in the boat what-so-ever and it wasn't very comfortable. Everyone was discussing where we would be going on Sunday to finish up the course on moving water. It was decided that the Cape Fear would be best and we would meet at MacGreggor Village at 7:30AM the next morning.
Well....after getting home, I didn't do anything but lay around. My head hurt from the water, my upper body from the paddling. OMG. I was SO tired. I decided that if I didn't feel better in the morning, that I probably wouldn't go to the Cape Fear. I didn't go. I just couldn't carry that boat to the water on my shoulders again. So, I called the instructor and cancelled. I didn't do anything the rest of the day but lay around watching TV. I eventually got out around 5:30 and took the mtb to Umstead and rode about 10 miles.
I think I would like to try this again, but I want to try in a boat that fits me better, doesn't make my legs go numb and possibly not as heavy. And, I would like to try again in an environment that allows me to get more comfortable with being attached to the boat and upside down under water so that I can utilize a bow rescue and not have to wet exit. I think it could be something fun to do, but I didn't have as much fun doing this last weekend.....
Friday, June 13, 2008
I've tried to do that this week. Tuesday, I didn't feel too bad after Marion, so figured I would get out and do a short-ish recovery ride. It was really hot & humid and windy. My water was hot, I was not having fun. Then Wednesday, I thought I would try again since it was a bit cooler. Oh boy, not 6-8min into my ride, a cool wind starts blowing, the sky gets dark in the direction I'm going, and the temps seem to drop. I had planned on about 40 miles, but when I got to 10 miles, I started hearing thunder and decided that maybe I should turn around. I figured it was gonna start raining and that I better try to beat it back to the car!
I had a nice tailwind and went pretty hard for about 4 miles or so. Then I started to smell the rain. You can smell it once it hits the hot pavement. It was really large drops too. Not a lot to begin with, then it got a little more frequent, then it was just an all out friggen torrential downpour! Stinging rain on my face, arms, legs. Coming at me from the side and the front. Wind blowing really hard. Water standing on the road about half an inch in depth. It was a bit scary cause I didn't have any lights and was worried about not being seen by the cars. Worried also about just crashing in general due to the water.
About 6-7 miles later, I arrive back at the car, throw everything into the car and head home....to no rain!! Not a drop of rain at my house!
Then there was no riding yesterday due to a Code Red air quality in my area from the smoke from the fire down east in Hyde County. No riding today either for the same reason. So, I took my bike with me to work so that I could get it cleaned up. Water in the rear wheel and in the frame. I got all of that out (I hope) and used up just about all of the WD-40 to get all the grit/grease/grime off the chain. Q-tips were used too. Then re lubed it. It's ready to ride the next time I am.
Tomorrow I have a Beginner kayak course that lasts through Sunday. I hope that I will feel like riding later in the evening on Saturday/Sunday. Coach/mentor guy doesn't think I will feel like it, but I'd like to prove him wrong. We'll see.
Now, as for this unstructured riding mess......I do not like it. I do not like unstructured; I live for structure. But, I'll give it a try next week and see if I feel any differently. If I don't, then I'm going to start back on the intervals again - maybe work on the longer ones, 3x10min in zone 4 or some 2x20min zone 4, and some high cadence drills. Maybe I'll ask the coach/mentor guy for suggestions.
That's pretty much it for this week....not much going on.....got something planned for next weekend though....more riding in my favorite area!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Andy's wife helped us with the shuttle down to Spartanburg so that we had cars in Marion and didn't need to return to the start at the end of the day. That was great and I really do appreciate not having to ride the bus back to Spartanburg. When we arrived at the Marriott in Spartanburg, SC it was a balmy 102F! It didn't feel too terribly bad (or so I was trying to convince myself). We get checked in and head over to the auditorium to picked up our registration packets and soon after met Neal for dinner. We hung out watching the USA/Argentina soccer game until it was time to get some rest. Unfortunately, even though I was a little sleepy, I didn't want to go to bed, so I went for a short walk outside and tried to use the computer at the Business Center. That wasn't free, so I headed back to my room, watched a little more TV, then set the alarm for 4:45. Didn't go to sleep till something like 11:30pm. I woke up before the alarm and got stuff ready...I was eager to ride.
The ride started off well, lots of riders, and it was awesome hearing everyone clip in and get started this morning. My plan was to hang with Andy until Bill's Hill, where I knew for sure he would drop me. Those plans went out the door about 10 miles (+/-) into the ride. First medium climb and he was gone. I decided at that point to just ride my ride and not try to blow up just to keep up with him or anyone else. I've learned a little. Rode with several different groups up to the first rest stop, including a tandem that pulled me and and others for a long time.
After this rest stop, I hooked up with Colavita guy and rode with him for a long time. I've got some nice pics of his calves and will up load the pics later. I didn't get any pics of Andy's legs. Shame on me. I always get pics! Anyways, the heat was starting to play a number on me. I was feeling drained and didn't seem to have any energy, tho I was eating my gel and eating at the RS. Maybe I should have eaten more bananas. I don't know. Final rest stop before Bill's Hill, I got water & ate some watermellon then headed out. Not sure what road we were on, but the pavement was nice and then I got to Bill's Hill. Turn up BH and I dump most of the water on myself or just out so I wouldn't have to carry it. cause I knew there was water at the top. Not far into this climb I got a mild cramp in my right inner thigh and had to stop. That was the start of the end though I didn't want to admit it. Back on the bike, make it to the top, refill the bottles and head on down.
I think we made some turn, maybe, and it was a really nice decent around 50mi. But, after this descent when I started climbing, I could feel the cramp coming on. I tried to ease up, I tried to will it away, but I couldn't. About a quarter of the way up hte climb, I had to stop. I got unclipped and just laid there over the bars. I couldn't move. It hurt so friggen bad. Never had a cramp like that before. The sag guy came back and asked if I needed a ride. No, I'm not riding, I'm not quiting. I asked how far to the next rest stop and he lies to me....says, oh, about 6mi or so. I knew the rest stop was at 64mi and here I am cramped up at 52mi. Right. Guess he told me a lesser distance to keep me going.
I continue on - now in limp home mode because once I start cramping, they won't stop. That was the longest 12mi. During this time, I'm trying to decide whether to abandon when I get to the RS. DNF. I cry over just thinking about DNFing 'cause I didn't train all damn winter to DNF this ride. Not due to damn cramps anyways. I felt like the only way I was going to DNF was if something on my bike broke or I crashed and couldn't ride (cause even if I crashed I was gonna get back on my bike and finish, just like the guy I saw at 3MM). But, I say to myself, you don't want to get injured (like I did last May due to dehydration/cramping=tendonitis/bursitis in my knee), so do what is best for your health. OK. I'll sag back to Marion. I had a headache, I stopped sweating as much, chills, all the reasons to quit.....But....
While at the rest stop, my friend WheresWaldo & his daughter, Bittersweet (Bikeforums friends), come up on the tandem. He had planned on going on to Mitchell, but told me he was going to abandon because of the heat and he just didn't have any legs left. I'm sooooooooooooo glad they showed up. Someone I knew and that I could finish the ride with. Only 8 more miles. I decided then to not abandon. I could finish this ride as long as I had someone riding with me and encouraging me to finish. WW is such a great guy. And his daughter was great too. Both kept telling me we're almost there, to hang on, just another mile or so. Even on one of the last climbs, when I was starting to cramp, they both told me to just keep pedaling, don't stop. Almost there.
We head out, I drop them on the hills, they catch me on the descents and pull me till we hit another hill. Wash, rinse, repeat. A long climb....WW tells me it's only maybe a mile after the upcoming stop sign. I say great cause I want this to be over. He lied! More climbing, then about 5mi of descent. We finally get to the last turn and he says here it is...I tell him you're lying to me again and Bittersweet says no - look. There's the campground!! Brings tears to my eyes again - I've never beeen so happy to see the end of a ride.
I made it just under 5hr, 4hr57min, 75mi. I sincerely believe that I could have made it in 4.5hr had I not cramped. I think I can do it in 4-4.5hr next year (to Marion) if I ride it. That won't be decided until next year when it gets much closer to the ride. I'll try to get a pass for Mitchell, but if the temps are like this year, I won't ride it. I'll find a damn ride that's up north or somewhere that the temps are 80F or less. F this heat. I hate the heat.
So, that's it in a long nutshell. My legs hurt, I'm tired, sunburned too I think. Prolly gonna take at least half a day off work tomorrow. I wish it was winter. I hate this heat. I am going to revise my thoughts on this high temp stuff. I'm with Andy - give me cool temps cause I just can't deal with the heat. You just can't take enough clothes off to be cool.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
I checked the radar and saw there was a possibility of storms coming, so figured they weren't coming because of that. I went on and headed out for my warm up and intervals cause I didn't want to get caught out in a storm since I had just washed the bike yesterday.
They were hard, but again, not as hard as they have been. (coach/mentor guy has informed me that I need to go harder on the next ones). Duh. Found a nice stretch of pavement that was pretty much flat and got down to business.
#1: 413/633/87 153/171; 382/481/78 170/178; 367/516/83 173/179. average pwr=387
#2: 392/497/98 150/169; 317/531/98 170/177; 340/428/86 174/179. average pwr=350
#3: 386/557/96 146/163; 313/486/84 168/175; 341/499/86 167/176. average pwr=347
ap/max pwr/rpm hr avg/hr max
These numbers are way better than what I had back on April 19. Much improvement. I'll do another set of these on Friday.
Tomorrow - maybe a slow group ride with the OMV riders at MacGreggor Village. Not sure what I'll do on Thursday. I wanted to ride the Cyclepath group ride on Saturday - ~40mi, 18-20mph, but have been told by the coach/mentor guy that it will just make me tired. No gains in fitness from such a ride, so it's best that I don't do it. I guess I'll have to do a solo ride then.
Anyways....it was really nice to get out and do intervals today. After hurting my knee the week before the mountain ride, my schedule has been sorta messed up. Back on track now and just 6 more days till AoM. :)
Monday, June 2, 2008
I have 2 more days of speed intervals and some other riding this week, but I'm not going to be hammering this week. Will do 3 sets of 3x30s hard as you can go intervals tomorrow and Friday. Wednesday & Thursday will be some kind of ride and Saturday there is the Cyclepath group ride, but not sure that I will do that because I'll go way too hard. Heading out Sunday morning to meet Andy & his wife in Marion, where I'll leave the car and get a ride from them to Spartanburg.
I'm a bit worried about Marion....I always seem to find myself too close to the front of the group and get caught up in the fastness. I really need to start more slowly next Monday and hopefully I'll be able to finish up in 5hr or less. I guess I'll figure it out eventually.
I might write more later....