Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mitchell Training Ride

since i didn't get to make the climb up to the summit on the ride with Andy during the Mini Assault on MM, my friend, NealH, and i planned on doing the BRP to MM the sunday after the burnsville metric.

it was a beautiful day for riding!!! i guess it was around, maybe 80F, during the climb, but i could be totally incorrect....i thought it was hot tho and searched the shade out when i could.

we started at the BRP & Hwy80 around 9:30 or 10am. granted, with somewhat fresh legs, i didn't think it was all that hard on the BRP, but the 5mi up to the summit parking lot was a different story...i thought parts of it were pretty hard, but once past the visitor's center, you get a respite for a little bit....then it's back to the hard climbing. i think i did ok. i'm gonna have to remember how i felt today and for the other climb up 80 in a couple of weeks and just keep telling myself "you can do it" when the real ride gets here. omg. climbing 128 after 90-some miles....i think i'm gonna die....

well, Neal gets his groove on and leaves me on the 128 climb....that's ok with me...once i get up to the parking lot, he's no where to be found. i see that the pathway up to the actual summit is paved....i'm like, what the hell, i didn't ride up this to not go ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP!! wow. the first section, i take standing up out of the saddle. take a short break for a picture, then head up the last bit...all the way to the top of the tower!! freakin' awesome!!!!

here's some pics from today's ride...the climbing just goes on forever on the BRP:



Saturday, April 25, 2009

Burnsville Metric

This is gonna be pretty short & sweet, I think....

Started with cool temps, opted for no warmers cause it was going to get up to the mid 80's and i didn't feel like carrying them around. The ride got started around 9am - Andy, Neal, and myself were close to the front but not with the lead group. Those guys were fast!!!

I took off and didn't attempt to stay with either of the guys. Andy had told me not to worry about him and treat this as an AoMM training ride, which it was...hooked up with 2 cuties in green kits from Boone maybe and 2 other guys. The 5 of us were doing well together, taking pulls (I took short ones, remembering the advice of "don't do any work, let the others pull you around") and then we got swallowed up by the group Andy & Neal were in. Probably 30+ riders.

Lots of slowing/speeding up, which I knew was going to happen and I wasn't nearly as concerned about it as last year. Not to say, it wasn't nerve wracking, it was, but I was better prepared for it. I stayed up towards the front of this group until around 36mi, where the first climbs started. Got to this point in 1:30 and at this time, I had a 23mph avg.

Andy and Neal caught me on the climbs, as I knew they would, both passing me. I didn't find the climbs to be all that difficult this year. Last year, I thought they were hard as hell. I eventually caught up with Andy a few miles from Bakersville and we got to the rest stop together. 41mi/1:52/22.5avg.

I felt really good to this point - last year, I suffered and didn't think I was ever going to get to that rest stop. We refill our bottles, and set out to do the climbs on Hwy80. Not anything like it was last year. I was spinning pretty well up some of the climbs too. I started to feel a little on the bad side towards the end of the climbs on 80 - I could feel my calf getting a little tight and when I stood on some climbs, my dang quads wanted to start cramping. but, it was never enough to really cause any problems.

Reached the last rest stop, where Andy was waiting on me...he asked, as I rolled up, if I needed to stop and I said no and kept on going! He caught up with me shortly and I pulled us all the way to the next turn, which took us off of the main, trafficky road and told him he could do some pulling. He comes on by me, says "get my wheel" and off he goes! I didn't even have a chance to!! He dropped me!!!!

So, I didn't bother trying to catch him, I was getting tired, had a headwind, and my legs were not feeling too good. Started to get a serious cramp in my inner thigh, left leg when I was very near the last climb in Burnsville. Managed to keep going and finished about 6min behind Andy.

I am very pleased with how I rode today. 62miles/3:18hr, 3100'+/- climbing. No pictures from the first part of the ride, but if you want to see hte scenery, check out Andy's Burnsville Metric Recon thread on Bike Forums...I do have a couple of pics from late in the ride, but haven't downloaded....later...

Tomorrow, Neal and I are going to ride teh BRP from hte intersection of Hwy80 up to Mt Mitchell. Another training ride.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Name of The Game....

was Control and Pacing this evening...

Messed up on the 1min intervals on Monday by not staying in control and pacing myself properly. Fussed at by Andy and Martin about doing this, so this evenings goal was to be in control - show both of them and myself, that I can do this.

Set out with the goal of starting the intervals in the 250w range and increasing 15w or so for each interval. Success!

20min warmup which included a 5min VO2 interval, followed by 5-6min easy spinning then begin the intervals....

#1: 251/96/19.2
#2: 276/95/21.8
#3: 292/102/21.2
#4: 311/95/23.4
#5: 256/99/20.6
#6: 272/96/22
#7: 271/91/21.2
#8: 300/ 93/22.5

The first set was great. The second set was ok until the 3rd interval. OMG. I held it up around 290-something for about 20-25s, but, the burn! I just couldn't hold it. The last interval started at over 300w, but fell quickly. It was SO hard. It was everything I could, including a bit of yelling, to get it back up to 300w after it fell all the way down to 288w. Whew. Kick Ass last set of intervals.

I'm tired now...and was very hungry when I got home....didn't have enough to eat during the day today...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tuesday Hammer Tempo Ride

Tuesday was to be a 1hr Tempo ride for me and I thought that I could maybe do this ride with Dallas and the guys, so I called him and left a message...he gets back up with me and says to come on out!

Since I told him I needed to get a good hour of riding in, he sorta picked a route out (we do this on the fly, no Q-sheet) that had nice really long stretches and not very many turns. It was an awesome ride...a good 25-30min warmup and then I took the lead and pulled for only 20min. "Only" 20min because my power was way above what it should've been for a "tempo" ride and I need to learn to control my pace better. So, I came off the front but didn't go directly to the back...sorta just rode in the center of the lane so that I wouldn't get any benefit of a draft from the guys. Pretty much rode like this for the whole hour - those guys taking rotations off the front.

After the hour, in which Dallas & Cliff really cranked it up and did a tempo ride with me, we were in cool-down mode for the return trip. Until the last couple of miles. It was getting on after 7:15pm, ominous clouds in the sky and I don't think any of us wanted to be caught out in any storms. Dallas kicked it up a notch or two on the way back, pulling us along at around 25-26mph! Very easy to sit in behind Dallas and tool along. :)


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Homeowner Now...

That's right. I am now the sole owner of my home. I don't usually post much info on what's going on in my personal life, but I'll make an exception (or two)...

It's been a year since the separation started and I wanted/needed to get some stuff behind me in order to be able to move on. Getting the house into my name was one of the final things left to do. I refinanced and took out enough in the loan to pay the ex his half of the equity in the house giving us no more ties to each other...except one more thing....all that's left is getting the D. That should be final by 5/22 and I will officially join the ranks of the single again.

How do I feel about all of this? It's been an emotional roller coaster lately. Up & down, up & down. There were good times & bad times, so it's just been hard...not going to get into all of that though, other than I'm very ready to get off the roller coaster. I'm much more happier, now that things are coming to a final conclusion. I've learned to be happy with myself, that I don't *need* a man around to make me happy. Seems when you stop looking - good things just fall into your lap. :)

OK...that's enough emo stuff...

I'm feeling good too, in that, the weight is coming off, too damn slowly for me, but never-the-less, it's coming off. And, with that comes some attention...attention that I'm not at all used to...oh well, it's nice. :) I may have to go to the closet to find that Big Stick by summer time. :) hee hee...enough...


Monday, April 20, 2009

My PT Spoke To Me Today....

And It told me this - "YOU SUCK!" That's right. My intervals sucked donkey balls big, big time this evening. Seems like I'm never going to learn to Start Slow to Finish Fast. Damnit. Way, way too hard on the first one of the first set and just totally blew up for the remainder of the intervals.

Hell, they were so sucky, I'm not even posting them.

Talking to Andy this evening about it and he suggests (same as he has before) that I try to go easier at the beginning and build up to the last interval of each set being the best, i.e. 270, 285, 300+ watts. Oh yea...he also threw in an extra interval for each set, so now, on Thursday, I'll do 2 @ 4x1min intervals. Great. But, I want to get better and he says this will help, so I'll do what I'm told.

Tomorrow is a 1 hour zone 3 Tempo ride (151-182w). Wednesday will be easy spin day, then hit those intervals again on Thursday. I hope they're better than the last ones I've done. Then it's off to Burnsville on Friday for the Burnsville Metric.

Saturday's AoMM Long Training Ride

Saturday was to be my long ride, 100mi to Goldsboro and back - trying to get in another 100mi ride in preparation for AoMM. Talked with my friend Dallas on Thursday after riding with him and he said that he would ride with me. The Hammers were planning on a 50-60mi ride that morning, so he and I rode with them for almost an hour, to the split for those guys to turn around and us to start long.

There were 8 of us initially in the group and this made for some really good, fast paceline riding. We averaged 21mph until the split and Dallas & I still had that average when we reached Fremont. It's too bad the rest of the guys or at least some of them, wouldn't come with us. It would have been very easy to make this a 5hr century. Oh well, maybe next time, when everyone has a few more miles in their legs besides me.

Once we got to Fremont, we refilled the bottles and headed on out 222E - nice flat straight road and really beautiful country side. Had some wind with us on that stretch, more of a cross wind, but once we turned off of 222 and headed south towards Goldsboro, oh boy! Headwind. This started around mile 35 or so and we had it the rest of the ride. Dallas is a dang workhorse! He wouldn't come off the front and pulled and pulled and pulled.

We got to Goldsboro in 2.5hr (50mi) and then cruised a little bit finding our way through and over to Hwy 581. Into the wind. Still. We took 581 all the way back to 222 and into Kenly, where we stopped for a short break - the only one all day. 72mi in the books at that time in something like 3:45hr. At this point, Dallas had gone further than he has in a long time and was ready to get home and off the bike. I was just ready to get home. I knew we weren't going to get the 100mi in either because it wasn't 30mi back to Rick's house and neither of us wanted to make it 30mi...

So, we left Kenly and headed back towards the house...87mi/4:40hr. I think if we had gone to the south of Goldsboro, we would have had the 100mi, but whatever. Still a good ride. My legs are quite sore today though and I'll probably get out sometime this afternoon to do a "recovery" ride. In the wind no less.

4 more weeks till AoMM....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Mini Assault on Mt Mitchell

So, Andy, did one of these "be there, 10am, ride to Mitchell" messages the other evening and, well, it is the mtns and you know me....I was there...

Met Andy in Marion, we found a place to park over by the campground, unloaded and got our gear ready for the Mini AoMM. We saw several groups of riders as we were getting ready, probably doing the same thing we were getting ready to do. It was a little chilly, but not too bad at the start, but would get colder the higher we climbed. When I left Clayton, it was pretty nice and there were blue skies until I got closer to Marion. It was overcast and cloudy, with wind when I arrived. We both wore arm warmers and carried a vest/jacket, knee warmers, extra bottle and other stuff.

Heading down (or up, which ever way you wanna look at it) Hwy 80, it's not all that bad for the first, 7-8mi. Here's a few pics towards the beginning, with the requisite leg shot I always have to get.

This was the view I would have all day, when Andy was even in sight. I don't know how he does it. I can never keep up with him. Maybe one of these days, some year, I will, but it's not looking promising..

Initially, it's a little bit flat, but then you start to go up a bit, climb around the dam for Lake Tahoma and not long after that, you see this:

I drove up this route last year and thought, ok - this isn't so bad, I can do this...until I got to that sign pointing left. Then I thought, OMG, there's no way in hell I'll be able to do this. That was last year and last year, I would've been correct. Anyways...this is where it really pitches up and the serious climbing begins.

More along Hwy 80 (at the first really sharp pitch up):

The climb up Hwy 80 wasn't too terribly bad, but I also didn't have 75+ miles already in my legs. I think come May 18, I better make sure I have that "sheer determination" packed away somewhere because I think I'm gonna need it.

It took me about 1:20 or so to get to the BRP, where, as usual, he was waiting on me.

So, that was around 12mi from Marion to the BRP. We had another 12mi to go on the BRP before we got to the entrance to Mt Mitchell (17mi total to the summit from Hwy80/BRP). All climbing, except one or two decents. This, wasn't especially hard, but I had a little trouble just finding my pace and settling in for the climbs. I managed though. It really started to get cooler as we went further on the BRP, we got rained on a little too. When we got to the first long descent, we stopped at the top to re-assess...Andy tells me that it's probably a 2.5mi descent, then 4-5mi more of climbing before we reach the entrance.

Pics along the way...
Hwy 80

My normal view:

At this point, it's either finish the ride or turn around. I really hate to not finish what I've started and there's been very few times that I've told him we need to turn around on rides. Maybe I haven't said that. My hamstrings were hurting a bit (don't know what's up with that...) but, I didn't drive 3hr to quit. So, I told him let's do it. OMG. can you say BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR??? We descended for a short distance and I saw an overlook...pulled in to put the knee warmers on. It should've been a hint when I saw the other riders meeting us - they were all decked out in much warmer clothing! Knee warmers on, finish the descent.

Jigglywatts became shivery/frozenwatts after that descent. I don't know what the temp was, but it was damn cold to me. I wanted to turn around then and find some place warm, but not quiting. I finally reach the overlook that's just before the entrance and I don't want to go any further! It was very foggy, slight drizzle, and cold. And snow on the ground. Andy had talked to a couple of the riders and they told him it was all closed at the top - no hot chocolate, nothing to see. We opted to turn around and not go on up to the top.


I was so damn cold. And we had a 4-5mi descent. In the rain, that felt like it was ice pellets on my face. A couple of climbs later, we are back at Hwy 80 and I'm ready to get off this mtn!
Descending 80 was a blast!!! I was behind a van initially, but he pulled over and let me pass him. Not a lot of traffic on the way down, so the turns could be taken wide, when you could see that far ahead.

So, it was a good training ride, I'm glad I got to do it before AoMM. My friend Neal and I may ride up Hwy 80 from the other side after the Burnsville Metric and then up to MM, depending on the weather.

Ride Stats
2:57hr total climbing
4:15 for total time
~6000' climbing.

Friday, April 10, 2009

200k Aftermath

Pretty tired the next day, but decided to go for an easy recovery ride late Sunday afternoon. I started to go just after lunch, but felt the need for a nap, so nap it was. I should have went ahead and rode then because when I went out later Sunday evening, the wind had really picked up. Made for an interesting ride...pretty much headwind the whole ride. 22.5mi.

Monday, I was really feeling the effects of the previous week's mileage, 220mi for the week, which included the 130mi on Saturday and 22.5mi on Sunday. No riding. Rest & Recover. Tuesday, I woke up feeling really crappy. Lots of pollen in the air over the weekend and I think that was really bothering me - scratchy throat, headache, a bit of chest congestion, general tiredness. Everyone told me it was the 200k - that it took a lot more out of me than I realized. I suppose so.

Wednesday - no riding either. Closed on the refinancing of my house into my name, then went home and started cleaning the filing cabinets out. I'm still working on getting the crapload of old papers shredded! I also stayed up WAY too late talking to an old friend and a new friend.

Thursday - an hour's worth of Tempo riding, 2hr total riding. Felt sorta ok, but the pollen was creating havoc with my breathing. Almost decided to bail on the ride after 30min into it, but said no. Again, up late talking to the new friend.
Was able to sleep in till 7:30am this morning and had plans to ride with Dallas and Russell at 11am, but I just felt too tired. And, since I'm going to be riding from Marion to Mt Mitchell in the morning with Andy, I just decided to bail on the ride and try to work on this shredding stuff....

Sunday, April 5, 2009

My First 200k Ride

On Saturday, I did my first 200k ride, using it as sort of a training ride for AoMM. There were probably at least 25 people there to do the ride and I didn't know anyone there except for one person, who I had ridden with some a couple of years ago. It was a tad chilly to start, but knowing that it was going to be in the mid 70's later today, I opted for warmers and shorty gloves. Stayed in the warmers till the control point then that stuff was gone.

It was a beautiful day for doing 200k! Sunny skies, warm temps, but just a tad too much wind. I think it got up to something like the mid 70's. Absolutely beautiful day sans the wind.

Lots of the riders had older (or older looking to me) bikes loaded with panniers and handlebar bags, fenders. One guy on fixed gear bike. Saw a Cervelo, Colnago, BMC, and another Fuji Team RC. Most of the people appeared to be older than me and a lot of the guys had beards... One guy riding in the lead group asked me where all my stuff was (he was one with lots of different bags on his bike). I told him everything was in my jersey pockets. What about spare parts??? Huh? Spare parts?? I had the normal stuff in the saddle bag (tube, co2, levers, mulitool, and cash). This guy said he hadn't figured out how to do that yet.

We started off close to 7am and I was right up there with the lead group, feeling great. My friend Todd told me to go on and that he would catch up to me since he wasn't quite ready when we headed out. I was having no problem staying with the group and probably could have stayed with them all the way to the control point. Todd finally caught up with me about 20min into the ride I guess. We chatted a bit, he'd done this ride last year and knew the route, so I was going to let him take a lot of the lead. We stayed with the group until we crossed Lake Jordan and began climbing out.

Damn hardest thing to do on this ride initially was to let the people just fly by me on little short upgrades. Very hard. But. I had made up mind to listen to what Andy told me to do, which was let the wheels go and do the ride as planned. Damn. Well, Todd and I kept the group insight until the climb to 15/501 and lost them. Then we missed our turn. Todd was leading and blew right by the turn. I thought the road name looked familiar but didn't speak up. We ended up adding 5miles total to the route and probably a good 20-25min to the ride. Meh, no big deal really. Happens.

So, the plan for the day was to try and keep the watts below 200 and try to hold above 150 or so. If that meant losing a wheel or passing people to keep it at that, then that's what I had to do. I did pretty good on keeping it under the 200 on climbs, but I sorta messed up on keeping it above 150 or so. Todd and I stayed together all the way to the control point and at times, I felt like I was just cruising along really easily, even the climbs weren't all that hard, especially when you keep your watts less than or equal to 200. And, I would drop down to the small ring and just spin up the climbs. Pretty easily too. All of this "just cruising" along was at way under the 150 I wanted to do, but, maybe it was for the best in the end. I guess I did do ok, though...Start Slow to Finish Fast.

After all the hills in the beginning of the ride, we finally hit some straight flat-ish sections and I let it rip. I was really tired of going slow, so I took the lead and pulled us the last hour or so, only dropping back when we hit the occasional hill. I was hoping Todd would be able to hold on and he did, but that blew him up by the time we got to the control point. He went inside for a sandwich and chips/drink and I refilled with Perpetuem. I was riding around the parking lot waiting on him so my legs wouldn't get cold - when he came out with all that food! He told me to go on cause he didn't feel like he could keep that pace up on the way back. With the headwinds all the way out and the extra mileage, the first half of the ride was 65mi/4:15. Probably could've knocked 30min off the ride time if I had ridden a little differently and we not missed the turn.

Solo on the way back with some tailwinds at time. A lot of the time, there were cross/head winds to still deal with too. I felt good and at this point, I was slightly disappointed because I had wanted to get this ride done in less than 8hrs and with a 4:15 on the first half, I was gonna have to work hard to come in under 8hr. Some of the hills, I kept the power at/under 200w, but others, as the day went on, I said F it. I was tired of sitting in that saddle, my butt hurt and I needed to do something different. That worked out ok, I would recover a bit once cresting and then hammer down again.

I had made up 5 bottles worth of Perpetuem (in baggies) to take along with me. This was all I was going to eat (plus a little bit of gel) on the ride. I also took enough Hammer drugs for the ride. The Perpetuem works great. I wasn't a bit hungry on the ride, tried to drink 1 bottle/hr and take a handful of pills every hour. Now, that was a trick! Need to figure out a better way to carry the pills. I did feel the need for a Coke towards the very end of the ride. Stopped at the store at Lake Jordan, used the bathroom (only time that day) and had that Coke. Drank 6 bottles and only used the bathroom 1x.

I also got a nice pull across the Lake from a couple of tri-girls. They had passed me at some point on the way back, stopped at store, I passed them and then they caught me at the Coke stop. Don't know if they liked me hooking on to them, but I didn't really care. Just wanted a pull across the Lake and for as far as I could hold on. They dropped me once we made the next turn and started a short upgrade.

Finished up the ride by going to the organizers home to get my card checked in, rode back to my car and thought "Holy Shit. I just rode 130mi." I was so tired. I didn't even change my clothes. Just took my shoes/socks off, loaded the bike and headed home. Good grief, I got so sleepy on the drive home. I don't know how in the hell I'm going to get home after AoMM. It's a good 3hr drive when I'm fresh; I might have to find a shade tree at the campground and have a nap before I head home.

Stopped off at the grocery store for some beer and at the high school to pick up the bbq chicken that the son had ordered for us. Had one beer, bottle of Recoverite, chicken breast, potatoes, green beans for supper. Afterwards, I just layed on the couch, took a couple of 5min naps, and eventually went to bed around 11pm. I knew I should've taken that Lunesta (someone said not too ) cause I just tossed/turned and didn't sleep really well.

I guess that's legs feel "ok" this morning. A little bit sore, but otherwise I feel pretty good. I was supposed to go ride with my friend Dallas this morning, but I think I'm going to bail on that, considering he wanted to ride at 10am and it's now 10:20am. I'll get a short (2hr) ride in later this afternoon at a nice recovery pace.

So, that was actually a good ride yesterday. I suppose it was a good training ride for AoMM. It was a very good learning experience at pacing and fueling (especially the fueling). I'd like to ride it again and see if I can do any better. This coming weekend, I think I'm going to do a flat century (Clayton-Goldsboro-Clayton).

Ride Stats
First 65mi = 4:14hr/15.3avg
Last 65mi = 3:38/16.5avg
Century = 6:22hr/15.7avg
Climbing = 7000'+ (cue sheet listed it as 7800'+ and I probably would've had this if the garmin hadn't kept on cutting off).