We make holes in teeth!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

7 Changes

So here are 7 things I'm going to change in light of my ride Sunday. None of them are huge, they're just tweaks in the program so to speak.

1. Water

Going to try and drink a gallon of water a day. I'm already up there in the 12-14 cups range. But a few of the guys I talked to said they drink huge amounts of water. So I'm going to up it again in the hopes that will ensure I stay properly hydrated once the temps start to get up there.

2. Coffee/Tea

I'm going to scale back the coffee and tea consumption. For a while I was good and I only drank 1 cup of coffee a day. Over the past few months I've crept up to like 3 a day. It's fine to have an extra cup or even 2 on the weekend. But every day is too much. I would often top it off with 2 cups of tea. What's more is that the free coffee at work is just brutal awful. So 1 of each every day from now on.

3. Empty Calorie Foods

Even though I exercise a ton, there are probably still too many empty calorie foods in my diet. For instance, the bagel with butter in the morning is basically a zero nutrition food. It certainly doesn't count as nutrition dense. I eat a lot of sports drinks before/during/after exercise so I get enough "hot" calories to burn in association with my riding.

4. Endurolytes

Finally bit the bullet and bought Endurolytes last night. This Hammer Nutrition product is pretty popular in the endurance world and a lot of people who cramp start taking these and stop cramping. I probably could get away with salt tablets but I'll cede to the masses and give these a shot.

5. The Friel Approach

My training in the past 2 months or so has been the Greg LeMond approach, which is basically an effort scale which goes lower in the week, such as hard/medium/easy on T/W/T. Mondays and Friday are off. Saturdays is another hard-ish day, usually my mountain bike ride. And Sunday is your long road ride of the week, lower paced obviously.

I'm going to look at the Friel approach which is generally the same but there are more mountain bike specific workouts in his plan, since the book is a mountain biking specific training book. So we'll see how that goes. In general it's the same with minor differences. Plus it's a shakeup of the same boring structure since Friel has all sorts of different ways to get the same training effect.

6. Hard is Hard, Easy is Easy

I think my easier-to-medium workouts tend to be done at a higher pace than they should be, which tends to fatigue you more than intended making it harder to complete the hard workouts. The result is that every workout becomes a generic middle-of-the-road workout that just fatigues you and doesn't target anything properly. So hard is hard, easy is easy.

7. GPS Training

I recently bought an Edge 205 GPS which allows me to race myself or follow courses and all sorts of things I haven't figured out yet. This will help on item 6. When I need to go hard I can race myself from another hard day. When I need to go easy I can make sure I don't go faster than myself on some other easy day.

It also allows you to pull courses from other users who have ridden other parks. So I can go ride the Darkhorse 40 course and follow the tracks on the screen. This is really why I got the GPS and it opens up a huge amount of possibilities in learning new places to ride.

Other Stuff

I may look into some more vitamin supplements though I'm not a big fan of that idea, just because it's usually the case that you waste your money on that stuff. I already take a low-dose generic vitamin so I'm not sure how much more potassium, magnesium, and calcium I need. Given that I don't eat a highly processed diet I may actually be a bit light on the salt side, as odd as that might sound.

Today's ride

I banged out a 19.2 today according to the GPS. That would qualify as "hard is hard". Ride details here:

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Result and Pic

Oh look I came in tied for 11th out of 17 starters:

Oh look dork on a bike:

You know I don't look like as much of a dork as I usually do. I almost look like a real rider, whatever that means. My face is much thinner than I think it is. I guess when you're a fat bastard your whole life you kinda just assume. My wife says I look like my father.

That's almost a wrap. I've tied the cramping to heat. I didn't cramp in October when it was 35 degrees at the start. And I cramped at the 24 hour race when it was hot. And this weekend when it was hot. So heat, salt, water losses. Going to buy endurolytes which I've avoided but I need to bite the bullet because these cramps need to end.

Now that's a wrap. On to the next build. Tomorrow morning time to throw the leg over again.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Race Report

There are really any number of ways to start this report. But I think I'm going to go with the pirate guy's quote on the Simspons:

"Argh. I don't know what I'm doing."

I cramp every race I do. Every single one. And I never cramp in training. Never. Put that together and the only answer is that I just simply don't know what I'm doing when I race. I thought pacing was fine but obviously I was wrong. Gotta be honest that it makes me question just what the hell I'm bothering for if every time I race I end up in leg-locking pain at some point. Yeah, just what the hell am I doing?

So I ended up doing 4 laps which was expected. But I should have done 5 without question. Turns out that you only needed to start the last lap by 1:00 and I was done with lap 3 around the 2:35 mark on my bike computer. When I set out I said it might hurt but 5 was going to happen.

Like 5 minutes later I locked up, hard. I had felt the twinges earlier, at 2:15 so it wasn't a total surprise. But it still sucked and it meant there was no way I was gong to bang out 2 more laps. So I eased out the last lap and walked most of the hills. Then at the end I stopped at the beer table because there was no way on earth I was checking in before 1:00 and riding another lap.


Woke up no problem and got my food on. I'm done with the "performance eating" as I don't think it gives me anything a normal human-based diet doesn't. I think these people with their studies and shit go a little overboard sometimes and get it all wrong. Packing in 1400 calories at 5:30 is too much. I didn't feel bloated but I also didn't feel fired up. This idea of starting the race a little hungry is hair brained. Seriously I think it would have been better if I had a pork roll, egg, and cheese sandwich. Actually I know it would have. I needed the salt in a big way.

The Drive

As I got on the Turnpike the oil pressure light starts beeping furiously at me. Great. Just fucking great. Sign of things to come? I pull over and check the oil. Looks fine. Get back in and it beeps at me, then stops. I get off at a rest stop and they check my oil. It's OK. Fuck it at this point just get me there I don't care if I get stranded in Delaware I just need to start the race.

Turned out to be a bad sensor. Anyone who owns a VW knows all about these problems. Every goddamn sensor on every VW will eventually be replaced. And so it has been written.

Registration and Such

So I got there about 7:45 and between waiting for the can, the registration, and getting dressed and prepped I had exactly zero time to warm up. No big deal I would have cramped anyway. But by the time I was done with that, I had to go line up and race. If I had wanted to use a cooler I would never have had the time to bring it up there. So I guess I need to wake up and immediately leave the house next time. Earlier is better. I can eat my pork roll, egg, and cheese on the road.

The line to the can was too long. I should have opted for the bushes. My mistake. Also registration was a bit slow for someone who had pre-registered. In all the John and registration took almost 50 minutes. OK I talked with the race promoter Marc for 5 as well. I got back to the car at 8:35 and was ready to go in 10 minutes but then it was time for the riders to group up and well that's how it goes.

In hindsight I brought too much crap and left a little too much to do at the race. I would say I need to do as much at home as possible, such as making up the cooler and filling my bottles. Also should have been dressed except for my bike shorts which I should have thrown on in the toilet. Doing the udder cream in the front seat of the car with 3 women right in front of me was tricky but no big deal overall.

And then as Woody Woodpecker says, away we go.

The Course

In all the course was pretty sweet. A lot of good tech stuff and fun trails. Beautiful estate that's for sure. The trails were definitely greasy as Maurice said they would be, especially the rooty stuff in the early part. And the trails needed a few laps to pack in properly as they were very loose.

The huge field downhill was enjoyable. The tunnel was cool as hell. The hard pack mini-rollers in the very beginning were sweet. The little circus section where the country jug band guy in overalls was setup was nice. The R/X rated tech section was awesome especially since I cleaned it my 3rd lap. The jump was neat though I came a hair to close to going OTB the second lap on that. The field climbs eat it. Hey, it was hot. Oh and the trail by the river was nice and serene, until I almost rode into it on the last lap.

In all an awesome course. If the event is run next year I'm there.

My Race

First lap was 50 minutes which told me I'd be able to do 5, as I expected. I should have pulled back after that. The first lap of a mass start race is always hectic and you use much more juice than you should. I'm thinking I should just go harder from the door because I end up using as much energy getting past people. I try to pace but everyone blows out too fast and people are toasting themselves in the first 4 minutes. Crazy.

On the start of my second lap I felt on, just really good. I was taking in enough calories and felt great. The first part of the course felt really fast and things were coming together well. At the end of 2 laps I was down off that a bit but still felt fine.

At 2:15 the first small cramp struck and it was downhill from there. I pulled in at around 2:35 on my computer for 3 laps and felt OK. I figured I could still get 5. But then they struck and struck hard. That's when I knew 4 would be it for me.

I took my time on the last lap because I knew I was done. At the end I stopped at the beer table because I needed to waste 10 minutes. It was good.

General Training Notes

1. The performance eating is done
2. I need to go harder on the day before race day
3. Pacing needs to be better
4. Time to try Endurolytes or salt
5. Prep more at home

I can wake up and bang out 4 hours in the saddle by 9:30, I've done it several times this year. So it's not for lack of training this spring.

Live and learn but if I don't figure out this cramping thing I'm done racing after this year.

Granogue Notes

1. Piss in the woods
2. Get there earlier
3. Use the cooler option on pit row


What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.


My meat is really pissed at my brain this week.

You decide.

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