We make holes in teeth!

Friday, June 08, 2007


I now have a Saturday plan now. As usual I will get up before most of the East Coast and ride up to Albert's in Denville so we can roll out of his house before 7:00. The ride up there is 22 or 23 miles which takes about 1.5 hours at that time of day.

After Denville we'll head towards Chester coming close to Jake's house. I found out today that Jake also reads this blog so in the nature of trying to retain customers I will mention him directly. After Chester we'll head out old 24 and snake around Hacklebarney towards Terren's house, who is one of the few readers who actually comments on the blog. Presumably he will give us water but we may be forced to fight over the contents of the bird bath.

After that it's up and over a big fat hill to Cokesbury Road and circling Round Valley back into Whitehouse Station, through Lamington, and back through Basking Ridge to home. On paper it comes out to 85 miles and about 6800 vertical. If it's early enough and I have the energy I may add on the extra 15 to make the century though 6 hours is really more of my goal.

We may hook up with another guy Kris in the Chester area who will probably ride fast enough to make me happy to finish 85 by the time he gets done with us. Probably it won't work out because these things usually don't. That and he didn't reply to my email.

Anyway that's the plan. At some point I need to drop my mountain bike off at the bike shop. Not sure if I'll be able to squeeze that in between my ride and the end of Julia's nap. I guess I should call the shop and make sure the wait isn't 6 weeks.

This will be my first "overextension" ride of the year with the expected saddle time in the 6 hour realm. My previous long ride was the 4 hour, 66 mile ride on Sunday so this will test how I do in that end area where things typically start to break down. Up to 3-4 hours you can get away with any number of mistakes (pace, nutrition, water) but after that it starts to fall apart. Low calories, water, or electrolytes will start to pound you at some point in the 3-4 hour realm. For me it's usually the 3.5 hour mark as my breakdown point. Given that my first 1.5 hours will be solo I have every opportunity to not overdo it from the door. On the other hand if I'm lucky I will have been awake 45 minutes before I'm rolling Saturday morning so hopefully that doesn't work against me too much.

This morning I decided to sleep in which means waking up at about 6:20. I got 8 hours of sleep which is a good way to start your Friday. As usual when I sleep a lot I feel sluggish the next day. It usually takes me all day to snap out of it. I don't remember if I felt better last Friday when I did a recovery ride or not.

My muscles have felt a little tight lately so I started stretching a little bit in an attempt to alleviate that, and perhaps address my cramps in a different direction. With the step-up in intensity it seems my hamstrings, left calf, and one other small inner right thigh muscles are more prone to cramp lately. They don't actually cramp but it feels like they want to on some of the harder effort days.

Some kid just took the seat next to me. He must be all of 22 years old. His reading material? Trump: The Art of the Deal. Funny. I think a social scientist could have a field day just riding public transportation all day. On top of that, he's wearing a yellow shirt. There's nothing wrong with that but I'm also wearing a yellow shirt. You can't sit next to someone wearing such an obnoxious shirt color if you also have the same thing on. Same goes for orange. Don't they teach these fucking kids anything at college?

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Always Second Guessing

I guess it's the nature of the beast but I find that not a day goes by and I don't ask myself if I could be doing something better or more efficiently on the bike. This is almost entirely due to my spending far too much time on the message boards. Yesterday I read about a guy who never rides more than 3-4 hours in training to get ready for his 100 mile mountain bike races. This is good since I don't have a whole hell of a lot of time to ride. But then every time I push myself out past 4 hours I start to fall apart. Is this because my pacing is bad? Is this the nature of the beast, that these aches and pains are something I need to get used to? Is my nutrition still off? Am I still too new to this game? What of doughnuts?

Yeah that's how I generally waste my free time in between scurrying to get things done at work. Yesterday was nice because I finished a job that had been haunting me for 2 days. So it gave me half a day of free-ish time to read a little. I then end up filling myself with doubt about every possible thing I can. Screw it though, for now I'm sticking to my build for the next 2.5 weeks.

I may add the Marysville Marathon to the race plan, which is a 6 hour enduro on the last weekend in June. It's out near Harrisburg on some farm and is supposed to be a great course. It will come at the end of my rest week so that might work out well.

If I do, I will have 2 of the MASS enduro events in the belt clip and would need only 3 more to qualify for the overall MASS endurance series standings. So choices to make there. I would have to register for the series before the second event since you only get 1 retroactive to add to the standings. That would also mean I would have to squeeze in 3 more which could really pack the schedule with a potential total of 10 races/events this year. That really sounds like too many. Assuming I stick this biking thing out, I need to plan better next year.

Today was threshold work on the bike which is not my favorite way to spend my free time. The thing about threshold work is not that it hurts, but that it hurts for a long time. These intervals are not 2-5 minutes. These bitches are 10, 15, 20, or even 30-60 minutes long. The upside to this work is high but mentally tough to start. Funny thing is that once you start it's really not that bad. Sorta like hills I guess.

When I woke up today it was 46 degrees out which really stumped me. I stood in the kitchen leaning against the counter considering what to do. After 10 minutes I decided to bring the fan into the basement and get on the trainer. After 2 minutes of that I decided I just didn't have it today. So I got off, stood around in the basement for a few minutes, got dressed, and went out and did a swamp short loop time trial:

Good pace for such a short ride. It's really hard to get much faster on a 45 minute ride when more than 20% of it is your warm up. I did the loop in reverse which I think is a bit slower. Not a ton of volume but then it's 45 minutes of real quality work which was the point of today's ride anyway. Not too worried about my meager 3:15 saddle time on the week since Saturday should be a good 6 hours of saddle time then whatever I can muster Sunday. Still undecided if I should do recovery tomorrow or sleep in.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Coming home from work Tuesday I was totally toast. It's a good thing I do my rides in the morning because by the end of the day I'm about ready for bed. I think the translation there is that I'm out of energy, ready to eat. Need to feed the machine. So every day I generally hit a lull just before I get home and don't come out of it until after I eat.

I suppose that means I should take a closer look at how and when I eat throughout the day. Maybe I need a little something more at the end of the afternoon and less at some other time of day. Who knows. Something to think about either way I guess.

If you're interested in endurance mountain biking you should read this thread here. The guy who broke the GLR record, Dave Harris, is someone I email with occasionally. Really couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. But it makes me wonder how much of his training advice I should take. He's at such a high level of fitness it's really hard to apply his situation to mine. As long as I keep it all in perspective I suppose it works out.

This morning was an easier ride, some nebulous area between endurance and tempo, with the overall effort splitting the difference. Average was 15.6 on almost the same ride I did last Wednesday. I cut it off because I was running short on time. This is supposed to be my "no burn" day which it was. Unfortunately "no burn" is pretty boring, and the 57 degree temps remove my ability to just sit back and relax since I'm in summer mode now. The lower pace ride also allows me to feel all the stresses and tweaks that yesterday plus the weekend does to my various body parts. To be expected in a build. But it doesn't hurt any less.

Rest of the week up in the air right now. I was hoping to work from home tomorrow and go down to Chimney Rock early then drop my bike off before the weekend but work is too hot right now. Still a possibility but doubtful. That would open up the weekend a little bit. Actually it would open up the weekend a lot since Nat is meeting one of her mom friends on Saturday, which gives me a good opportunity to get in a 6+ hour ride. Then I could take it easy Sunday and spend some time with the family. Hmm, sounds like a plan.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Rug on the Path

I'm sitting on the Path on the way to Hoboken. What a crazy fucking day at work. Anymore it's all like that so it's SOP at this point. My days go by really fast which means I'm back home before you know it and the weekend is right around the corner ever day. Sweet!

Some guy just got on the train with a rug. Can't make this shit up.

Tomorrow is Tuesday which will be today by the time I publish this and who the fuck knows what day when you read it. I'm not going to do sprints again tomorrow I just don't think it stresses me enough in the "right" way for mtb racing. So I'm going to pick a close hill and sprint up it a bunch of times. I need bigger hills near the house.

The rug just got off.

Just planned out my next 3 weeks which is the rest of my 4 week build. Everything right now is centered on the 24 hour race which is first of 2 "A" races of the year. The other A race is the All-A-Moochy 50k which could be 100k as the year wears on. We'll see.

It seems kinda fucked up that in the first week of June I'm discussing my A races at the end of August and early October. Like a retard I'm starting to think about throwing in the Wilderness 101 in early August because, well, I'm a retard. We'll call that an X race because if I do it I'll probably be naked and vomiting by mile 50 like some X-rated Japanese porn.

It works out that my next race is the KVSP race on the very last day of the build. That's great in terms of ending a build period but bad in terms of expected performance. That week has me on a 6 hour ride the day before the race. Not the best way to slide into a race but it's a C race so you don't interrupt training for a C race. Or so Joe Friel says.

After that there's 1-3 races in the build 2 period then the last A race to end the season. I may toss some other crap in there if it makes sense, but right now nothing set in stone.

I'm feeling good these days. Last week was the first of my 4 week build period and it was fairly high volume. In total just a hair over 10 hours which is my second biggest total on the year. But I feel really good right now. I think I'm getting to the point where I've trained enough so I can really train now. The next 3 weeks should be interesting to watch. I mean, well interesting for me.

[Insert overnight pause here. Fade to Tuesday morning.]

Now I'm on the train to work. It really is Tuesday morning at this point so tomorrow is today, and so on. I didn't sprint up any hills today but I did climb a whole shitload of them. If I had to guess I would say 12 at least. Total vertical 1300 feet according to the GPS but there's no way that's accurate since each climb is about 150 feet or more. 24 total minutes of climbing and that was plenty. Damn I am plain old tuckered out as they say. Next week I guess we shoot for 25-30 minutes of climbing.

The problem with this is that the climbs are too short. They're steep hills but still too short. The bigger hills are just a bit too far away for morning riding. I don't know maybe I just need to bite the bullet and go 10 minutes earlier so I can climb the big boys. It probably doesn't matter much but I think mentally it's easier to get into your groove and chug away on the longer hills.

Another option is something Coggan suggests which is a 5-8 minute time trial that you do 4-6 times. Might be good to use the virtual partner on the GPS for that. I'll have to come up with a nice loop to it on.

Tuesday here which means Saturday is on the weather forecast, currently looking fine for riding. My current plan is to go to Round Valley for 2 hours Saturday and then drop the bike off at the shop on the way home. Slight detour but not too bad. I'd like to avoid the hectic pre-race I had last time so now is the time to take care of that.

Time for the work pressure cooker to get fired up. Sitting at this desk all day really makes the legs stiff. But then it beats shovelling shit all day.


Monday, June 04, 2007

My New Breakfast Routine

I've been quiet lately but it's not for a lack of biking or life in general. After the pre and post race stuff life just takes on a quiet "so it goes" feel and that's all good for the most part. Here's a quick update on how the world goes, as it turns, cookie crumbles, whatever.

The Thursday after the race I put out the fastest average ever on a road bike, or any bike for that matter. I did a sort of time trial but I'm sure I can go slightly harder so that record may soon fall. You can see the ride here:

Then Brett and I went out and did 3/4 of the All-A-Moochy course the Saturday after that:

I felt really good on this ride and Brett said several times it was all he could do to keep up. Well until the flats where he seems to motor off like a rabbit. The downhills he said I ride at "terminal velocity." I said if I'm lugging that dual-suspension up the hill I'm damn well going to bomb down it.

Last week was a bit of working out my new week structure and since I wasn't totally happy with it I won't bore you with the details. This is only going to last 4-5 weeks anyway until the next build.

Saturday I went solo to Mahlon and was having a great ride until the GPS could no longer keep me on course. I was in the 9.0 mph average realm until the gibberish at the top of this map:

It was a good ride regardless. I may try and follow this track again this coming weekend. Or I may coerce Brett to meet me at 6:30 again Saturday for a 2+ hour loop at the Mooch. Or maybe Round Valley since it's been a while so it's about high time I get my ass handed to me by that park again.

Yesterday was a big road ride. Felt good until the last 30 when I started to get a little twinge here and there. I probably hit those big hills a little too fast:

Monday morning feel great. 8+ hours of sleep last night is good stuff.

On all my rides mentioned I've been using my new breakfast routine. It goes as such:

8 total cups of water
Egg and cheese sandwich on multi grain bread (2 eggs, slice of cheese, 2 slices of bread)
Cup of coffee
2 scoops Accelerade right before ride, with salt
2 endurolytes

So far this has me able to jump out of the box feeling good. This works much better than the carb-tastic meals I had been eating. So I think I may have finally nailed down the pre-ride meal at this stage.

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