We make holes in teeth!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Fried Day

Man I am toast right now, mentally not physically. Sitting on the train Thursday evening as I start this post and a full day of training has my brain bleeding out my ears. Remarkably I managed to make my usual train by 2 minutes so that's a major bonus. Downside is that the loud-mouth reject that gets off at South Orange is on this train. Why do I sit in the front half of the last car? She's always there. Ugh on me.

The only thing going on right now are the details of the bike build, if you can call it that. Kirt suggested lo-rise, hi-rise, either is fine just get the bar you want and pick up the stem after that. Makes sense. 2 of my bikes have 135s and the other has 100. The DumpTrucker is the 100 and that's the most comfortable of the 3, but all of that means nothing because Trek bike geometry for a hardtail is going to be different than Specialized geometry for a full-suspension.


"i have heard that the geometry should be similar on your bikes, be it road, mtb, tricycle. so if the dumptrucker feels comfortable, try to match it. thinking out loud, what about a set of bar ends on the trek?"

It is comfortable, so I'll try to match it. I need to get it reasonably close to put together and then adjust the details as needed. That's probably why buying the stem last is a good idea. Really all we're talking about is bar height and the distance from the seat, which probably has some name like effective nuts-to-fingers length or something. Seat height will be easy to measure and fore/aft of the saddle is easy as well.

I was never a big fan of bar ends. They just never did it for me. Almost surely I'll pick up some Ergon grips for the bike but not sure which ones. They have an XC grip that isn't as big/bulky as the ones I have now which I may try. They're easy to get on/off so if I want to ride distance with this bike I can easily take them off the Dumptrucker for a day.


"I agree with shaggz, I remember someone on mtbnj reporting that their roadie and their mtb's were set up so that their angles and reaches were almost exactly the same on all of their bikes. I have a 100 mm, 6 degree rise 4 bolt Ritchey stem I took off the mary you can experiment with if you'd like."

I would like, that would be great. The stem I have on the SS is 135 so that would show me what will work best to get the setup close to the FS bike. I think ChrisG mentioned all his bikes are setup the same and it's a good idea in theory. No idea how it works in practice as far as porting your road bike fit to the mountain bike.

I don't have any shifters either. Add that to the list of things I'll have to pick up. Damn, just another piece to add to the pile of things I need to buy. All in all not a bad tally but the more things I need the longer this project will take. You know how impatient you can get when dealing with this stuff.

After much deliberation I'm going to pick up one or possibly even 2 of these. Both Kirt and Jason at Halters think it's a good deal. Jason believes the 25.4 bars are dying a slow death and there will be lots of good deals on them going forward. So something to keep an eye on. Other than that the site is pretty pricey, so I probably won't add much else on. Probably a few stem spacers and a Powerlink or 2. Possibly the SRAM chain and maybe some Avid brake pads for when my current ones wear down. That would leave a stem, which Walter has graciously offered to let me borrow, as well as shifters, which I've yet to think much about.

Wow, a 450 pound man just got up to get off at the next stop. Of course I'm guessing but holy cow is this guy immense. I know it's really rude and all to look at people like that and even comment on it. But who am I kidding? You really have to be taking bad care of yourself to let it get that bad. I was probably 285 at one point and right now I can't fathom how I let myself go like that. I guess that's a good testament that we all live in our own reality and that reality exists in one's mind. If reality is indeed an illusion that's a strange game to play with it.

Moving on. After 5 days off I was supposed to get on the bike this morning but when I woke up at 4:50 it was pouring, so I went back to sleep which was fine by me because Julia didn't go to sleep until 11:00 and then woke up crying and vomiting with congestion from 12:30 to 1:30. At 2:00 I got back to sleep for 3 solid hours. I took the trainer setup down a few months ago to give me more basement floor space so I didn't have that option. I may need to put it back together with the rainy season coming upon us fast.

Speaking of rain this weather has tossed my weekend plans entirely. I could go to the Mooch and promise BobW to attend some TM sessions but that plan has 2 major problems. First I don't do TM. Not that I don't want to, in theory. I just never get around to it. These TM sessions end up taking more of my day than a 5 hour bike ride. As usual, if they started at 6:00 am I could make them. But they normally run until 1:00 and that just eats up the day. The second problem is that I hate getting my bike that filthy dirty. I just took it all apart to clean it from last weekend. I'd prefer not to have to do it again.

On the other side of that coin are 2 obvious questions. First, do you think it's not going to rain for the 24 hour race? Alex said yesterday the place is a mess. And as far as I can see it's been pouring for at least 2-3 hours now. So this is already setting up to be one whale of a messy race if this weather keeps up over the next 2 weeks. The second question is, if this weather scares you off are you in the wrong sport? Rain happens. Mud happens. Deal with it. I guess I better put in an order for more bearings, huh?

So I may do that anyway, which would also give me an opportunity to see how those Blue Grooves do in the wet conditions. Or I may do the same plan but on the road bike from the house, which sounds dreadfully boring. Ah, dog dick.

Friday's FGI average: 189.71

That's .72 pounds less than last week. My low weight for the week was 188, the high was 191. It's a good stabilizing week especially considering I was off the bike for 6 straight days. The last time I was off I blimped up by 5 pounds. It would nice to be firmly in the 180s by the 24 hour race in 2 weeks and in the 185 average realm or lower for the 50k.

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Moron Nutrition

More on nutrition. Moron nutrition. Too appropriate for me. Go with Walter's comment first:


"Sorry norm, but Metro Park was without power due to the storm, so when I got home, wifey was here waiting. I read through the MTBR thread, so, what this company does is you tell them your specific goals, issues, training routine, etc., and they create your own custom formula to suit your needs??? Sounds like an interesting idea, hopefully its as good as it sounds."

I wasn't actually at work at 4:00 since the subways weren't running when I got to Manhattan. So I wasn't online. About this nutrition thing. If I had time I would take some screen shots and show you but I have training today so my time to make pictures and stuff is limited.

There are 2 ways to do it. They have these "slider bars" of attributes. So the first one is flavor, you can make it strong or light. Then electrolytes. Calories. Caffeine. And a few others I don't remember. It helps to be sort of insane to begin with to do it that way. The other option is a questionnaire which is a lot more simple. That probably makes more sense for most people, if not everyone. You can make and save as many mixes as you like. So maybe you have your XC racing mix which is probably higher in glucose or some other fast-burning carb and an enduro mix which is higher in maltodextrin. And so on. His opinion for a 24 hour race is heavier and with protein in the beginning and when you get sick of that go lighter, less protein, but with caffeine.

It sounds good on one hand but overkill on the other. I traded emails with Maurice yesterday and his opinion is just go out and ride your bike and eat normal food. Backing up that opinion is Chris Eatough, who I believe eats turkey sandwiches. On the other side of the coin is that Pua Whatever who eats nothing but liquid calories in her races.

If you read the forum enough it basically boils down to this. Everyone goes through this process. You just need to find what works for you. I'm obviously still going through the process. Maybe it ends up that I choose banana cream pie. It's looking like I'll have nothing but 3 scoops of Perp, some Heed, and Accelerade for this weekend unless the Infinit stuff gets here. I may try to find a retailer with the Carb-BOOM and pick up some powdered Gatorade or just find the Hyrdo-BOOM instead.

Getting a bonus day at home allowed me to get the bike all back together. Still dirty in spots but ready to roll overall. I should probably bring it up from the basement and run it around the neighborhood to make sure it works as expected.

Kirt stopped by yesterday and said the Trek 8000 frame is a solid frame. I think I only need a stem and handlebars to get it up and running, plus a chain. The problem is I don't know how to go about buying them. The Easton carbon bars are nice and light. But do I get hi-rise or lo-rise? How do I make sure they're not narrow like 2 of the ones I have? And how can I tell what length my stem needs to be? I suppose I'll try to copy the DumpTrucker as much as possible because that's a really comfortable bike. But I'm not sure if that's the best approach or not.

Last day off the bike today so tomorrow morning I'll be back out there bright and early unless it rains. Nothing special just an hour or so to wake the legs up and make sure I'm not a slug Saturday.


"" An overabundance of cake will leave you fat, disgusting, and laying on the couch. An overabundance of beer will make you want to be romantic with those that are fat, disgusting, and laying on the couch. See the difference? " I s e e...(Homer) Too funny! But yet so true.. You would be a top notch salesmen...there Mr. Z!"

Nice Homerism. Hard to get the inflection across sometimes. But purple is a flavor.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wasting Time Until Walter Gets Home

Thanks to Jake I have a backup bike to ride for Allamuchy. He has graciously agreed to let me use his Trek Fuel if I need to. Thanks Jake, much appreciated.

Speaking of bikes mine is going back together and more apart. The cranks and rings and chain are cleaned and reassembled as well as the BB pieces. But while I was down there I decided to take a look at the 2 bearings that connect the BB shell with the swingarm. I took it apart and the bearings were rusty and seized. As a general rule, parts that are supposed to be lubricated and rotating don't perform well when rusted and seized. So I popped them out in less than 10 minutes. My experience in working with the linkage bearings made it oh so much easier this time around. I still need to press the new ones in which will be a hair trickier because I'm dealing with the bike frame now, not a $35 piece of linkage. The risk side of the risk/reward equation is a bit steeper now.

So it looks like Saturday is a go. I talked to Allamuchy guru BobW and he said that loop looked pretty reasonable all around. Now it's just a matter of going out and doing it. No idea what bike food I'll be brining along right now though.

Didn't sleep great because we have crickets in the house. If I were a monk I might be able to deal with them but I'm more like Bill Murray in Caddyshack so they bother the shit out of me. Regardless I feel good this morning, my minor cold having all but disappeared.

The weather was bad last night across all of North Jersey it seems. I started getting NJT alerts just before 6:00 saying various trains were canceled. So I took it easy this morning, enjoying my coffee as I worked on my bike. I could have worked from home but it's hot and sticky upstairs and that cricket would be the end of me if I had to listen to it all day. Plus I would just want to work on my bike all day and would get no real work done. Well I took the train in to Hoboken, waited for the delayed Path, then got to Manhattan to find all the Brooklyn subways were down. I turned around and went home. On the bright side Nat managed to kill the cricket while I was gone.

More on InfinIT Nutrition. I replied to the guy's email and he sent me his cell phone number and said we could work something out, which of course is the sales pitch. No big deal let me call and see what he says. I'm on work's dime so what else is there to do until 4:00 when Walter gets home from work?

The usual sales stuff, as expected. Their gig is that they make up the mix for you as a personalized thing. So you sort of mix and match various attributes and come up with a powder you can use. That's fine and all but I just ordered from Hammer and I don't want to drop another load of cash on something 2 weeks before my 24 hour race.

Well he says let me credit your account with $20 and that can help you out. Plus there's a money-back guarantee if you don't like it. Only 1 person has ever used that, he says. He goes on to create 2 mixes for me. A strong mix and a lighter mix. The lighter mix has caffeine and no protein. Apparently some people get iffy with protein after a while and you can move off that for the next batch. I hem and haw and he says think it over, we created the account, you make the choice, I don't want to pressure you. And that was that. Still it's going to cost me like almost $70 for the 2 jugs. Same price range as Hammer stuff but a lot of money for an experiment.

After the call I checked them out on the endurance forum and found a little bit, but not much. Seems they're just trying to break into the market so they're relatively new to the biking scene. They do, however, have one major feather in their cap. "Pua" who just won the female solo 24 worlds is a big fan. And Jeff Kerkove who I've talked to before says a few of the people he rides with are huge supporters and that he was very interested in checking them out.

So now I'm really interested, but not ready to drop that kind of cash yet. I hem and haw some more and finally decide to take a half-step. I grab one each of the 12 serving jugs for a total cost with shipping of $29 after the $20 is taken off. That's a much better price for an experiment at this late hour.

The MTBR link grew a little bit but what came out of it was a list of drink mixes that are made up of different carb sources. This was the list:

PowerBar Endurance

At some point I need to come up with a comparison chart and list the cost per serving of this stuff. I also want to try the Gatorade plus Carbo Boom option. So far straight Accelerade was a no go and Hammer products are TBD. We'll see. Hopefully this stuff gets here before the weekend so I can try
it this Saturday.


"i see you still have jane's on the brain.."

My titles are all subconscious now. When I start the writeup for the day it's usually on the train ride home. So I just sort of go, blather on about whatever I was thinking about or researching that day at work. The next day I add a little more and reread it, then make it a little more readable, adding little comments here and there in an effort to be more entertaining.

So probably whatever is in my head will pop out one way or the other.


""Didn't you crack your ribs at Allamuchy earlier this year? Hard to believe you're sending me to the place of your doom... " :O Er ah...ask not what Allamuchy can do to you...but what Allamuchy will do to you, er ah! lol. Well, I didn't crack the ribs at was my left hand. Yes my doom for sure, that place can be rough for the unintiated and inexperienced! Such as myself (doh) The ribs were cracked in flag football this past winter. BTW, no more football for me. At least that is what I'm saying now... Hmmm, more beer, less cake... I'll have to mull that one over Norm."

Yeah it can be a rough place, but it also helps to know how to crash. I must have gone down 6 times Saturday and it really helps if you do it properly. So crash more and become an expert. An overabundance of cake will leave you fat, disgusting, and laying on the couch. An overabundance of beer will make you want to be romantic with those that are fat, disgusting, and laying on the couch. See the difference?

I should be in sales.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ain't No Right

If you read the link about hydration yesterday it took a turn which you may have suspected but it took quite a while to get there. Have a look here and if you don't want to read the whole thing go to the bottom where he posts the links:

It seemed like he was marketing but it took a long time to get there. His last post before I bowed out was contradictory but I left it on the table. He said there's no formula nor any right way but then he said that those who mix Gatorade and Carbo Pro are a lot closer to being "right". OK but if there's no right? There's no wrong. It's only pleasure and pain.

Having said that now I'm starting to question whether or not it's actually calories and not hydration that is dragging me down at the end of these big rides. I still think hydration must be a huge part but of course after that conversation I now have to doubt myself. Maybe I need to mix it up, who knows. What I do know is that it's too late in the game to go away from the Perpeteum plan so I'm going with that as my primary fuel source for the 24. Maybe I bring Heed as well to balance a little. I suppose I should consider the Accelerade I have and Gatorade powder is dirt cheap so maybe all of them come with me. But my current aspect of trying to feel better is to focus on drinking more water.

You know the fact he says peeing is a good thing and fails to consider hypnotremia tells me he's not nearly as complete a "nutrition guide" as he could/should be. Seems obvious the one dude was seriously low on electrolytes which is why he pissed everything out. But who knows anything let alone everything? What I will say is that I agree it's all highly individual.

This morning he emailed me because he said he didn't want the thread to seem like an advertisement. He said he was pretty sure he could help me out. Well I'm all ears at this point. I'll listen to what he has to say but there really are 2 ways it can go: a) buy our product or b) try mixing X and Y and see how that works. If he goes with option B then maybe I'll buy something from him eventually. I have no problem jumping from the Hammer ship but I need to be reasonably sure it works for me. At this stage I'm considering starting from scratch. No bike food has been able to keep me rolling well after 4-5 hours. If he can change that I'm all ears.

So I'm set on not doing the Darkhorse race. Only decision right now is to do my Allamuchy laps Saturday or Sunday. I think Saturday works better because I should do big rides the next 3 Saturdays with the last one being the 24 hour race. So tentatively Saturday it is. One reader agrees with my bagging the Darkhorse:


"while i think you would enjoy riding at stewart, good decision to bag the DH40. probably not challenging enough in terms of technical terrain at this point in the season for you. however, try to make it out there before hunting season."

I'm glad to hear it makes sense to someone. I actually have no desire to do that race. I would like to get up there just not this weekend. Maybe we could do a little MTBNJ shindig one weekend before duck/rabbit season opens up. I can bring the Acme explosives and you can bring the carrots.

Aside from what day to ride I need to find a 90 minute loop. I'm thinking that the white trail climb actually more resembles the fire road climb out of the boy scout camp. There are plenty of routes on motionbased to choose from it's just a matter of finding the one that fits best. I could always ask Brett but I know he won't want to do 3 of the same loop. I was able to dig this one up last night which should suffice. This is actually Jeff's from the board. After I found it I asked him what he thought and he said it was a good mix. Elevation is roughly the same. You climb up white. Mileage is even just about the same:

Pretty boring week which is fine by me. Felt OK most of the day Monday but got tired at the end of the day. Thankfully this seems to be a minor passing cold, not like the last 2 beasts I had. Slept OK last night, not amazing. Probably feel just about the same maybe a hair better this morning. Congestion is already draining. Feel a little bloated. So full of piss today I guess.

Bike is still being cleaned. I should probably do more than 10 minutes every morning and get it back together sooner than later. Today would have been a perfect sick day to take because Nat and Julia are going to the in-laws. But there's something I need to do at work because the Operations guys need to be taught the same thing 40 times before they learn it.

I would also like to get that Trek 8000 frame up and running as a second bike for the race but I'm not sure I have all the parts I need. Maybe I can take a good look at it Sunday and order whatever I need Monday. If nothing else I need a chain and probably some front rings. Probably need some cables too. You know that's just a force trying to get that together quickly. That's really more of an offseason project. I suppose I could ride the old Trek full-rigid as my backup if I need to. Then there's the SS but that's probably asking for trouble.

A few more comments trickled in.


"I agree Norm, going to Allamuchy instead of the DH 40 is a much better idea. Like you said, half a day vs a full day...and you will be able to test out your race strategy as you stated. Oh, and it's ok to sound! BTW- is entenmann's chocolate fudge cake poison?!"

Didn't you crack your ribs at Allamuchy earlier this year? Hard to believe you're sending me to the place of your doom but yeah, it really does make more sense, even if I may not actually be insane. As for chocolate fudge cake, I think the beer might be better for you!


"yes, the inmates are running the assylum, but brett will be governor and fred mascot"

You know I think they need new avatars. Instead of mascot I think Fred should get Mayor McCheese, it just seems to fit. So my second order of moderator duty will be...

No FGI anymore as it adds nothing. I'll summarize every Friday which makes more sense than a bunch of random daily numbers.

Drink your Ovaltine.


Monday, August 06, 2007

Bloated and Full of...

Oh boy I'm still tired from Saturday's ride today. 4 hours of roll time out of 4:15 total time plus bad conditions really beat the hell out of me. Sprinkle in a little head cold and Sunday was a whole lotta nothing. Ride link:

I did most of the second half of the 50k, climbed Cardiac, then tried to take the white trail back but somehow got lost and ended up on the tail end of the first half of the 50k to end the ride. So basically I packed in all the hardest parts of the race on a day where the trails were a complete mess. Thank god for the GPS or I'd still be out there.

The first hour of the ride was tough, probably the hardest stretch of the entire race course. It took me over an hour to do 5 miles, which is pretty poor. There really are no free miles in that section. It's a tough draw. I had also kept the Blue Grooves on and had them at 40 PSI which was bouncing me around like crazy. After an hour I let a bunch of air out of the rear and it got a lot better. Not sure where that stands now, maybe 30-35 in the rear? I need to check. I forgot that Allamuchy needs a lot less pressure than most places. Even at the Rattling Creek race last week 40 was perfectly fine. At Allamuchy it's like riding a jackhammer.

The good thing is that I think I'll be fine with the Blue Grooves for the race. With less pressure they seem to do well and I always have the Resolutions as a backup, among any number of tires in the basement.

By the end I was walking anything and everything. When I got home and weighed myself I had lost 10 pounds on the ride. Working out the math results in my needing to drink something like 55 ounces of water an hour in this heat. Blah, that's a tough chore. But the alternative is running into the severe dehydration realm which a 5% loss in body weight starts to do. So I'm dropping a ton of performance because I sweat way too much. I posted a question about it on MTBR and got some good conversation here:

There are a few things to takeaway from that. One is that this is a long and sometimes painful process. Another is that most of these lessons are learned through experience, sometimes the hard way. I have a lot of tweaking to do with salt/electrolytes, calories, and fitness. But my weakest link in all of that is hydration. Obviously that's a major task right now.

So I'm on a rest week now. I took yesterday off because I was shot and starting to feel that sickness coming on. Plus my abs, chest, and triceps were really sore from all the jackhammering. It feels like the sick starting to fade already but it's still there, so time off is a good thing. If I don't get better through today I'll stay home tomorrow. I was going to take Monday through Friday off the bike but with Sunday an off day I may take off through Wednesday and go for a short spin Thursday. Then Friday off, maybe an hour Saturday then the Darkhorse 40 on Sunday. I'm still very undecided on that race though.

On one hand it's a chance to do a 40 mile race but on the other hand I'm not sure it does much for my getting ready for the 24 hour race. After this weekend it seems to me I'm not really beating myself up enough to be ready for that race. All indications are that the Darkhorse race is an "easy" 40 miles that a lot of roadies do. Does that help me?

My alternate option is to go to Allamuchy again and do a pair of big loops. That would give me a chance to hit the car in between and refuel as needed. It would give me a good chance to test my lap strategy in terms of salt/electrolytes, calories, and hydration. I would be a better park to be riding since that's where the race will be it will help me learn the park better. And it won't cost me $45 like the Darkhorse will. I could even do 3 laps of 90 minutes each to get an even better feel for the whole race and my routine. Plus it will only cost me half a day where the Darkhorse will cost me almost the whole day.

I sound insane but I think I've just convinced myself to bag the DH40 and do this. It will also give me an opportunity to let Woody ride and whoever else wants to since my pace won't be that fast. Slow and steady, loops begin at 6:00, 7:45, and 9:30. Now all I need to do is put together a good 90 minute loop, starting with Cardiac since the race always climbs out of the boy scout camp. But then so does white. I could go up and down white to start and end every lap.

My bike is in pieces on the basement floor after riding it through that mess Saturday. I'm trying to make sure I don't drop a million dollars on maintenance so I took it apart to clean it well. This off week gives me a good opportunity to use some of my down time to do that. Plus I get to learn more about the bike. Maybe I can try changing out the rest of the bearings if I have enough time as well.

Some Monday morning feedback from last week.


"LOL - Nice one 3rd. party. I have a very strong suspicion of who YOU are, so be careful - I now have full control."

Indeed he does! In true "inmates run the asylum" fashion Steve now runs the site with Jake and I'm a moderator. What next? Fred for governor?


"try to live moderately
i only eat when i am empty
beer is not poison"

I'd say that Jake's training for 2007 has gone the way of the Dodo. And he sucks at haiku.


"Multiplying ft/m with your pace (m/h) gives vertical feet per hour. It might be worth tracking. In true nerd fashion, I've been tracking some numbers of my own, now that I have a heart rate monitor. I multiply my avg heart rate (beats/min) with my pace (minutes/mile) to get beats/mile which turns out to be a pretty useful indicator of overall fitness (it's been slowly trending down), and fairly consistent despite workout intensity. It would work just as well with cycling as with running, although since you track speed, not pace, the calculation would be different but easy enough to work out. And Norm I've been silent on the weight issue more or less to help keep your spirits up. I know how much of a motivating factor it is for you to try to catch up with me - and how depressing it would be to see the finish line actually receding into the distance."

Good thought on the vertical feet/mile. That's probably useful for roughly similar hilly routes but I don't think it really does much when you throw in flat routes. Once you get going faster in the flats air resistance is everything and vertical feet don't register at all, but then wind also plays a huge role. Obviously I need a power meter but at a grand or more no thanks. There may be a power calculator online that would do the trick at least for rough comparison.

There is no finish line Terren. The race goes on forever. My strike date is December 26th. Be ready for the call. Even if I have to bike for 5 hours without water on Christmas day you're going down! Well for one day at least. Then I can slowly gravitate towards 300 again, right after I get out of the hospital.

Today's FGI: 191

A bit of a step back but normal for a Monday. After the ride Saturday I ate like a horse. Then yesterday my body was pissed at me, so I ate a lot again. After 189 Saturday and Sunday, a 191 Monday is actually out of the ordinary. It would usually be higher by a pound or 2. I would credit having enough salt on Saturday's ride for that but it's much too early in the experimentation game to say for sure. In any event I start Monday like I start every week, bloated and full of shit.

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Accommodation in aviemore