Week 7 officially means I’m past the half-way point training for the El Tour de Tucson. If you’ve ever trained for a race (any race), what would you say is the hardest aspect to the whole process? For me, it’s time. There never seems to be enough of time. I’m getting antsy just thinking about the time it takes to train. It’s jubilant and annoying all at the same time for me. The excitement of getting out there and achieving more miles, than the stress of other crap I have to do on the weekend. Plus, as we speak I still need to wash my bike. Saturday’s are pretty much a wash for me. I get up early, do the ride then just relax and do little things. Or at least that’s my excuse! Then Sunday I do what I have to do. #whatever #stopwhining
Don’t want to bend over that crown might fall off!
This was the first week that I used my new shoes and clips for all three rides. I thought I would manipulate my clip on the right foot, just adjust it a little for comfort but I totally screwed up the way it was supposed to turn. I should have turned the clip inward not outward for a more comfortable fit. That was a very uncomfortable ride, but it was short so I just powered through. I definitely would not recommend doing that as you can screw up your knees. The clips are good but not very easy to release. It takes a good bit of turning and I get nervous from time to time. Something quick happens I’m going down.
I added another water bottle attachment to the bike this week. I’ve only been riding with one, but last week I blew through some water. Having two water bottles is a smart move in the desert. I don’t have to “ration” because I don’t want to stop. I’ve also incorporated my house as an aide station. It’s sort of in the middle, so I can stop if I need…aide. I had some snacks, top off with water, and needed bathroom breaks. I wanted to make sure that I’m drinking and eating to keep my energy up.
Cycling and running are very different on the body, or at least for me. When I ran my marathon it was tons of sweat and I burned about 2000 cals when I was through. I wasn’t really hungry during the race at all. Cycling is a different story. I start to feel hunger pangs after two hours and I’m into the 2k for cal burn with these long rides…weekly. I’m making sure I take a gel every hour, drink sips of water throughout and eat the snacks I’ve brought.
That brings us to the “snacks“. That was a really good nutrition bar, said no one ever. I’ve just come to the conclusion nutrition bars are just that, for nutrition and that’s it. There is no cheesy grin like in the Mentos© commercials. Hey that was an awesome chia bar dude! So, I have decided I may try my own pomade of power snacks.
Bacon. Bacon dipped in some type of power powder, dipped in chocolate. You think I’m kidding…I bought two packs of Applewood smoked bacon today…hmmmm.
By now you’re probably wondering…who is Ricky. This is Ricky:
I was at my second stop eating (I use that term loosely a 2nd Surge Gel™ when out of the blue…Ricky was just there. He just came up and started talking…really fast. The conversation started off with him saying gettin’ some miles in…then after that it was a blur. Ricky was talking so fast I had to count my gel packs to see if he downed one without me looking. He’s been climbing these hills for 66 years! (He said he was 70). All, I got out of that was he lived there before anything was built and that he was a fighter and he kicked someone’s ass. I asked him if I could take his picture. He was sweet as molasses… if you could understand him. Here’s to you Ricky, keep on rolling. I slowly got on my bike and pedaled away and left Ricky to attack those mountains.
Training takes dedication and planning. I am a planner. I think I like figuring out how I’m going to complete the training as much as training itself. I make charts and track my progress. The process of getting up and that first initial thought of what lies ahead of you. There is a pang of nervousness and a feeling of being overwhelmed that must be pushed aside. Isn’t that how we live our lives in other aspects too? An overwhelming task before us and the struggle to meet, attack and complete that task. Mental mountains. I open my garage and this is what I see:
Darkness. A beautiful moon, some stars, and the place I hang my hat at this moment in time. I take a deep breath, knowing I have four hours ahead of me. There is that quick glimpse of…how to accomplish this task? How will I do this? How do I complete this monumental task before me. Then I throw my leg over the bike…and I don’t fall down. Whew, this morning is starting off positive.
Surprisingly I felt pretty good on this ride. I have passed some major mental battles of distance and clock watching. I know where I am on the route with time and distance. Around three hours in I felt a little delirious. I popped my third gel and I felt better and finished strong. Four hours looked like this:
Pace was the same as last week! Thought that was interesting. Finished 71.94 for the week and 7466.23 miles gratefully waiting. Happy Miles to You!