Mileage Recap ~ Week 9 Century Training Complete

It’s hard to believe that there are only two weeks left before my big century ride.  Completing the training for the century wasn’t going to be easy.  The first time I started to train I had to let it go, because I began a new job.  As everyone knows learning a new job can take it out of you both physically and mentally.  I’m three months in and personally I believe it takes about 6 months to learn a job and then a little more to learn it well.  So I had to back down and regroup.  No time and too tired.

I remember when I completed my first “long ride”.  Twenty -eight miles long and I was just wiped out afterwards.  Came home and just crashed.  By the second week of training I was better, not as tired out and could go about my day afterwards.

Training on the bike is much different then running.  It’s funny when I look at the metrics of a run and I see the calorie burn.  Once I started getting up into 40 miles I was burning 2K plus calories every long ride.  Very strange because I burned about 2K calories when I ran the Rock and Roll marathon in St. Louis.  The body burns the fat differently too.  This is my observation for my body.  I seemed to drop pounds and tone up quicker running than I do riding.  Strange all around since the calorie burn is equal to one marathon a week.

This weeks long ride was much better than last weeks.  I figured that speed wise I’m going fast enough to finish the race on time.  My biggest concern is performance and overall body health.  Last week’s speed average was 13.5 which is the highest average I’ve ever had.  I’m not focusing on my speed. There are people out there riding MUCH faster than me.  People whiz by me all the time.  Better riders, bikes and overall athletes.  That’s okay.  I know what my goal is and what I need to do to complete that goal.  If you read the recap of last weeks ride I was hurting around mile 58.  By the time I got to mile 61 I encountered a cramp in my right quad that pretty much debilitated me for about 5 minutes.  Ensuring that I listen to my body, focus on time and distance needs to take priority.

My cramp was most likely caused by dehydration and overuse of the muscle.  During my training once I started hitting 40+ miles I used my house as an aid station.  I’ll be honest I didn’t want to drink too much water because there is no where to use the bathroom for a good 20 to 25 mile stretch and ducking behind what they call a bush here isn’t an option.  Sooooo….I was careful how much water I consumed.  Again though becoming dehydrated riding feels different than running.  During the race there will be aid stations around every 10 miles.  That will make a big difference in how I consume my water.  I will not have to worry about wearing bikers depends.  Just kidding.

This week I decided on two things to make my ride better, slow down and consume more.   More water, food and the gel packs every hour.  I don’t know about you but when I get up at 5 am to make it out the door by 6 am it’s hard to eat and drink something and wait for the body to get moving.  I start with cereal or something light, a cup of coffee (a must) and a little water.  Try to get all that done by 5:30 so I have plenty of time for everything else. For this ride I was extremely disciplined.  I’m very happy about my performance.  I took a lot of water and food stops.  I stopped and got off the bike.  Even if I wasn’t hungry I ate a bit anyway.  Just a bite of a nutrition bar and a good sip of water.  I slowed down.  If I started to feel a burn on a hill or a little light headed I slowed down, not try to power through.  This made a world of difference in how I felt towards the end.  During this ride I made two aid stops at the house.  Used the bathroom, had cut up oranges, chocolate muscle milk and water.  Again much better and each stop was about 5 minutes.  I stopped and took a power gel every hour.  It was a 5 hour ride which equated to 4 gels.  I built up to the long ride.  Kept track of water and protein consummation.  I enjoyed myself.  The last one is as important as all the others.  Enjoying the experience I was about to have.  Heck I even smiled more and looked around at my surroundings.  Again making all the difference.

Last week I noticed a ghost bike on the route.  This is something that must have just happened because I didn’t notice it a couple of weeks before.  The picture isn’t great because of the curb.  I wanted to pull my bike up and lean against the railing but after unclipping it just seemed more logical for me to stay on the road.  A ghost bike is a monument to a cyclist that was killed on the road, most likely at a spot very close to where the bike is chained.  So the bike is painted white, chained and a plaque is usually placed somewhere near the bike.  I didn’t see a plaque so I’m not sure of the individual’s name, but I felt that this would be a good place to take my break in solicitude with this soul.  There are tons of cyclists riding during the weekends now that the weather has officially “broken”.  It’s a shame because Pecos road has four lanes for cars to merge over and a sizable bike lane.  People really should pay better attention.

Ghost bike on Pecos Road

Ghost bike on Pecos Road

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy to say this weeks long ride came to 65.01 and now it’s time to taper!!  I just love that word….taper.

week-9-long-rideA successful fun ride.  I had fun.  This weeks mileage gratefully comes to 82.61.  There are 7302.63 miles waiting…Happy Miles To You!!

Mileage Recap ~ October Wrap Up…Hear Me People of the Good Hood!

Three more weeks of training to go and I’ll be heading to Tucson to participate in the EL Tour De Tucson Century Ride.  I’m not going to call it a race, because I’m not racing anybody.  Maybe the clock.  My goal is to finish in the time allotted or a little before.  Training so far has been going well.  I am hitting all the milestones I’ve set for myself without too much trouble each week.  So far no mechanical mishaps and for that I am VERY grateful.  My body felt better during last weeks long ride then this week.  This weeks long ride was ok but became a real grind towards the end.  I felt good for the first 40 miles, then I started to feel fatigued.  Not bad but I seemed to be sweating more and a little tired.

My physical body felt fine, I was experiencing a drained type feeling.  I also had a hard time clipping out of my new pedals.  It caused some stress and angst every time I needed to stop.  I’m not 100% used to these new pedals and not quite sure why I’m experiencing this problem.  Now that I’m into the 50+ rides I need to focus more on what I’m doing inside and out.  Eating, drinking and resting.  It’s not at all like training for the marathon.  There is a different type of intensity.   I will admit I was thinking about everything under the sun.  My mind was just wandering this time around.  As I get closer to 50 miles that’s when I start to notice my mental fatigue.  I’m more reckless meaning not really paying attention like I did at the beginning of the ride for cars or people etc.  Like I’m just going or an out of body feeling sometimes.  I started to think about the movie Castaway on this ride.  Your mind starts playing tricks when you’re really tired.  Wilson!  Try to keep up Wilson! Wilson can you pass that sports gel friend?  That’s exactly what I felt like.

wilson wilson1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or having the urge to laugh uncontrollably!  Oh that was funny Wilson, I’m so enjoying our time together!

dumb-and-dumber

 

 

 

 

On part of my route I go through a more, shall we say affluent neighborhood.  We shall call it the good hood.  A lovely non-gated community nestled at the base of South Mountain with very nice homes.  There is a cul de sac that I have a timed stop.  Usually for a gel, water or maybe a bite of an energy bar.  Last week I stopped and I tried to take my gum out and dispose of it in paper.  I opened my mouth too wide and it fell on the ground.  No….I didn’t pick it up.  I didn’t have the proper packaging because I messed it up with the gel pack and I…well damn I just didn’t want to get my hands sticky.  I’m sorry people of the good hood.  This week I dropped a plastic bag, while riding, in the same location.  I carry a bag for garbage (see I’m responsible!) but no I didn’t stop to pick it up.  I did pick it up the next time around.  Oh and yes, I took some selfies.  I can only imagine what the neighbors are saying as they look out the window drinking their morning coffee, “George, there’s that woman again!  And…and she’s dropping her gum, now a selfie!  I knew we should have voted yes at the home association meeting for the community gate!”

Once I hit mile 58 things began to go downhill.  My goal for this week was 65 miles and I fell just shy of that with 61.72.  I was making my final round when I stopped to cross a street.  Once I unclipped and put my right leg down I had the worst cramp in my right quad.  I have Never had a cramp in my quad and nothing that bad.  When I looked at my leg there was a huge mass right above the knee.  At first I thought I had done something much worse but it wasn’t the pain of a pulled muscle.  But the pain overtook my whole body.  I literally had to lay the bike down.  After a few minutes I was able to cross the street and again just stood there until the pain passed.  Per the Mayo Clinic online:  http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/muscle-cramp/symptoms-causes/dxc-20186052

Symptoms and causes of muscle cramps

Symptoms

Most muscle cramps develop in the leg muscles, particularly in the calf. Besides the sudden, sharp pain, you might also feel or see a hard lump of muscle tissue beneath your skin.

Causes

Overuse of a muscle, dehydration, muscle strain or simply holding a position for a prolonged period can cause a muscle cramp. In many cases, however, the cause isn’t known.

Although most muscle cramps are harmless, some may be related to an underlying medical condition, such as:

  • Inadequate blood supply. Narrowing of the arteries that deliver blood to your legs (arteriosclerosis of the extremities) can produce cramp-like pain in your legs and feet while you’re exercising. These cramps usually go away soon after you stop exercising.
  • Nerve compression. Compression of nerves in your spine (lumbar stenosis) also can produce cramp-like pain in your legs. The pain usually worsens the longer you walk. Walking in a slightly flexed position — such as you would use when pushing a shopping cart ahead of you — may improve or delay the onset of your symptoms.
  • Mineral depletion. Too little potassium, calcium or magnesium in your diet can contribute to leg cramps. Diuretics — medications often prescribed for high blood pressure — also can deplete these minerals.

Risk factors

Factors that might increase your risk of muscle cramps include:

  • Age. Older people lose muscle mass, so the remaining muscle can get overstressed more easily.
  • Dehydration. Athletes who become fatigued and dehydrated while participating in warm-weather sports frequently develop muscle cramps.
  • Pregnancy. Muscle cramps also are common during pregnancy.
  • Medical conditions. You might be at higher risk of muscle cramps if you have diabetes, or nerve, liver or thyroid disorders.

Damn…age..no they didn’t!

Anyway, it passed quickly and I felt fine after five minutes.  Didn’t even need a nap that day.  I completed 80.99 miles this week!

Bam!  I finished October with 310.44 miles for the month.  7385.24 miles remaining!  Blessed and grateful.  Happy Miles to You!

week-8-long-ride

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ Week 4 Century Training – How To Tell When S*it Gets Real

Nothing says you’re in, like paying for a race….and it’s non refundable.  It’s almost like you gotta show up.  It’s a badge of honor – meaning I don’t give a rat’s patootie, I’m showing up and so help me if they peel me off the roadthis is happening.  Yeah, $160 worth of happening…and that was the lowest entry fee for the El Tour de Tucson century race, not counting hotel, gas and food.  Meh, whatta gonna do?  It is what it is.  Don’t you love that played out cliché?

Well, s*hit got real this Saturday as I not only completed my long ride, but it was the longest I’ve ever done.  The target was 2.5 hours of riding time.  Here is the break down in a lovely graphic.  I was able to get in 31.47 miles at a 13.1 avg. pace.  I’m pleased with that.

week-4-long-ride

For the most part of the ride I felt really good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

gu-gelI stopped after an hour to ingest a Gu gel pack.   I had it in my back jersey pocket (do you call them pockets?) it was warm and not as viscous, which made it easier to swallow.  Thank goodness because damn…have you tried these things?  About 3/4 of the way in I began to feel a little light-headed, but not anything that would make me stop for a long period of time.  I tried to make sure I took little sips of water.  I’m always mindful of how much water I take in because I don’t want to have to go to the bathroom.  Okay… there’s some get real s*it for you.  I mean really, riding a bike with a full bladder is a no go.  There is nowhere to go either…a rock, rattle snake, or a scorpion.  Choose.  Cyclist depends…hmmm.

Needless to say I was happy, though there is a mental mountain to climb.  Realizing if I don’t find a route that has the mileage, I’m going to do this three times during one ride…before it’s done.  Oy…but I’ll do it.  That’s also some real s*it if you were wondering.  There’s lots of s*it that’s real…but that’s some really real…okay I digress.

I did pick up this little beauty:

helmetI do believe I was long overdue for a new helmet.  I need to do some research on how often helmets should be changed.  What’s funny is this one fits better than my old one.  The other one was cheaper and this helmet by no means was the most expensive.  I bought it for about $50.  I have been to a few stores that have said price doesn’t mean safety.  They’re all about the same for safety.  What you’re paying for is air flow, aerodynamic, and frankly fit.  I like it.  There is a ponytail port!  May it keep all my wonderful brains in tack if something happens.

 

I only had a chance to ride 3 days this week.  Again, life happens (work) so you just have to do what you can. Next weeks long ride will be a three hour ride. More…real s*it.  You didn’t think I’d let that pass did you?  Nah!

Excited but fearful.  I can’t explain it…that’s where I am right now.  I’m loving it.  Week four came out to 48.09 grateful miles.  I am grateful for this opportunity.  I have 7664.21 miles remaining in my journey.  I hope this Sunday finds you grateful.  Happy Miles To You!

 

Mileage Recap ~ Century Training Week 1 – 3 Chasing El Tour de Tucson

Did I mention I’m training for a Century ride?  Yes.  Well, I’m retraining.  I started last year and I had to stop because of a new job and I just couldn’t find the time to train.  Now I’m back at it again and I’m already at week 3.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with a Century Ride ~ it is nothing more than riding 100 miles at one “sitting” so to speak.  That is really all I can tell you.  I’m a newbie.  Meaning I’ve never done one.  This will be my first race.  Now, before all of the “well-seasoned” riders fall out of their chairs, suck in their teeth, or yell that’s crazy!  Let me explain, that’s how I roll.  “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

So I’m going for it…

I actually found a plan off the internet, that really wasn’t a great plan so I’m improvising.  the plan I found was geared towards time but an 8 week plan.  The 12 week plan I found was geared more towards improving time and miles.  When you work, you kind of have to take what you get so I combined the plan to be based on time for 12 weeks.

I’m a little behind on blogging so I just completed week 3.  I road for three days during the week before work…means getting up at 5:30 to do anywhere from 7 to 10 miles each day with the long ride on Saturday.  I’m supposed to be including hills, no problem here, and speed work…still trying to figure this one out.  I’m thinking spinning might be a good addition when I can for bursts of endurance.  All I can say is I’m excited!  I love a new challenge and truth-be-told I just love cycling.

This weeks long ride was 21.45 miles.  I felt strong and no injuries so far.  Total miles for Weeks 1 – 3 comes to 132.72 with 7,712.30 gratefully remaining.  Happy Miles To You!!:-)

week-three-long-ride