Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Georgia Biking Excursion Day #2

164 Days To The Leadville 100

The second day we got up at 5:30am to get fuel in the tank before leaving for an hour drive to ride the "6 gap" loop.  I rode 55 miles with Damon Peterson but the rest of the group rode about 80 with a couple of more massive climbs that my legs were just not ready for...did I mention yet that I was the weakest climber of the group?  I have been on a bike for the majority of my life and training fairly hard for almost two years but these guys are animals....Highlights of day 2....  If you are not a cyclist and get bored watching the downhill, forward to the last minute and listen to my commentary.  The downhill was about 15 minutes total and I hit almost 50 mph.

(I do know that some of the text in the video says text, I just did not want to take the time to fix it as I want to get to the day 3 mountain bike footage!)

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Georgia Biking Excursion Day #1

171 Days To Leadville 100

On Thursday I loaded up the car, went to work for a half a day, picked up Skip, then Reed, then was on the road again, this time to Georgia.  There were eight sick, demented, crazy, insane people who love to ride bicycles that met at a cabin near Jasper, GA.  We arrived at a reasonable hour but stayed up till about two am talking about "bike stuff".  The last two crazies rolled in about 4 am.

We woke up Friday and was planning on an easy 50 mile ride to get our legs acclimated.  (easy 50 mile ride in the mountains in GA, yeah right).  49 miles, 4,900 feet of climbing and 45.5 miles per hour max...yes, 45.5, since I have already shown my wife....You get to see 45.5mph as seen from the handle bars of my bike via my new gopro hero camera....wow, yes, wow...

This is day 1 of 4 so my video editing skills should get better over the next few days...bear with me..

After this ride I was really wondering how I would hold up for the whole trip as this kind of climbing is a real shock to your system.  Also, I was trying to not fall too far behind on the climbs which helps red line the heart rate just a little more....

Great People, Great Day, Great Ride!!!  Once we returned to the cabin, Anthony and others fixed spaghetti with meatballs as big as your head.  It was a great meal to end a great day.  We then proceeded to speak of all things related to biking until everyone went to sleep.  Day #2 was scheduled to be feet on the ground at 5:30am for breakfast, then 6 Gap!

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Anniversary Weekend (Berrman Trail Weekend)

181 days till Leadville Trail 100

Well, I figured out that I am not a very consistent blogger, however, I have some good stuff to catch up on.

Christmas 2011
The entry deadline for the LT100 Lottery was January 31 and the "winners' will be announced Feb 15 or 16.  Supposedly, they have about 12,000 entries for 1,700 spots.  The first number may be a little inflated but you get the point.  I, however, should have nothing to worry about as I have 60 volunteer hours from last year and the race director Shannon assures me this will get me in.
Who Knows but its the Cardinals

Mrs. Paschal and Darla

Just did this one to make her mad

WOW, were they in high school?
Training has been going good although it is a little hard to stay motivated and keep pushing in the middle of winter.  Last weekend was my 16th anniversary with my beautiful wife Darla.  She is a tremendous supporter of the accomplishment of this insane goal, without her support this would definitely not be possible for me.  So, I organized a weekend getaway to the middle of nowhere cabin to get her "away" for the weekend.  I also invited our friends the Paschals and told Brad to bring his MTN bike as we would try to ride....well as luck would have it, we were very close to the Berryman Trail in MO and got to ride it everyday of the trip (Well, one of us rode everyday).

The second day I felt the need to record a little video before going out for a ride, I am really excited, enjoy.

Then there was the video after, little better mood and Brad feels the wrath.....

Just a few select pictures from the weekend of riding the Berryman.  Also, the girls had a nice relaxing time at the cabin, my wife was happy even though a lot of MTN biking was had on her getaway weekend.

Brad figuring out where we are...
View from the living room (Superfly!!)
The riding was very wet, on Sunday, I rode and averaged about 8 miles an hour with a lot of mud, wet leaves, and water.  I also had to stop a lot to wipe off the glasses.  This speed in these conditions, I was pleased with as during the Berryman Epic in October in perfect conditions I was riding slower (cramping).  I am starting to feel really good on the bike and more powerful.  The long grinder climbs on the Berryman were no problem this weekend, I never even thought about dismounting and my heart rate stayed in the 150's on most of the climbing (that's good).  My weakness on climbing is still the steep grade (well isn't everyones?) which pegs my heart rate and zaps my power.  Unfortunately (or fortunately),  the LT100 has a lot of that type of climbing.....if it were easy.....I also leave for Georgia next week to spend 5 days in the mountains climbing with some boys from Edwardsville including Gibbs my coach.  I am kinda looking forward to that but thinking it is going to really push my limits as all the guys going seem to be cyclists....(if you know what I mean).  I rode with a couple of these guys two weekends ago on a "Easy" no drop ride with a lot of wind.  We averaged about 20 mph and I was hanging on for dear life at points with most of the guys talking while riding like, "hey, hows the kids?" and I am saying, "gasp, gasp, I,,,,, cant,,,,talk,,,,,,,gasp, ,,,,,right,,,,,,gasp,gasp,,,,,,now"  Evidently, Gibbs thinks I can hang, at least for a while.  This trip should help my climbing skills!

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Race Weight

202 Days Until LT100

I made the decision after much research that my race weight for the LT100 should be 155.  If you think about it, this is a very big factor for race day as you only have so much power in your legs and every extra pound takes some of that power away.  I raced last years Silver Rush 50 in Leadville at 162 and made that weight pretty easy just cutting out sweets and eating "healthy"

Todd and I
However, 155 will be a bigger challenge.  At the beginning of the year, my buddy Todd (PRiDE Fitness) and I started on the Caveman (Paleo) diet.  This diet consists of what a Caveman could eat: nuts, eggs, meat, fruits and veges.  The obvious hard part is lack of grains (carbs) and processed foods are out.  On the long ride days (over two hours) I do take on carbs that Cavemen would not have had but Cavemen also didn't ride a bike for 6 hours at a time.  I have to keep fuel in the tank to keep pedaling.

Since the beginning of the year I am down 9 pounds.  I started at 174 and am at 165.  I occasionally get light headed when I get up from sitting for a while but that is all I have really noticed, other than carb cravings which is just part of changing your lifestyle.  I do have a cheat day over the weekend where ice cream is in order.....come on, I'm not completely crazy.

Today, my coach Andy Gibbs (AG Coaching) is coming over to my house to make sure my computrainer is set up correctly for my power tests today and tomorrow.  He will also stay through today's test to make sure my effort is where it should be.  These tests will then help set my training for the next period of training.

On a personal note, my son and I are going to the Murray State vs SIUE basketball game tonight.  My wife has her Masters from Murray and undergrad from SIUE.  Furthermore, Murray State is undefeated this year and ranked number 14 in the nation or so.....Should be a blowout but fun for us.  ps. my dad is an usher at the stadium, he will be "in charge"

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

204 Days Till LT100!!

204 days until Leadville Trail 100

I have another goal besides the LT100 on August 11th.  That is to post everyday until then.

Leaving the Simmons House Brrrr
Family weekend gametime
Last week was a big week of training but I had a fever for a day and a half which cut into my training time.  By the weekend I was back on the bike.  This past weekend was Simmons family weekend.  That is where all of Bill and Carolyn's kids, their spouses, and kids go over to their house with bags packed and spend the weekend.  The boys usually go shoot guns and the girls go shopping.  BTW, ask any of the boys who won the skeet round with 17 out of 25.......This year the Simmons' got to see what a Computrainer looks like and sounds like.

Family Pullups
On Saturday we went to the circuit at PRiDE Fitness (in the snow) and then I rode later that night for 2 hours on the computrainer watching playoff football.....Tebow didnt do so well.....

Mississippi River in background
Sunday I rode for three hours and finished at my sons basketball game in Godfrey.  It wasnt that cold but it sure was windy.   However, you had to watch out for snow patches.

This week is a down week with only about 8 hours of workouts but Sat and Sun are power tests.  Tonight was 1.5 hours on the trainer.  It went pretty good, Hudson hung out with me and we talked through it and watched the top 40 FAILs on VH1 (kinda appropriate for a 10 year old) Hey, mom was at Tae Kwon Do with Madi.....

This past week my wife sent me out to buy my Christmas present (even though the Superfly 100 was my bday and Christmas gift) it is a GoPro Hero camera.  This camera will allow me to take video of my rides this year to post on here and document my training from an onboard point of view.....very exciting.  In February I have a trip scheduled to the Berryman trail (couples weekend) (yes we plan a couples weekend around where the trails are) and another one to Georgia with about 10 other guys to kick start the hard core training for the spring.  They are staying for 6 days, I will go for 4.  There will be some elevation change down in them there mountains and you will get to see some footage of the pain.....

Looking forward to daily posts to capture my moods......

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Council Bluff Ride (Little Buddy's Bday ride)

Gibbs, Brown, Rister
Woke up at 5am to head to Edwardsville to pick up Andy Gibbs and Tim Rister for a trip to the Ozark Trail (Council Bluff) on Thursday morning.  I got to Andy's right on time at 6am (miracle) and we picked Tim up around the corner a little later.  There were several more guys there drinking coffee convincing themselves they were ready to go.  One of those guys was Little Buddy and this was the 4th or 5th annual birthday ride in his honor (I just met him for the first time that morning).  All the the gear was stowed and bikes loaded and we were off at 6:30 ish.  We met two other guys at the trailhead at 9am.  Everyone proceeded to change into their riding gear in the parking lot, thankfully it was a warm day....

Derailer Maintenance
There was a mile or so of gravel road to start before we dropped into the trail, then 300 feet or so into the trail, the guy in front of me hit a rock through a creek crossing and his tire blew with the sound of a 12 gauge shotgun.  Thankfully, we were only a mile or so away from the parking lot and one of the guys had a spare tire and quickly took off to get it while the bike got prepped to accept a new tire.  Unfortunately, this set the tone for the day.  We had several mechanicals with Andy swinging into action everytime to get us back on the trail quickly.  Andy is the head mechanic at the Cyclery and has outstanding "skills".  Halfway through the ride the guy who blew out his tire, had his rear derailer hanger bust and the derailer wrap around up into his wheel (not good).  Between all ten of us we had 4 or so derailer hangers in our bags but none fit his bike.  One good thing, we found out my newly purchased (two days prior) derailer hanger doesn't fit my bike as well.

Great Views
We ended up riding for about 7 hours but didn't cover a whole lot of miles for that amount of time (36 miles) but we had a good time.  There was a lot of time spent like you see on the here on the left in this pic.

Gibbs wind up radio for lunch tunes

Self portrait at the peak

me and the superfly!

On the bright side, there was 4,200 feet of climbing on this loop and I was right in the mix on the long grinding climbs.  A year ago I would have been way behind at the end of one of those kinds of climbs as well as spent....This year I was right there and felt good all day and still feel good today!  Now, there were guys a lot faster than I, but they were not in race mode hammering.  Great day, great ride, the ozark trail system is awesome.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Catching Up

Since I am back into posting full time :)..... I thought I would just take an opportunity to catch up on everything I have missed.

1. The Cyclery in Edwardsville is going to have a team next year and I will be on it. The kits are getting finalized as I type...(they are gonna be cool)

2. I have done two power tests. One in February this year and one last weekend. I havent seen my overall comparison yet but my coach says that I improved across the board by about 20 watts. Thats decent, and I will test again in 3 weeks or so with the coach,,,,with coaching through the test which should improve the numbers.

3. I have bought a new mountain bike for next years race....2011 Trek Superfly 100....This is a carbon full suspension bike and will have a post dedicated specifically to it soon.

4. My fitness level has improved dramatically this year.

5. I have been doing a lot of strength training lately and getting strong (for me). I have been incorporating Pride Fitness's Saturday Circuit into my week when I can. It is awesome and is great for the core.

6. I have converted my old mountain bike into a single speed.

7. I went shopping with DFlack and he just purchased a Trek Madone 5.1.....Hope he's ready to ride!

8. I went mountain bike riding with Mr. Ironman Butler a couple of weeks ago....me on my new ride and him on his 20 year old Specialized that he not ridden in years......He now has a new mountain bike....Sorry Rene. He is ready to ride and we have already had his new machine out on the trails. He was fast for his second trip on the trails in 15 years.... Pretty soon he will be pulling me around the trails like he pulls me on the road rides.

9. I bettered my Tour de Doughnut time by more than 1/2 hour from last years time. I was 54th out of 1500 or so riders. I was very pleased with that. 32ish miles in 1:17. My last years time was close to 1:50. I guess my coach and the training has helped a little. These times are approximate and from memory, I just did not want to take the time to look them up Im on a roll....

Other unrelated personal items..

7. We sold our house and moved to town and I have a great computrainer/weight room in our new place!

8. Hudson is in IMSA (Illinois Math and Science Academy) Program.

9. Madison is a blue belt in TKD.

10. Darla quit her job (So she can do all the house stuff and I will have more time to ride).

11. Madison got braces.

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