The observant reader will notice on the calendar to the left I was supposed to be riding the 300km brevet in Westfield, MA today. Well, I bailed on the brevet. I'm not sure I'll even do one brevet this year. Why not? To get the type of training I need requires my weekends to be devoted to a different style of riding. Brevets are very fun, and I'm a bit disappointed I can't integrate them in to my schedule, but unless I quit my job or eliminate at least one day of work they aren't going to happen. Last year I used the brevets to force myself to ride the long distances required to get ready for something like the RAAM qualifier, and I also was hoping to meet some like minded folk to do other longer rides with outside of the brevets. The latter was successful, and when I visit CT I have a few contacts for some long and hard century or greater rides! The problem with brevets, for me, is the riders do not go fast enough - yeah, I can ride solo up front but that is not how a brevet is meant to be ridden - and they require way too many stops.
To be competitive in the 100 mile endurance mtb series I can not be dilly dallying around for 14 hours riding 125 miles. I need to be wreaking havoc on my cardiovascular system, or, a bit simpler, my entire body, on very high intensity endurance rides on the weekends, and more focused training on the weekdays e.g. intervals. The weekend long ride right now is at 4 hours, and I'll be extending that time as the year goes by to coincide with the RAAM qualifier in September.
What do I do on a long weekend ride? I warm up for about 15 minutes, gradually, and once I hit NJ on the other side of the GWB, I start the log on the bike computer and start pedaling as hard as I can physically sustain for the allotted time period. Having a nice base to work with has made this ride a much more predictable and achievable workout. Last year I would've crapped out halfway through, or not gone hard enough most the time. This year, I know what I'm capable of and am going 10% beyond that for the entire ride. I must admit this ride is NOT comfortable, and I also have to confess I don't notice the scenery much - I realized after the ride today I failed to glance even once off the GWB to gaze upon the beautiful NYC skyline on a perfectly clear day. But wait, I don't find the ride to be miserable, and it's even pretty fun, but some times the suffering can be pretty intense. Mostly, I think, my poor wife is exposed to the worst of it. I stumbled in today, barely making it up the 5 flights of stairs to our walk up APT, and, literally, threw off everything I had on as quickly as possible, tossed on some shorts so I was reasonably decent, and proceeded to crash on the couch. My breath was a bit short, and if I took a deep breath it would make me cough. I felt like I was going to puke. My legs were ACHING. A dull ache, a constant burning sensation. If I stood up they would shake, and feel like they were on fire. So I sat back down. Eventually I worked up the courage to forage for some food, so I grabbed the easiest thing possible to eat and drink out of the frig and pantry - a tall glass of milk, o so chilled, and some guacamole and tortilla chips. Probably not the ideal combination, but, who cares? It was pretty difficult to eat the food. The milk went down easy, though. After that I napped for a few minutes and decided I should shower. I felt better then and headed back for some more food - this time a bit more recovery oriented. A milkshake with hammer perpetuem and m&m's:) Usually I use peanut butter but we're currently tapped out. This is a tragedy. So, I'm probably rambling and will cut this off now. Welcome to a small glimpse in to my training ride!
some stats from today's windy ride:
Distance: 80.50 mi
Ride Time: 3:54:47 h
Rest Time: 00:00:49 h - darn small town stop lights!
Elevation Gain: 5510 ft
Speed: 20.57 mph
Heart Rate: 144 bpm
Temperature: 67.3 F