Sunday, October 24, 2010

13 days to go.....

Today was warm. I mean....70's warm. I arrived at the Long Lake Outdoor Center completely over dressed. It was already in the 50's and I kept teetering as to whether I should wear my jacket or not. I tossed it into the car and rode around for a minute. No jacket required. There was a larger group today. Dan, Cathy, Pat, Lisa, Dan, Mike and a few that I don't know. Also Jon drove down from the Lansing area to ride with us. We headed off....and the suffering began.

35 miles in the hills of Barry County. Pain. I felt terrible on the bike today. But in typical fashion....I just kept going. Tompkins told me that I needed to stay with him on the next hill. He is on a SS and the hill gets fairly steep. I stayed with him until the half way mark and.....felt like I was going to die. I was spinning like crazy.....and I wanted to keep going....but I just didn't. Not sure....guess I didn't want to pass

More towards the end of the ride I really started to doubt myself. I was letting the thoughts creep in and tell me that I should not be out there. I was fighting an interior fight. My mind was trying to get my body to shut down. I fought off the thoughts and finished as strong as I could. It was beautiful day to be out on my bike. Friends all around. Lots of hills.

In 13 days I will be as ready as I can be for the Iceman race. The route we rode today will do nothing but help me get to the end faster!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Moving on....

Sunday.....Barry Roubaix.....34+ miles.....a long time on the bike.

It was in the high 30's again this past Sunday. Small crowd because almost everyone was racing Peak 2 Peak. A grand total of three of us rolled out of the parking lot. I was fairly warm before we started rolling. I had on my starter pants, my shorts, my jersey with arm warmers and a jacket over the top. The jacket was mainly to cut down on wind so I didn't freeze to death. About three or four miles in I told Dan that my bike was feeling really heavy. Heavy like it has two flat tires and was full of lead heavy. My legs were just not getting any least that is what it felt like. After a two track section we stopped for a second so Brian could adjust his seat height. That 30 seconds was enough for me to gather myself and continue onward.

The next 20 miles were fairly uneventful. The weather warmed up enough that I didn't really need the jacket, but I kept it on out of pure laziness. Plus it was making me sweat more...(hidden weight loss). I ate a bar at one point just for more energy and it did not sit well. With about seven or eight miles to go I started to get a cramping feeling in my stomach. I just drank more and it went away so I pushed on.

In the end, we just missed the three hour mark. I have done three rides on this route and each time I get faster. Small steps towards the greater good. 19 days from now I will be enjoying a 27 mile race from Kalkaska to Traverse City. Hills, sand, tons of people. Nothing like a ride with 4000 of your closest friends.

October mileage report: 181.97 miles. About 3 times what I had last month....and we are just over half way there.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cruising in October

I have more mileage in the past three days than I did the entire month of September. Sunday was a 35 mile training ride on the Barry Roubaix Course. Tuesday evening was 23 miles at Fort Custer. A person might not think that 23 miles at Custer is very hard....but my legs were feeling worn out after my ride on Sunday. So...what does this mean?


I have weight loss intervals on the schedule for tonight. My legs are feeling tired right now...but I will go at the intervals and see how I feel. If my legs are dead.....I will cool down and call it a night. If I feel okay.....GET SOME! I will do my best to get through the intervals. Apparently some of my friends think they can eat pizza and cookies and I will do an extra interval for them....but we will see how that goes.

24 days to Iceman.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

High 70's.....

Last Sunday at 8:00am it was 37 degrees. This week it is looking like temps will be closer to 50 degrees at 8:00 am. Considering I am training for a race called "Iceman" I would almost prefer that the temps stay cooler. I need to get my lungs and body acclimated to the cooler temps. Don't get me wrong, 50 degrees is great riding weather...and I hate being cold.....but I know how different it can be riding when its 30 versus riding when its 50. The last week has had highs in the 70's all week...not your typical October weather. Get out there and enjoy it!

At any rate.....there I will be.....riding 30+ miles in the hills of Barry County.

Tuesday I headed to Fort Custer for a long ride. I had an issue again with my rear wheel. When I was pedalling there was no noise....but when I was coasting I could hear a clunk......clunk.....clunk. I used the word "tick" and many of my friends were thinking the BUG....and not the noise. I thought I figured out what the noise was....Freehub. I took the axle apart and realized the bolt holding the freehub was loose. I took it completely off and cleaned it...because it was DIRTY. When I put it back together I still heard a noise.....Damn. I looked at the guard that is on the wheel to protect the spokes from the chain......and two of the four clips that hold it in position were missing. I ripped it the rest of the way noise. At least my wheel is

Going to test it out today just to make sure....because I would hate to get 8 miles in tomorrow and have the noise come back. Going to be a good ride tomorrow.

Get out and enjoy these temps!

Monday, October 4, 2010


Yesterday I joined a group of friends by Yankee Springs for a training ride. The course is the one used for the Barry Roubaix. It is safe to say that there are a few hills out there. Seems like there is one around every corner....and every corner is uphill. Anyway, I have been invited for many weeks to do this training ride. I was apprehensive to go because I don't like to be the slowest person in the group. Being the slowest person in the group means that you are holding up someone and potentially ruining their training ride. I was reassured that it would not be a problem...and that I would get faster every time I do the ride. So....I went.

It was 37 degrees when I parked the car. Dan T. and April were the first people to arrive. Thankfully, Dan T. had a windbreaker that I borrowed so the wind didn't freeze me to death. Once everyone else arrived we headed out. Dan S. and I were first to go..and the rest of the group followed. We didn't make it very far before everyone passed me. Most passers told me "good job" or "keep going" as they passed. We reached one corner and everyone was there waiting for me. At this point...what I was afraid of most was happening....I was slowing everyone down...and we had about 25 miles to go. Ugh.

We took off again. Pat and Cathy caught up to me and my ride changed dramatically. Dan S. was waiting for me, as he said he would......and the addition of Pat and Cathy was a definite boost. We were climbing a hill and Pat came back to me.....he started offering me tips. Breathe....slow your breathing........keep going. That tip alone was enough to keep me going....because I was mentally ready to quit...and we were only 10 miles in.

Cathy always offers encouragement. She just says the right things....Good job...keep're doing good....ect. A few hills later as she passed she told me these things. They always help!

On a MF'r of a hill Dan S. came rolling back down to me. He told me to drop into granny gear and just keep spinning. I don't like the granny gear....but I am really glad I had it yesterday. I used it on many of the hills because I just didn't have the legs to power of them. As I rolled into the parking lot everyone was standing there. Everyone gave some type of congratulations or encouragement. Overall....30 miles in just under 3 hours. Yikes. Next time will be better right?

I thanked everyone for the encouragement and for waiting for me. It was really appreciated that they would wait for me....know I am slower....and that I struggle with hills. They never complained once....just kept me moving forward.

One other rider had a bigger impact on me. He asked me before we started "do you realize how fast you are going to be when you lose more weight?"...and all I could do was smile and say that I could only imagine. He was not being rude....he was offering more encouragement. I asked him about it later that night because it stuck with me. He sent me a long message about why he said that to me. With all of the encouragement that I got from all of the people his message hit harder. He told me that guys like me are good for the sport. Guys like me? Middle aged slow fat guys? No.....middle aged overweight guys with a drive to do better. Guys that may be spit out the back of the pack....but keep going. Guys that are willing to ride in nearly freezing temperatures because someone thought it was a good idea. Guys that love to ride for the simple reason that we can ride.

Encouragement......pass it on.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Entry secured....September sucked.....

I sent off my transfer form and electronic check to a friend earlier this week. He was not able to go to Iceman this year and I happily took the entry from him. I do have some work to do before this race. 27 miles in the sandy hills of Traverse City is never an easy task, especially for those of us that have not been riding much. Illness, work, schedules and weather put a huge dent in my September mileage. I do have a good plan of attack for the next 5 weeks, so all I need to do now is follow the plan.

I mentioned earlier that September was terrible. 5 total rides for less and 70 miles....yikes. I rode more in two days a month ago than I did this entire month. What is even sadder....I actually doubled my mileage from September a year ago. Yikes....still...just a bad month.

The plan is to SPIN. I know that one of my larger issues (minus weight) is my lack of spinning ability. There is a long list of things I do wrong....but lets start here. My cadence is generally lower and I power the pedals more than I should. I think I am more comfortable spinning slow and trying to push a harder gear. So....I am trying to balance that out. I will spin a gear down from where I am comfortable...and carry a higher cadence. I have set up the trainer because I can control things a little better in there. Last night I did weight loss intervals that took an hour. I averaged 83 rpm for the hour. Generally I average close to 80 or slightly under. I have a new found motivation to push harder. Pushing myself at the Fort Custer race was what triggered it. I knew I could push hard and once I did it....I took 4th.

Training ride planned for Sunday. 35 miles on the Barry Roubaix course with a group of people that are all faster than me. I will do my best to not slow them down, and I know I will see big returns for my work.