Before the 300k in the brevet season, I purchased a Busch and Mueller IXON LED headlamp for my rides. The copy touted an 8 hour run time on low power and 6 hours on high power. Sounds good to me. That put me right at the edge on a summer night. After 5 months of use including 3 all night rides, I can honestly say this is a great investment.
The IXON has worked far beyond expectations. I have yet to change the batteries during a ride. In fact, I rode the last ride and used it for about 8 hours, during the following weeks, I used it another 3 hours before deciding to recharge. Better safe than sorry on a commute, right?
The IXON comes with handlebar mount, a fork mount batteries and a charger. Everything you need right in the box. Of course there are other accessories you may choose to purchase. Here is another tidbit of information that was a real selling point. The IXON can be used with the Schmidt Dynohub. What does this mean to you? It is a great lamp for descents. It is a backup for your other lamps during long events like longer than 600K. You can use for commuting as an alternative to your randonneuring gear.
Workout: Ride (0400) - 15 miles Pull ups - 5x5 Hanging leg raises 5x5 (feeling the evil wheel)
During my ride home yesterday, I thought about the high number of DNFs in this years running of Paris - Brest - Paris (PBP). Around 30% of this years participants did not finish within the alloted time. PBP is a ride any mortal cyclist may choose to participate in. It is done every 4 years.
There are a few stipulations to qualifying for PBP. You cannot be a professional rider. You can belong to a club but no pros. This is good because it is a real event for real people. Of course, participants need to have physical stamina and mental resolve. To prove you have what it takes all you have to do is complete a series of 4 brevets of 200K, 300K, 400K and 600K. No problem if you have the right stuff.
So why choose to do this event if anyone can do it? Because it is very challenging. Most average people don't choose to do anything challenging during their entire lifetime. This is too bad. I believe you have to know yourself. You have to push yourself physically and mentally for self improvement. Sure you can tell the waitress that your food sucks but can you honestly overcome your own mind? I honestly believe anyone can do anything they want to do. The trick is overcoming yourself. Oh, if you fail, keep trying! Get off the couch.
Workout: Swing: 24K 2x50 Clean and Press: 24K 5x123 ladders Circuit of front squat + pullup + evil wheel: 5x5 The wheel hurts! Ride AM: 15 miles .. this was very quick. Ride PM: 15 miles.. much slower.
Without a firm foundation all is for not. Think of a large building or even a small home. Each of these have a prescribed foundation that allow them to stand erect. The Leaning Tower of Pisa would not be leaning if the foundation would have been done correctly. In California, many large buildings are built on springs that take the shock in the event of an earthquake. Training is very similar to a building.
I could have done a workout this morning with high volume or high intensity. I would have paid for it for the rest of the week and my progress would be set back weeks. I basically took 2 weeks off from lifting perhaps a little more. It is important to ease into intensity and volume. Some would call this building a base. I like to think that that base is already present and I just need to reinforce the foundation prior to adding.
In the next few weeks, I will add volume and perhaps some intensity here and there. Because I already have an adequate base, it should only take weeks not months to return to high volume and high intensity training.
Workout: (all done prior to work) Swing: 2x50 Clean and Press: 24K 5x 3 rung ladders Front squat: 24K 5x5 (only 1 kb today) Evil wheel followed by pullup: 5x5 and 5x3 Ride: 25 miles
Saturday's training ride; at least it began as a training ride. Then quality riding quickly wained and the ramble began. We began riding approx. 0830 and finished at 1500. Typical day in the saddle right? Our route through Suffolk and the Isle of Wright took us 75 miles.
Saturday marked the first time I have ridden in that area and I have to say it is enjoyable. Little or no traffic, dogs, pedestrians...come to think of it there are very few people in this area. The roads are mostly farm roads and for the most part, we could ride side by side. The area also offers hills and trees which are hard to come by in the swamp of Virginia beach.
Something happened on the ride that still puzzles me. I hit a wall and could not get off it. Around 30 miles, my legs quit. They didn't want to spin anymore. Average speed quickly dropped. By mile 60 I wanted to push my bicycle. At this point, my arms began to beg for mercy as they were tired of supporting my upper body. I managed to finish the ride.
Ron was very patient. He would ride at a normal pace until he found some shade then sit and wait for me to catch up. Thanks Ron!
The problem? Good question.
Heat/humidity? Perhaps. I wasn't overly dehydrated though. Only a 4 lb loss during the day. That's probably close to normal.
Food intake? Adequate, not likely the problem.
Lack of training? Possible but probably not.
Ride on Friday? This is the theory. I rode. I did not properly refuel post ride. I had a handful of blueberries, some water and a cup of coffee. I paid dearly. Lesson learned.
!!!!!HEED THE FOLLOWING!!!! It is most crucial to replenish glycogen stores and protien within 35 - 45 minutes following exercise. Well you don't have to. I didn't; if I wasn't doing a +5 hour ride the next day I would have been fine. If I was just doing an hour or something, I would be good to go.
This week I am doing the Mr. Mom. I have to get all of my workouts done before 0730, then I get to watch Kiki. We go to the park and swing. We go swimming at the pool; she is pretty much a fish. Yesterday we did a bike ride to the beach. She started digging herself into a hole then covering with sand. Very messy. The result is I am exhausted about the time she goes down for nap time. Of course I get one too! This is great, no stress, no pressure; just days with pure purpose.
Workout: Swing: 1x50 Ride: 20 First ride on the new drive terrain! JM Stretching
Note: Didn't get the lifting in today. I missed my window of opportunity as Kiki decided to wake up early.
Look out Adam Sandler and Burt Reynolds, your time as the QB for the team is up. Looks like Falcon's QB Mike Vick is on his way to play for the Federal Penal League. Today it was announced that he is going to plead guilty to allegations of dog fighting and racketeering. I knew he had to be a thug after his brother's incidents here in Hampton Roads 2 years ago. At that time I thought, how can one brother be a thug and the other squeaky clean. Looks like my suspicions are correct.
Speaking of the prison football league, he could team up with Mark Chmura and have some good stats in that league.
Today I began with the basics of kettlebell lifting. I just took an entire week off from nearly everything. I did do a couple bike rides, nothing major. I thought it would be good to recharge the batteries. I can feel the time off in my joints. Odd concept? Not really it is proof that my work over the past two years is really paying off.
What about the joints? Well, I am the lucky owner of degenerated disks in L4 and L5. This is not a good situation. My solution is kettlebell training and avoiding activities that may lead to pain. Activities like running and prolonged standing are killer.
Ankle? Yes, ankle. I broke my ankle and tore much of the soft tissue some years ago. Needless to say, it tends to get stiff and sore periodically. I have been good for about a year and a half but the time off has left my ankle stiff and sore.
Back to the Basics...Joint mobility and stretching are one part of the puzzle that lead to a pain free life. The other part is strengthening and building endurance in the muscles that support the joints.
Sounds simple doesn't it? Don't tell anyone but it is simple! Unfortunately most people can't stick to anything more than a couple weeks. They get bored too quickly. You know who I am talking about. If the shoe fits wear it.
You have 2 solutions. First, pay doctors and chiropractors thousands of dollars to help you feel better. They will give you a crack, a shot of cortisone or fuse your joints together. You will feel better...for a while. You will be back for more action and cough up some more money within a few months or a year.
The second option is to heed what I am saying. Do what I am talking about with consistency. You will save yourself thousands and add years to your life!
Workout: Swing: 1x50 See saw press: 5x5/5 Swing: 2x50 Evil Wheel: 5x5 (sore from yesterdays wheel)
This morning, I did a little 20 mile ramble. I didn't want to push the pace or distance; just get ready for tomorrow's long ride. I headed down and did some Ft Story laps. The wind was "breezy." What is this breezy crap.
Put a check in the box, another brevet completed. Another all night adventure promising to be an epic tale. Riding all night is enough to add adventure to anyone’s vocabulary. FYI, adventure is an exciting or unusual experience or a bold risky endeavor with dangerous unknown outcomes. All of these elements are present in a night brevet. Adding to the experience during a sultry August night were the chances of viewing a meteor shower. Thankfully the ride is a night brevet and not a day light ride. This enabled all of the riders to complete the brevet without risking heat related injuries.
The ride started with the familiar scenario. The group departs just a little too fast for my taste. I hang on as long as I can before I am dropped. What really happens is I decide that there are more than 100 Miles remaining and become wise. This time I had a buddy, Dean, and we just cranked away sensibly. Eventually, we catch another dropped randonneur. We have a group of three that can work together and be visible to traffic.
While we are doing our own thing, the lead group is trying to keep up with the Master Chief. He is pulling at a body-numbing rate. Eventually a long hill takes its toll. The lead group drops him for a short period. They miss a turn after Andrew’s Store and take a 3 mile detour. If this sounds familiar, it is because I did this exact thing on my first brevet on this route. The lead group would not see the Master Chief again. He hit his second wind and arrived at the 100K check nearly an hour before anyone else. In his typical fashion, he decided to do a 300K and kept going.
Dogs – Yes, very large, fast, pissed off and hungry dogs chasing us in the middle of the night. There were a few that chased us for what seemed like a mile. On the 9 mile stretch of Siler City-Snow Camp Rd., we were chased from both sides of the road. We were chased from 5 or 6 houses in a row. Best of all, we were chased from a small yappy dog that I started to make fun of until I realized he was the decoy for some buddies. They began appearing from the darkness and we began sprinting. Well, I did!
Self pitty- Yes, for a few miles, I couldn’t figure out why I do these rides and considered throwing in the towel at the turn. I really didn’t want to ride any more especially if I had to pass by all the dogs again. The thoughts lasted until I realized we were only about a mile from the first Control.
Overcoming doubt and fear is difficult. I guess it is too easy to sit on the couch eating ice cream. We do things that are comfortable. If you are reading this, you know how it feels when you are in the pits of despair. You are also aware of the reward for overcoming these feelings and completing your goal. The couch potatoes will never understand; don’t waste time explaining.
There is a recommended strategy at controls. Get your card signed, get what you need and get on the road. No wasted time. We followed the first rule then hung out for maybe a ½ hour. Branson and Jerry volunteered to do some support for the ride and met us at the Control for support. They were great, providing cold water and entertainment. Thanks Guys! We got the group together for the return to Morrisville with 5 strong. This proved to be great. We pretty much flew back or I was sleeping on the bike because I can’t recall 2 or 3 roads on the route.
The most difficult factor during a night ride is the hour or so right before the sun comes up. I really wanted to fall asleep this morning. The light slowly coming over the horizon always provides a little adrenaline boost. This morning was no exception. The more light in the sky, the faster the group peddled.
I actually followed the advice provided by Hammer Nutrition and ate only their food. It worked pretty well. I did not want to mess around with blood sugar issues. Perpetuem, Endurolites and Hammer Gel (with caffeine) are the only “food” I put in my body during the ride. I drank a cup of coffee at the Control; it hit the spot.
This plan worked out great. I did feel on the edge of hunger but I wasn’t hungry and I didn’t bonk. I should have sipped more Perpetuem on the outbound leg. My intake timing was off slightly because I could not see the time.
The Details: 200K – 125 miles Ride time: 8:14 Total Time: 9:30 or so. Unsure of the actual start time as we started late. I compared this with the last time I rode the route in April. I am about an hour quicker on the whole.
Lessons Learned: Food intake. It worked pretty well. Stay relaxed on the bike. Don’t push into the red zone.
By the way, we did not see any meteors. We did see possum, raccoons, dogs, and several deer.
Wed: Rest! oh, and some "stretching." If you haven't checked out Pavel's Relax Into Stretch, you need to get it issued right away. It is a critical piece of gear for everyone's seabag.
You may ask, "why do I need this, I have been stretching since I was in grade school?"
You need this because everything you thought was correct is dead wrong. Yes, you can do the splits too! This book has immeasurably improved my quality of life.
Thursday: Swing: 32K x 50 Ride: 5 miles... Ok, here is the story: I set out this morning for a 20 mile spin before work, at about mile 2.5, something bounced off my helmet into one of the slats and began buzzing around. It got pissed off because it was stuck and stung me. I ripped off my helmet and got rid of the pest. The damage was done. I had no idea how my body would react to a sting as I haven't had the pleasure of a sting since I was about 4 yrs old. I turned around and sprinted home. Well, my head hurts in the vicinity of the sting.
If you have noticed, I haven't done too much this week. It is a taper week in preparation for an overnight 200K on Saturday/Sunday. It is important that I "save" some energy. I will be tired from staying up all night and riding, there is no reason to be prematurely exhausted!
Tonight I will do another stretching session in lieu of today's overly short ride.
This week is the second week of leg work although this week is more intense than last. I have neglected the legs since Feb or March and I believe it is a huge error. My thought was that I didn't want to over train my legs so that I was fresh for most of the rides. This worked fine I survived the rides and training. I have built a very solid base to build from. Now it is time to improve the foundation for future events and training.
Think about a tree trunk and the roots that support the tree. Both the roots and trunk support a tree. The bigger the roots, the bigger the trunk, the taller the tree will grow. It is similar to human. The stronger the roots (feet) and trunks (legs) the stronger you are able to become. I have good upper body strength that keeps improving and great leg strength for someone that weighs #150. The problem is that I weight #190. This makes running and cycling labor intensive.
Two options. First, loose 15 lbs. This would dramatically improve power but it wouldn't be very fun. My diet is already a little on the depressing side. Besides, I've been attempting this for more than a year and have succeeded to loose a large BF% but I also packed on lean muscle. YAY! In the end, my weight has been fairly consistent over this period with the loss of BF. Good to go! The second option is to get stronger. Ok, sounds good sarge, where do I sign?
Here you are Jonny:
Monday: VO2 Snatch: 16K 8s x 20/20 - this sucked in the last 3 sets...no grip 100% humidity. Ouch.
Wednesday: Swing 24K: 2x50 TGU: 5x5/5 - 24K Clean and press: 24K - 2x1,2,3,4, 3x1,2,3 - (harder than I remember...HMM...see below) Front Squat: 5x5 (getting better with the groove. Need to concentrate on the proper form) 1leg DL: 5x5/5 Swing: 24K: 2x50 (great hip snap)
The difficulty with the ladders in the press concerns me. I will ensure I do ladders and work my volume back up the appropriate levels. 3 rung is a good starting point. Move up late next week? I'm also considering doing ladders with the front squats too.