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Jacksonville, FL, United States
In Life as well as in running the secret is Pace.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Southern Cross 2014

My heart is pounding in my chest…  I know that my heart rate must be in the 160s…  165 is redline…  I can feel the lactic acid building in my legs.  I look down at my Garmin…  it is set to display time and distance only…  it reads 16.8 miles.  This is a ~50 mile race…  I pedal for 5 or 10 more seconds then quickly dismount…  and walk and push my bike…  and wonder if I will be able to make it to the finish…
But I'm getting a little bit ahead of myself here…
We Headed North on Friday morning with a Subaru full of bike gear…
At one point I looked over next to us and saw this:
Just in case the picture isn't clear…  that's a bike with a propeller…  like you would see on an airboat, mounted on the back.  Hmmmm
We picked up my friend John @ the ATL and made our way to Gainesville where we stayed with the best aunt evah!
She put us up (and put up with us) for 3 nights…  bless her sweet heart
Saturday morning we got all kitted up and made our way over to Dahlonega for the race start.
We got lined up, once we figured out where the start line was..  and seeded ourselves about 2/3 of the way back.
The course starts with a Cyclocross course through the vineyard…  and with so many people trying to squeeze through it was slow going through there…
The next section was on blacktop road and I took the opportunity to move up a bit…  all too soon however we were on the gravel.  The first few miles were rolling and fun.  Just picking a good line on the doubletrack and keeping everything under control.  Not too different from a Tuesday night at Guana Park.
Then the climb started…  and that was okay…  now I'm a flatlander…  really flat… and came into the race about 8 lbs over race weight… but I was climbing okay at first…  which takes us back to the beginning of this post.  Walking and pushing…  which I did for about 8 minutes on the first climb.  Skinnier and I might have been able to ride it… a more relaxed gear ratio might have helped too…  but I had to race what I brought.  Walking brought my heartrate down and I was able to ride a bit more…  but up near the top it was really steep and I did walk again for a minute or two….  I still didn't know how I was going to cover the 32 miles that remained of the race but I really didn't have much time to think about it because….
The descent…  the one thing I really could not prepare for…  Climbing can be simulated but flying down a 12 percent grade of rutted, rocky, hairpin switchbacks cannot…  maybe watching Bode Miller at the Olympics helped…  I felt that "just on the edge of out of control" but at the same time I was feeling pretty good about myself for going as fast as I was going without crashing (meaning I was being brave)…  well that was until I started getting passed by all these folks with actual handling skills.
There was a road section in the middle of the race and as soon as I got there I sat up and just started breathing…  seemingly seconds later a rider comes past and taps me  on the shoulder and says "LETS GO!"  and so we did…  after picking up another rider… we killed the next 4 or 5 miles of rollers and passed many of the riders who passed me while I was either walking or making my way down the descent….
As soon as we hit the gravel again the road started going up again and I lost my friends almost immediately and did not even get a chance to say thanks.  The second climb was longer but more gradual which was *much* better for me.  I was able to stay in control of my heartrate and keep a steady pace.
The second descent was, if possible, faster, tighter, bumpier, more dangerous, and steeper.  I managed to white knuckle my way down it without mishap and with only a dozen or so real bike riders passing me…  this lead to the blacktop and my biggest mistake of the day.
This blog is titled "AllABoutPace" and when I'm running I am very cognizant of pace and what I can handle versus what I cannot…  put me on a bike however and that goes out the window…  especially in a race and even more so towards the end of a race.  I realized that I had just a few miles to go (to be at 50 miles) and about 30 minutes to break 4 hours… 
And I rode like a demon…  I recruited a couple of guys to ride with me and swap a few pulls…  and basically gave it everything I had…  and emptied the tank just as we turned into the winery and the dismount point came into view…
Yep… I forgot about the Cyclocross course that needed to be negotiated again… 
Whereas the course wasn't too hard when fresh and impeded by the pack…  now that I had been on the bike for 4 hours and killing it for the previous 25 minutes I just wanted to quit on the spot.  I didn't tho..  and trudge up this…
Yes those dots between the green and blue are people near the top…  it was long and it was steep.  Adding onto my woes I had left my bike in its largest gear which led me to slip my chain at the top… a few turns later I misjudged a corner, hit a stump, and went over my handlebars…  I finally finished in 4:14… tired, shaken, and totally cooked. 132nd out of ~250
Course profile:
In summation…
The climbs sucked, the descents sucked, there were no flat parts and the Cyclocross course dang near killed me.
But…  we had a great time and am looking forward to going back next year

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

After the rain

all winter it seems…  every time I get a chance to go outside in general…  and swing my leg over the top tube of a bike specifically…  it rains…  or is wet… 
well..  saturday I awoke once again to the sound of rain…  but as forecasted it did stop before I left home.
the roads were wet…  and it was a bit chilly but no rain…  and WINDY…  as in 25 MPH type winds…  and while it was a good ride…  and we had a good sized group…  60 or so…  when we turned into the headwind NOBODY wanted to pull…  but when we had the full on tailwind the group would stretch out single file going 30-32 on the flats… then two turns later headwind and 18 MPH three wide…
Sunday Funday…  after a quick ride on the trainer early the afternoon's activity was golf ..  in the Florida Sunshine…  good times
President's Day…  who knew we had this day of…  well i did not until about Wednesday of last week…  well we made the most of it by driving 80 miles west where we were treated to 78F temps (it was 65 or so here in Jax) and a two hour ride where we encountered less than 50 cars…  and a few miles of dirt roads to boot.
and now I've got a nice farmers tan going outside…  good vitamin D and peace of mind on the inside…
but wait there's more!  it's a short week…  and RACE week baby Here we come Southern Cross

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Harsh Reality x2

Starting with a tailwind   
I don't really notice
Just assume
I'm really that good
At least that is
Until the turnaround
When I face reality
And the headwind

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Words for Wednesday

"Dost thou love life?  Then do not squander time,
for that's the stuff life is made of."
―Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

the Tour of Sufferlandria

Well…  before we even started I thought it a good idea to go out and do the normal Saturday Group ride…  and normally I ride to and from the ride because…  well…  I see no good reason to bring a car into this:
Most of the guys who normally do the Saturday Lodge ride were either doing the road Race in Deland or the Ididaride (mountain bike race) in Lake City or just simply decided to stay indoors on this Belgium like day…  overcast, high 30s to low 40s with some rain thrown in…  we ended up with about 18 riders at our peak on a ride that boasts almost 100 on a sunny summer day…  of these 18 only 10 or so hung on for the whole ride and really on about 6 of us took regular turns… 
Well that taken care of…  a beer some lunch and a nap later we stared the Tour with a fitness test… 
Sufferfest Rubber Glove
If you are beginning to think that I'm stupid you are astute.
Basically a little warm-up, a few FTP intervals, then an all-out 20 minute test to help you calibrate your FTP
A piece of cake…  and my 20 minute "consistent" effort is laughable..  I was all over the place.
We had to get up early and knock this out before church…
I know…  a 12 hour turnaround from the "Rubber Glove"…ugh
Sufferfest ISLAGIATT
ISLAGIATT = "It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time"  yes aptly titled…  1:57 minutes….  I felt like a bus had hit me…  5 minutes into the workout I figured out how to turn down the target power to 90%... That is why the blue power profile is higher than my yellow actual output… and that is why I survived
I took a nice nap and really didn't feel like playing golf in the afternoon… but I did…
We slept in on Monday morning and opted to do the Monday stage after work… It was a good choice because I think this was the hardest cardio workout of the week… after the second interval I really didn't think that I would be able to complete it.
Sufferfest Revolver
Another quick turnaround because Tuesday is Guana ride day so we did the stage before work.  Since I felt pretty beaten up by this point and I really didn't want to get shelled by the first accelerations by the group at Guana..,.  I turned my FTP down a few notches to give me a bit of a tempoish ride instead of a threshold ride… 
Sufferfest Hell Hath No Fury
Only 3 of us showed…  the other two are better riders than I…  yet we all rode down together at a nice tempo… then... on the way back in the cold rain my rear tire blew… seven miles from my car..  blowing out the sidewall of my tire in the process… so I had to pedal back with a flat alone (the guys did wait on me at the cars)
Started with an unscheduled recovery spin in the morning…  nice and easy
The actual workout was a double…which we did after work... yay!
I was feeling a bit better by Thursday and had turned my FTP back up a bit… I also think that this was my favorite video and workout…  I pretty much nailed it
Doubleshot again on Friday… only this time we split them one in the AM and one in the PM
An hour each of mostly climbing…  I was trying to save energy for Saturday
Once again I dug a nice hole for myself by doing 63 miles on the road
I took my pulls…  even contested the sprint…  but followed wheels a little more than usual.
As the name indicates and the profile backs up the Blender workout is a little bit of everything mashed into an hour and 45 minutes… Oddly I felt pretty good for this one…
The Coup de grĂ¢ce
Basically an hour of intervals…  some hard…  some a bit easier…  and one set where I blew up halfway through and just drooled and gasped as I missed 3 intervals in a row…
We finished just in time to shower and turn on the Super Bowl

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

January - Consistency

56 hours of cycling
6.5 hours of strength and mobility
A couple of runs
That breaks out to about 16 hours a week.
And 13ish hours a week on the bike
A solid base to build on.
I will say this for - I like the graphs