Sunday, May 3, 2009

So Find A Place As This Forever Divine

AM: 78.5 Miles, 3:52, Chester. Ct

Rode with the Team Exodus boys in what can only be described as a hellish day for me. The original plan was for a 5 hour jaunt but things changed when certain circumstances arose. The group was dwindled down to 4 when a couple of guys chose to go and do a small race. Additionally the weather forecast was not in our favor and we knew that at some point in our ride the skies would open (happened at 60 miles) so rather than do the 5 hour loop the guys decided to do a race replacement hard 80 mile loop. Connecticut is considered flat but believe me it is anything but. The entire ride was either up or down and I'm talking short, extremely steep, and ofttimes unpaved roads. Throw in lots of wind and you get the picture. The other three guys are all in racing season and all have cat 2 status so I knew I had it in for myself. I lasted until 68 miles before I cracked and lost the wheel. It was not a fitness issue, it was a wattage issue. My HR was pretty low and I was dropped on a long, gradual decent!

Here is my beef with the sport of cycling. I learned today that my strength is climbing. I have no trouble ascending the steepest roads and at times I would pull up the hill and not realize that I had a huge gap over the others. I was purposely slowing down so I would not look like a dick or some upstart showing off. However the same guys I drop on the climbs can drill me on long flat sections. Forget descending, these guys are like pros while despite getting better all the time I am still a little hairy on the sharp bends, especially when the roads are unpaved. Overall I am thrilled with the ride because I know I took it to the guys on the climbs but the fact that I cracked on the long run into town will play on my mind all week. Its just how I'm wired. Maybe I used too much energy bouncing up the hills? I don't think that is the issue though. I believe I do not have the power to ride 30 mph into a head wind. My legs crack when my HR is still below LT. I need to work on that aspect of riding because being good in the hills is well and good but if I can't handle the distance or the fast flat sections I will get eaten up and loose any advantage I have with climbing. Finally, I may have got my fuel wrong. I started getting cramps in my hammy and calf which I don't think is normal. I was literally stretching on the downhills.

Great, great week of training on the bike and today was a real boost in training. It was an exhausting ride and the guys said it was not far off a race effort. Not bad considering I have only been riding for 5 weeks and today was my longest of the season by 20 miles. Check out this picture of a wooden bike. Amazing.
The frame is made entirely out of wood. Pretty cool. As for running, some great results out at Stanford this weekend. Its fantastic that the 1500's are experiencing the same resurgence that the longer distances are. Wonderful running.

No music news today, really didn't listen to many sounds. Tomorrow is another day.

Peace and love,


  1. I like the modern wooden bike picture.

  2. You're a beast man. I'm struggling getting in 12 hours in 7 days and you just got 4 hours in one day. Keep it up!

  3. Reminds me of my summer '03 battles with duathlete champion Greg Watson. He come to Univ. of DE tempo runs and speed work, where I'd thrash him. I was getting ready for a half-ironman, so I was biking with him. He demolished me on the flats. It was like, "let's try some of my intervals" and he was gone on these 2 mi flat repeats at ~37-38mph, I still remember. Uphill on the bike, I could hang, but no hope on the flats. He'd say it was always just cycling specific muscles that were involved; just years of building the tissue for power in that specific little cranking motion. I was, and I think you are, more of a runner (!). I felt I was more fit, so I feel your frustration.

  4. hey kel,
    lets get those big gear grinding muscles going!!! thats an issue i had at the outset with your knee..low rpm, big gear rides. steady 60 mins at 53 * 13, 14,15....rpm at 65 to 75....use your 53 to climb uphill in 18,21 0r 23....hill sprints on rolling terrain, every hill u hit, hit it hard to the top and drive it over the top. and recover on the down hill for next hill.