Monday, September 27, 2010

Training tribulations, Ring of Fire wrap-up

Monday, September 27

I’ve gotten myself into a bit of a training conundrum. I’m signed up to do a double century on the bike on October 16 and a 10K run the weekend after. Normally this is a good time of year for a longer run because you can let the bike miles slide. The challenge here is to keep up the bike miles and climbing (there’s probably 15,000 feet of elevation in this double) and to ramp up both speed and distance in my running (I run--pretty slowly--a couple times each week to help preserve bone density).

There are the days before and after the ride that I should rest and therefore cannot be doing a nice, long prerace run. There are other conflicts, like a team meeting and related hoopla, that fill most of a weekend training day. And then there’s the wild card of the weather, which can make a 100-mile training ride seem mighty unnice if you try to actually schedule it into your training plan. Oh yeah, and it’s the time of year to start hitting the weights in the gym again.

There are other conflicts too, like the fact that I should spend every dry waking hour painting the house. Or two evening meetings. Or the fact that I refuse to get up in the morning at an hour that starts with a 4 to train. Or the fact that the city DOT closed a key arterial on my shortest route to work so that I cannot spend more of my prework time training instead of commuting.

I think I need to discover how to chart the dimension of time because right now my two-dimensional training schedule is pretty full. How do I access the 3D version of the spreadsheet?

Ring of Fire Wrap-up: It was good. I had my nutrition dialed in, talked myself out of skipping one installment in the interest of time, and had a minor meltdown (ALWAYS carry a spare gel in your pocket!) that utterly demoralized me (funny how lack of food and water plays with your brain!) for about 90 minutes. But it was a perfect day in a gorgeous location and I was on my bike. Best part of the night shift (supporting the 24-hour racers) was an 8-inch telescope brought by the wife of one of the 24s. I got to see Jupiter and 4 of its moons in all their glory while they were the closest to earth they’ll be in a long time, plus we saw the nebula that is the sword on Orion’s belt and the Andromeda galaxy. Yeah, it’s dark in Maupin at night!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Shrine, meet fiery ring

Thursday, 9 September

What serendipitously coincidental timing for the blog Muse to visit! Last post: ultra race failure. This post: next ultra race coming up.

Saturday is this year’s incarnation of the Ring of Fire 6/12/24 hour time trial. As ever, I’ll be pushing my envelope with the 12-hour version. There’s been virtually no specific training or planning for this event (OK, 6 rides over 100 miles in 2 months would be most people’s idea of ultra training), so I guess I am relying on the shrine to the ultra gods (see previous post) to propel me to the finish. I have tended it faithfully over the summer and offered up various tokens (4 championship medals and other trinkets) in the hope of keeping them happy.

Last year’s ROF featured temps over 100 degrees; this year we’ll be lucky to see 70—and lucky not to see 35. I’ll want heated water bottles, not frozen ones. I started piling up food to take and thought, “really, how much do you need for just 12 hours?” I can’t eat two bars every hour for 12 hours; I can only drink so much protein/energy drink; electrolyte drinks get to be icky after about 4-5 hours. So I bought a couple Cokes, a 6-pack of Oreos, and a bag of Ritz Bits Made With Real Peanut Butter. Throw in some grapes and pretzels, and that should be good. Beer and sweet potato fries come after (as soon as) I get off the bike. I don’t plan to follow the Mick Walsh Nutrition Plan (150 miles on 0 calories) but there’s no point in packing a 4-course lunch, either.

The other competitors in my division are (so far) two: Karen Armstrong, climber extraordinaire and amazing ultra cyclist (I’ve already said my goodbyes to my course record here), and Beatrix Kiddo. Since there are no bike racers in the WSBA or OBRA membership databases with that name, I guess it really must be her. I think I’ll schedule a pee stop deep in the woods and out of sight when she’s about to pass me.

Mostly I’m hoping to slay the demons still bedeviling me from last year’s fail at ROF and this year’s bad luck at Lewis and Clark. Extras would be beating my old course record (even if Karen beats it by a lot more) and the glorious views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, and the Columbia Plateau. And lots of great camaraderie, which I know I can count on above all else.

And as if an ultra race isn’t a geeky enough thing for one weekend, the day after my race I get to go to the Wool Gathering. If you find a knitted hat in your mailbox in the next few months, it’s probably because I couldn’t resist buying more yarn than I knew what to do with.