Hell and back?

I posted on Facebook on Saturday that I had been to hell and back.   After I posted it I sort of regretted it.  My ride that day was hell but not like the hell that my friend Katie goes through every time she has a round of chemo.  THAT IS HELL.  This just felt like hell at the time.

Backing up a little bit, this weekend I was due to run with the marathon group and do another 100 miler (my 4th since Leadville).  I also got an invite to a skybox at the bears game on Sunday.  How was I going to fit it all in?  As much as I did and re-did the math in my head there was no way I was going to be able to do the ride on Sunday before the game.  So after the run group, I went home to get ready for a late start 100 mile bike ride.  I’m not sure if it was because I was on my own or if it was because it was so late or if it was the weather but I just did not want to go on this ride.  I lay down on the bed and tried to rest.  Finally after a plea for motivation on Facebook I got up and put my cycling gear on and organized my food and drink.  I had originally planned on driving to Highland Park and doing 2 50 mile loops out there.  As it was so late I decided to leave from the house, hit the North Branch Trail and do a loop up at Highland Park, refueling at the VQ there.  I typically don’t like riding from the house because you can’t get a good pace going with all the stops and starts for lights, stop signs, getting lost and crossing over roads as part of the trail.  The North Branch Trail is pretty windy.

The first 3rd of my ride took me to VQ, Highland Park.  I felt decent, it took me longer than it should have due to city traffic and stops and starts on the trail.  I used the facilities and loaded up on water.  I set off for the 2nd 3rd of my journey borrowing off of routes that I’ve done with the group.  Some nice flat stretches where I could finally get some good time in aero. The whole time I was looking at the skies the forecast had said rain at 4:30.  Well sure enough about half way through the sky’s open up.  I stopped and put my rain jacket it on but the rain was so hard that it didn’t help much.  My shoes were filling with water.   I kept going, trying to reach my half way point before turning back but felt a little insecure as I was riding with no lights in bad rain on a busy road.  On my way back I opted for the path which would lead me back East to connect with another path.  Unfortunately I forgot that this first path was partially gravel.  I was being pelleted by small grains of gravel; you might say my legs were having a micro-dermabrasion treatment.  It did stop raining and again I was able to get some good miles on the way back towards VQ.  As I passed the turn off to VQ I decided to keep going.  If I needed more water I would stop at a gas station.  Well not a few minutes later the sky’s opened up once again.  I pulled up under a bridge and pulled out my phone and answered a couple of texts.  People telling me to stay safe.  AT that time it was thundering and lightening.  I proceeded to get back on my bike as it let off a bit and headed south towards the botanical gardens.    I stopped in at a gas station at the corner of highway hell and nowhere as the rains came down in torrents.

Standing at the gas station waiting for rain to stop

Standing at the gas station waiting for rain to stop

I stood there hoping it would pass; getting a few sympathy looks and comments from people pulling up in their nice warm DRY cars, I secretly was hoping that someone would offer me a lift.  Yes it was that bad that I would get in a car with a stranger, even the bald buy in the big jeep. Well about 30 minutes later I was still there and starting to get cold.  Finally I had enough of waiting and started off again.  Cold, wet and miserable it continued to rain.  I made my way on a particularly rough patch of sidewalk (near the highway turn offs) to get to the gardens where I would connect with the North Branch Trail again.  My last 3rd, I was moaning and groaning in sheer misery.  My hands felt frozen as I held my bike tight to control it over the sidewalks and through the rain.  Finally it stopped once again.  On the North Branch Trail, although it stopped raining I had the aftermath to deal with.  There was a ton of debris all over the path.  Big branches and multiple chestnuts were strewn all over.  It was a nightmare to navigate my tri bike through it.  How I wished I had my mountain bike I tell you!  The rain also brought out all the animals from the woods.  I felt like I was in a Mary Poppins movie.  As I rode along birds bathing would fly away from my path.

chestnuts

chestnuts

logs

logs

random animals

random animals

more debris

more debris

Bunny rabbits and squirrels were having a hay day.  Then I came upon a pack (?) of deer!  There were many of them and all very close to the edge of the path.  I slowed down and proceeded with caution.  I know they know that I killed one of their own earlier in the season with the car!  I was shocked at how many there were and how they just all came out of the woods.    Of course as I make my way down the path the rain started again.  At that point the jacket was still on and I just had to put my head down and bear with it.  In the meantime as all this was going on my Dexcom was buzzing up a storm with low blood sugars.  I was yelling and screaming at that thing like there was no tomorrow.  I began to treat it like a contest, as if this inanimate object can feel I got great pleasure out of how long I could ignore it without taking it out and turning off the alarm… oh yes that is right little dex I have the mental will power of a ?? what?  Dandelion? I beat you! Ha! See readings – dexcom 10513

I finally got to the end of the path where I was going to finish 10 miles on the road.  And of course due to the waiting around it was going to get dark.  I had no lights.  I just kept going.  I finally turned on to Irving Park with 3 miles to go.  There is no bike lane here and it was officially dark.  I proceeded making my way through the Saturday night hustle and bustle.  It me in my soaking wet lycra versus the ladies in cabs with their high heels and curled hair.  The final straw was that it rained one last time as I was about 1.5 miles from home.  Sure why not!  86 miles later, I got in to the garage and peeled off my soaking clothes and immediately hopped into a hot shower.  I couldn’t even talk.  I wanted a hot shower and a drink badly!  An hour later we were out having big beers to see fellow triathlete appear in a comedy show – the blackout diaries… hilarious!!

IMG_2402

So if it rains during ironman Arizona or if I have to navigate debris I should be all set. I dug deep.

This week is crazy work week and luckily a cut back week woo hoo !!! Only two hours on the bike on Saturday and a 5 mile run on Sunday WHILE I get to watch my marathoners compete in the Chicago marathon!!! Good luck to them all.  I know I posted this pic already but I love it.

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Finally a big congrats to Dan Jackson and Jill Farnham of our marathon group who ran this past weekend!!! In Dan’s words.. woo hooo!

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Dirty little secret and my open water swim

13419525031401066719Happy VW Beetle.svg.medI have a secret.  As you may know I am an avid bike commuter.  I bike 12 months of the year.  Well, my secret is that sometimes when ironman training gets tough and work hours are long I drive to work.  That is right, I am fossil fuel sucking, carbon footprint making driver.  It doesn’t happen often but on days like last Monday after a huge weekend (20 mile run, swim, 100 mile bike) the thought of getting on my bike at 5:45 in the morning to go to swimming when its still dark and i’m tired and sore just about kills me.  I run at night so don’t need to worry about being in traffic and it is the only time that it is actually quicker than biking.  The best part is I get my coffee!  When I can, I try to carpool with my neighbor who leaves for the loop at 5:2o in the morning a few days a week.  Today I only rode 50 miles so rest assured I’ll be riding to swim tomorrow morning at the ass crack of dawn … wait not even dawn – better get the helmet light on!

The open water swim pain cave.

Last Friday a few of the trimonsters gathered for a swim down at Ohio st. beach.  We met at 7:30 and planned to swim to North Avenue and back… about 2.6 miles or so.  I’m pretty calm but I can always feel my nerves hit my stomach as I get to the beach.  We put our wetsuits on and head into the chill which isn’t actually painful until you actually let the cold water into your wetsuit.  I get into the water and take a stroke my heart pounds and I immediately want to run back to the beach and forget that ironman even exists. As I talk myself out of running back I slowly get into a rythym.  Once we get to the 1/2 mile mark where the breakwater ends the waves start to get bigger.  I feel like an old sock in a washing machine.  With each breath I take I hope and pray that as I gasp for air a wave doesn’t hit me the wrong way and cause me to choke.  By the time I get to the wall between North and Oak St. the waves are pushing me in what seems every direction but the direction I want to go in.  Every now and again I lift my head to make sure I’m actually making  progress. Not only am I hit by waves of water I’m also hit by waves of anxiety.  I start to question why I’m even out there, I go into some very dark places in my head and want to quit.  A couple of years ago I had a bad experience where I had to be saved and carried to shore by  another swimmer due to me choking on a wave.  I find myself stopping quite often to cough out water and to make sure that i’m still able to breath.    I have to say that I have a pretty high tolerance for pain and can usually will myself through anything but when it comes swimming in wavy choppy water I am actually afraid. In general I’m not afraid of water and love the ocean but here I was afraid. I see Coach Chris who had climbed up on the shore to look for us.  One of the swimmers (Dave) had already turned back, I swam up to the ladder and decided to get out.    April and Steve followed.  We walked down to Oak St. beach to complete our swim back to Ohio St. Beach.  I don’t feel bad because I look at the water with its dark choppy waves and I  realize that for today it controlled me and for that reason I let it win.  The following day was a beautiful sunny fall day and I decided that after my run I’d give myself another chance.  I even went in without the protection of my floaty wetsuit.  September 28th and I went into lake Michigan in my bathing suit and had an amazing albeit chilly 1 mile swim.  Win!!!

Beautiful warm day at Ohio St. Beach.  The water was stil cold!

Beautiful warm day at Ohio St. Beach. The water was stili cold!

The rest of the weekend training was pretty low key with a 13 mile run on Saturday and a 50 mile bike ride on Sunday in Highland Park.  The weather was perfect!  The 13 mile run was pretty tough because I had already ran 5 times in 6 days including a 20 miler the week before.  All that running and the cumulative effect of all my other workouts took there toll.  Luckily I have my FFC runmonsters that I coach on Saturday mornings which always give me a boost.  Here we all are on the jetty at North Avenue beach before the run. Look how lucky we are to get to run with this as a backdrop!

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The next few weeks will be a challenge as training and work are both amping up. But I’m up for it!

 

 

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Stop and Start

IMG_2369The question has come up lately about whether or not to stop your watch during a workout.  For instance at a rest stop during a bike ride do you stop your watch?  Or at a stop light while running do you stop your watch?  I do not to stop my watch.  I figure if you are stopped, you get to rest a bit which means that you can ride/ run harder when you get going again.  The more you stop the easier the “moving” part of the workout is. So stopping your watch you are really not getting as accurate a pace as you might otherwise have if you were to be moving without stopping.  Not only that there is the problem of forgetting to restart it. Tonight I went for a run and I thought what the heck let me try stopping the watch at redlights. Sure enough the first redlight I come to I stop the watch and forget to restart it…. ugh.  Luckily I hit another redlight and realized I had not started the watch again.  Lesson learned.. just keep the watch going.

What do you think ?  Keep it going or stop it.

Tonights Run

After weekend ride. 105 miles done!

After weekend ride. 105 miles done!

Tonights run was tough.  I have just come off of a weekend which included a 20 mile run, 1/2 mile swim and 105 miles on the bike. Then Monday I swam 2000 yards, ran another 4.5 miles with the marathon group I coach followed by a social outing with the group.  Luckily I worked from home today so got to sleep in for the first time in a while.  By sleep in I mean I got up at 7am not 5am.  My coach had an “aerobic run test” scheduled.  I was cursing him as I started my 15 minute warm up.  But to his credit I did sneak in the 20 mile run which was probably more than I should have done.  My calves were burning the whole warm up.  I arrived at the park I chose to do my test and tried to stretch out a bit.  I had chosen a new route which took me West to a big park (Horner Park in Chicago) that had a loop of about .4 miles.  It was a nice change of pace and there is definitely something to be said for new scenery!  There was plenty of things going on in the park to keep me entertained.  My test was to do 2 miles at 140 bpm heart rate followed by 2 miles at 160 bpm heart rate all continuous.  Luckily my calves and legs had loosened up.  I was pretty happy with my results although I may have pushed it to hard on the last mile which was 7:09! http://connect.garmin.com/activity/380937575  I just kept thinking of making my coach proud and of this video I had watched earlier in the day.  Motivating Video

I saved my run and my blood sugar with a couple of blocks.  I had been proud of myself because I had remembered to reduce my basil an hour before i left for the run. But still it dropped about 20 minutes or so in… grrrr.  I feel like I tell my dex to shut up a lot.  It plays an annoying tune with my blood sugar is rising fast or falling fast.

The blood sugar roller coaster.

The blood sugar roller coaster.

Speaking of blocks I have a terrible habit (ask Tom) of starting to new pack of blocks every workout so I end up with several packs of opened blocks with 2-3 left in it.  So tonight I cut the ends off 3 packs and put them in my pocket.  I still didn’t manage to finish 1 of them and now have 3 open packs with 1-2 left….Am I  the only one who does this?

Open block problem

Open block problem

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Leadville training weeks ?

I am here.

I've arrived

I’ve arrived

I arrived in Leadville today.  It seems like the last month has been a whirlwind.  This is it.  This is the true test.  I’m not going to spend a lot of time rehashing the past but I will just provide some hi-lights since it is important to know the whole journey.

My next big event after base camp in May was a 100 mile mountain bike race on June 6th.  It was 10 x 10 mile loops near Green Bay called Stump Farm.  I came in 2nd in my age group out of 2.  It took me 10 hours and 30 minutes.  Yes, I spent over 10 hours on my mountain bike.  It was not as technical as the Greenbush 100 miler I attempted in May.  But there were some tough sections, especially between miles 6-8 where it was like riding on a wash board – very tough on the body.  My dexcom fell out about 4 hours into the race so tested the rest… I calculated that I consumed about 36G carbs per hour.  I used UCAN in my bottle but also ate a variety of bars and blocks. I didn’t reduce my basil and basically tested at about 100 every few hours… I was quite pleased with the race and my blood sugars.  As much as I think UCAN probably works I’m not sold on it, I wish it had different flavors. I will say I had a couple of mechanicals… chain suck where I had to spend some time trying to wrench my chain out of the derailleur. I finished, collected my medal washed up and got in the car to drive home.  Unfortunately on my way home I hit a deer. I had never killed anything before it was very upsetting.  Not only that Tom’s car was wrecked.  I had to get towed all the way from Sheboygan, WI to home a $600 tab.  I got home at about 2am absolutely exhausted. We had planned on doing the Tour de Cure Chicago on Sunday but without a car we decided to not go.  The race was a great confidence booster knowing that I had spent over 10 hours in the saddle on rough terrain and finished 100 miles.

The next weekend was the Horribly Hilly Hundred a ride that started in Blue Mounds State Park, Wisconsin.  We (VQ’ers) were told to do the ride on our road bikes rather than our mountain bikes because doing so on the mtn bike would be too hard.  We were told that if we could do the HHH then we could do Leadville.  It was 10,000 feet of climbing over  200 K. I finished in about 10 hours.  So add 20% for altitude and that puts me at 12 hours for Leadville. Just in time to get a buckle.  My plan was to practice my nutrition and I had filled my camel back with enough food for the whole ride but ended up munching at the aid stations, having sandwiches, pickles, chips and other goodies. Again it was another confidence builder considering I had a crazy work week, dealing with the disappearance of the Team WILD founder Mari Ruddy and arriving at my hotel on Friday night only to find out that they had given my room away.  I slept in their back room behind the check in desk.  I did the ride on very little rest.  My carbs per hour were about 40 g/hour again no basil decrease and a couple of mini boluses.  Another dexcom fail due to disorganization, I heard the monitor beeping in my car in the morning but for the life of me I couldn’t find it… knowing I hadn’t lost it and that time was ticking I went again sans dexcom, very annoying.

That week I left for Camp WILD (WE INSPIRE LIFE WITH DIABETES).  This was the same group that I had done IM Wisconsin with.  This time I was helping to coach a group of athletes ranging in all ages and abilities.  It was bitter sweet to arrive given the news that Mari, the founder had been found and had tried to take her life with the very drug that keeps us alive.  Insulin.   I had made the decision to drive to Colorado given that I  was going to be there for 2 ½ weeks and had to transport my mountain bike.  So I packed the bug up after work on June 18th and said a teary good bye to Tom and Ruby.  The drive was pretty brutal it was 2 am before I  got to the hotel I had booked in Nebraska.  I’m  pretty sure there were some points where I actually may have closed my eyes.  I slept in my room for 3 ½ hours in order to get up early enough to make it to Boulder in time for the camp start.  Let’s just say that there was lots of caffeinated beverages drank.  I arrived in Boulder as did the athletes.  I won’t go into the camp in this post because it would take too long.  There are lots of great pictures and experiences to share let’s just say that it was a very powerful and emotional experience.  I was completely and utterly honored to have been in the company and to be given the chance to help these other T1 diabetic athletes.  It was an amazing experience. Many friendships were forged in those 5 days of camp.

camp wild coach and athletes

We were lucky to have Allen Lim give the opening speech to camp.  I had seen him speak in the past at Vision Quest.  I could seriously listen to him speak all day long.  He is so insightful about nutrition and athletics.  I have learned two valuable lessons from each of the times that I have heard him speak.  The first time he spoke about the word “should” and how it shouldn’t be part of an athlete’s vocabulary.  You should never say “I should ride in the morning” either do or don’t.  This last time we learned to “Trust the Struggle”  where he spoke of elite athletes who when training don’t look nearly as in control as they do in races… they are struggling and look a mess just like you and me! Trust that the struggle will make you stronger.  This alone has stuck with me throughout this trip especially in light of my recent doubts regarding the Leadville race.  Allen wrote this recent blog which I thought was amazing: – http://bit.ly/TrustTheStruggle .  Also if you haven’t seen his cookbook for athletes, get it.  He is a big believer in eating real food vs. bars and gels etc.  http://www.skratchlabs.com/collections/food/products/feed-zone-portables

While we were in Boulder Chris Navin (who also was one of the coaches) and I did a couple of rides.  Chris had picked one of the hardest climbs in Boulder to do (of course).  According to the website if you are going to climb anything in Boulder climb Flagstaff.  So we woke up early one morning got on our rented road bikes and headed out to the climb.  Starting at 5,000 feet the ride took us up to 7,500 in just over 4 miles.  We both were heaving at the top and felt light headed with the elevation.  The grades near the end got pretty tough. Of course he was whipping up and down and riding circles around me.

flagstaff climb with chris

The next ride took me up four mile canyon.  This one I did on my mountain bike, a bit easier with the mountain bike gears.  It was about 3,700 feet of climbing in 2 hours.  On the way up there was a teeny tiny town where I stopped t o take a few snaps. I also caught a deer staring me down and I thought for sure this was a relative of the deer I killed and he was going to charge me!

four mile canyon church sign

On the second to last day of camp I was to help out on the trail run.  I left the trail run experts to run ahead and I stuck behind for a slower group and ran back and fourth a bit.  Well, apparently you can’t run as fast on trails.  I fell, and fell hard.  My knee was heavily bleeding.  scuffed kneeI continued the hike/ run with a couple of the athletes only feeling the bleeding knee.  By the time I got back to camp and the adrenaline was gone I realized I couldn’t move my arm.  My shoulder was in a great deal of pain, so much so that I contemplated going to have it checked out.  This did not sit well given that I had Leadville camp in a couple of weeks.  I dressed my bleeding wounds, drugged up on ibuprofen and went to bed.   By the morning it felt slightly better but really for the following  week I wasn’t able to put much pressure on it.    I was able to ride however getting on and off the bike wasn’t easy. I had also bruised my toenails! trail run toes boulder

breck 100

Breck 100 loop 2

I was able to ride, however getting on and off the bike wasn’t easy.  I rode the flagstaff ride again, hit Marshall Mesa  a mountain biking trail system outside of Boulder this was the first time I had been on trails in a while and was definitely an awakening as I realized once again the difficulty of trails over road.  I then headed out with Tony, Karen Lipinsky’s man on Friday night on the Betasso Trail.

Betasso!

Betasso!

This is where everything turned to shit.  It was more technical than anything I had been on lately. Tony zipped up the rocks with no problems where I walked.  On one of the descents I lost control on a curve and crashed into a very large tombstone type rock.  My handle bars went one way and my wheel went the other, my grips also broke and I landed on the same arm that was finally feeling better.  This certainly didn’t help my fears and doubts any.  The rest of the ride went ok.  The next morning Tony arranged for a few of his friends to come with me to Breckenridge where we were going to ride part of the Breckenridge 100 mountain bike race.  We left Boulder at 7am and started on the trail at 10am.  I started off with a steep switch back incline. I started to think that I was in serious trouble.  It just went up and up and up.  Long story short I was very cautious on some of the steep rocky downhills and had to walk up some of the 18% plus grade rocky sections, the hills didn’t really bother me , just the technical rock garden stuff.  We ended up riding 5 ½ hours and covered only 32 miles.  We had planned on 68 we just ran out of time. I really started to wonder what the hell I was doing.  I know I have had doubts in the past but this time I really was questioning if I should even do this race.I didn’t eat too much on this ride which meant I lugged around a few pounds of bars for nothing!  With so many ups and downs it was hard to get a chance. After I got back, I emailed my coach who assured me that Leadville was not as technical as Breckenridge.  Whew!

From Breckenridge I headed to Vail where I was staying with my friend Clare from Chicago.  She had moved to Vail from Chicago… lucky girl.  Let me say, that I LOVE Colorado.    I arrived at Clare’s which was a pretty chalet type house sitting on the side of a mountain.

Clare's View

Clare’s View

I worked from her front room looking onto mountains with a nice breeze coming in the window.  Clare’s dog Beacon had had some surgery and the poor thing was wearing a cone.  Spending time at Clare’s was the much needed escape from biking that I needed.   The day after I arrived we went on a hike with a few of her friends.  We hiked for 2 ½ hours and climbed 2,500 feet.  The best part was that enjoyed an amazing buffet brunch at the top and got to take a gondola down!  On the hike we saw some pretty amazing scenery.

Poor Beacon.

Poor Beacon.

vail hike girls

Like living in a painting.

brunch reward after hike

The rewards of the hike!

The next day we worked then went to the local amphitheatre where the Dallas Symphony Orchestra played Beethoven’s 5th.  We packed some great snacks and drank sparkling rose out of champagne glasses.  It was fabulous and just what the doctor ordered!

Enjoying some sparkling rose! Listening to Beethoven's 5th and eating!

Enjoying some sparkling rose! Listening to Beethoven’s 5th and eating!

We both had some pretty long days of work and just laid low the rest of the time.  I didn’t get on my bike once.

This brings me to today.  Today I arrived in Leadville.  After a short ride on the Mineral Belt Trail I noticed my shoulder was quite painful.  The ride is pretty and got the blood flowing.   The trail was interesting and had historical points of interest telling the story of the old Leadville mining days in the 1900’s.  You could really get a sense of what I must have been like back then.  After the trail I stopped to get some pizza and explored the town a bit.  I can’t wait to hit the main street tomorrow, it seriously looks like something from the wild wild west.      LOVE IT!!!

Wild West?

Wild West?

Posted in Coaching, Diabetes Education, Food, Leadville, Motivation, Race nutrition, Training, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

TOUR DE UCAN

No this isn’t a race.   The name of the post signifies my experiment with  UCAN this weekend. I did two completely different rides and had two completely different results.  I found it pretty interesting to see the difference they had on my blood sugar levels.

On Saturday I drove out to Lake Geneva where some CAMBR (Chicago area mountain bikers) were doing a road trip to a place called Green Canopy Tours.  I was itching to do some real mountain biking versus riding on the road with my mountain bike.  Since the Chicago local trails and Kettle Moraine were closed again due to rain I jumped at that chance.  It was also a nice late 10am start J.  I got up at 7am (so luxurious) and ate a full breakfast with a full bolus.  I reduced my basil to 85% at about 9am.

I also planned on trying out the UCAN product on my rides.  So I put a full packet in my water bottle at 28g of carbs.  I made it a point throughout the ride to not snack on anything else which might skew the results.  I did have some skratch labs electrolyte mix in my camelback though, but there isn’t too much sugar in skratch and I wasn’t drinking it full strength so it shouldn’t really have had an impact.

I had no idea what to expect from this place or how long the laps were.  As it turns out the laps were very short but very technical.  Not in a rocky or rooty way but from a hairpin turn and steep climb way.  My adrenaline was through the roof and my heartrate was through the roof.  The pace was  very slow,  in fact I ended up doing all of 16 miles the entire day. I didn’t take any major risks and go off my bike where I thought necessary.  There was one section called the “beer mug” which was treaturious (at least in my eyes)  it had ups and downs that were pretty much vertically straight down… um no thanks.  I did try doing one but ended up in the bushes on my back with the bike upside down. In fact one of the guys actually broke his knee cap during our ride of this section. It happened right in front of me I saw his knees go down on some hard rock.  I on the other hand was left with a bunch of bruises all over my legs.  Now I remember why I quit mountain biking!! So much for summer skirts!  It was good practice on the mountain bike though.  I definitely felt tired and sore at the end of the day. ( about 3 hours).  To get an idea of what it was like you can click here:  Saturday Ride

The next day I was subbing at a computrainer class while everyone else was doing Leons triathlon at Wolf Lake – so my ride was indoors, I didn’t mind at all since the temperatures had plummeted yet again.  I did the door county half ironman course. I started off with the same breakfast and  I rode for about 3 hours consuming 2 packets of UCAN this time I didn’t decrease my basil.  There were a couple of times where I was dipping a bit low so reduced the basil a little later.  I then followed up that ride with an hour and half outdoors on the mountain bike.  It was so cold I had to put on my leg warmers and stop part way through to put an extra layer on!  Crazy stupid wet cold weather!

Here are my readings for the two days:  UCAN WEEKEND_1

As you can see by the attached charts of day 1 and day 2 the adrenaline on day 1 caused a huge spike in blood sugars where as on day 2 with 3 hours at a steady state my blood sugars remained relatively flat.  I also made it a point not to eat anything else on day 2.  I managed through the 3 hours without eating but I have to tell you when I got off that bike all I could think about was eating my MOJO bar.  Nothing ever tasted so good!

I used the pomegranate flavor mix and didn’t really mind the taste.  I never really have an aversion to any of those sort of drinks/gu’s or blocks.  I  did have a bit of an upset tummy later on that day and am not sure if it was UCAN related or not.  To put it bluntly there was a lot of gas.

I also used the post exercise recovery powder which has 33 g of carbs.  It was chocolate flavored again it was fairly tasty and went down ok.  I had one in the car on the way home on Saturday and one when I got home on Sunday.  It was hard to tell on Saturday how I reacted because my blood sugars were so f’d up but on Sunday it seemed to not have an impact which was nice.

I will try the product out again this coming weekend which will involve a 100 mile race and the Tour De Cure!  I love doing the Tour de  Cure for reasons described in my post here: Red Rider. This year Tom and I are doing the 62 miles.  It also is based out of a local craft brewery this year!  Yay!  Two Brothers here we come!  If you are feeling generous here is my donation page. Gillians Donations

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Perfect storm for procrastination

Perfect-Storm-in-Social-Network-acceptanceIt was one of those days today. It went from getting up at 7 to drive to Indiana to do some single track to getting up much later and riding out to botancal gardens and back.

The perfect storm was:

  1. Going out on Friday night.  It wasn’t a late night by any means but late enough to be an excuse.
  2. Palos, the local single track trails was closed yet again because of the rain during the week / hence the Indiana fall back plan.
  3. It was cold and shitty out.
  4. I was getting over a cold.
  5. I had never been to the trails in Indiana.
  6. I wasn’t meeting anyone and didn’t have any particular time line.
  7. Stepping out my door and riding vs. driving an hour to ride to another hour to drive home seemed so much simpler.

My previous post mentioned that I could finally put my winter bike gear away.  Well mother nature really made me choke on those words.  Today I went out complete with leg warmers, full shoe covers, head band, mid-weight winter gloves and mid-weight fleece lined jacket.  Seriously!!!!

Well, although it took me a while to get out I had a great ride.  Over 4 hours and 54 miles.
After being on the road all last weekend it was nice to get on some trails in the north branch trail.. although I ended up venturing out into some unknown territory which not only made me back track more than once but also made me feel a little uncomfortable and some points.  Once single track offshoot I rode on took me down a path where a large man was walking the opposite direction, he smiled and I smiled. As I was riding away I coudn’t help but think this man could put a knife/a bullet / a dart in my back right now, not sure why I got freaked out.  I kept riding and got to a fallen tree, thinking oh great he’s going to catch up with me or i’m going to have to go back where he will be hiding in the bushes to get me.  Not wanting to back track I lifted the bike over the tree and crawled underneath.  I could hear traffic so I thought surely I had reached one of the underpasses or overpass.. no such luck it was the highway and a deadend.  I HAD to go back.  Luckily I didn’t run into the man again. 🙂

It was a great ride, I had gread blood sugars.  I was sort of testing myself out by not overeating.  I had 2 litres of water with about 4 scoops of skratch and a sleeve of shotblocks.  Over all my bg’s were within 100-150 the entire time.  You could see the increase each time I had a couple of blocks.  Interesting.

So I guess my point is sometimes plans fall through.  That is ok the trails in Indiana will still be there.  I still got a good ride in once I got going.

Tomorrow I’m riding indoors for the first time in a while, subbing at FFC computrainer.  The plan is to do a good hilly course!

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Leadville training weeks 8-10 – flatlanders unite

LT100MTBProfile

Although it looks like my average day blood sugars the above picture is the elevation changes of the leadville mountain bike race.  I try not to look at this too much.  Depending on what minute (yes minute) of the day how I feel about Leadville goes from no chance to a slim chance.  I have definitely put in some good hard training these last few weeks.  The weather has still been a big factor in training as any of the decent mountain biking trails have been closed most weekends.  Last week and weekend was great and I think I can finally put my winter biking gear away, however these last few days we’ve had some large amounts of rain which has closed the trails again.  Hopefully by the weekend they’ll be back up and running. And although I can’t talk about it right now I’ve had some really bad news this week which has also made me a little upset and unmotivated.

 WEEK 8 – ADDING SOME DISTANCE

Week 8 I added in a mid-week long ride with some gravel and single track, a high intensity group ride and ended the week with a 62 mile ride on the Des Plaines river trail, again nothing much in the way of climbing.  The high intensity ride left me discouraged due to the fact that during the intervals I couldn’t keep up on the last one but that might have been because I was riding my heavy commuter bike with the rack while everyone else had carbon road bikes :).  The following day at the long trail ride I was encouraged again since I was able to pull a few folks most of the way home. It’s an emotional roller coaster.

WEEK 9 – WEMS 100 MILE RACE (55 MILES IN MY CASE) AND THE DREADED POWER TEST

Week 9 left me with more discouraging moments.  We had our power test and I thought FOR SURE that my power was going to be way up there.  Much to my dismay my power went DOWN!  I went home feeling utterly deflated.  Later I learned that most of the Leadville group tested lower.  Whew!  It wasn’t just me… encouraged once again. Later that week I got up super early, drove to the burbs to join their mid-week group ride before work.    There must have been about 10 guys in the group and they were fast.  I hung on by the skin of my teeth pushing so hard to catch the back wheel of the guy in front that I thought my lungs were going to explode.  I definitely left everything I had out there on the road. During the ride Robbie gave me some words of encouragement saying that he thought I looked a lot stronger and that I had a better chance in Leadville now.  It was just the boost I need to regain a positive attitude.

That weekend I signed up to do a long distance mountain bike race. I hadn’t been in an actual mountain bike race in probably 15 years.  Although I knew I wasn’t racing and was just going for the experience I was still apprehensive.  That Friday night I packed up the car as Tom and his friends were heading out for the night. They were all sitting around having a beers as I packed up clothing for a cold weather ride in Northern Wisconsin.  The forecast was not looking good. I drove the 2 ½ hours to Plymouth, Wisconsin to the lovely Baymont Inn and Suites.  The race took place in Northern Kettle Moraine about 15 minutes away.  The temperature that morning was in the low-40’s and as I left the hotel it started to rain.  I had every expectation that this was going to be miserable.  I arrived at the trailhead registered for the 100 mile long course which was really 10 9.5 mile loops.  I didn’t have any expectation except to get at least 7 laps done.  As far as I knew there was one other woman registered for the 100. In fact, I even let her borrow an extra pair of sunglasses because she forgot hers.  She looked pretty hardcore.  The race began with a short run uphill to the bikes.  I started off following the other woman and soon passed her, the course was fairly technical.  It was rocky, rooty and slippery.  I got through the first lap and felt pretty good.  Made a short pit stop and headed back out again.  The other woman and I were pretty much on par with each other.  On the 3rd loop the temperature dropped (what felt like 10 degrees) and the hail came making it even thick. slick and sloppier.  My hands hurt from the cold.  By the fourth lap the sun started to peak out.  I still felt pretty good however I could definitely feel the first signs of a tight lower back and tension in my neck and shoulders.  There was not one moment aside from the trail head where you could relax fully.  After each loop I was getting off my bike having some food and drinking some electrolytes from a bottle.   There was no opportunity to eat during the loop.  After the fourth loop I also got down and stretched my back.  My breaks were getting longer after each loop.  I didn’t see the other woman after that.  After the fifth lap my back really started barking at me. I was moving pretty slow.  I decided to do 2 more laps.  However during the 6th lap it actually started to hail and rain again, my back just wouldn’t let up, I was moving very slow at this point and it was getting late – I had been riding for about 8 hours.  Everything hurt, my back, my hands, my forearms, my feet,  and especially my girl parts.  It was 4:30 and I still had to drive all the way home.  I decided to call it quits.  I was ok with 6 laps.  It was great practice and I got about 3,000 feet of technical climbing in. More than anything I’d done in training to date.

The following is a link to some photos of the course, I’m in photo # 64 by the Hammer sign.

http://www.seenbyjordan.com/Biking/WEMS/North-Kettles-2013/29376105_n86kR6#!i=2506837445&k=ZsWkbjS

WEMS RACE

WEEK 10 – BASE CAMP!

Week 10 was the week of VQ base camp.  4 days of riding, lots of distance and lots of hills.  We left Thursday morning from VQ-Highland Park.  Tom needed his car so I had to put the bike in the bug however I couldn’t figure out how to get the front wheel off so I had to dig out the old bones rack and put it on the car.  The whole drive there I watched my precious mountain bike bounce up and down on the rack but I made it without any problems. The rides were all on the road but the Leadvillers were riding their mountain bikes.  It had to be twice as hard as riding a road bike.  They put us in groups according to our level.  Since most of the Leadvillers are way stronger than me I was curious to see where they would put me.  I was on team pink.  Right away I felt fearful as I looked at the big guys in my group and the one other woman who is doing Leadville.  I had heard about her, she has done a ton of ironman, been to Kona and started mountain biking last year.  She is a machine almost pro.  Why was I on the same team as her?  My stomach was in knots.  Day 1 we rode from Highland Park to Alpine Valley including a loop around the very hilly Lake Geneva 92 miles and 2,900 feet of climbing.  All I could think was there is no way in hell I’m going to be able to get up and ride tomorrow.

Day 2 arrived quickly,  I’m sure my fear was written all over my face.  This ride was 75 miles plus a bonus 25 miles at the end on part of the IM Wisconsin course (one of the hilly parts).   It was pretty windy, we were going single file for a while and they were pushing the pace.  We were only 10 miles in but I knew I couldn’t keep up the pace without blowing up or burning up all my matches.  I caught up to them and told the group leader that I wasn’t going to be able to keep that pace up but as I warmed up and settled in to the middle of the pack (vs the back)I found my legs and kept up.  I also managed to pull the group for some time as well.  We arrived in Verona and took a quick break.  We all decided to do the extra loop.  25 miles up to Mt. Horeb and back, for those who have done IM Wisconsin you know how hilly that is.  We rode 104 miles and climbed 3,300 feet that day.  I sort of felt like I was in a dreamland and was in awe of what we had all accomplished.  Back at the hotel I took an ice bath which seems settle my legs down a bit after long rides.  Later I walked with a few people to “downtown” Verona for some Italian food and of course my favorite New Glarus beer – spotted cow. Then back to the hotel room to wash the one kit I brought and do Robbie’s snail method of drying it. Which for the most part worked with a little help from a few minutes on the heating fan in the morning.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLM9RYNN4x8

AFTER MT. HORAB

TEAM PINK AFTER MT. HORAB

Day 3 soon arrived and again I was ultra-nervous.  The nerves didn’t come from the fear of not being able to complete the ride, they came from worrying about keeping up with the others.  Put me on my own and I’m fine, put me with other people and I become weak and unsure.  Prior to starting off on the ride Robbie came over and asked how I was doing. He also said that I was doing great and that he was proud of me.  If I could have banked those words I would be rich.  It was just what I needed to hear that from him.  It meant the world because I knew he meant it. I finished Day 3 feeling great, we only did 75 this day but followed up with a few hike-a-bikes.  We rode our bikes up the side of Alpine Valley ski hill then hiked the rest and rode down.  I had a great ride down the first time, fell the second, and had a cautious 3rd ride down.  The route was rocky and full of ruts from the run off much like what Leadville will be.  It was great practice.  Despite all the mileage I felt great.  We finished up the day with a bbq ( more spotted cow J)  then a group dinner.  I met and spoke to so many interesting people including the other diabetic in the group – Eric.  He is a man in his 50’s who was just diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  He was diagnosed months before his first Leadville race the year before.  He lives, breathes and eats biking and knows a ton about bikes and Leadville however he is still trying to nail down the diabetes.  He had had a particular hard day that day, elevated blood sugars and heart rate.  He was nearly in tears when I spoke to him at which time I gave him a big hug and told him it would be ok. He was so frustrated.  I heard his pain.  It is frustrating.

Day 4 arrived with a 92 mile ride looming ahead.  Wow.  Overwhelming is the word that best describes how I felt.  My legs felt heavy.  We had picked up an additional rider in our group and lost a couple to the faster group (including the other girl).  It was me and 7 guys.  Coach Hoag, Dan (ultra strong IM’er), Chris, Bob ( older guy who was so consistent and never said a thing about how hard it was), Eric (the diabetic), Ed, John.  All I could think about was the fact that we had to go around Lake Geneva AGAIN!  It was so hilly.  We started off at an easy pace.  Soon, the next group (road bikers) caught up to us, Robbie was part of that group.  He wanted us to keep up to the road group until the 35 mile mark.  I tried so hard to keep up but I eventually lost it on the hills.  Robbie started pushing me a bit in order for me to catch up but it wasn’t happening.  So he got in front and pulled me the last few miles to the 35 mile mark.  The pace had been much faster and it was much harder than my group normally went.  I wasn’t too far behind the group, however and my gang was still at the 35 mile aid station.  We all decided that we would not keep up that pace for the rest of the way.  We had a great strong ride the rest of the way back to Highland Park.  At about 20 miles out we caught up with one of the road biking group and rode in with them.  The pace was extremely fast.  We lost a few of the group off the back.  Somehow I hung on for dear life.  I sat behind  Coach Hoag’s wheel trying to get his draft but we were pushing between 18 and 22 mph on a mtn bike and their seemed to be no protection from the wind at all. I was suffering.  The last 8 miles I just kept thinking you don’t need to keep up with them just fall off the back.  But I pushed. Coach Hoag talked me through it.  I was swearing and moaning and groaning like there was no tomorrow.  After an hour of hell we finally arrived at Highland Park.  I just got off my bike put my head in my hands and wept silently as I was overcome with all that I had accomplished over the last 4 days.  Time for recovery.

Each day I followed the same nutrition regime – I woke about about 2.5 hours before we were to depart to pack my bag and get sorted out.  I made the room coffee and ate my breakfast that I had brought from home – low carb whole wheat bread with Justins chocolate hazelnut butter and a banana.  I bolused for the entire amount.  I would then go into the breakfast room and eat a small sampling of whatever they had with some protein and some carbs. I would also have a little something as we were getting ready to leave – either a small cliff bar or a half peanut butter sandwich.  Then I reduced my basil to 70% the first day then by day 3 I set it at 85%.  During the rides I had noshed on a few cliff blocks here and there, a gu, and I would have a coke and a ½ a PB or Nutella sandwich which was provided by VQ.  I had Skratch electrolyte mix in my camel back, drinking roughly 3-4 liters per trip.  Skratch is lower in carbs than other electrolyte drinks and tastes great.  I generally only had to pee once during the rides, even then I wasn’t dying to go.     I found that in the first hour or so my sugar would rise pretty high up to 250-300 or so. I think this was mainly due to the amount I was eating before the start. After a couple of hours my sugar would start dropping but with the cokes, the cliff blocks and everything else it didn’t usually last.  If it started to rise again from too much coke I would give myself a mini-bolus .2-.3 units. On day 3 I had some great straight line readings and kept within the 100-200 ranges the entire time. Day 4 was pretty near as perfect as I could get it. I used the Osprey Syncro 10 with a 3 litre bladder. This will be something I need to decide on, it was pretty big and maybe a bit too heavy (I was constantly teased that I had a tent back there). I’m going to switch back to my smaller camelback with the 2 litre bladder, with the missing chest strap to see if it is big enough.

http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/product/hydration_packs__osprey_hydraulics_1/syncro_10

Anyone else have a good recommendation?

My best readings were on Day 4.  I think I finally got it!  Here are pictures of the last 3 hours and 12 hours of the day. I seem to have lost my cord to download the actual dexcom data so pictures will have to do.

IMG_1870 IMG_1871

In the meantime I now belong to the yahoo Leadville 100 group where I can follow conversations about the race.  Great tips for first timers and “flatlanders” as they call us people who train with no hills.   I also learned that it is still snowing in Leadville!

I also saw this link to a great race report from a first timer woman.  When I need some inspiration or a pick me up I read her report.  It makes me feel like I have a chance to finish,  quite honestly I really had no business signing up for this thing.  I have also been watching videos of someone riding the entire race  and am seeing miles and miles of uphill.

Here is the race report, it is a good synopsis of what I’ve gotten myself into.

http://jlb-nutrition.blogspot.com/2011/08/leadville-traill-100-mtb-race-2011.html

As I mentioned it is time for recovery week.  I had a massage yesterday.  The swelling in my ankles, legs and feet has finally subsided and that tight feeling is going away.  I had an easy ride to work  and ran a bit. I likely won’t ride again until Saturday morning (other than commuting). I think all that riding left my immune system a bit low and I now have a cold, the first in a long time.   So it truly will be recovery!

The next big event will be the Horribly Hilly Hundred.  A 200K road race in Wisconsin with over 10,000 feet of climbing on one day.  Apparently if you can finish this then it is equivalent to Leadville !  This is on June 15.

UCAN EXPERIMENT

Over the next few weeks I plan on experimenting with a product called UCAN.  http://www.generationucan.com/home.html  .  Apparently it is good for a number of reasons:  it doesn’t spike your sugar levels like other maltodextrin products, it promotes fat burning,  and it slowly releases glucose into the blood stream.  It also has less of an impact on the gastro intestinal system, although I’ve never really had issues no matter what I eat.  My problem is that I tend to feel the need to supplement my nutrition with “real” food like a nut butter sandwich or a cliff bar.  I am going to try it out on shorter 2 hour rides then see what happens.  It would be nice if I could avoid the spikes during longer rides. And lose the 5 extra pounds for the race.

Anyone else out there try UCAN?

Stay tuned for updates of my emotional roller coaster journey!!

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Leadville training week 7?!!!!!

Whew!

I can’t believe I’ve been training for Leadville now for 7 weeks, my plan was to blog every week but time has been a tough commodity to come by lately.  In order to make things work these last few weeks I’ve had to give up my writing, give up some sleep and admittedly on occasions given up shower time ! 😉 Baby wipes were my shower on some days.

Before I get into the last 7 weeks, in case you missed it. Here is VisionQuests VQ and you posting this month:  http://www.visionquestcoaching.com/2013/04/06/vq-you-gf/

My work goes through quarterly busy cycles (no pun intended :)) which involves working 12 + hours a day and weekends for at least 3 weeks straight. Although between year end and quarter end it feels like its been 4 month straight.  It isn’t easy fitting in 12 hours of biking in on top of the work hours.  Its draining both mentally and physically.  Training has been ramping up, weekday rides have become longer 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours, we’ve added 1 additional weekday ride on Wednesdays and weekend rides on both days have become longer 3-4 hours.   To add fuel to the fire mother nature has been very unco-operative.  Record rain falls have put roads and trails underwater. Not to mention the temperatures have also been below average. What has been a challenging month was made even more challenging.  Last weekend we had 3 longer rides scheduled in a row – Friday, Saturday, Sunday.  I managed nearly 3 hours that Friday night which included riding through snow storm. Four hours on Saturday along the lake and finally a 3 hour ride on Sunday in the suburbs on the road with April and Melissa to get in some hills.  I completely misjudged how hard a ride would be when you are on a mountain bike and your two girlfriends are on road bikes, I could barely keep up!

My typical weeks look like this:

Monday – Funtional Training – core weights etc.

Tuesday – Threshold workouts which have been getting progressively longer we are now at 2 hours of cycling with 3 20 minute intervals at 95-100 % of threshold.

Wednesdays – I would try to get my swim in but we have now added a mid-week sub max ride to this schedule. 2-3 hours.

Thursdays – 1 1/2 hours of riding at tempo – faster paced.

Friday – rest

Saturday – 3 hours with 3 20 minute threshold intervals mixed in

Sunday – We are up to 4 hours steady pace.

For the most part i’ve kept up with all the required training however this week I had to bail on the Wednesday workout and squeezed in sometime on the bike on Thursday morning by adding on to my commute.  I also just took today off, we celebrated meeting our work deadline last night, I may or may not have had a few too many.  So I gave myself a break and opted for 2 hours of hip opening yoga.

Emotionally I’ve been holding it together, with a couple of meltdowns here and there. With trails being closed, the weather and work I was getting discouraged. In addition other club members were in Solvang,  California at a 5 day cycling camp which included 30,000 feet of climbing.  I think I’ve climbed 500 feet at most!

I am tracking my workouts here on Strava.  http://app.strava.com/dashboard

What have I been riding you ask?  Shopping for a mountain bike was another big time consumer. I spent hours in bike shops on ebay and craigslist.  I had hoped to buy something from one of the local bike shops but I ended up finding a beauty on ebay.  My main goal was to get something as light as possible. The lighter the bike the “easier” leadville will be, if you can use easy and leadville in the same sentence that is.  Meet Rocky Alexander, the new member of my bike family.  He weighs in at a meer 21 pounds.  He is a Trek Superfly 100 – Carbon frame, XTR groupo and a beautiful new SID world cup shocks with remote lockout. He is more bike than I could ever hope for.

new mountain bike

new mountain bike

I’ve taken some fun pictures along the way.

Here is where I had to turn around on the trail because it was about a foot under water.

Underwater trail

Underwater trail

TThis was one of the few days that the sun actually showed up.

Sunny day

Sunny day

This was my Friday night “snow” ride was attempting to ride on a trail but as you can see the entrance and picnic area was all underwater.

picnic area underwater

picnic area underwater

Here is the result of the snow I rode through.

IMG_1841

This is the view from the only hill along the lakefront trail.

The Toboggan Hill.

The Toboggan Hill.

Finally, between stress and work I have had some rough blood sugars to deal with.  May will be my month of getting it back together.

dexcom reading

dexcom readin

IMG_1808

Well time to head off to bed 5 am wake up for crazy dave’s half marathon.  A fun little race that friends put together, no entry fees, no t-shirt just some fun with friends Tom has been training pretty hard for it and I expect him to PR!  I was planning on running it but have not found the time to train.  My running has been very sparatic at best.  Once in a while in order to get a run in I’ll run part way to work.  I figure with the 50 pound back pack it will be good hike a bike training at the very least! I’ll be on my bike riding the course cheering everyone on!

Full back pack complete with cycling gear and laptop!

Full back pack complete with cycling gear and laptop!

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A great job of describing the events leading up to the supposed “miracle cure” for diabetes announced last week. Hilarious!!!

Typical Type 1

So most of us know what happened last week with our super top-secret cure-that’s-not-really-a-cure exploding Internet DOC rage fundraising nonsense. And everyone has an opinion on the subject; most of those opinions have already been (very eloquently) expressed in others‘ blogs.

Multiple times, I tried explaining the situation to some non-diabetic, non-DOC friends, family members and co-workers. I work at an advertising and PR firm, so I assumed most of my contemporaries would really get what a shitty PR move the *fauxnouncement* was. Instead, most people just gave me a half-smile as they tried to empathize with a concept they couldn’t really grasp.

So. For those unfamiliar with the “5 more years” nightmare and all the feelings that can beset an Internet-full of diabetics like a bad case of sorbitol-induced diarrhea, I attempted to retell the story using the most expressive content I could find: GIFs.

[Many thanks…

View original post 869 more words

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First week of Leadville training done!

power tapThis was my first official week of Leadville training!

My week was a little disrupted by having an out of town guest at work who was training me on some software.    

Monday night was 4 intervals of 20 minutes at 90% of my threshold. Threshold is what you use to measure your bike fitness.  There is a lot of science behind measuring your threshold or power.  Basically power = velocity x force.  High force and low cadence can be just as high power as high velocity (cadence) x low force and your power is measured by what you can manage in a certain time frame.  There are entire books on the subject http://www.amazon.com/Training-Racing-Power-Meter-Hunter/dp/1934030554#reader_1934030554.  The test I typically do is a 20 minute test.  To calculate your threshold you cycle as hard as you can for 20 minutes then take 95% of the average threshold for the 20 minutes to get your number.  I hadn’t done a test in well over a year so I had been using a very old threshold to train with.  The test itself is really hard and I was also afraid that the number would be a lot lower than my last test. The other factor is weight.  Two people with a threshold of 200 may not be equally strong on the bike depending on their weight.  The true measure is watts per kilogram.  As previously posted my required watts per kilogram should be at least 3.5 in order for me to complete Leadville.  To calculate this I take my threshold and divide it by my weight in kilograms. This goes without saying the lower your weight and the higher your power or threshold the stronger you are on the bike.  The following is a table of watts per kilogram and how it rates amongst categorized riders:

www.cyclingtipsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/powerprofiling.jpg

Tuesday was dinner out with the out of town work guest. Wednesday I swam because I had to be at work for training. Wednesday night I was exhausted from two days of software training. Thursday morning I finally caved. I did the test, mainly because it was in my training plan. And god forbid I don’t follow my training plan to a T!  I was very nervous, I was going to find out exactly where I stood, knowing where I need to be for Leadville.  How far behind was I going to be?  I don’t do well with these tests, precisely  because of the nerves and the pressure.   I completed the first 20 minutes and ended up with 219 average watts which equates to 208 functional threshold (95%).  In the last few minutes I couldn’t even stand up out of my seat my legs were shot.  With my current weight a 208 TH puts me at about 3.14 watts per kilogram.  The bottom range of good according to the chart above.  My plan to get to the coveted 3.5 mark is to lose about 6 pounds and get my threshold up to 220.   I did another 20 minutes, initially just riding then finishing strong and ended up at 192 for my second 20 minutes so at least I have some endurance.  My new threshold will now be used as a benchmark for training from which to build off of.  Your threshold or power can be monitored while on the computrainer or while riding outdoors if you have a wheel with a powertap hub and bike computer picured at the top.

I also played around with my basil rates on Thursday morning.  I bolused 50% for a banana breakfast and reduced my basil to 60%.  I did this because I feel like I consistently go low during my computrainer classes.  The idea backfired, I think mainly the intensity and adrenaline raised my blood sugar and left me with high blood sugars for the next few hours.  My next plan of attack is to reduce my basil but only for about an hour, so that the normal basil kicks in prior to finishing the workout.   Thursday night I treated myself to a massage, trying to alleviate my on-going neck and shoulder issues.  I finished Friday off with another functional training class.

Next on the schedule was another intensity ride on Saturday.  I’ve never done 3 in one week before.  It consisted of a 15 minute warm up followed by 4 x 1 minute intervals at 135% of my new threshold then 2 x 10 minute blocks at threshold then a final 4 x 1 minute of the same 135% intervals.  I got off the bike and could barely walk!  I did a bit better with my bolus/basil plan this morning but it still dropped during the workout which required me to inhale 3 blocks.  I ended up at 120, so will continue to play around with my basil and bolus rates.  From here I had to rush out to get to the winter bike swap where I was volunteering for four hours at the American Diabetes Association booth.  I was also hoping to find a good deal on a used mountain bike.  No such luck.  Mountain bike shopping has been very time consuming and is very confusing!  More on that in another post. I ended the week today with a 3 hour endurance ride.  This ride was particularly hard.  I spent 3 hours on the computrainer pretty much by myself.  I hadn’t had much dinner the night before and I bolused a bit much for breakfast.  I ended up taking at least 7-8 cliff blocks, a gel and about half a protein power bar.  With all these carbs my blood sugar ran at a steady 90-100 a little low than I would like.  I rode fairly steady, on a fairly flat course.  At certain times I really had to muster the strength to continue which was probably a result of poor nutrition on Saturday,  picking up an additional intensity ride in the week and low blood sugar. Oh and lastly, this numbskull left her cycling shoes at home so I did the entire ride in running shoes.

Overall I’m excited to have finished my first week of Leadville training.  Next week should prove to be challenge as well.  I need to squeeze in the workouts with Wednesday night concert plans and Thursday night cooking class. I typically don’t like to plan mid-week events because it messes with my sleep, my eating, my blood sugar and my overall training schedule.   In order to guarantee that I get all the required workouts in I had to plan out my week ahead of time.

Monday am – Functional Training

Monday pm – Threshold progression training

Tuesday pm –  Strength Endurance training

Wednesday – rest

Thursday – rest

Friday – Functional Training /swim

Saturday – endurance ride

Sunday – Intensity ride

Ideally I need a rest tomorrow but I really need to make sure I get the workouts in and knowing that Wednesday and Thursday I am out it will be better to get them in early in the week.

Have a great week everybody!

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