Friday, April 30, 2010

Modified Bagel Ride

This morning I rode with the Severna Park Peloton 5:45 group. It was nice to ride with those guys again. It was especially nice to see Clint, Chip and Clif (the 3 C's, also known as Italian Ice) fresh off of their epic fleche last weekend. (if you haven't already done so, take the time to read Chip's ride report here.)

I was late getting out the door this morning, figuring that since my departure time was 15 minutes later than on a normal ride day, I could do a couple extra things. That was not the case. I was in such a rush to get on the road, I forgot to turn my Garmin on. I turned it on just as I turned onto College Parkway (I know that spot is 2 miles from the house, so I can just add 2 miles to my mileage total for today's ride.) I was moving right along, but was not too worried about making it to the rusty bridge by 5:45, because the group would pass me on the trail headed into Annapolis anyway. As I got to the light to cross route 2, I ran into Mike. My first thought was that I was not as late as I thought, but Mike assured me that he was late as well. He did the calculations and said that if we went a certain speed we would make it to the bridge at 5:45. I didn't hear the speed, I just put my head down and pedaled. I glanced back down the trail and in the distance I saw another bicycle light closing the gap very quickly. Mike and I both assumed that based on where the rider was coming from and the speed at which he/she was riding... it had to be Dangerous Dan. It was great to ride with him this morning as well. He will be doing a 400k ride tomorrow with the PA Rand group. Good Luck Dan.

Our pedaling paid off and the three of us were actually the first ones to the bridge. We were soon joined by Bryan, Clint, AJ and Earl. We departed the bridge en route to Annapolis and picked up Chip and Clif along the way. A hearty group of 9 riders on their bikes before 6:00 a.m. How cool is that?

Earl had a flat tire just as we crossed Robinson Rd so the group stopped and either waited or assisted in getting that changed. (The Severna Park Peloton no drop policy is awesome). That tire issue set us back a bit in regards to time and it appeared that 3 other people would not be making the trip into Annapolis for breakfast, so I opted to turn around with them at the head of the trail and ride home to get ready for work.

This mornings ride was a great way to start a great day and what is suppose to be a beautiful weekend. Emily is here this weekend and she is suppose to bring up here bike gear. If she does, I will try to convince her to ride the Wounded Warrior Project ride with me as it goes through the streets of Annapolis. It should be fun as well as an honor to meet some of the wounded soldiers who voluntarily put themselves in harms way so that I am free to get up at 4:15 to ride my bicycle.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

From work to home

I was able to meet up with Mike for the ride home from the train station. It was a beautiful afternoon for a bike ride. Below is the garmin data.

The Morning After (A massage report)

I rode to the train station this morning, although the better decision may have been to stay in bed and rest. Yesterday I was up at 3:30 to get to work to fix a server that was down. It is the server that handles emails to the Executive Director and Deputy Director cell phones. With that down, God forbib, they would be without email on their cell phones. I say that like it is a bad thing, but since they pay me to keep all that kind of stuff up and running, I had to get to work early. I also had to juggle 2 appointments that I had previously scheduled for yesterday, but in the long run it all worked out. It just made for a VERY long day.

One of the appointments I had yesterday was for a massage. After my 200k my legs were feeling fine, with the exception of couple of places that remained tight and painful. Having heard of the benefits of a massage, I put the preconceived notions aside and made an appointment. I felt very comfortable with my choice of therapist. The location of her studio was in her home, in a very nice neighborhood in Arnold. Her website gave her first and last name, which made it easier for me to Google her and find out a little bit more about her.

I arrived at her studio, and she showed me to the room where she would be doing the massage. Before getting on the massage table she asked me to sit down and she asked me some questions about how I felt after I get off the bike, what kind of stretches I do before and after a long ride, etc. After finishing up with the questions, she left the room and allowed me to undress and get on the table and under the blanket that was provided.

We had discussed that I wanted her to concentrate on my legs, since that is all that I felt needed massaging. I had also only booked a 30 minute appointment, so I didn't want her working on my neck and shoulders and not have time to get to my legs. She started with my calf and worked up to my thigh and she told me where my thigh was hurting. I guess she could feel the tightness or looseness or something. She worked on that area for a while and then moved to the other leg. Again, starting at the calf and moving up. When she was done with that leg, she asked me to turn over, and she repeated the process on the front of my legs. The entire time the only part of my body that was exposed was the part that she was working on. I never felt like I was "hanging out there" at all. When she finished up, she left the room, I got dressed and she came back in and spent a few minutes going over some stretched with me that would be helpful before and after riding. My 30 minute appointment had stretched into close to an hour, but I was only charged for 30 minutes. I never felt like she was watching the clock or rushing to get me out of there. It was all very relaxed and professional.

I have to say, I was not really to WOWED by the whole thing. When I talked to Bev after the appointment, I told her it was "alright". Some people go crazy over getting a massage. They say, "It is so awesome to be pampered and having someone take care of me." But, I guess because I am pampered all the time, it was nothing special. ;-)  Let's put it this way, I would go back and get another massage provided that the one I just had actually helped the pain in my thighs when I ride.

That is why I had to ride this morning. I had to see if there was any benefit to the massage, and the short answer is yes. My legs felt better and looser and pedaling felt easier. I did not rush to work this morning because I was not feeling 100%, but I did notice an improvement, especially climbing the hill at the end of Deep Creek Ave. So, it really did work.

I would recommend that everyone have at least one massage in their lifetime. I did, and I can cross that off the bucket list now. Next up... manicure/pedicure. Stay tuned!

Garmin info from the ride in this morning.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ride home from work

I am glad I decided to ride to the train station today. I had a great day at work, and the ride home was very enjoyable. Below are the stats for the ride home. I followed the trail all the way to Arnold Station to avoid the traffic on College Parkway. Extra miles too.

Damp ride to work

As a last minute decision, I decided to ride the bike to the train station. The hour by hour forecast called for a 30% chance of showers up to 5:00 a.m. and clearing through out the rest of the day. I haven't ridden since my 200k on Friday and I needed to get back on the bike.

I am happy with my decision. I caught a small shower as I was leaving the neighborhood and a few drops as I got to the airport, but for the rest of the ride, it was quite pleasant. I am looking forward to the ride home.

Below is the information from my Garmin. You can click it to get detailed info on the ride.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

April 200k

I completed my April 200k on Friday April 23rd. It was my BEST 200k to date in regards to both time and how I felt during and after the ride.

The perm that I chose was the same one that I did in March and although it felt like cheating, doing the same perm back to back, I had a few specific reasons why I wanted to do this perm again. The main reason was that I had memorized the route so I would not have to worry about the cue sheet and doing bonus miles. The second reason was that my March 200k was a personal worst for me. I finished in 12 hrs 18 minutes and I was very discouraged by that. By doing the same course I could compare apples to apples and hopefully see some improvement.

I started at 7:00 from the 7-11 in Arlington and was soon on the trail heading west. There was a headwind, but it was not as stout as it was in March, which was helpful. I tried to relax on the way out to Purcellville and focused on my cadence as opposed to my speed, trying to just maintain an easy pace. I met John, another cyclist, along the way and we rode together for awhile. He was wearing an "Outer Banks Cycling" shirt that I commented on. Come to find out that it was the only one that fit him, he was hit by a car a couple years ago and although he physically was able to ride, he "...sat on his ass, felt sorry for himself and gained a lot of weight."  He also rode a Specilaized so we talked about the pro teams that ride them, the anticipation of Alberto on a Specialized vs. Lance this summer. I am not sure exactly how long we rode together, but those miles just flew by. He had to turn around and go to work, and before I knew it I was getting off the trail approaching the first control. I reached the first control a few minutes earlier than I did in March, but more importantly I felt 100 % better.

The route to the halfway point in The Plains, VA was rolling hills through horse farms and beautiful gigantic mansions. When I arrived there I was actually hungry, so I grabbed a piece of pizza, some water and sat down long enough to eat the pizza and phone home. Bev was a little surprised that I was at the halfway point at 12:10, almost an hour earlier than in March.

I made my way back to the last control before the finish in good time and I knew that heading back up the trail could be a very crowded and slow ride if it was anything like it was in March. Fortunately it was not and I was able to keep a good pace all the way back to the final control in 10 hours and 11 minutes. A personal best.

Eating and Drinking
As I am sure you all know, I have struggled with staying fed and hydrated on these rides. gels and powdered drinks like perpetuem did not work for me. So thanks to all the sound advice I got from fellow SPP riders I think I have come up with a plan that works for me. Like Fran said, what works for him may not work for me, it is highly individualized. That is SO true. With that in mind I set out with 2 cheddar cheese bagels, cut in quarters, a package of fat free fig newtons (broken down into zip lock bags with 5 in each bag) 6 bags of sportbeans, 36 e-caps, and a bag of perpetuem powder (enough for one bottle.) On the drive to Arlington I started the morning with a bagel and orange juice, and as I was riding I made a point to eat something every hour, take 2 ecaps every hour and take a sip from the water bottle every 5 minutes or so, whether I needed it or not. This worked well.

A note on the sports beans... I picked up a pack at Bike Doctor in Crofton one day last week to give them a try. Even though they were not the best tasting things in the world, at least it was not like sucking down 8 pounds of sugar like it is with the gels. So as I was researching them on the web, I saw that they were made my Jelly Belly which makes a pretty good 'regular' jelly bean as well. Then it hit me... mix real jelly beans with the sportbeans to help mask the taste. Worked great. I ate 5 of the 6 packs that I brought. I also used this strategy with the perpetuem. At the last control I bought a bottle of Orange Juice and mixed the perpetuem with water AND orange juice. It was paletable and I was able to finish it with no problem.

When I finished this 200k in March, I swore that I would never ride on Snickersville Turnpike again. It is hilly and has one climb in particular that came close to breaking my spirit. This time I was hydrated and nurished. I did not exactly  fly up the hill, and my thighs were burning as I climbed it, but when I got to the top it helped reaffirm in my mind that my food and hydration plan was actually working. That gave me a big boost.

An unexpected surprise
This was going to be my last Garmin-less 200k. Because I am cue sheet challenged, I knew that I would need help for perms like Over to Dover, which has a lot of turns. I was going to break down and put out the $$$ for the 705 edge for my ride in May. Imagine how surprised I was when the 705 arrived on Thursday, especially sine I didn't order one. One of my many wonderful followers bought me one so that they could keep track of the rides that I am doing and where I am riding. I have Mike to thank for this. Mike and I rode together in January and February for our first 200k rides, and I gave her a link to Mikes blog. Now that spring and summer are here, schedules are getting crazy and solo 200k's are becoming the norm for me, she can no longer rely on Mike's blog to see where I have ridden. So, the 705 is more about 'her' wanting to see where I have been ... but I am not complaining, I have my 705 now... I am happy.  I was able to get it installed on the bike before the ride. Below is a link to the Garmin Connect site with the data from the ride

Link to Garmin Conect

Route:--Elev. Avg:413 ft
Location:--Elev. Gain:-14 ft
Date:04/23/10Up/Downhill: [+7276/-7290]
Time:07:13 AMDifficulty:4.2 / 5.0
Distance: 127.72 miles

Speed:12.7 mph

Pace:4' 43 /miHeart Rate:135 bpm (Avg)
175 bpm (Peak)
Elevation (ft)
Speed (mph)
Heart Rate (bpm)
Heart Rate Zones
In Zone
In Zone
Zone 5158 - 1750h 33m5% 5.76 mi
Zone 4140 - 1583h 32m35% 52.73 mi
Zone 3122 - 1403h 43m36% 54.88 mi
Zone 2105 - 1222h 03m20% 20.67 mi
Zone 188 - 1050h 43m7% 1.01 mi
(none)out of range0h 01m0% 0.01 mi
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Heart
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
14' 45+0' 0112.6-0.1124+6 ft
26' 16+1' 329.6-3.1124+52 ft
34' 21-0' 2213.8+1.1132+30 ft
45' 01+0' 1712.0-0.7147+102 ft
54' 28-0' 1513.4+0.7123-43 ft
65' 26+0' 4211.0-1.7126-13 ft
73' 18-1' 2518.2+5.5136-46 ft
84' 09-0' 3414.4+1.7122-59 ft
92' 43-2' 0022.0+9.3144-42 ft
102' 37-2' 0622.8+10.1154-49 ft
114' 39-0' 0412.9+0.2149+82 ft
125' 07+0' 2311.7-1.0135+79 ft
134' 39-0' 0412.9+0.21250 ft
144' 07-0' 3614.5+1.8133+4 ft
153' 20-1' 2317.9+5.2126-9 ft
165' 13+0' 2911.5-1.2129-3 ft
174' 10-0' 3314.4+1.7136+19 ft
184' 04-0' 3914.7+2.0122-46 ft
193' 26-1' 1717.4+4.7130-42 ft
203' 18-1' 2518.2+5.5129-59 ft
213' 05-1' 3819.4+6.7152+19 ft
228' 18+3' 347.2-5.5123-29 ft
233' 35-1' 0816.7+4.0151+49 ft
243' 29-1' 1417.1+4.4137+10 ft
253' 38-1' 0516.5+3.8143+10 ft
263' 22-1' 2117.8+5.1125-59 ft
273' 44-0' 5916.1+3.4143+49 ft
282' 59-1' 4420.1+7.4139-33 ft
295' 29+0' 4510.9-1.8133+39 ft
304' 46+0' 0212.6-0.1127+20 ft
314' 17-0' 2614.0+1.3138+72 ft
324' 34-0' 0913.1+0.4139+69 ft
334' 33-0' 1013.2+0.5144+45 ft
346' 50+2' 068.8-3.9139+85 ft
354' 25-0' 1813.6+0.9135-39 ft
362' 36-2' 0723.1+10.4147-69 ft
373' 17-1' 2618.2+5.5136-20 ft
383' 25-1' 1817.5+4.8143+13 ft
394' 04-0' 3914.7+2.0155+82 ft
404' 53+0' 0912.3-0.4127-7 ft
4121' 39+16' 552.8-9.9110-14 ft
423' 05-1' 3819.4+6.7128-56 ft
433' 39-1' 0416.4+3.7139-23 ft
443' 05-1' 3819.4+6.71340 ft
452' 37-2' 0622.9+10.2136-115 ft
465' 03+0' 1911.9-0.8157+128 ft
474' 27-0' 1613.5+0.8130-68 ft
484' 16-0' 2714.1+1.4143+49 ft
494' 41-0' 0212.8+0.1135-17 ft
504' 44+0' 0012.7-0.0153+55 ft
512' 27-2' 1624.4+11.7122-174 ft
526' 06+1' 229.8-2.9144+137 ft
534' 34-0' 0913.1+0.4134+36 ft
543' 12-1' 3118.7+6.0125-86 ft
554' 11-0' 3214.3+1.6136+30 ft
5616' 42+11' 583.6-9.1132+85 ft
573' 15-1' 2818.4+5.7141-7 ft
583' 19-1' 2418.0+5.3132-3 ft
594' 20-0' 2313.8+1.1148+42 ft
603' 00-1' 4319.9+7.2127-82 ft
614' 14-0' 2914.1+1.4146+52 ft
623' 15-1' 2818.4+5.7133+6 ft
634' 27-0' 1613.4+0.8149+82 ft
6420' 04+15' 203.0-9.7117-13 ft
653' 45-0' 5816.0+3.3130-66 ft
663' 30-1' 1317.1+4.4134-3 ft
673' 52-0' 5115.5+2.8147-3 ft
683' 03-1' 4019.7+7.0132-75 ft
695' 04+0' 2011.8-0.9151+62 ft
703' 06-1' 3719.3+6.6132-85 ft
714' 58+0' 1412.1-0.6147+108 ft
723' 48-0' 5515.7+3.0142-32 ft
7310' 00+5' 166.0-6.7115-66 ft
744' 02-0' 4114.9+2.2137+13 ft
754' 15-0' 2814.1+1.4138+29 ft
763' 21-1' 2217.9+5.2131-52 ft
773' 59-0' 4415.0+2.3137-43 ft
785' 18+0' 3411.3-1.4148+111 ft
793' 04-1' 3919.5+6.8125-171 ft
805' 30+0' 4610.9-1.8151+124 ft
814' 36-0' 0713.0+0.3136+33 ft
823' 43-1' 0016.1+3.4135-32 ft
833' 09-1' 3419.0+6.3117-79 ft
845' 06+0' 2211.7-1.0148+78 ft
854' 14-0' 2914.1+1.4144+16 ft
864' 43-0' 0012.7+0.0140+65 ft
874' 38-0' 0512.9+0.2139+29 ft
8821' 07+16' 232.8-9.9116-23 ft
893' 49-0' 5415.7+3.0133-33 ft
903' 07-1' 3619.2+6.5133-66 ft
913' 37-1' 0616.5+3.8143+26 ft
923' 39-1' 0416.4+3.7152+62 ft
934' 16-0' 2714.0+1.3144+32 ft
945' 36+0' 5210.7-2.0128-4 ft
953' 53-0' 5015.4+2.8133-46 ft
963' 45-0' 5815.9+3.2120-111 ft
973' 21-1' 2217.9+5.2129-56 ft
983' 47-0' 5615.8+3.1129-36 ft
993' 44-0' 5916.0+3.3131-3 ft
1003' 05-1' 3819.4+6.7140-43 ft
1013' 31-1' 1217.1+4.4147+6 ft
1025' 47+1' 0310.4-2.31290 ft
1034' 37-0' 0612.9+0.2135+40 ft
1043' 03-1' 4019.6+6.9136-42 ft
1053' 22-1' 2117.8+5.1141+4 ft
1062' 56-1' 4720.4+7.7138-39 ft
1078' 53+4' 096.8-5.9129+19 ft
1083' 14-1' 2918.5+5.8150+20 ft
1093' 42-1' 0116.2+3.5148+33 ft
1103' 55-0' 4815.3+2.6144+46 ft
1114' 03-0' 4014.8+2.1143+43 ft
1124' 09-0' 3414.4+1.8123-33 ft
1135' 08+0' 2411.7-1.0126-10 ft
1144' 11-0' 3214.3+1.6142+56 ft
1153' 34-1' 0916.8+4.1131-26 ft
1164' 10-0' 3314.4+1.7134-29 ft
1173' 11-1' 3218.8+6.1136-89 ft
1183' 06-1' 3719.4+6.7129-19 ft
1193' 38-1' 0516.5+3.8148+42 ft
1204' 06-0' 3714.6+1.9145+53 ft
1214' 39-0' 0412.9+0.2138+52 ft
1224' 00-0' 4315.0+2.3140+30 ft
1234' 38-0' 0512.9+0.2128-10 ft
1243' 58-0' 4515.1+2.4136-7 ft
1253' 04-1' 3919.5+6.8124-65 ft
1263' 41-1' 0216.2+3.5133-32 ft
1274' 43-0' 0012.7-0.0123-33 ft
1284' 42-0' 0112.8+0.1138-4 ft
end08' 20' 00+08' 15' 160.1-12.61170 ft
Versus average of 12.7 mph