Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Nick.

Nick is a good guy, and one of the best guys to train with you'll ever meet.

Nick is in the hospital, and he's sick. Won't go into details, but he's hurting and will likely be there a couple of days yet. Then, he might have to go back for more. Sucks.

If you're the praying sort, please remember him as you speak with the Ultimate Healer. I'd appreciate it.

I'll probably keep you posted.

Micah.

What did you learn today?

Gravel adds another big dimension. Wind and hills are an everyday thing around here. You let the wind push you around a little, you tuck, relax, and push back. Hills let you work out the kinks and give a place to leave the day behind.

Hills make you strong. Wind makes you mean. Gravel makes you patient.

I was on freshly maintained "gravel" roads for about 25 miles today. Some of the surface was powdery and made me plow easily. The rest was fresh coarse gravel and I swear my front wheel worked like a ski that gave me only minimal grip as my teeth rattled in my head. Regardless, the approach to the surface was to go slowly, handle the bike, and wait to see what happened after the next intersection. All while riding 30++mph gusts and sliding around on Brown County Hills.

This has got to be great training for almost anything. Really enjoyed it. Today was also the first time I was able to ride in any heat - which was AWESOME. That'll take some getting used to.

Tomorrow is a complete rest day, and I'm looking to do a long ride this Friday.

Micah.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Trans-Iowa.

Has anyone been following this? I would actually like to do this event someday, but cripes sake! Check out the website: http://transiowa.blogspot.com/
The audio clips are interesting, and worth the few minutes they'll take to listen.


The event was terribly hampered by typhoon winds, snow, below-freezing wind chills, and MUDSLIDES. In Iowa. What the hell?! Some roads were unfit for MOUNTAIN BIKES.

I've been whining about weather for the better part of two months, and am feeling a little more justified about it.

I absolutely expect similarly crazy weather at the DK200. Maybe a little less snow, but tornadoes are within reason, as are hail, rain, lightning, locust infestation, black plague.... There will be wind - we are in Kansas. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to have about 4 changes of clothing on the route, and maybe one change of tires.

I'm off to church, where I will pray for balmy temperatures, peaceful skies, wofting breezes, and crazy-fast hardpack.

Ride often, safely, and well.

Micah.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

126.4

I came home from Omaha again today. It was a beautiful day. This trip, however, I actually had a headwind/Westerly wind that worked against me for about the first half of the trip. After that, the day was oddly still - it is almost NEVER that way in Kansas this time of year.

I've had almost 2 weeks off of the bike due to abysmal weather, and several unexpected long nights and early mornings at work. I'm going to start taking some days off in the next couple of weeks just to be certain that I can get the mid-week rides in that are pretty important.

Todays trip was tough. By the time the wind died I'd spent well over half my effort on less than half of the ride (finally calmed down about mile 55). After that it was head games with myself, just trying to stay on the bike, and not call for a rescue. By mile 115 I was cooked. My hill-top speeds were just under 10 mph, and my best downhill speed was about 21 mph. Total ride time was 7:30, and those last miles weren't pretty. To top it all, I forgot the chamois butter, and my "contact point" is hamburger. I was pulling in the driveway about the same time the rain started though, so it's all good.

Didn't cramp. This is a very big deal as a good many of the longer rides I've had in recent memory did cause cramping. Once you cramp, you might as well go home. Even if you "recover" well, you still hurt, and more cramps are coming. I'm using Hammer Nutrition's Perpetum, and Accel Gel by Endurox. I think that the protein component, and extra potassium have made the majority of the difference. I am also eating salty snacks (Cornnuts) through the rides, which settles my stomach, and keeps the legs from getting too tight. I used to laugh at the duffers who cramped. When did I get old?

I can't say I enjoyed most of the ride today. Motorists were cool. I spent a lot of time focused on relaxing, breathing, and persevering, and as training goes, it was awesome experience - but not fun. Practice running on empty is pretty important, I'm guessing.

I will be back into training mode full-bore over the next couple of weeks. I really only have three more weeks of rigorous training to do before I need to start tapering for the DK200.

Glad to be back on the saddle.

Micah.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Onward for everyone!

Kevin and Sandy went to Florida this weekend to participate in a Tri with other family members - haven't heard yet how that went, but they are so awesome at what they do, I'm sure they did well.

Nick had his first Tri of the year - still haven't heard how it went, but he's battling shin splints, so I'll be eager to report his success.

I just had a good ride today, too. Rode from Omaha to Hiawatha in about 6.5 hours. It was all on pavement, so I'm going to try a gravel century soon (hopefully the roads will be dry by next weekend!).

Hope your training is awesome, too.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Tee-rific progress, still crap weather, though.

The new bike is here. Photos soon. Came with pretty much original equipment, stickers (why???) and looking a little worn. Needed a little tune-up, too. Absolutely perfect.

Now, it has Ultegra rims, Ultegra rear derailleur, FSA threadless headset, nicely adjusted cables and cleaned up quite a little bit. Ready to roll.

Sunday weather is supposed to be a little better, and I'm going to be in Omaha, so I probably going to try and ride it home. Wind is supposed to be out of the north. The setup is pretty cush, and heavy. Oughta be good, huh?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Congrats to Joe!!

Joe, a friend in town, just finished his 1st 1/2 marathon - and did it in just under 2 hours. Good Job!

In other important local news - Come and join local athelets for the 1st annual Cinco de Mayo Cinko K (5K). It is, of course, going to happen on May 5th, and will start at 5:55 pm at the First Street Bar and Grill here in Hiawatha, Kansas. Registration is $10 and is open until the start of the race. Medals, awards, and good food to follow. Proceeds to go to a good cause.

Micah.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Ahhh...Sunshine...

I am loving life. Just got back from a 68 miler. Would've been longer but guests were arriving this afternoon, and I didn't get my butt out of bed in time to go further. Cramped a little, too, which slowed me down (note to self - do NOT drink 1/2 pot of coffee before a ride). Got 'er done in about 3:45. I've been a little worried about the DK 200, and I'm still concerned about being able to approach this as a race, but I've little doubt at this point that I'll finish. I'll be able to crank out a few centuries before training distances taper.

Rural roads are crappy sloppy mud right now, and will likely be that way for a while with the rain we expect over the next week. The new bike should be here this weekend - will probably try and find some partially passable roads for a short trial.

Hope your training is benefitting from this awesome weather! Going to be a great weekend.

Micah.