Monday, March 30, 2009

The miles start to increase

After a week of being out of town it was time to start racking up the miles. March and April are supposed to be my build phase of the training so I need to ramp up the miles. Then really pound them out in May.

Monday: 57 miles with some long intervals at slow RPM's 69 degrees
Wednesday: 68 miles at an endurance pace
Thursday: 73 mile group ride at tempo pace
Friday: 33 miles easy
Saturday: 40 miles at endurance pace 35 degrees
Sunday: 60 miles group ride at tempo
Total: 331

Saturday I needed to do more intervals but with the temperature 35, cloudy, damp and windy I did not feel like getting hot and sweaty. It was all I could do to get out of the house and ride. The only good thing was that it was not snowing when I rode.

After riding Sunday my legs were a little tired. Re-evaluate my training I realize that I need to back off my miles during the week and focus on a really long ride on the weekend. Still trying to stay around 300 miles a week. All I am getting out of 50-60 miles each day is tired legs. I need to be able to ride 100 comfortably and build that up through May.

On April 11th the Big Dogs are doing a 200K from LeClaire. The route goes up to Bellevue and back so it will include many climbs. This will be a good test to see where the fitness it at this time.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

March 28 - Riding in Iowa!

Saturday morning - 40 mile ride in am before the snow fell.
Winds were out of the northwest at 20-25 mph.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Update from the Crew

I was a bit 'freaked' when I heard Joe say on Sunday that it is only 13 weeks until the race. Can't even begin to imagine how he must feel since he is the one that is going to do all the pedaling! Ugh. There are many, many details that we are working on. I did get our "Crew" shirts ordered last week. With our shirts, hopefully we can look like a 'team'. Our shirts should arrive in 2-3 weeks.

Also, it is amazing what we need to do to get the support vehicles ready. Slow-moving vehicle signs (magnetic) for the support vehicles were ordered, as well as, the Caution Bicycle Ahead sign. Eric Furnas is working on the wheel rack for the top of the van. It will have yellow flashing lights. We are hoping to also have a speaker system so the crew will be able to talk to Joe from the van.

We are trying to come up with a date that the entire support crew (Chris, Caleb, Eric, and myself) will be available to practice support into the night with Joe. I think we are shooting for May 16. Not sure who will be available yet, but that is the weekend that Joe needs to get a 200-300 mile ride and will need a support crew. We will probably schedule another night during the week, that way we can do support a couple of hours in the dark to figure out what we are doing. Three of the four of us have done support before but not following behind all night.

I have made reservations at hotels during the race to give us a chance to get a few hours of sleep each night. It's important that the crew stays alert during the race. We will have two crews / two vehicles to rotate our support. Joe doesn't plan on sleeping the first night but will plan to sleep a few hours in Flagstaff, Arizona the second night and then a few hours in Durango, Colorado.

The pie-making has slowed down. I have made over 70 pies thus far. Thanks to all of you who have purchased pies or donated for this event! We will probably make another push for pie sales as Easter will be fast approaching.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The weather makes the headlines

As I write this I am sitting in Binghamton, New York (South Central) at the Best Western. The riding around here would be great if I had my bike and the weather was a little nicer. There are long gradual climbs with many bike lanes. All you guys back home enjoy the 70 degrees. Welcome back Wiford and thanks for bringing the weather.

This week saw all kinds of weather but there was more good then bad. I was able to get a century in Saturday and ride with Connie and Chris on Sunday on the Bike club's St. Patrick's day ride.

Monday: 58 mile tempo ride with rain the last 15
Tuesday: 42 miles 3 nine minute intervals at lactic threshold before Tuesday night ride. Windy and cold.
Thursday: 30 miles easy
Friday: 35 miles, 3 ten minute intervals at lactic threshold
Saturday: 100 miles easy/med
Sunday: 65 miles Med/hard then easy finish with bike club
Total: 330 miles

This week the intervals got longer. The second interval was done at slow RPM's into the wind to simulate a long hill climb. This is the only way to get ready for the long climbs in Iowa. On the really windy days I think it is mentally harder to ride into the wind at a slow cadence sitting upright as the wind beats you up.

Tuesday's ride was a weather nightmare. It started with temperatures in the low 60's when I got off work at 3:00. By the time I got to the shop for the Tuesday night ride it was 56. I did a one hour pre-ride and got back to the shop and it was 48. Chad, Greg and I rode 24 miles and when we got back it was 38 at 7:00 with 30-40 mph winds. At least it was not raining/snowing.

My century on Saturday was nice. The weather was in the low 50's with very little wind. I rode the first 30 easy by myself to Mike Doyle's house, we then rode 25 miles back to my house to meet my son Chris and Jon Sulzberger to do a loop out to Durant and back for another 36 miles. When I got back home I needed a little 9 mile loop into town for 100. I did not eat or drink enough on this ride even though the pace was pretty easy I was dragging about the 80 mile mark. I really need to focus on that part of the training rides.

Sunday there was a 11:00 group ride from Greg's house before the 1:00 St. Patrick's Day ride. The 11:00 group was mainly the same characters that show up for the Tuesday night ride. The pace was very controlled on the way out and then got a little spirited on the way back until Chad, Wiford and Bill Harper turned into the hills. At this point Greg, Mike, Jon and I just cruised into town. The St. Patrick's Day ride had 25 riders. It was a nice social group ride for the first 11 miles then there was a split and the pace got pretty quick until we all re-grouped as we got near town. Chris and Connie both rode and it is always nice to ride with them. Both of them have not ridden outside much this year but were both riding really well.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring is gettting closer

At least there were three nice days this week. It kind of spoils you and you want the nice weather all the time. I have to keep remembering that is is not even the middle of March.

Workouts for the week:
Tuesday: 22 miles, 7 min intervals at 275 watts 175 bpm with 5 minute rest repeated 3times on indoor trainer
Wednesday: Tempo ride to New Boston 150-160 bpm
Thursday: 50 mile back and out to Bennett. Headwind back and tailwind with Eric and Connie back. I had driven the van up so they had a tailwind ride.
Friday: 41 miles easy at 140 bpm to West Liberty and back. Rode in aero bars to whole ride
Sunday: 34 miles of hills on indoor trainer.

Thursday was a great day. The forecast was for strong winds out of the south. After work I left home and drove north to Bennett. The plan was to ride back to Muscatine into the wind and meet Eric and Connie for the second half of the ride with the wind. As I neared Muscatine the wind started to die down. What was 28 MPH gusts turned into 10 MPH. At least it was still near 70 degrees as we headed north at 5:00. It was getting pretty dark as we rode into Bennett at 6:15 so I was glad I had my flasher and reflective vest. The temps had also dropped to 56. We were all dressed for 70 so we got a little chilled. Connie had brought along some money so we grabbed a snack at the C-store before driving home.

I had hope to get a century in Saturday or Sunday but the weather did not cooperate. I don't mind getting caught in the rain but starting out in the rain is not for me. Next weekend looks promising for a long ride before I am off to New York for the week.

As I was looking at the web sites of the RAAM riders I stumble across the web site for Dave Goggins. He is a Navy Seal that competes in ultra-runs and has signed up for RAAM as another way to see how far he can push himself. His story will motivate you to push yourself beyond what you thought possible. Check him out at

Monday, March 2, 2009

Now it is Time To Get Serious

We finally decided on a team name. Mann Powered. The official RAAM media guide will have us listed under that name. The solos don't have to have a team name but we thought it would be more fun to have one. Connie is finishing up on the shirt design. On the back will list some of the stats from the ride and the RAW slogan "this ain't no tour" which I think is a great slogan.

Above is the profile to the first time station(TS1)of the race. You can see why they say "this ain't no tour". I have to go through 18 Time stations all together. They vary in length from 54 miles to 88 miles. The distance to the first TS is 54 miles with over 6000 feet of climbing. If you push too hard up these first climbs it will make for a long three and half days.

With less than four months until the race the serious training needs to start. For the next 10-12 weeks the intensity is going to increase along with the miles. Each week will consist of two days of long interval workouts plus 1 or 2 hill climbing work outs. The weekends will consist of at least one long ride. In addition each month I need to complete a 200+ mile ride with a couple of 300 plus mile days in May. The 200 mile, 11,000 feet of climbing Balltown Classic on May 30th will be my last training ride.

Last week the legs finally started coming back. Mike and I rode 50 on Tuesday at a nice social pace and then Bill Ford joined us on Wednesday for another 50 mile ride this time at a quicker pace. The weather was great but my legs were a little cooked by the time I got home on Wednesday. Sunday I ventured out by myself for five repeats of Funk's hill. It wasn't too bad of a day to be outside riding, unless you are a indoor obsessed roller junkie, (no offense).

The pie sales are moving right along. Last night she baked pie number 70. A big thanks to all who have purchased pies. She has made many different kinds of pies so far and it is not too late to place your order. At $13 it is a great price. If you are intersested e-mail Connie as