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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Marin County CA
    Posts
    5,958

    Not-so-Terrible Terrible Two Adventure

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    Well, 2011 has been a pretty amazing year for me in the cycling department.

    - I completed Devil Mountain Double century (DMD) back in April (206 miles, 20,000 feet of climbing) and knocked 3 hours of my last time for the ride, finishing an hour before my goal time. The ride felt easy (relatively speaking), which was astonishing.

    - I completed a brevet series (200, 300, 400 and 600k rides). While I've done all the distances in the past, I'd never done them in the same year. My 200, 300 and 400k times were all substantially faster than when I had done the distances in the past.

    - Last year due to work stress issues, I had given myself a year off cycling seriously or worrying about weight and fitness, and gained 10 - 15 pounds. Between December 2010 and April of this year, I decided the break was over and I (slowly and sustainably and with the help of the new WW program) lost 30 pounds. That has made a tremendous improvement in my riding and my speed. I built up a training schedule that worked brilliantly for DMD and the brevet series.

    So after DMD, I decided to register for the Terrible Two (TT) double century, which is 200 miles and 15,500 feet of climbing. I had never done the TT before, because I always felt that the aggressive time cut offs would put it beyond my reach. I am a steady and stubborn climber, but not ďspeedyĒ. DMD is more generous with the time cut offs than TT and even in my slow DMD ride, I was never in jeopardy of making the time cut offs. For TT the cut offs are much more difficult to make. Given my DMD time, I felt I had a real chance to complete the ride. I was both right and wrong.

    Yesterday, I did 130 or so miles of the TT before having the most spectacular bonk in my cycling life. My husband rode with me. We made the time cutoffs and would have finished (my training partner finished the ride), but I had some issues which led directly to the meltdown. The bonk was so bad I was dizzy and lightheaded. I was sleepy on the last descent I did before I stopped (before the Rancheria Wall for those of you who know the route), and as soon as I got off the bike and sat down, I had bed spins. It was absolutely unsafe to continue in the condition I had gotten myself in. I completed 132 of 200 miles and, more significantly 11,300 of 15,500 feet of climbing.

    Itís funny, I havenít done any sort of ďride reportĒ on any of my successful rides this year, and here I am writing about failure. I feel that you learn more from failures than successes, and am writing this report more for myself so I can learn from my mistakes and finish this ride next year.

    Thoughts on the TT/What Went Wrong or Right:

    - TT Time cut offs: These seem daunting, but are doable if you donít mess around and take advantage of working with people on the flat sections. If you make the lunch cut off, you can likely make the rest of the cut offs. We had this nailed. Go us!

    - Climbs: While the ride is objectively easier than DMD (less climbing overall) the ride is actually a lot harder than DMD for non-petite riders. The climbs are more relentlessly steep. DMD has only 2 climbs of note with sustained steepness (last part of Hamilton and Sierra Rd.) The rest of the DMD climbs are fairly gradual, though long. The TT climbs are almost all ridiculously and relentlessly steep. Accordingly, I didnít have any trouble completing DMD with my compact double, but TT was a different story. I need to get a bigger cassette at the very least. And while the weight loss I have done this year has been great, 5 - 10 more pounds would make a huge difference. Improve gearing and weight for next year!!

    - Donít be a cheapskate: put in new contacts before big rides. After mile 80, I couldnít see out of my contacts because they got so bleary. This was not safe, especially with the hairy descents. The inability to see made me seriously consider quitting two separate times (at the two last rest stops before my bonk). I was so distracted with not being able to see and thinking I was going to quit because of that, that I didnít focus on fueling adequately at those last 2 rest stops. Rookie mistake!!

    - Take tire pressure down about 5 pounds. The roads suck.

    - Ride training focus: What I did this year worked great for DMD. However, I decided that I wanted to have it all and get my Super Randonneur award this year. Thatís great and Iím glad I have it, but doing the 600k four weeks ago actually was a training set back for me. It took me a few weeks to fully recover from it and during all that time, I could/should have been focusing on targeted climbing rides. Next year, skip the 600k and add a couple of long climbing specific rides in May/June instead.

    - Get your head on straight. All of this is so mental. I wasnít having a great day in the morning, but was riding pretty solidly. But my husband made a comment or two about how I wasnít having a good day and I let that get into my head and fester and convince myself I wasnít having a good day. The lack of confidence built up and I didnít jump in early enough to replace the negative self talk with a fighting attitude. (And not that he was being remotely negative - it was all how I interpreted it and allowed it to distract me and make me lose commitment.)

    - Remember youíre going to cycle through being strong and not strong many times throughout the day. Again, I let the negativity steal focus. I actually started writing this ďride epitaphĒ in my head - the list above of things to change - 50 miles before I bonked. I hadnít mentally committed to finishing the ride.
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
    2010 Pegoretti Love #3 "Manovelo"
    2011 Mercian Vincitore Special
    2003 Eddy Merckx Team SC - stolen
    2001 Colnago Ovalmaster Stars and Stripes

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    Sounds like it was still an amazing ride! Contact issues on a ride just plain suck.

    If you care to share, I'd love to hear more of your training plan
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Marin County CA
    Posts
    5,958
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueberry View Post
    Sounds like it was still an amazing ride! Contact issues on a ride just plain suck.

    If you care to share, I'd love to hear more of your training plan
    I've never had issues with them on a ride, but since I lost my vision insurance plan, I've been "stretching" the useful life of my disposable contacts. I almost always have to discard the pair I used after a long ride, so I figured I would keep these in and discard them after the ride - big mistake!!! Live and learn!

    In terms of training, I do two 90 minute high intensity interval computrainer classes during the week, and then one long ride on the weekend. I built up from 100 milers in October/November to 200ks (3 of them) in December/January); two 300ks in February/March; a 400k in April and then DMD (206 miles) in April. Between long rides, I will throw in 40 - 80 milers on off weekends. All that worked great.
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
    2010 Pegoretti Love #3 "Manovelo"
    2011 Mercian Vincitore Special
    2003 Eddy Merckx Team SC - stolen
    2001 Colnago Ovalmaster Stars and Stripes

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,473
    What a great report, kiddo--I can learn all kinds of things from it. Very smart analysis. Thanks for that.
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    566
    Funny how 100+ miles really makes you think about everything, huh?

    Well, congrats on your successes! You are a powerful awesome cyclist, contacts and bonks and all!

    -- gnat!
    Windsor: 2010 S-Works Ruby
    Pantysgawn: 2011 S-Works Stumpjumper 29er
    Whiz!: 2013 S-Works Crux (Singlespeed)
    Boucheron: 2009 S-Works Tricross
    Haloumi: 2013 Tern P7i
    Kraft: 2009 Singlecross
    Gouda: 2005 Electra Betty
    Roquefort: 1974 Stella SX-73

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Marin County CA
    Posts
    5,958
    Thanks guys.

    Yeah I have done at least 20 rides over 150 miles and you learn something from each of them.
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
    2010 Pegoretti Love #3 "Manovelo"
    2011 Mercian Vincitore Special
    2003 Eddy Merckx Team SC - stolen
    2001 Colnago Ovalmaster Stars and Stripes

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,645
    wow, you've done A LOT this year! congrats!

    the 600k Donald did set him back a few weeks too. (shaking my head)

    glad you're all right!
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

    Davidson Custom Bike - Cavaletta
    Dahon 2009 Sport - Luna
    Old Raleigh Mixte - Mitzi

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    Quote Originally Posted by maillotpois View Post
    Remember youíre going to cycle through being strong and not strong many times throughout the day.
    Boy, isn't that the truth. Every 10 miles or so on a long ride, I experience a different set of emotions and mindset, from exhilerated to defeated and everything in between.

    Thanks for sharing all your insight. I'm sure you'll put all that you learned to good use on your next amazing feat.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Utah, Gateway to Nevada, not to be confused with Idaho
    Posts
    1,872
    You are a super rock star. I get all excited these days if I can ride 20 miles

    I've had contacts issues on very long rides before. Heat, wind, salt, and brand of contact all contributed. I switched brands and that seemed to help.

    Now go have some dark chocolate.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Marin County CA
    Posts
    5,958
    Quote Originally Posted by Biciclista View Post

    the 600k Donald did set him back a few weeks too. (shaking my head)
    And I still haven't seen a ride report...
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
    2010 Pegoretti Love #3 "Manovelo"
    2011 Mercian Vincitore Special
    2003 Eddy Merckx Team SC - stolen
    2001 Colnago Ovalmaster Stars and Stripes

 

 

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