One of the most challenging aspects of staying on top of my game is understanding how to manage change. You'd think that if it worked once it would work again, right? Nope. It is never that simple. The reality is things are always in flux. Understanding the ebb and flow of this (un)raveling ball of string has taken the forefront of my conciousness of late.
These periods of seeking elightenment often come about as a result of enexpected results. Yes, OP is what I'm talking about. Perfect prep, showing up with (I thought) perfect form, only to be taken out with GI issues. At first I chalked it up to something outside of my control. But was it?
Maybe not. Both LW and I knew there was a lesson in this one...but I had no idea. It was time to let go of the bikes for a bit and see what showed up between my ears. For the first time in a couple years CTL is below 100!
I'll thank my parents for a gnarly family history for the first checkup to make sure there is no gum in the works. The dreaded colonoscopy was Tuesday. They did take pictures but they are not that exciting - let me know if you really want to see them. It did provide fodder for endless conversation with Wes (LWs 9 yo boy. Ever hear of the "Magic Schoolbus?" An animated kids movie of a school bus going through a human intestistinal track...he was most interested in the point of entry/exit). Wed began the dental work - cleaning turned into an all day affair and liquid diet. Thu was even better with wisdom teeth extraction. This one was a bigger deal than I anticipated, including lots of bone graft to the pieces of jawbone removed and a 2 week course of antibiotics. No spitting, drinking through straws or exercise for 2 days! I've developed insomnia :) The happy gas as they call it was a real treat though. Way better than getting knocked out.
So...this impromtu training break leads to a lot of new thoughts and understanding. The training part I have pretty dialed these days, but the real trick is to keep high training volumes fueled optimally in a way that allows your body to make the most of it and still work as it needs to. Easier said than done because when caloric needs rise they get filled with sub-optimal fuels (apple pie, anyone?). I think as I age I can't get away with laziness in the kitchen as much as before. Lots of ideas to try out! A gluten free diet is at the top of the list. The guys over at First Endurance have some interesting things to say about it as it pertains to athletes, and CVV leans that way. Us enduro nuts do things with our bodies evolution didn't prepare us for. If we're gonna be bull-headed about it we better get smart!
A rare steam of consciousness blog. Now for some visual content.
Oct 1 I ordered the ANT+ updater for my PowerTap MTB hub. This gizmo upgrades the firmware in the hub such that it transmits on 2 channels: 1 to the power tap computer head, the other channel on ANT+ sport. The ANT+ channel is a semi-open protocol and several devices speak the language. Among them in Garmin's Edge 705.
I picked up a 705 after this years Canadian affair in which I left behind another GPS unit - doh! The 705 had already caught my eye though because it is ANT+ and would eventually be able to communicate with power transmitting hubs/cranks.
The ANT+ updater arrived last weekend - the update was fast and easy, with a few other wrinkles though - I'll have those details up on lwcoaching.com eventually. Once updated, the 705 picked up the PT signal immediately - bingo!
Yet...it is not as simple as it seems. The 705 uses an (unknown to me) algorithm to smooth the raw recorded data and in the process the integrity of that data is gone. It baffles me why they take a quality raw data stream and alter it! It essentially takes the good stuff and turns it into less good stuff. It's really a bigger issue with variable efforts such as occur in road racing and single speed MTBing. Steady endurance rides would probably come out similar. It scrubs about 30% of L6 power from every one of my SS files when compared to the PT CPU.
So heads up y'all. Gizmo integration is just around the corner but ain't here yet. If you want a 705 to go with your PM it's best to hold off for now. If you've spent $1,500 on your sweet power meter you probably want it to record good data and for now that means stick with the PT CPU in the powertap system.
Folks have been asking if we are having Camp Lynda again in 2009. Well, the ones not doing Trans Utah this weekend that is.
Dates are Jan 23-25. Same format as last year, 3 days of big self supported rides in the desert. All are welcome. Different name tho'. Camp Lynda was funny for one year with it's "soft" sound being that it was a killer training camp. This year we are giving it the name it deserves:
Courses will be tweaked a little and for sure it will be 2-Epic.
I talked with an official at USA Cycling who confirmed this is going to be the venue for the 2009 and 2010 NORBA National 24 hour Mountain Bike Championships.
Well I haven't done a 24 hour solo since Worlds last year and am in just the right mood for one at the moment. So we are packing up the ship and sailing it over to Payson with gears, suspension and power meters on every bike!
Dave and I are racing the 24 hour solo with power meters and Danielle is racing the 12 hour solo with hers. We will have a plethora of data to get the 2009 and 2010 Nationals training plans nailed.
It is a climby one. From topofusion 1366 ft/ 8.8 mile lap. This chart of the course is from a GPS file provided courtesy of Dan Basinski the Payson race promoter. Thanks Dan.
The trickiest part of racing 24's is pacing. How do you pace a 24 to end up with the most laps? Go fast from the gun and hang on? Even split? Negative split? We are gonna be doing a little experimenting in Payson and if we get it all right we'll have the power data to back it up. Precise numbers from differently paced races over one course at the same time. Now that is data to keep us busy this winter and juice to use when cooking up the killer Nationals training plans in 2009 and 2010 - yummy :-)
I love my Siren SS. The bike feels as good and natural as anything I've ever ridden. Bike and rider blur on this steed.
Yet, racing it in a geared class is a losing proposition. If there's one thing I learned racing TransRockies on a SS, it's that going with one gear is a major disadvantage. It was fun and honestly we didn't walk much more than those near us but when it came to flats and descents we got waxed. Soooo waxed. We could climb with the lead teams no problem, but riding with faster open men teams was not an option on the flats. Pat Doyle even tried to pull us into the draft of a fast train a few times but it was not happening at 200 rpm.
Never say never - like when I said I'd never need gears on the Siren so buzzed one of the big ring arms off the XTR crank - but I'll never race a SS in a geared class again. That's stupid. We have a phrase for that: "taking a knife to a gunfight." That's what we did at TR and we got shot ;)
There was an enormous amusement factor. Like day 2, when we were passed by the entire field on a 20k downhill tailwind paved section. We literally got to see everyone on course that day as the leaders came hiking back down from that missed turn in the avalanche chute...on the first climb we clawed back through the back half of the field. It was as if they were standing still. One guy says quietly to his partner "we just got passed by a dude on a single speed", then LW rolls up and says "it get's better!" There were a lot of moments like that days 1 and 2. Drew Bragg, announcer extraordanaire, was astonished day 4 when we came in ahead of the Luna team and only 5 min down on the leaders. At the awards he called up the Luna team saying they must have had a mechanical to finish behind a SS team, LOL. Earlier in the day someone asked Katerina Nash how her day went and she grunted "we got beat by the single speeders."
Amusing for sure.
What doesn't settle so well is putting a number plate on and showing up with a limiting bike. So we are gonna fix that. VT125 doesn't quite fit the bill, Payson Stampede does, and doubles as a preview of next years 24 nationals course.
We'll have plenty of competition. And this time around, gears.
That fancy new PT Disc wheel is still not on a bike...I tried yesterday but the rear triangle on the bike it was to go on doesn't have disc mounts! Geez. It was a bummer at first...big ride day on the plan. What to do? Take the SS of course ;)
32.17 has been the gear of choice for a long time now. It just fits - and the chain hasn't stretched in 300 miles. The route was to be the Lime Kiln loop we did last week. Taking the SS I was just a bit too intimidated by one section of it so modified the route slightly, but it still ended up at 129 miles and 15k+ vert. Ah, and it was 91F in Mesquite yesterday. Ouch!
Will I ever race a bike again? Sure...but the idea of a SS solo TT of the KT is much more appealing right now. Yesterday's route was a lot like doing the KT minus that last bit of singletrack on the Fruita end. I now know I can finish it on a SS - and that it will hurt ;)
Sorry, I wasn't a good hippie yesterday so no pics. The flowers seemed muted anyway...maybe it's the ride company that makes them pop? Curious...
Things learned about long distance SS riding yesterday:
- being spun out for long periods is tough on the butt, but if it's downhill and you don't have to pedal at all it's a great time to toss 700 calories down the hatch.
- an aero position that serves the dual purpose of also stretching hamstrings and back is key (found it).
- Dairy Queen is the ideal pit stop in the heat. They fill your bladder with cold water, give you ice cream, and do it all indy pit style. In & out in under 4 minutes ;)
- High power spikes put the hurt on ya late in the ride. Duh. Exacerbated by the heat for sure, but still...
- Enduralytes are still magic in the heat
- 14% grades in 90F temps at 6 hours on a 32.17 is a good recipe for hoofing it ;)
355 oz fluids drank
1 large Dairy Queen ice cream cone. Magic in them things...
15, 159 vert climb
10:14 ride time
35 min stop time - filtered 180 oz, traffic, ice cream stop...working on it!
The PT actually croaked for about 30 minutes, but it was mostly downhill towards the end. Here's what it captured of the day:
It's been a tough week. Change and uncertainty are running free reign right now - and that can be tough on my ocean liner sensibilities.
On the flip side, change presents opportunities. In this case, I have the time to focus on what I really enjoy.
Take this guy for instance. With a strong history of riding he's ready for the next level. A year+ worth of power data told me all I needed to know. I asked him to think outside of the box and do some stuff that was counter-intuitive. Here's how the first 6 weeks have gone in terms of normalized power for 40 and 60 min durations:
...and here's how the above fits in with the annual picture: