Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hilly Hundred

So much for the Hundred! Disclaimer up front - I only managed 87 miles - so I did more then the 100k, but not the whole 100 miles. I feel like giving the t-shirt back! I've never done that before - cut a race short like that. Oh yea, its not a race, it's an organized ride. Right...

The cold front went through the day before, so it was kinda freaky waking up to temps in the 50's! I got in the truck after loading everything up and while it was calm outside, it was 53 degrees. Well below my previously stated limit of 60 degrees for bike ride low temps. Driving north to the start of this event, the thermometer crept steadily downward. By the time I got to the college where we were to head out, it was 48 degrees! Now I'm really breaking the Bigun's rules.

Of course I've got nothing extra special for this ride. No arm warmers, no leg warmers, no toe warmers or hat thingy. I did bring a long-sleeve shirt which I kept on for the whole ride - it was the only thing good about being the biggest guy there - everyone else was shivering, while I was ok. I met John and Lee there; I think if John would have brought a winter parka, he'd have worn it. He had everything else on - you have to keep in mind - last Sunday, we started our ride at 77 degrees and finished at 93. Today's ride would not even get up to 77. Our blood is a bit thin this time of year...

Just what I thought would happen - did. The Bigun, at 280lbs, was dropped at the third big hill, about 5 miles in. I watched the peloton ride away, and I settled in to my pace and my alone-time. The course was essentially a North-South out and back, with a couple of East-West loops thrown in for good measure. The East-West's on this day were welcome, as out of the north came a staunch headwind steady at 5-6 mph, gusting 10-15mph. For drama's sake, I'll say it was mostly gusting.

So not only did I lose the draft-pack, but now I had to fight the wind and the hills all by my lonesome. Sucked to be me. I made it to the 3rd SAG stop before stopping, and that was at 62 miles or so. By then my average speed had dropped to below 16mph, and with the stop, I was firmly in the 15's. I knew my buddies in the draft would be averaging 18 at least, so to keep them from having to wait an hour for me at the finish, and since I had to work and was already late, I hatched a plan to cut the ride short. I knew one of the loops was a 6 mile out and back, and as I struggled to keep my average above 15.5mph, I cut that "Trilby Loop" and rode to the finish. It wasn't an easy decision, but looking back, I'm glad I did - we all finished within 10 minutes of each other, and I saved them some worrying and an extra hour of lateness at work.

Packing this extra 30 lbs is a bear. I'm hoping that adding the running now will start to whittle away at it - I sure do miss the spryness of 250lbs! Ha! That even sounds funny to me.

Four weeks until the Clairmont ride - the Horrible Hundred. I've got the day off from work, so I can ride slow and guilt free that day. It's got at least a thousand more feet of elevation change in it; upwards of 8k feet in climbing, as opposed to this Hilly Hundred that is about 6.5k feet. Maybe I'll get lucky and it will be a calm day!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


So the Bike Across Florida is out. The website for the ride is disabled, although it still shows up in Active.com - I'm even more suspect about this ride then ever, and glad I made the decision with our "team" of work bikers to not do this ride.

Looking forward to the big weather change that is supposed to happen this weekend - on Sunday, for the Hilly Hundred Century here in the San Antonio area of Florida, we are supposed to wake up to 58-degree weather! I'm used to starting my rides in the high 70's, and finishing in the 90's, so this will be oh-so-nice!

I've put together a tentative schedule for next year - now all I have to do is FUND it! MRS Lana wants us to come up and do the Gulf Coast Half IM in May, which is cool, but of course it's not super cheap. That's after the early season Gator Half Ironman in March, a race that Excel Man turned me on to. Looking for tune up races to get back into the swing of things, I found two inexpensive lake-swim Olympics just outside Gainsville in January and February - so I'm excited about that.

No, I'm not doing the full Marathon at Gasparilla - just gonna do the Half. Three weeks later is that Gator Half Ironman, and I'd like to do well at that, which would be impossible on barely-recovered marathon legs.

If all goes well (and Tri-Sherpa Di agrees) May will bring the beginning of the trainup for '10 Minnesota Border to Border. I know, I know, you've heard that one before! I'd really, really like to do that race - spend a week riding and running hard, and the cool thing, really, is that the whole race is spent with your SHERPAs! I mean, how often do you get to do a big race and see your spouse the entire time? Usually a long-course race is a pretty lonely affair, even with the hundreds of other racers. B2B is a sprint relay, and the Sherpas are more vital than ever to the success of the racers.

The B2B is at the end of July - then the summer is firmly entrenched in the year-round-outdoor-training-center. I'm kinda intrigued by the Beach to Battleship race in Wilmington - and will be interested to see weather reports from this year's race. Last year the whole deal got mixed reviews from folks I know, but that's pretty normal for most races. Half? Full? We'll have to see...

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Yet another Podcast

If you'll notice to your right, in case you can't get it in I-Tunes yet, you can listen to Episode 19 on the player in the sidebar. Enjoy!

Friday, October 02, 2009

cough, cough

Cough, cough - the dust is bad in here! Sorry folks, it's been a while. I've been putting in some long hours at work, and I think it's paying off. There are indicators that we are at the bottom of whatever economic crisis we are in right now, and heading up. Good news for RV salesmen. Seems that we are the first to dive into the recession, and the first to get our noses up. The season for RV sales is the winter time - folks from the barren tundra you call the Northern States head south to escape the snow. These folks who still have money, hopefully will let some of it out of their bank accounts this winter and trickle it's way into my bill collector's hands. Bypassing me completely. Funny how that works.

A little success in that regard goes a long way toward motivating me to shed some weight and get back in shape. I'm 20 weeks away from the Gasparilla Marathon - this will be the last year the city of Tampa runs this race, and I think I'll run it. Two weeks later is the Gator Half Ironman down here in Sarasota in early March. It bills itself as the fastest half Ironman in the country - so I'm guessing it will be pretty flat.

Coming up soon will be the Hilly Hundred (Oct 18th) and Horrible Hundred (Nov 15th). Nothing like a hilly century or two to get the legs pumped up. The trick after those will be to balance the run volume with some bike maintenance so that the Gator can be a good race, and I can PR the Marathon.

Next May will bring the Cross Florida Bike ride - this one run by a bike club, and better organized and less greedy. I've got a good feeling about the organization, and feel like it would be important to tackle that event.

This is way premature, but the Minnesota B2B - abandoned this year due completely to finances - could be back on the table for the end of July '10. It's early to say if this RV season will be a good one, but if it is, I'd really like to try and convince a couple of wack'os like me to hit it.

Then what? Who knows? Firmly entrenched in summer, any training after July I've come to learn, is pretty much torture. This week marks the first break in days above 90 degrees since they started at the beginning of the summer. I won't plan any further out. I'm not signed up for any Ironman races for '10, although my buddy Lee seems to want to put IMFL10 on the schedule. But that's just not going to happen.