September 14, 2007

Things are looking brighter

Ack -- it's amazing the psychological effect dehydration can have on a person.
Yeah, it's only been a few days, but what a difference in my outlook, planning, and retrospect on the MS-150. I'm looking forward to Tejas now, with higher hopes than Monday's post would have indicated -- or was it Tuesday? I don't remember.
But, the sun is shining on my soul now. Smiles, relaxed shoulders, easy like Sunday mornin'.

Nice sweater... bet it's wool... niiiiice.

ANYways... back to the whole planning phase of things. Yeah, I came up about an hour short on my run at a five-hour century, but with the lack of summer speed training, that really shouldn't surprise me - so it doesn't anymore. Boo-hoo, let's cry about it. Also, yeah, I REALLY didn't drink enough or eat right on the bike -- most of the lack of push I was experiencing was fatigue caused by either /or a combination/ of those two factors, so I know what I need to work on. The endurance base is clearly there, so no more long mileage is needed - I just need to remember to drink, and keep the tank topped off for maximum performance. To wake up the cardio a little this weekend I'm heading out to Longview Lake for a little chasing of the racers - at least that's the plan. I think that's the only kind of training that will help at this point; shorter rides, 40 miles and below probably, to keep the legs fresh, avoid burnout or overuse, but attempting intervals at higher speeds, looking up the road for targets to chase down, seeing how long I can keep the heart-rate up, and then cool back down and repeat. That should get the cardio primed up, and the rest of the cobwebs blown out.

It's only been a few days since engaging in the new diet, also -- rather, the OLD diet, back when I seemed to care more about my performance and my fitness than I did about lots of comfort food. As a result, the digestive system is a little happier already, and I feel a lot less lethargy from all that over-processed and heavy food that I WAS eating. I'm able to trot up the stairs at work again, rather than lumber up them. Granted, I probably don't have enough time for a full de-tox - but I can at least be a little better prepared. The ride itself will be fueled by some of the old standards, with standbys in the cooler, too, just in case something doesn't work. Some good oat & honey balls, bite sized, some Fig Newtons - the easier to chew and digest multi-grain models, stuff like that in case I feel the need to chew on something. Might have something in there to feed myself with before I lay down at the end of the 2nd day, to sorta replicate the "halfway" point of the 600K, when I ate a good meal at the hotel. In other words, do what I know worked.
There shouldn't be any surprises.

Notes to remember:

SPIN. Don't muscle it unless I have to. Those repetitive hills are steeper that I think they are.

No heroics. Let em pass. You ain't holdin' Sam Baugh's wheel for 220 miles, for example. Not sure if he'll be there, but you get the idea.

Set up the tent carefully; scan for rocks, chuck-holes, fallen limbs. Arrive early to get a better spot than last year, and walk CAREULLY when off the bike.

Take enough cloting, but not TOO much, to avoid the: "you know what sounds cozy is that one headband and arm-warmers..." and other such excuses to stop. Only stop if there is a REASON to.


Bathroom breaks -- make sure I actually NEED THEM. In other words; HYDRATE.
If I don't have to pee every 40 miles, something is amiss. DRINK, foolio!
Don't over-do it, but remember always: I feel better and ride better when I have had enough to drink -- don't let that feeling fade!

Stay positive! The down-times will come -- accept them, know they will pass. Enjoy the good times, smile, talk to the other riders, and make it memorable. Maybe even take a few pics! Why not? Keep it fun!

Keep pedaling, even if it's in the smallest gear I have because it's better than NOT MOVING. Maintain the overall pace of 10.5 MPH, and I WILL FINISH. Pedal 18-20 MPH when I can, but also know that pedalling up a steep hill at 8 MPH is okay, too.
Think BREVET, not race. There are others that came to race, root them on and smile at the prospects of next year, perhaps -- I have come to finish, so ride smart.

Reward myself -- pop a Starbucks Double-Shot can at midnight, and relish in it.
Remember MV24 -- buy a massage on a break from the Sports Therapy tent folks. Stay loose.

Savor the landmarks: 400 miles to go, 300 miles to go, 400K to go, 200K to go! Two laps left! Last Lap! Celebrate! Keep smiling!!! Know that after 376 miles, every mile pedaled is a new landmark, and smile about it - it's a GOOD thing!

And most important: Refer back to this post over the next few days, print it out and stick it in an envelope addressed to myself at the 400 mile marker. (thanks, Ort!)

Contrasted to only a few days ago, my legs feel recovered, fresh, and ready -- this morning's ride to work in a strong north headwind should have been a lot harder, but it was fine. I felt strong enough, climbed well, arrived in good time. I find myself running successful scenarios through my head, instead of having dread. My nerves are calm again. Looking forward to a brisk start to tomorrow AM, for a fast 38 miles at Longview. More to come...

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