Monday, July 31, 2006

My Turn.........

Yesterday, just as the wife started to recovery and get out of bed, I get hit with this evil sickness. I went to bed Sunday around 3pm. I felt like I was going to vomit all night long. Today is a bit better, but I had to call OFF work and still feel very weak, tired, sore, and nauseous.

This whole past week with the In-Laws and the sickness is bumming me out. I needed 50 more miles to top 500 for the month of July. No rides for a week and the month is over.

Good news is Kozy's called and my new rig is in. I should be able to get down there Wednesday to pick it up!!!!!!! Yeah!!! Later.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Still Waiting.......

My new bike will not be ready for pickup until the middle of the upcoming week. They didn't have my color in stock and have to ship it from their warehouse. I am just giddy with anticipation.

No bike time for me since last Sunday. It breaks down like this; Six In-Laws arrived last Sunday for a week long stay. I do my best to entertain and be friendly which takes up all my time. Thursday rolls around and some type of sickness breaks out. It takes three people down, including my wife. They are pooping and puking like crazy. The In-Laws pack it in early and head out Friday morning. The wife is still in bed and has been since Thursday night. I am going on DAY 3 of baby duty (ha i said duty) and I may crack soon. How do you stay at home parents do it?

I have managed a couple of treadmill runs this week, but I miss my soon to be listed on eBay or Craigslist 2005 Trek 1000. Later.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Coming Soon.........

To a country road near me, GIANT TCR Comp 2!!

Too Cool.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Remember When?

Tuesday use to be Weigh In day. The day of the week I hoped to see results of all the hard work I had put in. Most of the time Tuesday was a good day.

For old time sakes I thought I would step on the scale today and report my findings. Don't get me wrong, I am still watching what I eat, riding, running, and stepping on the scale, but just not making a production of it anymore.

OK, 183 pounds. Quick math will show that to be a 53 lb weight loss for me since Jan 2006. Not too damn shabby. Later.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Recover, Race, Recover

Wow, a week has passed since RAIN and my last blog entry. Time can really fly bye when you have to be an adult for a while.

Anyway, I finally got back out on the bike this past Friday. Five days after the big 160 mile RAIN, so I guess I can't call it a recovery ride. Plus, I was recruited as a last minute replacement for a team triathlon event and went out to hammer it. My summer has been spent focused on endurance events and Friday was my only chance to train, even though it should have been recovery. Are you following this crap?? The ride sucked. It was windy, rainy, and my legs were hurting. I had very tired and heavy legs, but I got in 30 miles.

On to Saturday. The event was a team tri and the bike portion was 24 miles of mostly flat rural roads in Central Illinois. Since this was a team tri each member needed to produce a max effort. No holding back or pacing. My job was to ride hard and fast. I did, for me, that is. I was hoping to maintain a 18 mph avg for the course. With no time trial training I thought this would be achievealbe, but still difficult.

I must say this Roadie had a lot of fun doing the team triathlon. I really enjoyed racing and the rush of passing people. I did very well, for me. I managed a 20.1 mph pace for the 24 miles with a time of 1:14. I kept my heart rate up with an average of 162 bpm. With no drafting and a head wind for 12 miles I was pleased with my results. There were plenty of studs at this event though. My time was 112th out of 270 riders.

I was back out on the road Sunday as the weather begged for it. I had no plans for distance or time or the flat rear tire at mile 15. My first flat and it had to be on the rear!! I carry what I thought was the needed items for such an event, but I was wrong.

I had no real trouble removing the tire and punctured tube. I checked the tire for any debris and it was clear. I inserted the new tube and all was going well. I have a fancy CO2 inflater and carry 3 CO2 cartridges. It appears I was carrying three bad cartridges. As soon as I installed them they shot out cold air and were done. Empty with nothing to give. One, two, three.........Nothing, no air in my tire at all.

"Honey, are you busy???" Luckily the best wife in the world agreed to run my floor pump out to me. After a 45 minute delay I was pumped up and headed back home on the bike. Yep, I didn't let it get me down and finished out a nice little 30 mile ride.

Doing the math I got in 80 plus miles this weekend. I have a metric century on my schedule for this coming weekend. It is crazy how much a 32 year old man can enjoy riding his bike. Later.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


The Ride Across Indiana is done. After this year I think their slogan should be; One Way, One Day, 160 Miles, 100 degrees.

This weekend was the hottest weekend of the year to date for the Midwest. It was 85 degrees before we even got started and that was at 630am. The temperature hit 90 degrees very early and I am guessing it topped out around 95 or so. On the bike with pure sun beating off me and the asphalt it felt like 100+ degrees. Yes, I am trying to tell you it was freaking HOT.

Psimet2001, my buddy from, invited me to do RAIN with him this year. He needed a suffering partner and for some reason I eagerly accepted. We departed town Friday afternoon from the Burbs. He had his car loaded with any and all cycling gear that we could possible need. Wait, did I mention it was hot? He did not get that memo and forgot to pack his water bottles, so we had to make a quick stop at Performance Bike. It is hard for some of us, me included, to just go in and out of a bike shop, but he managed this feat somehow.

July 15th, 2006, RAIN, Ride Across Indiana, 7am departure from the Illinois/Indiana border.

I think I have a riding hangover and am finding it difficult to recall all the details of this event. Anyway, we arrived at the start around 645 am, unloaded, then headed up the road to get in line. There were already hundreds of riders present and waiting for the police escort to roll out. The shear number was intimidating for this noobie.

The clock struck 7am and we rolled out slowly eastward directly into the still rising sun. I was nervous about my skills in such a big crowd, but all was good. I was surprised to see no mishaps of any kind as we rolled out.

The surprises kept coming as we started out very fast. The speeds were in the 20s and I could not help to think, "Hey we got like 150 miles to go, can we slow this train down??" We didn't and the first 60 miles flew bye. I think our average was around 20 mph at the 60 mile mark/rest stop. I felt good at this point, but knew the suffering was soon to come.

I just recently obtained my roadie card. This summer my longest rides have been two centuries, one metric, and a couple of just for fun 50 milers. I have been running this summer and did have over 1000 total miles coming into the event, but I was worried what miles 100 to 160 would bring.

Suffering. They brought suffering. Especially the last 30. I feel like I handled the heat well, until this last 30 miles. My legs were good, but my stomach was going crazy and my heart rate was low for the effort I was putting in. I had no dizziness or light headedness, but my heart rate was holding at 100 bpm during the last 15 miles and I felt like I might toss my cliff bars at any time. I drank, I drank some more, I paced myself, and I controlled my thoughts to positive ones AND I finished. No tossed cliff bars, no dizziness, no light headedness, just stomach issues and a low heart rate. Did I mention it was really hot?

The ride was very well ran and organized. The four rest stops were well stocked with the basics and all the volunteers were very nice. Speaking of volunteers Psimet2001 recruited The Sarge to drive our PSV. He treked across Indiana at 20 mph, took tons of pics (surely you will see these later on), found the best parking spots at the stops, gave encouragement and always had the car waiting for us with the A/C on MAX. We don't finish without The Sarge. He is one cool dude.

We finished in 12 hours and 25 minutes. I am proud of that too. We had seven total stops; 4 RAIN rest stops and three of our own. Did I mention it was hot?

My ride stats: 159.1 miles, 9 hours 22 minutes 33 seconds of ride time, 16.9 mph avg with 33.7 max, 84 avg cadence with 116 max, 129 avg HR with 171 max, and 6548 calories burnt.

I guess it is time for a recovery ride? Later.

RAIN = Done

RAIN = Done
Originally uploaded by aham23.

One Day, One Way ,160 Miles, 100 degrees.

That is or was the ride slogan, Right?

More Coverage to come.



Originally uploaded by aham23.

Rider # 433 has completed RAIN!!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

ready, set, RAIN

ready, set, RAIN
Originally uploaded by aham23.

Gearing up for One Way, One Day, 160 miles................RAIN.

Weather is looking to be nasty. 86 degress with 30% chance of summer time thunderstorms.

Crap, I need to pack my RAIN coat. Later.

The Training.....

Well, it is not really training. I mean I don't think I have put enough time in to call it training and hope I do not insult those who do, are, and have actually put in training time for their goals.

All that being said, it is kinda fun to pretend like I am some super professional athlete training for the biggest event of his life. O.K., my too little too late training beaks down like this; 33 road miles Sunday, 3 miles on the treadmill Monday, and 55 road miles Wednesday.

Think about this, my longest training ride before I attempt RAIN equals ONLY 1/3rd of the RAIN distance. Wow, that just freaked me out. I am currently freaked!

Anyway, the ride last night after work was solid. My goal was to go steady and straight through without stopping. The legs were good and stamina wise I felt great. I did have to stop at mile 40 for a 5 minute potty break. Otherwise, it was a steady paced 17 mph avg ride with low, for me, heartrate average of 125 bpm and three hours of saddle time.

I experienced my normal neck and shoulder tightness/discomfort. I practiced some on the bike stretching and think the key to this is plenty of pre-ride and during ride stretching. I have been experiencing a new lower back into the butt pain too. I plan to manage this issues on the road the best I can. Heck, it is cycling, and suffering is part of the FUN!!

Today, is an off day. I know, an off day, but I have barely been on??? I still have to be smart about this and not over do it. Maybe a short ride Friday, then it is RAIN time. Later.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Almost Gone

Almost Gone
Originally uploaded by aham23.

So, I only managed one ride of 33 miles while I was there. I have only DAYS left before the big RAIN ride. One Way, One Day, 160 miles. I am not ready. I need to log a big ride and log it soon. It is raining this morning and not looking good weather wise. I am begining to worry I will not be ready. Time to run, I guess. Later.

The Sunset

The Sunset
Originally uploaded by aham23.

The wife captured these pics our first night.

The Bay View

The Bay View
Originally uploaded by aham23.

We stayed at Westwood Shores, just north of Sturgeon Bay. It was on the bay and very beautiful.

Cave Point

Cave Point
Originally uploaded by aham23.

Door Co, WI.

To Hill Or Not.

To Hill Or Not.
Originally uploaded by aham23.

At the 15 mile turn around I had choices to make. The Hill to the left looked nasty steep. I should have given it a try, but opted for downhill.
The roadie in me regrets it now.

Wisconsin Ride

Bay Shore Drive
Originally uploaded by aham23.

Door County was beautiful. I don't see too many open, no traffic, country roads in the Burbs.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Twenty Seven Minutes.......

Finally, I managed to run 3 straight miles on the treadmill. I have been crapping out around 2 miles with 2.5 being my max run. Twenty-Seven minutes for 3 Nine Minute miles makes me happy. My fitness level is so far beyond what it was in January when I could not run one single mile.

I am headed up to Door County, Wisc., this weekend for a little get away. I hope to squeeze in two road rides. I have one 40 miler planned out for sure!! If the weather is nice it should be very scenic as it runs along the Bay and the Lake. I plan to take plenty of pictures to blog.

The running and the riding this weekend will be my base for the RAIN ride. July 15th, One Way, One Day, 160 miles. I hope I am ready. Later.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

4th Metric

I rose early this morning to head out and take part in the JBC Plainfield 4th Metric. I was registered and on the road by 6:40 am. There were only 4 or 5 other cars in the lot. When I finished around 10:40 am all the lots at the High School were full.

This was an organized ride, but because I departed so early and it being a holiday (all my Buddies were busy) I rode it solo. I passed some people and got passed by others, but I trudged this 63 miles alone.

The route was basically flat with a couple of rollers here and there. It was a rural route with light traffic and three rest stops. It was 70 degrees with 98% humidity when I hit the road.

My goal was to hammer it, as much as I can hammer it, and post a nice time and average speed. Something I could use in the future as a gage on where my fitness is. The 30 miles out to Morris were great and fast for me. Uh, when I made the turn back I found out it was due to a nice little tailwind that now was a head wind. Miles 35 to 50 solo into this wind were lonely and tough.

I recovered somewhat at the last rest stop and actually felt good at the end. I finished up just in time as it is nasty hot and humid out right now. The Stats: 63 miles, total time 4 hours 5 minutes, ride time 3 hours 38 minutes, 17.3 mph avg with 30.3 mph max, 140 avg heartrate with 161 max, 91 avg cadence with 113 max, and 2953 calories toasted.

Now off for some July 4th Barbecue. Later.

Monday, July 03, 2006


I like setting goals. I really like reaching the set goal. I really, really like exceeding my set goals. Before I dropped 50 lbs and exceeded every dreamed up weight loss goal I had, I set myself a cycling goal.

At 230 lbs I thought I should shoot for 1000 miles on the bike this summer. Well, I am at 32 rides for 1020.9 miles as of today. Goal achieved. Time for a new goal? No, I don't think so. I am just going to keep riding and let the miles rack up. Miles of fun and miles of calories burnt!! Then I will be able to set a goal for 2007.

I have the Plainfield Metric (62 miles) ride tomorrow morning. I plan to hit it early to finish early so I can spend the rest of the 4th with my family. Let me NOT forget that July 15th is the RAIN ride; One Day, One Way, 160 Miles. Throw in a trip to Door Co, Wisconsin, next weekend and my hopes for another century late this month and July should be my biggest mileage total yet.

Anyone watching Le Tour on OLN? Some of these beginning flat stages can be boring for me, until the end sprint. However, Three days into the event and I have seen every minute.