Next weekend is RAIN. The 160 mile, one way, one day ride. I have been training for it specifically the last two weeks. Well, finding my legs after vacation (that included 10 days off the bike) and training for RAIN.
Fitness wise things are looking good. This week I have logged two 68 mile rides. The first on the 4th was a flat as a pancake organized Metric. I limited my stops and put in a very aggressive effort. I rode it solo, never drafting, and managed a nice 18.6 mph average. I stopped twice for only 13 minutes total to refill the water bottles. The hard effort didn't totally wipe me out either, which leads me to believe I had more to give, and that makes me happy.
Yesterday, it was another long solo effort. I headed out around 9am for 68 more miles. This was a slower ride at 17 mph average, but the route had some nice rolling hills and the legs responded positively again.
I have been testing out some new nutrition too. Hammer Nutrition products to be exact. First, HEED their sports drink is awesome. Not to sweet, in fact it's very subtle. It's easy to get down when the temps are rising and it has not produced any GI issues for me to date. Next, their GELs are all natural, meaning no HCFS, and very tasty. Espresso, Tropical, and Raspberry are the ones I have tried. Just like HEED they are easy to chug down when hot. This is key as it is July and HOT (duh)! Finally, the HAMMER BAR, both chocolate chip and almond raisin. They are decent, but nothing special. They remind me more a treat or dessert bar then anything else. While their sports drink and gels are worth the premium price the bars are not ($2.50 per). Nothing can beat the $1 Cliff Bar in my book.
The legs, mind, and nutrition are ready for RAIN. My neck and bike are dragging behind in their preparation. I need to focus this week on stretching out my neck every night. It is so tight that it very uncomfortable when I am on the bike. I blame the Hard Arse Mexico Resort bed for this. It always is an issue, but normally not at mile 10. I hope to work it loose this week.
Anyone know a good bike mechanic? (Psimet you out there?) My crank or bottom bracket is creaking like a cricket when under the slightest pressure. Very annoying for me and anyone else riding withing 100 feet!!!! Everything is function fine, just in a loud manner. I hope to get this looked at on Friday (hint hint).
Finally, I need to focus on my overall nutrition. With the holiday it has consisted of beer, barbecue, beer and ice cream. Well, not as bad as that may sound, but something I will be cleaning up starting today. Later today I plan a short run and tomorrow another ride. The goal for next week is two short and easy 30 milers and one run. Nothing to hard as I want the legs to be fresh for the 7am RAIN start a week from today. Later.
2 days ago