Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lake Matthews Mid Term Test: Grade = B+

Hello Life Ride Followers.....

Well the flu has passed but has taken its toll. I was pretty wiped out for about a week and really didn't feel like riding at all. Actually, I questioned my ability to do the cross country ride at all.....I just thought it impossible given how I felt emotionally and how weak physically.  The week after the flu, I rode a couple of 30 milers at moderate pace to just see how the ol' bod held together. The pace was OK but I could tell the hard-earned stamina was gone.

Anyway, on Saturday morning 24 March, 9 days after the flu, I decided to take on one of my favorite training rides up to Lake Matthews just to see how the recovery was going. I set in my mind a goal of survival: just getting up and back to the Lake Matthews dam since that 40 miles round trip had alot of climbing. The first 25 miles had about 2500 feet of vertical climbing so just getting there would be a good test. The Wx was a little cold but cooperated and we didn't get any rain to speak of...just a little drizzle in the beginning.

At the start, I really was hurting mentally. It usually takes me a good 10 miles to get warmed up and this ride starts climbing a little right from the get-go so things were difficult especially after the flu. After getting up past Green River (a short 8-10% climb) and then up the 1.5 mile 6% Green River Hill, I started feeling better and better. I felt pretty strong and pushed with good pace through the hills of Corona and up the 3 mile 6-8% climb up to the dam. I'm told that fishing is not allowed in this lake so the fish get pretty big. It is fun to sit and watch those guys swim around as I munch a power bar and get ready for the return trip.

Flying down the grade is fun but a little scary since there isn't alot of room between my little bike and those big gravel trucks!!

At the end of the ride I was very surprised to see on my Garmin that I beat my best time on this ride by over 2 minutes!! I guess training is paying off despite the flu!

Hope you are all feeling the energy and life of springtime and Easter. On the bike trail next to the river I've noticed that the ducks are starting to pair-up and there are many insects and other critters starting to show their stuff. It won't be long before there are many little baby ducks and birds to watch in wonder.

I'm planning a 60-80-60 mile test on three consecutive days soon to see how I hold up on back-to-back-to-back riding days. Keep your fingers crossed. That should be interesting at least and maybe a bit  painful (sore backside :) ).

Take Care


Click below for details of the ride to Lake Matthews from my GPS:  Enjoy....

Lake Matthews Mid Term by xctom2012 at Garmin Connect - Details

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Flu and Rain: One Week Lost.....

Hello Life Ride Followers!! Just a quick blog update on a rather rough week.

Last Tuesday, Michele and I went to the Indian Wells Tennis Tournament near Indio CA. Michele is an avid tennis player and this venue allows the spectators to get really close to the courts and players. Really fun tennis. This location is also very close to the destination of the second overnight of Life Ride 2012 in the CA desert so it was fun to drive the day 2 route from Riverside to Indio. Well, it turns out that a rather aggressive flu virus was having its way with many players and fans of this event and unfortunately Michele and I were not spared.

Wednesday evening, remarkably starting withing an hour of each other, we both were hit with the nasty effects. Needless to say it was not a good 36 hours at home. This was one of those flu s that has two parts: first the 'I think I'm going to die' part then followed by the 'I'm afraid I won't die' phase. Sparing you the details, this was the worst set of symptoms we could ever remember.

Anyway, Friday saw us finally feeling a little better and Saturday pretty much AOK except for tired and a bit afraid to start eating again. This was a bad bug!

I went out on the bike Sunday for an easy 30 mile @ 16mph test run just to see how things might hold together. All in all things were OK. I'm really looking forward to a few more days of recovery and then pushing the training into the hills again.

Well, thats all for now. Hope you are well and please please don't get this bug :).

Tom and Michele

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Two (Months) Down, Two and a Half to Go....

Wow, I can't believe how fast February blew past. Even with an extra day it seemed really short.
Life Ride 2012 is only 72 days away! Amazing.

Anyway, I thought I'd just drop in a quick month-end post on the training progress. I was planning to ride another 375 miles in Feb but again the weather cooperated and I logged an additional 478 including that 117 mile ride to San Diego detailed in a previous post.

Here are the statistics to date:

Total Miles: 985
Number of Rides: 25
Average Miles per Ride: 39.4
Total Elevation Gain: 44,697 feet

Here is the graph of the accumulated miles this year. You can see I'm well on the way to reaching the 2000 mile goal before the beginning of Life Ride. Keep checking in the blog from time to time and if you wish drop in a comment with some encouragement. Some days I really really need it.

Hope February found you Healthy and Happy.