Tapering Details

We’re getting down to the nitty gritty now. My coaching has everything laid out until BC Bike Race. 


Tapering has started so this week is pretty light as is next weekend. Then the big show starts. It’s been a long road to get here and I am really anxious, but looking forward to starting the race. 

There is still some work to be done though. I need to buy a better sleeping bag, and I think I found one today. After that I start the process of packing for a week of camping and riding. Lots of little things are needed there to ensure that the race goes well. It’s all about the small details now. 

Cracked Time

Well, I think I did it now.

In a 4 hour ride I cracked out over 58 km and 1,550 m vertical, then rode again the following day, and still felt awesome.

Day 1 Cumberland – 45 km 1,153 m

Day 2 Powell River – 52 km 1,080 m

Day 3 Earls Cove to Sechelt – 57 km 1,710 m

Day 4 Sechelt to Langdale – 48 km 1,403 m

Day 5 North Vancouver – 18 km 872 m

Day 6 Squamish – 52 km 1,680 m

Day 7 Whistler – 33 km 1,569 m

During my training I’ve always wondered if I am going to be able to handle the distance and the vert in any reasonable amount of time. I definitely can, at least for one day. Really stoked on starting this race now!

18 days until the race officially begins

Event Building

 

 

23 days to go and people keep asking me how my training is going. Pretty well I supposed, but I’ve never done such a big event so I don’t know if it is enough. I’ll know for sure in a month.

One thing I do know is that I’ve been putting in some long hours in the saddle, and immediately after I am still feeling pretty good and not a total lump on the couch.

This was the last weekend in May’s riding:

For me to ride 130 KM in one day is pretty good, but then to follow it up with another 75 is pretty awesome.

The weekend after was the tail end of a recovery week.

Pretty decent ‘light weekend’.

This past weekend I needed to hit 5 hours on the bike and after a bit of hand wringing and waiting, I got my MTB back from the shop and hit the trails. I explored the Thetis Lake trail system on my way out to the Dump. I got lost, turned around, and generally confused many times, but it was pretty fun to try new trails.

I followed this up with an easy hour ride.

I have also not included all the evening rides I’ve been doing. It is a lot of work to prep for this race, but I have been enjoying it. Knowing that I can ride 56km on my MTB, get home, get cleaned up then head out for dinner is pretty awesome.

I will soon have 7 full days of this. In some ways it is still a little abstract that I am doing the race. The anticipation and nerves are building though.

30 Days

Yesterday was a big day in my mind. 30 days until the race starts. Well, 30 days until day zero anyway (check in). I’m getting a nervous sort of energy. I’m excited for the race, but also nervous, incredulous, and a bit apprehensive. Have a I done enough prep? Do I have everything I need? Will I finish? When is my Transition going to be back in one piece?

I’ll know the answers to all these in a little over a month. 

Endurance Blown

Saturday I got out on my MTB for an endurance ride. The goal was 4 hours, and I got pretty close. I rode out to the dump and took Executive into the trail system. That took less time that I expected, so I had quite a bit of time to explore the trails at the dump.

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Too much choice is sometimes a bad thing, so I was stopping too often to figure out my next trail. I eventually decided on Bubble Wrap as my destination, and only got turned around once while getting there 🙂

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It was an absolutely stunning day, and I had a great time on Bubble Wrap, a fairly technical trail. Once I was done that though, I then had to figure out how to spend another 1.5 hours before I could start heading home.

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I meandered through the park, getting back to the Switchback and ascending it a second time for the day. That trail is always tricky, so on tired legs I wasn’t expecting much, which may be why I was so surprised that I cleaned it for only the second or third time in my life.

After exhausting myself on the trails I zipped over to the parking lot to refill my Camelbak, then started heading home. I took the longer way home, stopping by the bike shop to book my machine in for servicing before the race.

I was chatting with one fo the employees about how I wasn’t too happy with how the rear shock was performing. He fiddled with it a bit and declared that it had likely blown. There was no rebound damping and the compression damping adjuster didn’t seem to be doing much either.

*sigh*

I was hoping to spend more time on my MTB before the race, but for the foreseeable future I will be on my road bike until my Transition is up and running again. Glad it was caught now before it was too late to do anything about it.

Hammer Knee

Last Saturday was a bit of a troublesome day. My training plan had me doing an hour run which I did with the kids at Elk Lake. The run was fine until the last few minutes. My knee started to ache a bit, and I pushed through, which at the time seemed like it might be a bad idea. Me being a noobie runner I didn’t listen and kept going.

In ththe afternoon I decided to replace the wood on the sandbox. I dug out the old wood, cut the new pieces, and started hammering some nails in to keep them in place. Then disaster. I know from riding to always look where you want to go. While I was using the hammer I was getting a little close to my left pointer finger. As the hammer was coming down I glanced at my finger thinking I wanted to not hit it. Sure enough I whacked it really hard. Instant pain, blood, and bruising.


That night I was a bit of a mess. My knee was aching and my finger was throbbing and numb. I started feeling a bit angry . All this work put into training for the BC Bike Race and the last thing I wanted was to be taken out by a training injury or a finger issue.

By tu stay my knee was still sore, so I tried getting in to see my physiotherapist. The online booking showed nothing until June 1 and I got a little worried. An hour later I tried calling, and it turned out there was a fresh opening the next day!

The knee issue turned out to be an IT band issue. Stretching, foam roller work, and taking it a little easier to let it heal are my priorities right now.

The finger was very sore for the first few days. The Sunday following the hammer incident I had a short ride and I could barely have my left hand on the bars because all the vibrations were hurting to badly. By now the feeling has mostly returned to the finger, though it is till a bit tender.


Overall I consider myself lucky. This could have been much worse, and it certainly reminded me to take it easy. Less than two months to go until the race!

Recovery Weeks

Training for BC Bike Race is going well. There is also a lot of planning happening in the house to figure out where I am going to be and when, plus what ferries Sue and the kids will need to take to follow the travelling circus.

This week is a rest and recovery week. It struck me when I read what the week entails, that I’ve come a long way. My recovery week

  • 15 minute core workout on Tues
  • 1.5 hour easy ride on Weds
  • 45 min run on Thurs
  • 1.5 hour ride on Sat
  • MEC 100KM ride on Sunday

This is a light week for me, but is still way more excercise than I would have done in a couple weeks time last year!

Tattoo Cassette

This year is going to be a big year for me. The BC Bike Race is the biggest check mark on the bucket list, but a close second is getting a tattoo. Since my early 20s I’ve been thinking about getting something, but what to get changed considerably. In February a friend and I actually went into a shop, talked to an artist and booked an appointment.

During the consult I had an idea of what I wanted, and the artist liked the idea. When I arrived for the appointment, he presented a different take on what I had suggested, and I instantly loved it. Above is the end result and I couldn’t be more happy with it.

Why the bike cassette? Cycling, specifically mountain biking, has changed my life. In high school I was not interested in sports and was over weight. In university I got into mountain biking and over the years started to get pretty good at it. It was the first sport I was involved in where I was pretty good. Soon mountain biking became part of my identity. I identified as a mountain biker, many of my friends were mountain bikers, and the rest of my friends and co-workers knew me as a mountain biker.

In recent years I’ve started doing more road biking, and have enjoyed that immensely as well.

This tattoo represents the sport that I love, the sport that has changed my life, and the sport that I hope to continue for a many more years.

Coaching Effects

One of my goals for the BC Bike Race is to not die. That is a bit dramatic, but I really just don’t want to suffer all day every day. One of my struggles with training is knowing when and how much to do. I know I’m going to have to train several days in a row, but when do I start that, how many days, how long for each ride? Lots of questions.

To help me answer answer these questions I have enlisted the services of b78 coaching. I’ve been placed with a coach who does a lot of cyclocross and mountain biking, and who has done the BC Bike Race twice before, as well as competed in other multi day stage races. For me this is the perfect fit.

They use a service called Training Peaks that allows them to map out my weeks of activities, and I enter them in the system as I do them. Harmon Connect also has hooks into Training Peaks so that as long as I use my Garmin, the workouts get entered automatically into Training Peaks. Very handy.

I’ve only been on the program a couple weeks, but so far so good. I’m finding that having a coach layout my workouts helps me stay motivated and accountable, which are both very good things. I am quickly realizing how much effort and time I’m going to need to put into this though. My upcoming week has a run on Sunday, a spin class on a Monday and Wednesday, a 2 hour easy spin on Thursday, then a 3 hour or longer ride on Saturday. Also sprinkled in there are some core workouts which are killer, but essential for proper pedalling technique.

My coach mentioned the other day that there are only 4 months to go until the race. That is a bit scary to think about, and makes me nervous. Since I signed up, I’ve tried to make each ride count. Do an extra loop, learn to love hills, ride to the trails instead of drive, etc. In spin class I’ve tried to put in extra effort with higher cadence than called for, pushing right until the rest, putting in as much effort as I can. The net result is that I feel great while riding these days. I’m feeling very strong and fit. I’m nervous about the race, but still looking forward to it.

There are some side effects of the training that I have noticed so far. 

The first, which is no big surprise, is increased food consumption. I am hungry throughout the day and all it takes to make my tummy grumble is seeing someone else eating something, or hearing someone talk about food.

The next side effect is the amount of time needed to prep for and clean up after riding. After I get back from a ride I typically need to eat and shower; sometimes I will have a nap. I still have to clean the bike though and get it prepped for the next ride. 

Bike upkeep is an expensive proposition too. I had to replace the drivetrain on my mountain bike this year. Thinks break or get tweaked and need replacing. Batteries need replacing, fenders need to be purchased and installed, lights are needed, etc.

The final side effect is increased laundry. Again, not a surprise, just something I hadn’t counted on. I have a few sets of riding gear, but when I am riding 4 times a week, I generate a lot of laundry. It also means I need to consider wants I wear for each workout, so that the kit I want to wear for long rides is clean and dry for me.

So far this has been quite an adventure getting ready for this race. I am loving how much riding is m doing, but this does mean less family time, which I am missing. Only a few more months to go until life returns to normal 🙂