Sunday, February 18, 2018

Wow What a Week! Tour Divide

I don’t think training for Tour Divide could be going better at this point! My training plan, which is pretty standard in endurance training, is to progress intensity and quantity over three weeks, recover and recharge for a week, then start the cycle all over again at a higher level. I know I’m on track when I’m still strong and enthusiastic going into the third week but also looking forward to the recovery week.
Some of the "Boys" out for a good ol fashion hammer fest
It seems during this 3-week phase I had the perfect mix of high intensity, recovery, and endurance. Hit some of the highest power numbers in a couple years and got in some great 8+ hour rides. It’s a mix of fun and work. Getting out with the boys (ranging from mid 40s – 60) each Saturday, we hammer each other like we are still in High School. These rides remind me so much of my high school track and cross-country days. I’m SO thankful that I can still go out and play, just like back in high school. 

Saturday Morning Run/Hike with Max the Dog

Red Rocks on Saturday
This was the third week of the latest cycle. It was brutal but extremely rewarding. Core strength training Monday, long 2 ½ - 3-hour morning commutes Tuesday and Thursday, High Intensity Intervals Wed morning, evening commutes, recovery day Friday, Runs with Max, 4.5  hours Saturday (including 2-hour hammer fest with the boys), then 11 hours Sunday with almost 9,000 feet of climbing. This ride also included hooking up with Kevin Cahn and Tom Turney after six hours in the saddle. For 2 ½ hours I hung on for dear life following them through fast technical single track in Ute Valley and steep climbs in Red Rocks Canyon. For 2 ½ hours they chewed me up then spit me out, and then went home, leaving me with another 2+ hours to ride.

Sunday - Good Morning Colorado Springs!

Looking at Pikes Peak from 9,500 Feet 
Back Down in Town at 6,400 feet

Needless to say, I was a hurtin puppy those last two hours. My butt hurt (I’m still wearing in the new saddle), my feet hurt, and my wrist hurt. The wind picked up and I struggled. But guess what, this is just a small taste of what the Tour Divide is going to be like every day. I couldn’t help but be thankful that I was suffering those last couple hours. Great training!

There’s also lessons to be learned here. One; I need to come up with a better handlebar setup. Need more than just one position for my wrists all day. Possibly bar ends or aero bars or both. Two; hammering for 2+ hours in the middle of a 11-hour ride may be good for training, but it is definitely not something I want to do during the Tour Divide. I need to find my 3,000-mile intensity and stay consistent. That will come as we get closer to the race. The nearer the race the more race specific the training.

Kevin and Tom Came to Chew me up and Spit me Out

For now, I’m really looking forward to “Recovery and Recharge” week.
Happy Trails!


Week Summary

PM - Core Strength Training
AM – Run with Max the Dog 2.5 miles, trainer + morning commute 3 hrs (with flat) 52 miles
PM – Evening commute 40 minutes 7.3 miles

AM – High Intensity Intervals (14 x 1 min uphill sprints) warm-up, cool down 1.2 hrs, 12.4 miles, morning commute 39 minutes, 7.2 miles
PM – Evening commute 41 minutes, 7.2 miles

AM – Morning Commute 3.2 hrs, 36 miles, 2,500 feet climbing
PM- Evening Commute 42 minutes, 7.4 miles

AM – Recovery/Recharge high cadence spinning on trainer 1 hr, 17 miles

AM – Hike/Run with Max the Dog, 6.1 miles. Hard, fast, high intensity mountain bike ride 4.6 hrs, 35 miles, 4,800 feet climbing

All Day -  MTB Ride – 11:03 total time 9:37 moving time, 93 miles, 8,700 feet climbing


30 hrs, 274 miles, 19,849 feet climbing

Sunday, February 11, 2018

How Bad You Want It? Tour Divide Race

David Goggins, as far as I know, is the only human to successfully become a Navy Seal, an Army Ranger, and an Air Force Para Rescue. On top of all that he has completed almost all of the toughest ultra-endurance events on the planet. He’s a bad ass; period. I’ve heard him talk, and the question he puts out to anyone who says they would like to do this or that is “How bad do you want it? What are you willing to do to accomplish it?”

8 Hours, 140 Miles, and a Very Sore Butt
I just finished out the week with an eight-hour ride in the basement on a stationary trainer. After about four hours I had to ask myself “How bad do I want this? What am I willing to do to finish the Tour Divide?” One of my goals for The Divide is to ride at least 15 hours a day until completion of the race. To get to that level, my plan is to increase my long rides each weekend until I can do back to back 15+ hour rides. Last Sunday I rode seven hours in freezing fog where the temperature dipped below 20 degrees F. This Sunday, an 8-hour ride was in the plan. A snow storm and single digit temperatures made riding 8 hours outdoors next to impossible (unless you're Jill Homer). How bad do I want this? Answer: At 5:30 am I was in the basement on my bike for 8 hours of suffering. It was tough, but in reality, I loved it!

Early Morning Rides in Garden of the Gods
How bad do I want it? For several months now, I’ve been getting up early, sometimes as early as 3:45, for interval workouts, long rides, strength training, or whatever it takes, before going to work. The funny thing is the more I do it the more I appreciate it. I find myself riding through The Garden of the Gods at 4:30 in the morning filled with gratitude. Grateful that I want this bad enough to get up and put in the work. Grateful that my wife supports me on these adventures. Grateful to work for a company that supports me on this project. And lastly, that at my age, I am still healthy enough to pursue such a quest. Yes, it's sometimes tough getting up so early, but once I'm on the bike I feel nothing but gratitude.

Looking Down On Colorado Springs after Early Morning Climb

When I did the Leadman in 2009, the first six months of that year I was working a project which required me to work 72 hours a week; 12 hours a day, six days a week. I wanted not just to finish Leadman but to win it. How bad? 3:30 AM runs, quick hard lunch time rides, and all day rides and runs on my one day off. 

I guess the lesson here is, if you have a goal, no matter how big or small, it comes down to you. How bad do you want it and what are you willing to do to accomplish it?

Happy Trails


Week in Review
Mon AM: Jog/Hike with Max the Dog.    
PM: Core Strength Training

Tues AM: Morning Commute 2hrs 31min/51 miles 
PM: Evening Commute 42 min/7.4 miles

Wed AM: Hill Repeats 1hr 5 min/13.4 miles 
PM: Evening Commute 40 min/7.4 miles

Thur AM: Morning Commute 2hrs 43min/30.6 miles 
PM: Evening Commute 42min/7.4 miles

Fri AM: Morning Commute 38min/7.1 miles

Sat AM: Hike with Max the Dog (6 miles) then High Intensity Intervals 2hrs 22min/45 miles

Sun AM: Endurance Ride on Trainer 8hrs 5min/140 miles

Total: 19hrs 22min/308.7 miles


Sunday, January 28, 2018

My New Tour Divide Race Bike

My TDR Bike Specialized Epic
First piece of Tour Divide Race equipment – New Bike! Took it on its maiden ride today. I think it’s going to be awesome. My butt sent me a note after about four hours though, “You really should have broke in this new saddle  before going on a seven-hour ride”.