Sunday, March 28, 2010

Next of the Big Rides: Convergence to a Solution?

The Four Horseman of the (Ironman) Apocalypse rode again this past Saturday (4/27). Getting close to the nominal crescendo before a slow taper towards race day. Diane had picked out a Terri Schneider Ironman training favorite ride - up Hwy 9 through Felton, Ben Lomand, Glen Arbor, and Boulder Creek, switchbacking up to the top of the Santa Cruz Mountains and Hwy 35, along the spine of the mountains north to Palo Alto and Alpine Road, left down through beautiful green hills, redwoods, flowers, babbling brooks, then up Sam McDonald Ridge, down west to Pescadero for sandwiches with a packed house of other spring weekend cyclists at this artist's enclave. Then up Cloverdale Rd to Butano State Park, and over some hills to the coast and Hwy 1. Then down Hwy 1 past Waddell Creek and up to Swanton Loop, inland, exiting north of Davenport, and then on down Hwy 1 to Santa Cruz. It was a perfect 100.0 miles on an absolutely glorious spring day (except for the mid '30's morning temperatures all the way up frosty Hwy 9). For Dave D, it was an easy recovery ride after he'd done 100 miles to Monterey 2 days before, plus 4000 in the pool and a 2 hour run. For Diane, Sonia and I, it was a bonafide workout. This time, I re-tuned my nutrition. Fewer power bars, more whole foods, and more salt! My fanny pack had 2 almond butter 'n jelly sandwiches on sourdough (extremely tastey), a zip lock bag filled with a mashed red potato seasoned with sea salt and a minced chicken thigh w/butter. My dual 24oz water bottles were Accelerade, the first of which had several pinches of sea salt. I also ate 3/4 of a power bar, 500mg potassium, 500mg calcium, 250 mg magnesium. And at Pescadero, one bite each from Diane and Sonia's turkey sandwiches, and maybe 5 potato chips. It worked! no calf or achilles cramping like on my last two ~century rides. We finished the day with a cold stout at the Mountain Brewery (I abstained, preferring my unique Nuclear Mud formulation - banana, chocolate soy, soy protein powder, blueberries). That was yesterday.
Today was Sunday - long-run day. Dave, Di, and Sonia did multiple repeats of the 3 mile, 333 vertical foot Cox Loop, while I did a 2 hour run up West Ridge in Nicene Marks. Legs were pretty toasted, but no injuries and I'll just get stronger I do believe.

Posting done - now, if I can just stay awake long enough to actually get some astronomy work done.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

First of the Big Rides...

Feb 28, a rare dry day - and the Delucchi's had planned the first of the 100 miler days on the bike. I joined of course - a nice opportunity to train with my buds instead of my usual solo training. We left their home on Cox road, down to Aptos and Soquel, then up Old San Jose Rd to the Summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains. A stopover at Summit Store for a sandwich (I had my own PBJ, now mashed to a mess but tasting just fine in my micro fanny pack), and then up to Bear Creek Rd north of Hwy 17, and steeply down the other side towards Los Gatos and around Lexington Reservoir, and then back up Old Santa Cruz Hwy to Summit Rd and our second stop at the Summit Store. My calfs were seizing up, big time. I thought I might have to bail and limp back to the Delucchi's w/o the added Hazel Dell loop. But - maybe it's those electrolytes? I don't have salt in my home, it's one of those things I read bad stuff about decades ago, jettisoned, and never thought more about it. But it's getting clearer that I am under-salted! In fact, there at Summit store nothing sounded better than a big $4 sized bag of salted "sun chips". Even as the rest of our 4-some was clipping in and heading off, I was madly cramming into my squirrel-sized cheeks as many chips as I could. It worked! Slowly, my calfs unknotted, and by the time we were at the Browns Valley turn I was game for the extra ride up into the mountains on Hazel Dell, then Green Valley, into Watsonville's outskirts, then back to Corralitos and then to rural Aptos and the Deluch's place. 80 miles, and 6250 ft. Even did a 1/2 mile jog, w/o total seize up. Nutrition, Nolt! Got to get this straightened out before St. George...