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  1. #1
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    Training for the Birthday Ride

    The Birthday ride thread has been good, but I thought we might hijack a little of it into pre-training.
    I have been getting ready, (along with many others) to ride my birthday years on Sept. 3. LookinUp talked me into it. Anyway, I decided in order to ride 51 miles on that date I probably needed to prep a little further than just my 10 mile morning ride. I figured a 20 mile ride this morning would get me on my way followed by a 30 mile ride next weekend.
    I had some great input by other members (particularly Stapfam) concerning hydration, eating,etc. on longer rides. I had driven my proposed ride the day before with my son to eyeball it with disasterous hills in mind. To make a long story short I left the house at about 7:20 this morning and kept reminding myself this was not my 10 mile excersize ride. I kept endurance in my mind rather than speed. On hills where I might usually have gone it in the 3rd, or even 4th gear standing in the pedals I consciously lowered it one gear and except for two hills stayed in the seat.
    The ride went great. It was a beautiful morning, there was mist over the farms and cornfields with the sun streaming through the corn tassles. I stopped briefly 3 times to keep drinking water and finished the 20 miles with no problem. As a matter of fact I arrived home from the ride, drank a bottle of water, refilled my bike bottle and then rode my normal 10 mile daily ride for a total of 31.25 for the morning. I had completed the entire thing by 9:38.
    I believe the key was monitoring my heart rate and keeping it out of my peak area, (anything over 160). I didn't hit the wall as I did in a ride in July and had a great time!!
    Next weekend I will do either 30 or 40 miles.
    I feel I have come aways since beginning to ride again in March when my 6 mile ride every other day would involve alot of huffing and puffing as well as a half-way point rest.
    I am looking forward to Sept. 3 and riding my age, I even see centurys down the road.
    Thanks to all for your inspiration, encouragement, and tips.

  2. #2
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    That's a really encouraging account of your ride today! Thanks for sharing it! I hope to ride my age (50) before the year is out -- after it cools off down here. The most I've ridden is 28 miles but that was back in May when I had only been riding about six weeks. I rode 20 last week in the heat and it was okay. I'll be doing 17 a day beginning next week. I think I'll try longer rides on the weekends, again, when it cools off!

    Keep up the good work and be sure to tell us about your birthday ride!

  3. #3
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longhorn
    That's a really encouraging account of your ride today! Thanks for sharing it! I hope to ride my age (50) before the year is out -- after it cools off down here. The most I've ridden is 28 miles but that was back in May when I had only been riding about six weeks. I rode 20 last week in the heat and it was okay. I'll be doing 17 a day beginning next week. I think I'll try longer rides on the weekends, again, when it cools off!
    Don't forget you need some rest days - not just for you, but physiologically your muscles need time to recover. They are as (or even more) important as the days of training.

  4. #4
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    Longhorn,
    Thanks for the kind words. I have been reading your remarks of late and can only say keep going!!
    Fox,
    Good words for both Lonhorn and me. I don't have a formal schedule. I ride every day I can, but usually after 3/4 days in a row I need to take a day and rest. It is more a factor that 5:20 comes early and though I like to get up early the early hour plus excersize wears after 3/4 days. Also if I am travelling on business at any time during the week I ride hard prior to the trip and use those as rest days. Anyway, yesterday's ride left me pretty euphoric and now finally some cool air it due in beginning tomorrow!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member lookinUp's Avatar
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    p8rider - GOOD JOB! Keep up the training!

    I've also been training - about 20 - 25 miles a day. This Sunday, rode a little over 50 miles so I'm now confident that I can now do the 65 in a couple of weeks. Other than the heat (heat index over 100 during the last hour or so), it was a good ride. Like p8rider, I kept my heart rate much lower than my usual rides and surprisingly was still at a decent average speed (for me) - and still had fairly strong legs.

    Having ridden this distance, I know know that the hydrating and food I'm consuming is going to be good and it should just boil down to the mental strength to keep going when I'm tired.

    One of my friends is a photographer and is planning on putting together a photo album of the ride - inclucing pictures of my friends who are riding and the dinner party that night. It would be fun to have photos of some of you guys and gals who are also riding. If you're so inclined - take a picture on your ride on Sept. 3 and post it here and I'll add some of my pictures from the photo album.

    If you'd rather not post a picture, at least let us all know what City/State or Country you rode in on that day.

    Trek Madone 5.2 wsd

  6. #6
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    I know I sound like a broken record regarding the hills around here but that's my biggest problem -- it's hard to find a route where I can keep my heart rate down unless I stop and rest on nearly every hill. I'm confident I can do the 50 but how long will it take me?

    I think it's time my husband and I found some routes to the east of us where it's supposed to be flatter and see what that's like! I belong to the Austin Cycling Association and have access to maps of several routes. They don't always include elevations but I could use Google Earth for that.

  7. #7
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Longhorn - regarding your heart rate - and I don't know what thread I am in or not in anymore, but anyways.

    Is it possible that you are mistaking a normal very rapid and heavily beating heart rate that comes normally with high exertion levels with something wrong?

    Most athletes and others get beat rates and exertion levels that are near the top of the range when doing rigorous training or competing. It can feel as if your heart is coming "out of your mouth" and be a normal event.

    Just thought I would ask. If you have never done any serious training before, it might seem scary.

  8. #8
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    Longhorn,
    Having been in Austin I know that just to the west you have REAL hills. I guess that's why they call it hill country. It is beautiful and I have enjoyed seeing miles of it from a car, but on a bike, yes you have a challange. I would say if the Austin club has some routes mapped out to the east that may be a good training alternative.
    During my ride yesterday I did go up above my 160 self imposed limit on one hill. It was one of two that I rode standing in the pedals. At the very top prior to turning onto another road I did stop for a water break. I stood maybe 2 minutes and watched by heart rate go from 160 to about 108. As long as that occurs I knew I was okay. In July when I overdid a 29 mile ride my HR was in the upper 150 lower 160's consistently including at the finished. What made me realize I had overdone it was that 2 hours later it was still in the 120's. I wondered when it would return to normal.
    Speaking of resting on hilltops, it made me laugh yesterday. As I was riding, I could feel I was sweating, but it was pretty routine. As soon as I stopped each time and the breeze let up it seemed as though someone had turned on a spigot. I was just dripping sweat everywhere. Back on the bike and the breeze would evaporate it very quickly. It was cooler to be moving. For training though I planned self imposed breaks otherwise I have a tendency to keep pedaling until suddenly I feel absolutely parched. Also I like to stop to drink water rather than spraying it into my mouth while riding. I am not a racer.

  9. #9
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    LookinUp,
    I think the photos sound like a great idea. I look forward to seeing yours. For myself perhaps a before and after. It will be easy for people to figure which is which!

  10. #10
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Okay, here is the deal.

    I am having my PVI heart ablation this Friday, August 26th.

    I am pretty sure they will not want me to ride 66 miles right away .

    But, if all goes well with the ablation , I will plan my 66 mile ride in September or October, even though my birthday is November 7th. It may be blizzarding on November 7th!

    Sorry I won't be able to do it with the rest of you .

    Good luck, all.

  11. #11
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    DnvrFox: I don't mean to sound like I'm worried about my heart rate as a health issue, though it wouldn't be too healthy if I should happen to pass out, and there were times that I felt I was on the edge. I'm sure the heat had something to do with it as well as the exertion.

    For me, the issue is finding the proper balance of exercise that I will enjoy and stick with. I know my 50-year-old self -- the more I dread doing it, the more I won't do it. Unfortunately, I also have a tendency to push myself too hard because if a little is good, then more is even better, right? For example, when I was working out with weights, I was adding weights and reps to the point that it felt like a torture session. I did the same thing on the elliptical. Next thing I know, I'm working out for an hour and a half and hating it, so then I'm not working out at all.

    I'm sure the longer I bike, the stronger I'll get and the easier these hills will become. However, I'm also an impatient person and I was afraid that I wouldn't keep at it long enough to reap those rewards without finding something to allow me to ease into it. That's the reason for the electric bike. Now, I could have bought one that does it all with no pedaling. Of course, it would have cost three to four times as much! But my goal is to be a cyclist and the one I got will only work for the distance and terrain that I travel if I pedal every bit as much as on my Trek but without the exhausting climbs. The motor by itself will not take me to the top. The way I see it, there are plenty of folks on this board who travel dozens of miles a week on flat land who are still considered cyclists. With the electric bike, I'm now riding on "flatter" land without having to sell my house and move!

    I'll be thinking about you this weekend, DnvrFox! I read the entire thread about your heart rhythm problems the other night. I hope you're feeling well enough to give us an update as soon as possible.

  12. #12
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by p8rider
    Longhorn,
    Having been in Austin I know that just to the west you have REAL hills. I guess that's why they call it hill country. It is beautiful and I have enjoyed seeing miles of it from a car, but on a bike, yes you have a challange. I would say if the Austin club has some routes mapped out to the east that may be a good training alternative.
    We actually live in the self-proclaimed "Gateway to the Hill Country" -- one of many towns west of Austin that make that claim. It would be nice if I could deal with one challenge at a time -- the heat or the hills. Since it's hot here from March till November and I just started riding in March, I haven't had the luxury of finding out what that's like but I'm hoping to enjoy cooler riding this fall.

    I need to practice riding standing up so that I can try that technique on the hills. The few times I tried it, I accidentally downshifted -- I have grip shifters and I gripped too hard -- so that I almost didn't unclip in time and nearly crashed. In fact, I don't ride clipless any more because I've had one fall and too many near-misses -- I worry about it too much when I'm clipped in. But since I've started riding, I've felt like my cardiovascular system and weak knees limit me more than my muscles. I'd like to see if I could gently mash standing up to work my leg muscles a little more.

    I do use a Camelbak, mainly because I'm not coordinated enough to put the bottle back in the cage while riding. But I find that I drink more with the Camelback since it's right there and so easy to take a couple of sips here and there. But I'm sure you've figured out by now that I'm no racer, either!

  13. #13
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    With the electric bike, I'm now riding on "flatter" land without having to sell my house and move!
    Well, you are always welcome in eastern Colorado (i.e., Denver and east). We got LOTS of flat land, and if you want to have hills and mountains aplenty, just head west!

    When I do my 66 miles, it will be on the flattest route I can find .

    I drove through those Texas hills when I was becoming a 2nd lieutenant in the USAF in 1962. Seemed pretty. Of course, there were about 0 bicyclists at that time. Haven't been back since.

  14. #14
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    My daughter lives in Denver so we'll be coming up to visit soon. I don't know if we'll be able to bring our bikes but I sure would love to go riding there. Maybe we'll rent some.

    I did visit in May and we hiked near Boulder and spent the night in Estes Park. I was amazed at the number of cyclists and really missed my bike. You don't know how much I would love to move to your neck of the woods but I can't get Mr. Longhorn to budge. Something about being a successful remodeling contractor for 30 years, blah, blah, blah.

  15. #15
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Okay, I did 26 miles today. That leaves me with 40, right? It does work that way, doesn't it?

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    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longhorn
    My daughter lives in Denver so we'll be coming up to visit soon. I don't know if we'll be able to bring our bikes but I sure would love to go riding there. Maybe we'll rent some.
    Well, we have 6 bikes in the garage. Perhaps one or two would fit you and hubby?


    We live right on (I mean RIGHT ON) a wonderful bicycle trail. I can do - oh - maybe 150 miles out my front door with only crossing a few steets.

    Think about it. (None are electric, but I might fix up something with a rubber band.)

  17. #17
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    According to Weather.com, at 1:25 p.m. MT, it was 79 degrees in Denver with 30 percent humidity. I am SO jealous! That's the temp inside my house!

  18. #18
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longhorn
    For me, the issue is finding the proper balance of exercise that I will enjoy and stick with. I know my 50-year-old self -- the more I dread doing it, the more I won't do it. Unfortunately, I also have a tendency to push myself too hard because if a little is good, then more is even better, right? For example, when I was working out with weights, I was adding weights and reps to the point that it felt like a torture session. I did the same thing on the elliptical. Next thing I know, I'm working out for an hour and a half and hating it, so then I'm not working out at all.
    Longhorn, are you sure we're not twins, separated at birth? I could have written the same exact thing! I'll tell you one thing -- finding the balance between pushing hard enough and pushing too hard is a Very Tricky Thing for me!
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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  19. #19
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    (None are electric, but I might fix up something with a rubber band.)


    But seriously, that's a very kind offer and I might actually take you up on it! Thanks!

    By the way, I really, really want to come when the trees turn color. I grew up in the midwest and miss the fall color. When would you suggest we plan a trip?

  20. #20
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    Longhorn, are you sure we're not twins, separated at birth? I could have written the same exact thing! I'll tell you one thing -- finding the balance between pushing hard enough and pushing too hard is a Very Tricky Thing for me!
    Gary: I'm glad to know I'm not alone in my perfectionist tendencies.

    For the longest time, I didn't know what a perfectionist was. Years ago, my daughter's second grade teacher told me that my daughter seemed to be a perfectionist. With a perfectly straight face, I responded, "Well, she didn't get that from me. I never do anything perfectly!" After she stopped laughing, she explained what a perfectionist is. Boy, did I fit the bill!

    Add the fact that I'm also the world's best "rationalizer" -- you should HEAR the debates that go on in my head. Hopefully, y'all -- especially those in this forum -- will see through my BS and keep me on track.

  21. #21
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longhorn


    But seriously, that's a very kind offer and I might actually take you up on it! Thanks!

    By the way, I really, really want to come when the trees turn color. I grew up in the midwest and miss the fall color. When would you suggest we plan a trip?
    The trees turn early in Colorado.

    Also, an early snow can strip everything away.

    But, let me think about that for a bit.

    We have had a couple of beautiful falls lately and I posted some pictures to the forum. I will do a search and see what I can find.

  22. #22
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    The trees turn early in Colorado.

    Also, an early snow can strip everything away.

    But, let me think about that for a bit.

    We have had a couple of beautiful falls lately and I posted some pictures to the forum. I will do a search and see what I can find.
    Okay, I posted these October 12, 2003.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...achmentid=7724

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    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    The trees turn early in Colorado.

    Also, an early snow can strip everything away.

    But, let me think about that for a bit.

    We have had a couple of beautiful falls lately and I posted some pictures to the forum. I will do a search and see what I can find.
    Okay, I posted these October 12, 2003.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...achmentid=7724

    These are right down the trail from my house.

  24. #24
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    Keeping up with training. This morning I increased my long ride to 41 miles from last weeks 31. Weather was cooler, (low 70's) and overcast so heat not a factor. Had a great ride again and feel that next weeks 51 miles will not be a problem. I have enjoyed the push I have gotten here as I never thought I would reach the point of doing long rides. It has been great fun and now something I will plan for additional rides after next Sat. hopefully some where I can ride with my 12 year old son. It gives me some further motivation than just doing my 10 mile excersize rides.

    As for ride details, it took 2 hours 39 minutes riding time for a 15.3 mph average speed. Kept my heart rate within my optimum for most of the way and peaked out only in the 150's rather than topping 160. The topography here is rolling piedmont. Hill elevations vary from 100 to about 300 feet. The worst is the final one actually riding back up to my house. That always puts my heart into the 150 range.
    I'm looking forward to next weeks ride!!

  25. #25
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Okay, here is the deal.

    I am having my PVI heart ablation this Friday, August 26th.

    I am pretty sure they will not want me to ride 66 miles right away .

    But, if all goes well with the ablation , I will plan my 66 mile ride in September or October, even though my birthday is November 7th. It may be blizzarding on November 7th!

    Sorry I won't be able to do it with the rest of you .

    Good luck, all.

    C'mon. What was the result, or is it a while before you Know?

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