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Old 04-25-08, 09:34 AM   #1
Yen
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What was I thinking???

We needed something to reach for to help us resume our regular exercise, so on Wednesday we finally registered for the City of Angels Fun Ride on the morning of May 4. We chose the recreational route, 34 miles with 1800 feet of climbing, rated as "moderate". It ends with the same tough uphill climb to the Los Angeles Police Academy as in the memorial ride in February.

I know that most of you would consider this type of ride as a stroll around the block, but I'm still a relative newbie and I've ridden only 3 times in the past 4 weeks, the last time just a 30-minute ride after work a few evenings ago. Four weeks ago we rode 40+ miles, so the distance is not an issue -- it's that hill.

My appetite and food intake have not been what they should be and I've lost a few pounds, though I have chosen healthy foods when I do eat and haven't skipped meals. My aerobic capacity seems to be the same, but my legs feel a little weaker. My sleep hasn't been good, awakening in the middle of the night. Mentally and physically, I endured 3 weeks that felt like a mental nightmare (I still wake up and wonder if I was having a nightmare), and my mind and body are grieving the loss of my dad. I am not up to snuff.

In my current state of mind, I didn't notice that the ride is only one week from this coming Sunday. What was I thinking???!!!

I figure I'll need to devote myself to preparing for this ride by riding as often as I can between now and May 4, but not over-doing it. The weather isn't great this weekend for long daytime rides (90 degrees), but the forecast is for a return to normal (mid-70s) by ride day.

From your experience.... Have I really lost much fitness given the little activity I've had and my current condition? What is the most effective way to prepare for this ride, especially that last uphill climb at the end? I'm thinking of riding at least 1 hour every day except perhaps 2 days of rest, or an easy spin on those days. I'll be sure to eat well this week and probably enjoy the same pre-ride meal as before -- large chicken breast, broccoli, and rice.

Or -- am I over-reacting?

My dad would be thrilled that I'm doing this and I'll imagine him cheering me on from the side as I hammer up that last hill to the Police Academy where I spent many childhood summers in the pool. He continued to visit there with his class of '46 buddies as recently as a month or so before his passing. It was a second childhood playground in a sense and still holds a lot of sentimental value for me. The ride is also for a good cause -- to support the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles Blood Mobile Fund. He loved children (and they loved him) and we requested donations to the hospital in lieu of flowers.
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Old 04-25-08, 09:38 AM   #2
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Ride, enjoy, repeat...
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Old 04-25-08, 09:58 AM   #3
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The ride will only help. It's too late to train for it, but at 34 miles you will be fine. Have fun, which you will, I predict, even with "that hill".
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Old 04-25-08, 10:05 AM   #4
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Do some riding, including a few hills, between now and then and you should be OK. On the day of the ride be sure to eat a breakfast that has been working for you, don't experiment. Start out easy, pace yourselves and don't hammer until late in the ride, if at all. Most of all...have fun.
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Old 04-25-08, 10:26 AM   #5
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Don't let yourself get psyched out by the hill (or any hill, for that matter). It's too late to train well for it, but you can start now on changing your mindset. As one who has to really think positively around hills, I can attest to the fact that successful climbing is at least 75% mind over matter. Check out this site for helpful info. Also, there are numerous sites to check for climbing technique- that might help too- here is one that I've found useful.

To summarize, though:
1. You CAN do it- mind over matter.
2. Eat well, but don't overdo- carb up the night before
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
4. Take your time- unless it's a race, there's nothing wrong with being in the small ring and pacing at 5mph.
5. Keep your head down- don't look up or you can get psyched out (ask me how I know...)


Good luck- you'll do fine, I'm sure!
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Old 04-25-08, 11:08 AM   #6
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Don't ask me. I have no idea why you signed up for it! I can't relate to such thinking.
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Old 04-25-08, 11:12 AM   #7
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I predict we will see a post that says something like, " Piece of cake!" followed by pie.
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Old 04-25-08, 11:21 AM   #8
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You will have to get out and do a couple of rides at least- hopefully of around 20 miles or so. After the first ride you may think you have made a mistake by entering the ride so soon after a lay off- but the second ride will convince you that the New Roubaix really works well.

And if you are worried about this hill- don't be. You have done it once and you can do it again on the New Better fitting- light as a feather Roubaix. Just cut the effort by a small amount for a couple of miles before the hill- and it will be your personal Ventoux---A Slope.
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Old 04-25-08, 12:46 PM   #9
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Go do those two 20 mile rides like stap said. Then go have fun. You can do this ride and in your heart you know it.
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Old 04-25-08, 01:21 PM   #10
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While these sites (and I've visited those 2 before) are chock full of great advise, I always laugh when they say find a gear that will let you spin 80-90RPM all the way to the top. In my dreams will I spin 80-90 uphill. Not as a former -and still borderline- Clyde and certainly not on the 8% or 9% average grades I ride up. I can get 60-65RPM but on the 10-13% sections, I'm down 58-60RPM. Can't say enough about that "mind over matter" thing, though... "I know I can. I know I can" works. My last thought before I hit the start of a climb is "Sure, I can do this". You'll be fine
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Old 04-25-08, 01:43 PM   #11
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Just ride your bike. You'll have a great time.
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Old 04-25-08, 01:48 PM   #12
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This short notice ride sounds like just what the doctor ordered. Go; have fun, and don't worry about it.
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Old 04-25-08, 01:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai View Post
While these sites (and I've visited those 2 before) are chock full of great advise, I always laugh when they say find a gear that will let you spin 80-90RPM all the way to the top. In my dreams will I spin 80-90 uphill. Not as a former -and still borderline- Clyde and certainly not on the 8% or 9% average grades I ride up. I can get 60-65RPM but on the 10-13% sections, I'm down 58-60RPM. Can't say enough about that "mind over matter" thing, though... "I know I can. I know I can" works. My last thought before I hit the start of a climb is "Sure, I can do this". You'll be fine
Yeah- I sort of ignore the cadence recommendations myself, especially on anything over 10%. I'm happy if I can keep it between 60 and 70.
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Old 04-25-08, 01:59 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone. I knew I could count on you to boost my confidence.

We just got back from what was to be a short 1-hour ride just to get my legs spinning again (report coming later), but turned into (correction) 19.5 miles and 1:40 hours on the hybrid and you know it's harder to pedal a hybrid up hills and all so let's just say it's the equivalent of 34 miles on the Roubaix.

Just kidding !!!!!

You've given me great advice and encouragement and even before I checked in here I was already thinking Yeh, I can do this. The "moderate" rating is probably just a combination of the "difficult" hill at the end + an "easy" ride leading up to it. And I used the "mind over matter" approach the first time I did that hill.... on the hybrid...... so yeh, I can do this.
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Old 04-25-08, 02:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai View Post
While these sites (and I've visited those 2 before) are chock full of great advise, I always laugh when they say find a gear that will let you spin 80-90RPM all the way to the top. In my dreams will I spin 80-90 uphill. Not as a former -and still borderline- Clyde and certainly not on the 8% or 9% average grades I ride up. I can get 60-65RPM but on the 10-13% sections, I'm down 58-60RPM. Can't say enough about that "mind over matter" thing, though... "I know I can. I know I can" works. My last thought before I hit the start of a climb is "Sure, I can do this". You'll be fine
How true. The only upward slopes I can spin at 80 to 90 on are the gentle ones. Possibly up to about 8%- 10% and I am getting lower and last Sunday when I hit the basket hill round here- That was the lowest cadence I have ever climbed a hill at. At one point I was down to 45 and that was just before I thought about taking a rest. I didn't but if I can climb that hill- at that cadence- when I know I am not fit- I might be able to stay above 50 on the same hill in a couple of months time.
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Old 04-25-08, 02:00 PM   #16
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You can do that ride without even thinking about it. Have fun.
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Old 04-25-08, 02:07 PM   #17
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.... if I can climb that hill- at that cadence- when I know I am not fit ...
By what standards are you measuring yourself???? A huge % of the population of the world could not do what you did. Perhaps you're not as fit as you'd like to be, or have been - but you're fit, my friend.
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Old 04-25-08, 07:31 PM   #18
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Pack plenty of bungee cords to clip onto other bikes for a little tow action...

JK!
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Old 04-25-08, 08:08 PM   #19
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Last year I walked a 10K run/jog/walk event & there was a hill at the end everyone talked about.
Just like 4-wheeling a new trail I was really worried since I had only walked 4 miles & this was 6 miles.

Once the gun went off & people were passing me & I was passing people & watching all the activities that were going on along the route before I knew it I had done 3 miles. The next 3 went by just as fast & then as I was talking to another walker she said; oh this hill isn't as bad as people had talked about.

That is when I noticed, yes we were walking up a hill & yes it was steep but nothing like I thought it would be, in fact it wasn't nothing.

I really feel you will do the same, once you get started & get into the groove, you will notice how fast the miles will go & there is a chance you will be chatting with someone as you climb the hill.

Just put as many miles as you can between now & then.

Oh; would you like to swap weather? Today it was in the lower 50's with a very cold wind... or maybe we could just split it & make both places nice to ride.
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Old 04-25-08, 09:33 PM   #20
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w2brdbkr -- trust me, I'll be chatting only with myself up that hill...... "you can do it, you can do it, push! push! push!" like I did in February. My lungs were working full capacity and my cadence was very low. Thanks for your encouragement though.

Actually I like cold weather, though I am a cold-weather wimp and like to bundle up. I am not ready for heat yet.... it's supposed to be 90+ tomorrow. As I'm aging my heat tolerance is getting lower and lower and when I heat up, I get HOT very fast. I'll take cold weather and dress in layers any day.
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