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Kokee/P2M January

Another month, another test in Kokee.

I was a little worried about this one.I hadn’t been getting the training in that I should have been, weight is up a bit, and it’s been a hectic, crazed few weeks of not getting proper rest.

In all of my tests prior to this one, month after month has been a new PR. I was afraid I would not hit it this month. In fact, I was even having doubts about riding all the way to the top today.

I didn’t get as much sleep as I wanted the night before, so the plan was just do the test portion, then ride back down to flat ground for 3 hours of endurance riding.

It was also raining when I left the house, and it would be possible it would be raining at the upper levels of Kokee. And in the winter, that makes for a miserable ride, even for Hawaii.

When i got to the west side, it was bright and sunny. No clouds over Kokee, and it was dry. And as a bonus, nice an cool. Low 60s.

I felt pretty well rested, I did my warmup riding and then headed up the mountain for the test. I kept waiting to fade, but it never happened. The “test” is 30 minutes of riding at anaerobic/threshold level. Each month, the distance I have covered has been increasing, and today was no exception. Not only was it an increased distance, but the rest of the numbers were the best they’ve been as ell, cadence, HR…

Just as hit the 30 minute mark, I seen a couple on bikes just ahead. I stopped, hoping they didn’t see me, as needed a break at this point, and I didn’t want to stop where they were, not being able to breath or talk. I also didn’t want them to see me turning around.

BUT….they seen me. They cam to check on me even, as I was sitting on he side of the road to catch my breath and recover. They had packs on one bike, and pulling a trailer with the other. Insane. Especially considering the first half of Kokee has 5, 7 and even 9% grades. There was no way I could turn around now. We chatted a bit, and I decided to go the halfway point before turning around. There is an alternate way up part of Kokee, and the junction where the two roads up meet is at this halfway point, so I had a back door to escape through.

I got to the halfway point, and figured I would keep going. About 200 feet past that, I turned around. Got to the junction and was about to take the back way down, when I started thing about the couple with the packs and trailer. At this point there was only one way to go.

Up.

So I did. And I am glad I did it too. I felt great all the way up. There was no reason for me to turn around. It was all mental that I felt I needed too.

Rather than push for a PR as I have in all previous rides though, I decided to actually stick with the training plan this time and ride at endurance pace rather than charging it. This way I would have an excuse for not hitting the PR

At the top, my time was slower than my December run, but faster than my November run. Considering I did not ride as hard, and that I did a couple hundred feet down and then back up again, I would have to say today’s ride was a success.

The ride down was a blast, and when I got to flat ground, I did another hour and a half endurance riding. Rode out to the end of the road on the west side, where it might rain four days a year. And wouldn’t you know, today was one of those four days. I also got caught in a small shower band on the way down Kokee from about 3000 feet to 2000 feet. Nothing surprising about that, though, considering the weather when I left. Everything was ON today. Cadence and HR were great for this last segment, the test was great, the rest of the ride up was great, my avg speed was 1.5 to 2+ mph better than it has been. Even the rain was refreshing, and I think I may have more fun riding up than I did riding down today.

A great day on the bike today. Even without the PR.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/427382414

Dead End West

December 24, 2013

In the last six weeks, I missed more training rides than I have gotten in, and I took a step back as a result. This should have been an easy ride.

It started out simple enough. In the dark to catch the sunrise. The rain had stopped, but the roads were still wet.

And so went the first third of the ride. It seemed the rain was 5 minutes ahead of all morning. I got one flat. Had to stop in wet grass and deal with road grimy tire to fix it. In fact, the whole bike was a mess. I looked more like I had been mountain biking than road riding.

I was also having shifting issues. Bike is near that point of needing a tune up, and the road grime in the derailleurs wasn’t helping.

By the time I got to the west side, the hottest sunniest dry side of the island, the sun came out. And it was also getting to be the naturally hottest part of the day. And it got blazingly hot. That wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t for steady winds of 20+ and gusts of 30 making me work harder than I had to. I stopped at a beach park at one point to stick my head under a shower to cool off.

And my legs…they were not ready for this at all. From 75-90 miles, I had to stop several times to give then a break. The best part? On a 3 mile steady climb, the wind was blowing straight down the road. I’ve gone 12-15 mph on this climb before. I was to reduced to 4 mph a few times, and probably averaged 6 mph up the hill.

And when I got to the top, it was a right turn. No more headwind!!! Yay!!! Now I just kept getting pushed off the road and into the grass for about 5 miles, until I encountered some nice hilly sections to shield me from the wind.

At about 90 miles, I was far enough back on the east side that heat was gone, and that was a huge improvement in how I was feeling. I was feeling mostly alive again, but my legs were ready to just stop. Got home 9h 25m 7s later with 102 miles and a 13.8 mph avg. Actual moving time was 7:17:52. Two plus hours of non moving time is ridiculous. Should have been about 20 minutes. And even the moving time was terrible. Should have been around 6:30 and over 15 mph for the miles I had.

But I did do something I have been wanting to do forever. Ride from home to the end of the road west.  Rode to the end before, but it’s always been starting from a west side location.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/418977364

My Bike Bucket List

The top three:
Furnace Creek 508
Race Around Slovenia
No Country for Old Men

And the rest in no particular order:
Fireweed 400
HooDoo 500
Cross Vegas
Death Ride
Race Across the West
Leadville 100
Adirondack 540
Race Around Slovenia
Race Across Oregon
Henry-2-Hoffbrauhaus (sp) 2014
Honolulu Century
SF AIDS Ride
Hawaii, Arizona, Pennsylvania UMCA cross state records.

More to follow…

P2M Day After Group Ride

This was another ride I didn’t really expect to make or plan on doing.

After yesterday’s effort I didn’t think I would be able to ride today, even though I knew I wanted to. I was going at least going to try and get a casual ten miler in.

I felt pretty good this morning though, and at 8:00, decided to ride down to HQ (Kauai Cycle) where the group ride was scheduled for 8:30.

When I got into the parking lot and seen the riders that were there, (about a dozen or so) I knew I was out of my league here with these guys.

Fortunately, the first 4 miles were along the bike path, so that limited our speed allowing me to remain with the pack.

That all changed when we got to the highway. I was able to keep up (barely) for the first mile.

My plan for the day was just see how far I could go. I told them not to worry about me, don’t wait for me…I would most likely turn around before Anahola ( 6 miles?) but most definitely I would turn back at Mola’a Fruit Stand if (and that’s a big if ) I made it that far.

I didn’t really plan on going into Anahola because the climb back out just sucks. Not that it’s that bad of a climb, but even when I at my best, I always hated it.

I made it to the fruit stand (planned regrouping point). I wished them well on the rest of their ride, said my goodbyes and headed home, as they proceeded on to the North Shore- another 20 miles with far too much climbing.

When I got back to start point, I was just shy of 20 miles. And at this point, I was back on flat ground for the most part and I felt good enough to do a bit more riding. Ended up finishing the day with 30 miles.

It was nice to ride today. And nice to make gains.

http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/195475719/10274554

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/319105111

What a day.

Earlier in the week I was ready to write this day off. As the week progressed I started feeling better. By Saturday, I had decided that I was going to at least take a shot at it. And a message from a friend on one of my ride logs “You better not punk out!” was instrumental in my decision to go for it.

I had no expectations going into this thing. I really believed I would not finish. The first four miles are the wort of it, and I thought that that was where I would fail. I had no misgivings whatsoever. They asked us to line up at the start according to ability. Fastest in front, slowest in back. I promptly took my position at the back of the pack. Only three other riders were behind me.

At the drop of the flag, the guys in front took off like bats out of hell. A new course record was even set. 59 minutes and change by two separate riders. A third rider came in at 1:01 to also beat the previous record of 1:03.

At 6 miles in, over half of the elevation gain is made. I was still feeling pretty decent at that point, but not totally convinced I would make it. Legs were sore. I was experiencing some knee pain from all the pedaling. I stopped twice for just a couple minutes up to this point catch my breath and let my heart rate come down.

By the ten mile point, I was still feeling good, and it was at this point I knew I could finish. Roughly 3k of the 3800 feet had passed. The riding was getting a bit easier as the mountain leveled off.

Then-at the 11 mile point was a lovely 9% grade. That was brutal. And again at about 13 miles. More brutality, but only 8% this time.

The last half mile was pretty flat. At the 15th mile, I was at 2h 20min. Not only was I going to finish, but I was going to beat the 3 hour cutoff. I tried to charge, out of the saddle, for the last 200 meters, but my legs were so rubbery I almost crashed. I crossed the line with a riding time of 2:27:00 by my Garmin computer. This didn’t account for the few times I had to stop. I expect my official time will come in around the 2:40 mark. Either way, I DID beat the cutoff. I officially finished.

I was a little concerned that I would get to the top, but not have the strength or the will to ride back down. They had a SAG vehicle that was transporting “top bags” up for riders, but I did not pack one, as I did not want to ride down with a pack or bag, and I didn’t want to burden anyone.

As I posted previously, I had set a goal of making an attempt to ride 41 miles on the day to match my rider number of 41. On the way back down, at about the seven mile mark is a junction. There two ways up to this point. I chose the other way down from the way we came up. This would deposit me about three miles from my truck, forcing me to ride extra miles. When I got to my truck, I needed to keep going till I hit the 5 mile mark to make 41 miles. I got to my truck, and kept going without giving it a second thought. At this point, I started thinking that maybe I could make it a 50 mile day, but when I got to the point to turn around to give 41, the decision was another no brainer. FK THAT!! I want OFF!. THIS! BIKE!

In the end, I accumulated 42.42 miles for the day and over 4000 feet of climbing. I had an average heart rate of 87% of max and a max heart rate of 101%. And yes, that 101 came at the end as I tried to charge the finish.

I accomplished several goals.

1. Finish-as in make it to the top.
2. Be “not last”.
3. Finish officially (beat the three hour cutoff)
4. Pass at least one girl
5. Beat the 60+ age group

I am beat. But I am feeling pretty damn good about the day overall.

Garmin Data

Endomondo data

Not sure why some of the numbers are different between the tow. The endo data was imported from my Garmin. The descent and the ten miler rides are also there if you are interested.

Half Past Done

Tracking the Pulse of Endurance Racing

Stevie G's Martial Arts and Home Fitness Journey

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280 Dude

280Dude.com - Going From 286 to Something Else

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