Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Level of Cycling Insanity

The first time I completed a century the last 30 miles were excruciating. It felt like I was dragging a 1000 pound weight behind my bike and someone had lit my shorts on fire. It wasn’t a pleasant experience. I remember estimating down to the second how much time I had left in the saddle. My rear end was killing me, my hands and feet hurt, and my legs were just plain sick of spinning around in circles. Would I ever subject myself to doing that again?

Heck yeah!

I’ve completed 4 since then and I believe I’m ready to step up the insanity to an entirely new level. Why, I’m not really sure. Maybe it’s to sweep the last vestige of cycling sanity out of my mind, or it’s to see if I can really do it, or it’s because secretly I love all of the training and planning that goes into the preparation. OK, it’s all of the above.

On July 17th (exactly 7 months from toady) I’m going to ride the Seattle to Portland (STP) in one day. For those of you scoring at home that’s a total of 204 miles. When I completed the 2007 STP in 2 days I wondered to myself “how could someone ever do this ride in a day”? In 2009 I also completed it in two days but this time I thought to myself that a double century could really be doable. Of course that would be after I acquired a heck of a lot of training miles, a severe dose of insanity, one tough rear end, and Energizer Bunny legs. I guess I’ve got some work to do.

The other day I was putting together a training plan and the harsh reality of all of the weekly miles really hit me. ¡Ay, caramba! that’s a lot of miles! My plan is do 3 shorter training rides during the week with one very long ride on the weekend. This weekend ride will increase in distance by 10% a week until I get to a 150 mile ride. This ride will be two weeks before the STP then I will either taper for the next two weeks or rent a wheel chair for the balance of the summer. I haven’t scheduled any off weeks because I’m sure my schedule will cancel rides all on their own.

I’m pulling this 150 mile training ride out of the air as a good training max but I’m really not sure if it’s too much or too little. I guess we’ll see come July. Either way the end result will either be a spectacular failure or a spectacular success. I’m pulling for a spectacular success.

I’ve asked someone if they want to do this ride with me and he is seriously thinking about it. That doesn't mean there can't be more coming along. There are 10,000 spots available. Anyone out there interested?

Now that I’ve told you about my goal I’m hoping that you’ll keep me honest here. Feel free to hassle me if I start to slack off in my training or call the whole thing off. Think of it as your assignment.


Jenny-Jenny said...

Assignment accepted. You're tougher than you think you are and you can do hard things! Go for the big one, You are the man!

P.S. I'll be there with cow bells ringing! but I won't be doing this one with you.

jeff said...

Sounds great! Someday I'd like to attempt it. In the meantime, I'll be pulling for you. I'm trying to formulate a training plan not to take me further, but higher. :)

Big Oak said...

Good luck on the training. I'd love to join you, but on that very same day I am doing the Ride Across INdiana (RAIN). It is only 160 miles!

Jayson said...

I made my first attempt last year, but only made it 60 miles before an unfortunate accident.

My advice, train-train-train. But you shouldn't need to ride more than 120 miles at a time as long as you ride that a few times and aren't toasted at the end.

Other piece of advice, with that many cyclists on the road it's hard, but keep to your own schedule. It's easy to get in with a fast group and find yourself pushing way too hard.

Above all, enjoy!

Robert Megert said...

It's just like they say about running. You don't have to be crazy to run a marathon, but it help. i'd think this applies to the longer biking distances.

Thanks for this post. i really enjoyed your perspective.

Looking for to July to hear about the STP.

Anonymous said...

Insanity confirmed. I give you credit though, I would never have the patience or determination to work up to such a goal.

Touring Motorcycle Bike Exhausts said...

I love the enthusiasm Mike. Go! Go! but make sure you do not harm yourself!