I'm in the middle of week 9 of my build, peak, and race program. After 3 weeks off from racing, it returns this weekend with a choice of 2 venues. The Nebraska Psycowpath Series has the Maskenthine MTB Classic outside of Norfolk, NE to begin the month of June on Saturday, and the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series has the always fun Bluff Riders Charge at the Mt. Kata ski area outside of Mankato, MN on Sunday.
Last year I did both with a back to back race on a weekend. We camped the 1st night at the state park in Nebraska, and drove to Mankato after the Psycowpath race and camped in a motel in Manakato. That's just too much for these legs to take, so I will be choosing only 1 of the 2 races to do this weekend. I am keeping on eye on the forecast to see which location looks to be the least sloppy from thunderstorms and rain showers, but did make a campground reservation in Mankato. Our good friend Lisa Seidenkranz will go with us as we celebrate our first camping outing of the year and move out of the winter and cold spring depression.
I had a bit of a breakthrough training ride this past weekend on the RIP 9.
To get to that breakout ride, having a few weeks off from racing
allowed me to use the trails for some important training rides I have
not been able to do this spring thanks to the rain and cold. The races
have been the best training up to now, but I've been able to get some
time in out at Lake Ahquabi the last couple of weeks. The loop has all
of the 30 second, 45 second, 1 minute, and 90 second power climbs on
that course to get used to doing those power climbs, recovering, and
hitting the next climb at full tilt and practice laps. I've sort of
been waiting with all of this training all spring for a "spark" or
something to let me know it is all coming to fruition.
My last ride at
Ahquabi it all "clicked". Equipment was working. Legs were working. Mental focus was working. I set a new personal best lap time in less than ideal conditions no less. I hammered every climb and bounced back to hammer the next climb. I managed to sustain this for 2 full race like laps. It was one of those rides that brought relief for all the hours I have been dedicating to building up fitness since December 31st. Whether or not that transfers to my racing remains to be seen, but it sure felt better than anything else at that level of effort I have done this year.
I followed that up with an excellent weight training day on Monday, and a nice Zone 2 two hour ride on Tuesday to Carlisle and back with Tara. Tara has really upped her stamina and Tuesday was the best ride she has had able to keep pace with me the full 2 hours. She's starting to look like she is in good RAGBRAI shape. The 40 miles rides we have been doing from Martensdale into Des Moines and back have been helping. We need to up that to a 50+ mile ride (maybe do a Carlisle and back twice ride for 52 miles) before long.
I can't say I haven't been eating whatever is in front of me, because it seems like I sure have. Cookies, ice cream, chips, beer, wine, bread, etc... . Because of that, my weight loss has stagnated and I have been "hovering" for 2 weeks right at 182-183.
I've missed my goal of going sub 180 in May, but the amount of training hours has had me rather hunger and I've not calculated a calorie deficit very well. My goal remains focused on hitting the 178 point, but it now looks like June will be the target to do that thanks to 2 1/2 weeks of stagnation/hovering at the same weight.
Last night, after a day that include 2 hours on the bike, 1 hour of mowing, and 30 minutes walking the dogs - the salad we had for dinner just didn't do it for me. We were at Hy-Vee and I grabbed a pint of Ben & Jerry's new flavor "Chocolate Peppermint Crunch". After we got home, Tara, Zack and I went at it with 3 spoons and seemed to be racing to see who got to the bottom of the pint first. Man, is that new flavor good!!!! I was about to eat the container as well to complete the binge. Oh well, I guess I managed to eat at least 600 calories of that 1200 calorie pint in our "race" to get to the bottom.
I'll be doing a recovery ride this morning in hopes of burning some of those calories and getting me out of the sugar coma....