Archive for September, 2012

Fastest Metcalf Time in 4 Years

September 27, 2012 10:00 pm

It has been slightly over four years since I got my best time climbing up Metcalf of 13:18.  I remember that day.  I was 60 years old and wanted to see if I could beat my time from my 50’s, which I did by a single second.  I was so exhausted when I finished, taking my heart rate to 177 and averaging 171.

I have been doing a lot of training for the Knoxville Double and with my weight down, I have been trying to get my time under 14 minutes.  Since 2008 I have not been able to do that and this year I was within 10 seconds, but that is a lot of time when you are trying to climb as fast as you can.  So today I decided I wanted to break 14 minutes.  Jim and I rode up for the Metcalf Mauler, but rather than riding to the start, we went directly to Metcalf for a warmup climb.  After coming back down, I got with the group who were racing to the base.  At the half way mark I realized I would be able to break 14 minutes if I could hold this pace.  My heart rate was very high but I felt fine.  In fact I was holding back because I was worried about blowing up.

I ended not only breaking 14 minutes, but coming within 4 seconds of my all time best time, with a 13:22.  I probably could have been a bit faster but was self throttling myself and I was certainly not nearly as exhausted as I recall feeling 4 years ago.  When I downloaded my data, I could see my average heart rate was 173 and the high was 179.  I didn’t realize I could go that high.

Training for Knoxville Double Century

September 23, 2012 9:23 pm

Why Knoxville Double

The last time I rode a double century was in 2009 when I did the Death Valley Double and Solvang Double. The saying “the old only talk about the past because they have no future” always haunts me.  I don’t want to just relive the old days while I can still find new adventures.  With all the training I put in to get ready for the Hoodoo 500 race, it seemed like I should participate in another ultra cycling event around a month after I finished the Hoodoo.  I decided to ride the Knoxville Double Century, an event I have never ridden before.  It is not an easy double century, but not the hardest either.  With total climbing of 12,600 feet it is more like the Death Valley Double than Solvang or Davis.  I dusted off my old 13 week training plan for getting ready for a double century and started to plott my progressr, with the Knoxville Double to occur on week 13.  Now with only 5 days before the event, I feel reasonably confident I can finish.

Long Training Ride

Although I was getting in a lot of miles and climbing, I didn’t have any rides much further than 100 miles.  So last Tuesday I did a long training ride, starting from my home, meeting other riders in Morgan Hill, climbing Metcalf, Quimby and Mt. Hamilton and out to the junction.  With 142 miles and over 13,000 feet of climbing it was the longest training ride I have ever completed.

This long ride also gave me a chance to test out a new light, the Lezyne Super Drive.  A friend had picked up a couple of last year models at a good price and sold one of them to me.  Although not as bright as my MagicShine light, it proved to be fully adequate for this type of riding in the dark.  It runs off of Lithium-Ion 18650 batteries and my friend lent me a couple of spares so I should have plenty of battery life for Knoxville.   At only 140 grams, this lightweight integrated design is much easier to use than my MagicShine with it’s external battery and connecting cord.  It is light enough that I will just leave it on my bike during the entire ride, as I did on the long training ride, since I have never been one who likes to use a light drop.

On Saturday I repeated the same ride except I did not bike from home, so although the total miles was 30 miles less, I did the about the same amount of climbing.  On this ride I was using my Garmin Edge 800 for navigation and found the battery was running down so I only used navigation half the time.  At the end of the ride when I plugged in my Garmin it had only 25% battery left, so I realized that it would not last for the entire Knoxville Double.  I could use my Garmin 500, which lasts for 18 hours, but I want to use the 800 for navigation, especially in the dark where I can just touch the screen to have it light up to see the map.  I decided to order a GoMadic external battery pack for the Garmin Edge 800.  It will be more weight to care, but it will save me from taking two Garmin units and turning off the 800 when I don’t need it, just to extend the battery life.

Training Plan

In terms of miles and feet of climbing, I am ahead of my plan.  In particular my climbing is ahead of what I did in 2008 getting ready for the Devil Mountain Double.