Archive for the 'Everest Challenge' category

Finished Everest Challenge

September 22, 2008 8:00 pm
Finished Everest Challenge

Five us (Eric, Doug, Kley, Luke and myself), all finished the Everest Challenge. Doug took my photo (above) after finishing the event. Doug came in 2nd place in the Masters 55+ and I can in 5th place with a total time of 14:47:48 (see official results). Kley and Luke competed in the Masters 45+ category. Eric was riding in the non timed category.

The Event

This USCF two day stage race is the California/Nevada State Climbing Championship and is considered the hardest two day USCF race. It was the most difficult cycling event I have ever completed, with over 200 miles and 29,035 feet of climbing.

DAY 1

Saturday we left the motel in Bishop and drove 6 miles north to the ride start. It was a bit cool, around 49 degrees. I decided to put on knee warmers, vest and arm warmers. The Masters 55+ started first at 6:45 along with all the female Pro/CAT1-5 racers. There was 11 men and probably 50 women racers. For the first 8 miles it was a neutralized start, so the pace was only about 18 mph on a mostly flat road. With the cool air I wanted to go faster to warm up. Doug was riding beside me and shivering so much his bike was shaking. Then the climbing started and the faster riders took off. I stayed with the leaders for awhile but I had already decided to keep my heart rate below 158 due to the two day event, so I backed off a bit. I mentioned to Doug that the guy up front was the one who won last year so he started to chase them.

From the very beginning I felt my legs were sore, even though I had take a couple of days off the bike. I think I did too much training in the week before the event. I realize that I had already climbed about 25,000 feet in the 7 days prior to starting the Everest Challenge. That would mean by the time I finished the two days I would climb almost 55,000 feet in 9 days. I think I should have tapered more.

I was riding my newer bike with a double crank. The first climb was up to Mosquito Flat. At 10,250 feet it is the highest paved road in the Sierras. It was cool for the entire 22 mile climb with an average grade of 5%, maximum of 11%. I reached the summit at 9:50 am. The descent was fast (over 41 mph) but still cold so I was glad I had worn what I had on. We biked over to the second climb up Pine Creek to 7,420 feet. On the climb I was passed by the first Pro/CAT1 male riders who had started 55 minutes after we did. It was the easiest climb of the day, with an average grade of 7% and nothing over 9%. I reached the summit at 11:55am and my average speed from the start was now up to 13.2 mph. It was now getting warm so after the descent I stopped to take off some clothes.

I reached the 3rd climb at 12:38 pm. This is a 20.4 mile climb up to Bishop Creek at 9,835 feet. It averaged 6%, but the last mile had some sections at around 15%. I was doing the math in my head. So far I had biked 6:04 so I was thinking if I made this climb in under two hours, I would be able to finish in around 8 hours. Certainly I could climb 6,000 feet over 20.4 miles in 2 hours, right? Wrong! It was a long climb with virtually not portions that leveled off to provide any recovery. The legs started to yell at me, enough is enough! The last 3 miles had some very steep sections which tested my tired legs. I started to cramp and had to stop for a couple of minutes before I could go on. I was a bit disappointed in how I did until I heard from others who seemed to have suffered also. Even Doug said he had cramped on that part. I finally reached the finish line at the summit at 3:13 pm. My average heart rate was 145 for the day and I had averaged 12.4 mph. You can see from the graph below I was keeping my heart rate out of the red zone through out the day. My total time from the start was 8:26:40, which was 5 minutes faster than my calculated best possible time.

DAY 2

I was determined to do Day 2 smarter. They were handing out filled water bottles on Day 1 but I had mistakenly taken some water bottles that I didn’t want to give up, so this meant extra time when I had to stop to refill my water bottles. This time I took other bottles that I was glad to get rid of. I also skipped the knee warmers to avoid the wasted time to stop and get off the bike to take them off. The biggest change however was I decided to use my old bike with a triple (which I had luckily brought along). The climbs on Day 1 were fine with a double (except the last part of the last climb) but I knew that tired legs would not work as well.

We got up at 6 am, loaded the car with everything, since we were checking out. It was a 16 mile drive south to Big Pine for the start. The temperature there was colder than for Day 1, at 42 degrees. We started again with the women racers at 6:45 am.

The neutralized start took us 3 miles back over highway 395 to where we started towards Palisade Glacier, starting at 3,940 feet and finishing at 7,800 feet. It was a tough climb, averaging 8%. I noticed immediately that I could not get my heart rate up as high as the prior day, a clear sign I was fatigued. It was warming fast so the cold temperature was not much of a factor for long. It was a beautiful hill to climb, especially up near the turn around point, which I reached at 8:20 am. There was a water stop there but I was prepared and didn’t need to stop riding. I just threw my empty water bottle into a bin and took a filled one and then off down the hill. When I reached speeds of around 40 mph, the bike started to shake a bit, which is why reason why I don’t like to descend on my old bike, so I had to brake to keep the speed under 40 mph.

Once I reached the bottom, it was biking the 3-4 miles back to the start for the easiest climb of the two days, up the Death Valley Road to 6,545 feet in 8.5 miles. With an average grade of 5% it seemed like we were not really climbing. I did not see any riders in front or behind me so I started to wonder if I had missed a turn. Then the lead rider from the men’s pro racers passed me. I reached the summit at 9:53 and did a slow turn around without dismounting, grabbing another water bottle and a Cliff Bar, which I ate on the way down. During the descent it was now clear we had actually climbed quite a bit since I was able to get up to about 31 mph.

After passing the start once again, I turned right to head up to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. It was a 21 mile climb up to 10,100 feet with an average grade of 6%. But the bottom third had a long section with 9-12% grade so I was glad I had the lower gearing and really use it. This was the last climb of the event and seemed to go on forever. Even though I was putting in a full effort, my heart rate would only go above 142, compared with Day 1 when I was holding back to keep it below 158. I already knew the top 3 miles would be tough and they didn’t disappoint. The grade was averaging 10%, but sometimes steep. Even some of the young racers that we just now catching me were not going past me very fast as they were grinding it out. It was one of the hills where you can look up and see the miles ahead and wonder how in the world will you ever make your way up to the top. After a brutal climb to within 1.5 miles of the finish the grade did become a tad easier but was still hard. I crossed the finish line at 1:06 pm, with a total riding time of 6:21:08. My average heart rate had been 138 for the day and I have averaged 10.4 mph. You can see from the chart below the lower heart rate compared with the first day (click to enlarge)

Overall

Overall for the 2 days, I finished in 14:47:48, coming in under my goal of 15 hours. I was amazed I was only a single minute off my estimated best time. I am pretty sure I had the best time for anyone 60 or older, but they don’t have that category anymore. The last time they had a category for 60+, the winner was 40 minutes slower than my time.

I am happy that the event is over but did really enjoyed it. We had fantastic weather and the support at the event was as good as it ever gets.

Next up is the Furnace Creek 508, in less than 2 weeks!

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Everest Challenge – 24 Hours to Go

September 19, 2008 6:00 am

In 24 hours I well be racing for the Everest Challenge.  The weather looks very nice, especially compared with last year.  Saturday, 48 degrees when we start, high of 87 in Bishop, with zero chance of rain.  Similar for Sunday, but a bit warmer.

Last night I went through my estimated times again so I have some benchmark to use during each of the days.  This table compares my two back to back training rides last weekend, plus the 300 Warriors ride, plus the estimated best times for the Everest Challenge that I discussed in a prior blog entry.

My estimated best times seems about right considering the climbing in feet/mile is much higher.  I will set my target to come in under 15 hours total for the two days.  If successful that should put me midway amongst the Master 55+ field, which I would be very happy with.  After I finish this race, then I can turn my attention to getting ready for the Furnace Creek 508, which I have coming up in two weeks from now.

Everest Challenge Training

Day
Miles (timed/total)
Climb
Time (rolling/total)
Avg/Max HR
MPH (rolling/total)
Training Rides on 9/13 and 9/14
104 feet/mile
Day 1
88
8,360
5:38/6:13
138/167
15.6/14.2
Day 2
86
9,900
6:39/7:54
125/158
12.9/10.9
Total
174
18,260
12:17/14:07
14.2/12.3
300 Warriors Race on 8/16/08
96 feet/mile
Race
99 miles
9,500
6:20/6:30
148/168
15.5/15.2
Everest Challenge Targets for 9/20 and 9/21
141 feet/mile
Day 1
100/120 *
15,468
7:48/8:33
12.8/11.8
Day 2
64/86 **
13,570
5:42/6:13
10.6/9.7
Total
164/206
29,038
13:30/14:46
12.2/11.1
* timed includes 8 miles neutralized start, race distance is 92 miles

** timed includes 3 miles neutralized start, race distance is 61 miles

I have stayed on my training plan for the last 17 weeks.  I have also been getting in some speed work.  I hope I am ready.  I decided to take both bikes and use the one with a triple as a backup, or maybe ride it the second day, depending on how I feel after Day 1.

Everest Challenge – 48 Hours to Go

September 18, 2008 5:23 am

All the training is over and we leave tomorrow for Bishop.  The Everest Challenge will start 48 hours from now.  It will be cold at the start, but should be nice weather during most of the day, according to the latest forecast.

They put up some more data on the route for the Everest Challenge on Google Maps.  There are two very useful graphs for each day that show a plot of three important parameters, altitude, grade and temperature.  Here they are (click to enlarge):

Day 1

Day 2

I am going to take off the next two days, except for many a very short and easy ride to make sure I have my new bike adjusted right after swapping back to the Durace derailleur.

Which Bike for Everest Challenge

September 17, 2008 8:00 pm

I recall having a similar discussion before I did the Devil Mountain Double.  The issue has always been that my new bike is lighter and handles much better than my old bike. But the new bike has a double and the old one a triple.  When I get into these events that require a lot of climbing, it is a dilemma. For the Devil Mountain Double I ended up using the new bike and just ground it out on the later steep climbs. But the Everest Challenge has climbs that are steeper yet and also it has two days of back to back.  I had already decided to use my old bike on the 2nd day, then maybe I would just take it alone for both days.

I had put on new wheels and a new Durace crank on the old bike to get it lighter so now the difference is only 1 lb.  But I feel much more comfortable descending on the new bike.

When I was doing the Metcalf Mauler last night I asked Chuck how many speed his bike is because he has not only a compact crank but a mountain bike gear on the rear.  He said it was 10 speed, but I know  Shimano doesn’t make a 10 speed mountain bike cassette.  He said he special ordered one and had a spare (brand new) I could borrow.

I spent a couple hours this morning to take the Shimano XT derailleur off my mountain bike on switch it with the Durace derailuer on my new road bike, then I swapped the cassette.  It took me a while to get things adjusted because the stops were way off.  I think I have it working okay, without even lengthening the chain.  I just have to be careful to not cross chain with the big chain ring and the largest cassette, which is a 34.  I would like to go the compact route, but this will for the Everest Challenge and it didn’t cost me anything, just some of my time and very greasy hands.

I did a a test ride up Henry Coe tonight.   I had taken it off my mountain bike and did not realize it shifted in reverse, which mean when I shifted on my road bike it moved the opposite direction on the rear cassette from what I expected.  That alone was reason to not go this route.  It also was not smooth shifting.  So when I got home after the ride I switched things back to their original setup.  I am back to either taking both bikes, or just my old bike with the triple crank.

Everest Challenge Trial Rides

September 14, 2008 10:00 pm

When I am training for a marathon I do at least two 20 mile runs as part of training. These runs serve two purposes. First they help get your body for the distance of the marathon and second they give you the mental confidence that you can go the distance. It is not necessary to do training runs just as long as the marathon, but you do want to get in some runs at least 75% of the distance.

For the Everest Challenge, the real “challenge” to me is not the distance over the two days or the climbing on an individual day, but the back to back days of a lot of miles and a lot of climbing.

A week ago I did a monster training ride on Saturday and wanted to see how it was to ride the next day and did a ride up Henry Coe. That was a good first test, but to get a better feel I felt doing two back to back significant rides would be better training. On Saturday I did the club’s long distance training ride and on Sunday I wrote with friends for what we call the Triple Crown (Metcalf/Quimby/Mt. Hamilton). Both days had about the same amount of miles and similar climbing, although the climbs on the 2nd day were steeper. In terms of mileage these rides are in the ball park of what I will need to do on the Everest Challenge, but the climbing is about 2/3 as much.

On the first day I rode very hard because I was on a club ride and the others did not plan to ride again the next day. I would not want to try to ride this fast on the first day of the Everest Challenge. I paid the price the second day and had to ride much slower, but that still kept me with the other friends I was riding with.

Henry Coe Again

September 11, 2008 10:14 am

After trying to climb Henry Coe three days ago following the monster ride the day before, I wanted to see how well I could do today.  I was not really fresh since we had set a new best time up Metcalf yesterday on the tandem.  But I was not as fatigued as I was on Sunday.

I was chasing Doug R. all the way up.  He can easily drop me on the hill and that is what he did today.  Still I was happy with my time of 41:19, less than 4 minutes off my race time last year when my average heart rate was 168 all 6.7 miles.  Also today we had ridden hard all the way from the bottom, including Thomas Grade so I was not rested at the start of the measured climb.  After the ride Doug told me he was planning to do the Everest Challenge also.  I said he could ride up with Eric and I and would be great to have a third person.  Maybe Doug can place in our age group since I am sure I can’t.

Henry Coe Climb

Distance: 6.75 miles, Climb: 2,120 feet, Avg Grade: 5.5%
Time SJ Bicycle Club Race – Woodchopper to Lower Parking Lot
Date
Time
Weight
Max HR
Avg HR
Ft/Min
Single
Tandem
9/10/08
41:19
138
162
156
51.3
9/7/08
46:51
138
153
143
4/19/08
56:15
140
165
148
10/28/07
37:34
136
176
168
56.5

11 2 EC 25 2 508

September 9, 2008 6:00 am

With only 11 days left before the Everest Challenge and 25 days to the Furnace Creek 508, I have moved into the final stages of my training. With these two major events only 13 days apart, I have been using a single training program, with the major emphasis on getting ready for the EC.  I figure if I am ready for the Everest Challenge, I will be ready for the 508.

The Everest Challenge will prove to be the most difficult cycling event I will ever compete in.  I registered as a Master 55+.  I wish they had a 60+ category but they jump to 65+.  When people hit their sixties, as I have, you age faster than you do in your 30’s and 40’s so why not move to every 5 years?

Last year I was training for the same event and decided the week before to cancel out for a couple of reasons.  First the weather had turned very bad and I was looking at biking up to snow, with rain and cold on the descents.  Second, I was going to compete in the  Furnace Creek 508 two weeks later.  Again I will be doing the 508 two weeks later but this year I am no longer a rookie in that event and know what to expect.

For the Everest Challenge, Day 1 has 120 miles with 15,465 feet of climb and Day 2 has 86 miles with 13,570 feet of climbing. However the actual racing distance (excluding neutralized start and neutralized last descent after timing finish) is 92 miles for Day 1 and 61 miles for Day 2, or a total of 153 miles.  I believe that the neutralized starts are included in the times, but not the descent after the last climb.  For Day 1 the neutralized start is 8 miles and for Day 2 it is 3 miles.  So the timed distance is 100 miles for Day 1 and 64 miles for Day 2.

I found this on the website:How long will it take you? A rough guide is – you should be able to do Day Two in 15 to 20% less than your Death Valley to Mount Whitney time, or 35 to 40% less than your Markleeville Death Ride time. Day One should take you 10-15% longer than your Death Valley to Mount Whitney time, or 10-20% less than your Markleeville Death Ride time.

Last year I did the Death Ride with a total time was 9:22 and a rolling time of 8:40.  I doubt I could do that again right now, but using that as a benchmark I calculate this.  Using the 8:40 rolling time, less 10% less for Day 1 and 35% less for day 2, plus 45 minutes for Day 1 and 35 minutes for Day 2 for stopping/less conditioning, I calculate what I consider the time I could do as:

Day 1 513 minutes or 8:33
Day 2 373 minutes or 6:13
Total: 14:46

The times for 2007 are not valid due to a course change.  For 2006, the time for my age group range from 12:40 (1st) to 18:04  (8th place), with 4 DNFs.   Third place was 13:24.  The difference between Day 1 and Day 2 was roughly 1:40.  With a time of 14:46 it would not be possible for me to place. That is no surprise since this race attracts the best climbers for the entire state of California.   Still I decided to enter as a race category because I want to get my time recorded.

In 2003 they did have a 60+ category and in that year the best time for 60+ was 15:29:04. I guess that will be a target I will go after which should give me a little bragging right.  So my target is under 15.5 hours.

So far I am on track with my training.  Here are a couple of training charts.  I have one training program for both Everest Challenge that the 508 because they are only two weeks apart.  The Everest Challenge occurs a the end of week 17 and the 508 at the end of week 19.   Click to enlarge.

Miles: Over the past 15 weeks I running about the same as last year and on plan.

Climbing: For the last 15 weeks I am running head of last year and above plan.

Recent Climbing: Compared with last year I have done more climbing in the recent weeks, closer to the EC.

The Day After

September 7, 2008 9:57 pm

Yesterday I did a monster ride out to the junction (135 miles and 12,800 feet of climbing).  Since the Everest Challenge is a two day event, with two monster days back to back, I wanted to see how well I could do today.  The south county boys were going to ride up Metcalf, Quimby and Mt. Hamilton but that is what I did yesterday and I was not up to such a long ride.  I thought doing Henry Coe would be a good test so I called Gary and we decided to make the climb.

I could feel the effects of yesterday’s ride.  I was able to climb reasonably well, considering I was fatigued.  What I did notice is that I could not get my heart rate up above 150 and most of the time during the climb it was only in the mid 140’s.  This was a clear sign of fatigue.  I decided to time myself over the race portion of the climb.  Last fall I had raced this section and wanted to see how I compared.  I knew it would be about 10 minutes slower since 1) this was not a race today and 2) I was not fully recovered like I would be for a race.  Here is how the times compered.  You can see the big difference in average heart rate, which is why it took  longer.

However overall I was happy with my time and felt like I could a lot more climbing if I needed to.  I did realize that for the Everest Challenge I need to back off a bit on the first day and be fully rested, at least for a couple of days, before even starting the event.

Henry Coe Climb

Distance: 6.7 miles, Climb: 2,120 feet, Avg Grade: 5.5%
Time SJ Bicycle Club Race – Woodchopper to Lower Parking Lot
Date
Time
Weight
Max HR
Avg HR
Ft/Min
Single
Tandem
9/7/08
46:51
138
153
143
45.3
10/28/07
37:34
136
176
168
56.5

Monster Training Ride – Snow to Heat Wave

September 6, 2008 10:00 pm

It was only 5 days ago that we were in Utah and I rode up Alpine Loop to see the snow from a recent storm. I did not take a jacket and was very cold on the way down.  Today’s long ride out to the junction was HOT HOT HOT.  Kind of like out of the kettle into the fire.

I was leading a long ride for the bike club.  The official start was in San Jose, but I figured starting from Morgan Hill would be the same distance, please riders said they were going to meet us along the way.  To meet meet the timing I would have had to start biking from home at 6:30 am, but it was still dark so I asked Ann to drive me 6 miles towards Morgan Hill and I started there, at about 6:55 am.  It was warm enough, despite the early hour, that I did not need any arm warmers.  Ten minutes later I met Gary F and we rode together up Monterey to Bailey.  We then made our way over and did the first climb of the day, Metcalf.  I did the climb slower than usual because I had a long ride ahead.  We had to wait at the top for any riders to show up and then only two did.

We then started down the backside and were met by Russ and Joe F.  Not long after that Cindi S. was coming the other way and turned around to join the group.  We made our way of to Quimby for the second climb.  Quimby is a nasty climb of nearly 2,000 feet with some sections that approach 20% grade.  I had not really tried to time the climb up there for years so I did push a bit harder to see how I was doing compared with several years ago.  Since those prior times were all set on a short ride, I felt good with my time which was less than a minute off my best time ever and better than I ever did in 2004.

Quimby Climb

Distance: 4.2 miles, Climb: 1,975 feet, Avg Grade: 8.8%
Time from Ruby to Summit
Date
Time
Weight
Max HR
Avg HR
Ft/Min
Single
Tandem
9/6/08
35:42
139
167
156
51
5/20/04
36:40
6/12/03
34:47
172
165
57

Russ and Gary had gone ahead of me but the others were all behind.  There was not waiting at the top of Quimby by the leaders so I headed down and to Mt. Hamilton road where I caught them getting water.  We then had the long climb up to the top of Mt Hamilton.  It was already getting hot.  We passed Louise M. on the way up, she had started the climb earlier.  Russ had reached the summit before anyone so Gary and I stopped just long enought to fill our water bottles then head down.

Due to the heat our plan was to turn around at the bottom and make the climb up Mt. Hamilton before it got too hot.  Gary, Russ and I stopped at the Isabel Creek to wait for others.  Then we started to talk about going to the junciton, per the orignal plan.  No one else showed up so we headed out to the junction, not realizing how hot it was going to be.

I had a simple lunch, a turkey sandwich and some potato chips.  Russ and Gary both had a big lunch with a lot of french fires.  I thought I could never eat all those fires and climb up the backside.

We didn’t take too long to eat because we knew the temperatures would continue to rise.  We each bought a Gatorade to stick in our back pocket because we knew that two water bottles would not be enough to make it back to the summit in this heat.  I ended up drinking mine on the spot then filled the bottle with water to carry.

On the way back we saw a couple of cyclists headed in the same direction, pulled off the road resting in the shade.  One yelled out that it was 112 degrees. I check my cyclometer and it was reading 112, although it tends to read high when in direct sunlight.  But then my body was in direct sunlight!

The three of us were biking together until the last climb before we descending back to Isabel Creek for the start of the big climb.  Then Russ started to move ahead and Gary started to fall behind.  As we started to climb up the backside of Mt. Hamilton, I slowed was gaining on Russ but I could no longer see Gary.  I caught Russ as we approached the spring at the 3 mile mark (3 miles from the top) so we stopped there to splash some water on ourselves and cool off.  We waitd for awhile and still no Gary.  I started to worry about him since he is a faster climber than I am.

A van was now coming up the hill so I flagged it down to see if they had seen a cyclists.  As it was stopping I could see that Gary was in the van.  I guess he had some issue so the driver offered to carry him to the top.  Russ and I got back on our bikes and finished the climb to the summit.  There we found Gary laying on the ground.  He had become dehyrated, was cramping and even had the chills.  I rush up to get him a cold drink and then he used some water to cool himself off.  We knew we needed to wait for him to recover.  Here is how fast I climbed the backside, but did stop at the spring, so I had some rest midway.

Mt Hamilton Backside

Distance: 4.5 miles, Climb: 1,900 feet, Avg Grade: 7.9%
Time from start of climb to where levels off
Date
Time
Weight
Max HR
Avg HR
Ft/Min
Single
Tandem
9/6/08
46:53
138
159
152
3/08/08
46:00
142
160
150
41.3
5/10/08
49:45
142
165
155
38.1

Eventually he wanted to go ahead and bike so we all started down the hill.  Then it was a climb back over Quimby. After reaching the San Jose Valley we could really feel the heat again, after a bit of cooler temperatures at 4,000 feet summit of Mt. Hamilton.  Russ headed his own wan and Gary and I headed back to Morgan Hill.  Gary was not feeling well so we stopped at a McDonlds to cool off and have some drinks.  I wanted him to have more time to hyrate.  We filled our water bottles with ice and water there and then headed back home.

I dropped Gary off in Morgan Hill and then biked home.  It was past 6 pm when I finally finished.  I had biked 135 miles and climbed nearly 13,000 feet.  My HRM showed only 11,900 feet, but last time I did this same route it was 12,700 feet.  We’ve been under a high pressure system resulting in a reduction of accumulated gain. I will use 12,800 since I did an additional climb up Santa Terresa to Miller this time.   This was therefore the most climbing ever on a training ride.

If I had done all five passes on the Death Ride, I would have biked 6 miles less and climbed 2,000 feet more, so this was some training ride.

I took a quick shower and Ann and I went out to dinner. I was felling fine, despite the hot weather, long distance and considerable climbing.  I was more confident that I was ready for the Everest Challenge.

This is the profile of the ride.

Everest Challenge Training

August 31, 2008 3:48 am

August is almost over and my training for the big events coming up is in the final stages.  First up will be the Everest Challenge on September 20/21.  This is a two day California/Nevada USCF State Climbing Championship.  Each day has about 15,000 feet of climbing.  Doing that on back to back days will be the big challenge.  I had hoped to do this event last year but the weather turned very bad and I was worried about the doing the Furnace Creek 508 two weeks later so I ended up canceling.

This year I will again be doing the same Furnace Creek 508, but I am more comfortable with that event and feel that the two weeks in between it and the Everest Challenge is sufficient time to recover.

I have built an 18 week training plan to do both events, using the Everest Challenge on week 17 to get ready for the FC 508.  Now that I have finished week 14, with three weeks to go to the Everest Challenge, here is an update of my training status.  You can see that I am on plan for both miles and feet of climbing.  I have another big ride scheduled for this coming Saturday, then it will be taper time.  My climbing is not quite as much as last year when I did the Death Ride and Climb to Kaiser events, but it is still on my plan.  I still need to lose some more weight, however.