Well, not really. But in about 24 hours, I will have exactly 60 days until I roll off with 4,000 other cyclists for the 109-mile El Tour de Tucson bike race. Well, not really. I was supposed to get this post up two days ago, but work strangled me. It’s actually 58 days until El Tour. But I digress.
Unlike the Tour de Cure back in June, El Tour de Hell, er, Tucson, is a race. We will all have little computer chips that will mark our official time start to finish. So, lounging at a rest stop for an hour or two is not recommended.
I have never ridden more than 51.5 miles in a day. So, this post gets its title from the fact that today (actually Tues), I took my first step of actual training for El Tour. I have a plan, which I’ll discuss in the coming days. But today was the beginning of what I am officially calling the 2Kin2K10 Countdown to El Tour de Hell. Er, Tucson. El Tour de Tucson. Which is Spanish for The Tour de Tucson.
This cycling thing is quite addicting. Not only the riding part, not only the weight-loss part, but also the extra stuff. With the help of Hova, I discovered MapMyRide. You register on this site for free, and then you can look up all sorts of ride maps in your area, look at the rides other people do, and the best part – create your own ride. It shows you not just roads, but even has bike trails. You can even see the percent of grade for the hills on your ride, and a bunch of other bike-geek stuff.
Other fun cycling stuff are things like bike computers. My Trek Incite died so I had to get a new one, and though I don’t like the one I have – it’s a base model Bontrager – I love looking at all the other computers and thanks to Fatty @ Fatcyclist.com, I have set my sights on a Garmin Edge 500. For less than $250, the Edge 500 gives you more information than you’ll ever need, but also lets you customize your screen to see as little or as much info as you desire.
But I digress.
I’m training for El Tour. Today (meaning, Tues), I rode 43.5 miles. I rode out the RFKATP, then out to Babler Park – which has some short, but serious hills, and then did another one of the truly addictive parts of this cycling thing – I went exploring. I saw this country road with a decent bike lane and just followed it. Eventually, I ended up in an area I was familiar with – familiar by car, that is. It took me through these back roads and out to a main part of the town called Wildwood. I then retraced my steps, er, pedals, and ended up with a nice 43.5 mile, nearly three hour ride.
I was going to discuss this in the coming days, but since I’m posting late, I’m going to go ahead and talk about it now. As of this typing, I have 58 days to go. That is roughly 8 weeks. Currently, I weigh 209 lbs. My goal weight for El Tour is 200 lbs. A pound a week. It can be done. No eating after 7pm will cause even the most stubborn weight to melt away faster than a Nazi’s face when opening the Ark.
So, no eating after 7pm if at all possible.
As for riding, I’m going to set a goal, but a reasonable one. I’m going to ride four days a week. Three of those days will be a mixture of my normal rides around my normal routes. They will all be a minimum of 20 miles and a max of around 40. One day I will focus on hills, one day will be intervals, and one day will be long, sustained, high cadence pulls.
On the fourth day I will focus solely on time in the saddle. I will not worry about mileage. On the fourth day I will ride for a minimum of three and a half hours. That will end up being somewhere between 55 and 65 miles, but again, it’s not the distance I’m focusing on, it is time on the Unfat Machine.
But wait, you say, you’re going to be riding 109 miles, spending 8 hours in the saddle. This training plan can’t help. I say nay, nay. If I stick to this plan (as a minimum weekly plan) I will be putting in approximately 10-11 hours a week in the saddle, covering between 125-200 miles. Per week. For eight weeks. I am confident in my newbie ignorance that will be plenty of training. And as Hova has stated time and time again, “It’s not a bicycle race, it’s an eating contest.” Prior to my 51.5 mile TdC ride, I had never ridden more than about 32 miles at one time. But I ate right during that ride and felt great at the finish.
If I get down to my goal weight, if I continue to avoid putting crappy food in my body, and if I continue to ride as described, I feel good about my chances of not dying on November 20th. The rest will be up to my Jensian Armadillos to avoid flatting, and for me to avoid crashing. Oh, and not twisting an ankle during the Wash crossing would help.
Wait, the Wash what?
Lose the gut.
Watch out for the road idiots