Sunday, October 31, 2010

It's Gotta Be Fun - 7.5 hrs in Meeshow

And it was. How else could someone spend 7.5 hours on a 40-50 degree day riding mountain bike? It's ALL about the fun factor -- and friends to play with! I met Ruth for the first time today and her, myself, Donna and Sheena set out from Donna's house for a "fun" little jaunt down the mountain, across the bottom, then back up some Dead Woman's hollow (on Halloween - how appropriate!) to meet up with the Ohioans who were spending a few days in a cabin in Michaux State Forest. That little jaunt coupled with the ride after we met Bill and Esther and crew, ended up being somewhere around 38 miles with a ride time of about 5 hours and 41 minutes. It was wonderful! We laughed, chitted, chatted, giggled at Sheena, talked about long endurance rides (Ruth is the master ultra-endurance rider -- she has a ton of mountain hundies and stage races under her belt), stopped and took a break or two, climbed, cursed the climbs, rode rocks, cursed the baby-heads, and generally had a blast. I can't recall the last time I was in the woods for 7.5 hours. I have to give credit where credit is due -- PERPETUEM SOLIDS. This is the first time I tried a sustained-energy release supplement and it worked like a charm. The solids are new, 30 calories a piece, and you chew 1-4 an hour. I was popping one every 20 minutes and felt strong the entire day. Well, maybe after I popped the last one I was starting to feel a bit lightheaded and hungry (at 7 hours!); but they got me through the majority of the day. And of course friends help to. I'm ready to do it again! Thanks girls.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Riding Rothrock

I'm a relative newcomer to mountain biking with a mere 10 years under my belt and believe it or not, I'm only recently really discovering what Pennsylvania has to offer -- as recently as this past SUNDAY! Brett, on the other hand, even though he's about 15 years younger than me, has been at it since I think 1996? At least that's the year he mentioned he rode the infamous Tussey Mountain Trail and many others when he went to school at State College. I can't believe I live only 1 3/4 hours from this magnificent trail network in Rothrock State forest and Sunday was my first experience at mountain biking there. Thanks to entering the Transylvania Epic 7-day Stage Race next year and having dear friends that like to ride as much as me (Weisers!), I'm finally now discovering this little mountain biking mecca of Pennsylvania. Wow. Words can't quite describe how beautiful it is up there. I used to think we had to travel to Whitegrass in West Virginia to experience the views and ridge lines of the Appalachia mountains. Not. We have it right in our backyard in Central PA. I really, really gotta get out more and certainly plan to do so over the next 6 months -- winter or not! Can't thank the Weisers enough for going along and guiding. We climbed, then went down, then climbed, then went down, then climbed just a little and went across, then down, then climbed again, and finally went down. Yup -- that's what Rothrock is all about. Climbing and screaming back down. It's a climbers heaven. My brother-in-law's girlfriend, Mary, would be in heaven 'cause they road ride in Florida and love to climb; but, yup, that's right, there ain't nuttin' to climb in Florida! They live in Orlando and have to drive north to the "hills" of Florida to climb. They also like to do the annual 6-Gap Century in Georgia which is a mere 11,000 feet of climbing. Nice. Sounds like what the TSE will be -- or is it going to be more than 11,000 feet? Can't wait to find out - and ride some more!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Prepping to Train to Train

Isn't periodization grand? You prep to train. Then you train to train. Then you really go at. I think they call it Prep, Base, Build, Race; and it covers as much as a 30+ week period. Good old Joel Friel's Training Bible works every time - even years after its publication. Chris Eatough's 12-week plan to do the Transylvania Epic covers that Build/Race period, and the base period is the 12 weeks prior to the Build. Right now, I'm "prepping" with some easy, fun, long stuff -- just enjoying my weekends and the beautiful weather. Weight lifting is part of the scheme too with twice a week sessions at the YMCA focusing on leg work. Presses, squats, lunges, hammy machine, and a handful of upper body drills keep all the muscles in check and hopefully build some strength for lots of climbing. And the running I so much adored and felt it was really helping the fitness? It's been put on hold. I'm so enthused about riding right now that that's all I wanna do. So I am.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Celebrating the B-Day

Last year I was in tears over turning 50. This year I decided to embrace my 51st and celebrate it. How? Why riding mountain bike, of course. I wanted to test the waters to see if my endurance and power on singletrack is still there (its been a while) to train for the TSE (Transyslvania Epic). Yup, it is. 22.7 miles later (all but 3.1 miles singletrack) and still in one piece and not feeling too bad about it, I succeeded at riding the entire Rattling Creek loop in honor of my 51 years. Yesterday, I rode 2 hours on my cross bike. So I guess that means I can get through the first two days of the TSE, huh? Cool. I'll be slow, but who cares -- at least I'm doing it. And the icing on the Birthday Cake is coming home to my present from my hubby. He carefully and artistically arranged all the ingredients on a pizza stone in prep for homemade pizza he made me. My birthday card was in the middle of the ingredients. He's SO thoughtful! I love him. And this year, I'm proud to be 51 and still able to ride mountain bike.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Training for the Transylvania Epic - 7-1/2 months Worth!

Been doing some research on training for my big vacation next year -- 7 days straight of riding mountain bike. I have the 12-weeks prior to the event nailed down, but I've since found another training site specific to the BC 7-day Mountain Bike Stage Race in Canada. Here is their training suggestions. One of the reasons I entered TSE is because the training plan I got is doable. No more than 15 hours a week training in the 12-week period prior to the May 29-June 4 event. I can handle that. The BC Bike Race Training plan is a little more hours than that AND they have a winter 12-week training plan along with a down-period to do some cross-training (running!) and weight workouts. The BC Website has good info and I plan to do add the winter training. It's a BUNCH of hours on the trainer which I'm used to doing from years past and isn't a problem adding (note to self; get new tunes!). I'll also plan to continue to run as much as I can and of course weights twice a week along with my daily core work. Core work will be very, very important to prevent the back pain that could creep up on me maybe in the 5th day or so of the TSE. You gotta have a strong core. Lastly, with all this training, I'm encouraged and enthused to finally drop some extra poundage. Hopefully, 10 pounds will disappear in the next 6 months. It's gonna be a "fit" winter!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Vacation 2011 - BOOKED!

I did it.

I just plunked down too much money to reserve my vacation spot for next year.


State College, of all places.

"Huh?" You say?

Yup....I'm the 1st entry in the 50+ Female solo Division for the Transylvania Mountain Bike Epic Stage Race. Seven -- COUNT THEM - SEVEN (one, two, three, four, five, six, seven) days of mountain bike riding somewhere between 25 and 40 miles a day in the mountains. I'm so darned excited I can't stand it. What a challenge to work toward.

And my team?

Don Wiest Stables. I'm riding for my Momma and Pappa. In case you didn't know, my dad just turned 80 and STILL trains harness horses and hits all the horse races. He claims being active all his life is what keeps him going. There's not a more appropriate team to race for - an active 80 year-old still doing his thing! I wonder where I got my competitive genes? And my dear mother is a type 1 diabetic and currently dealing with a ton of issues. So riding for both of them just seemed right.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Transylvania Epic 2011

They added a friggin' category for 50+ female mountain bikers! There's hardly EVER a category just for female old farts!! I have to do it... My plan is to hire an Amish girl to clean for my mom for 12 weeks prior to the race while I train. And if I cook like a crazy woman and freeze meals for mom, she can pop them in the microwave for 12 weeks. Do you think it would work?? Oh - what am I talking about? It's a 7-day staged mountain bike race in STate College, PA. Last year was the first year, and it was incredible following the results on the web -- I felt like I was there. And of course I wanted to do it, but since my mom's been sick, I haven't been thinking too much about it. But now I'm totally into it with a category for old girls! I love it.