My RAGBRAI Team LIVESTRONG Fundraising Page

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


So, last time I talked about my possible ride schedule for the year.  Since then, I have registered for the Wisconsin Triple Crown series - three rides in hilly western Wisconsin, one in May, one in June and one in August.  Each of the rides has multiple distance options.  I signed up for 100K-100K-150K (62 mi - 62 mi - 93 mi).  It'll be a real challenge.  One that I look forward to.

But looking back the last two years, I noticed that the two big rides I did early in the season - the MGF in 2011 and Feed the Need in 2012 - were tough rides, in part because I don't think I was as ready physically for them as I should have been or wanted to be.  That proved out as I nearly dropped out of one and I didn't finish the other.  The first of the Triple Crown rides is only two weeks after these other rides.

(Sad note: I was thinking of riding the Feed the Need again this year, but a shorter route, as a tune up for the Arcadia Brute.  I e-mailed to check on registration and was disappointed to hear that the ride is cancelled.  It was too much work with too little return to donate to the food pantry.)

So, I need to step up my training.  I think I need to do more than riding the trainer and I need to start earlier.  I need to be stronger in early May.  The Arcadia Brute will be a hilly 100 km.  And if the weather is like what its been the last two years....

What to do?

I am starting the Insanity DVD workout series.  Fortunately, we have it already, so I didn't need to order it.  I'm not expecting any miracles.  But I am hoping to lose a few pounds, shed a few inches and improve my strength as well as prep myself aerobically. 

So, here's my accountability.  I started with the Fit Test on Monday, January 28.  At this time, I weigh 217.6 with 25.0% body fat (according to our scale - see pic below).  And here are my goals - one level I will be satisfeid with on April 1 and two others with increasing enthusiasm if when I surpass the initial goal.
BF %
Wish me luck! After two days, I'm already sore. 

Edit: This morning was day three. I was tired during the warm-up and had a hard time keeping up. (Maybe not enough sleep last night had something to do with it.)  Finally gave up about half-way through the day's workout.  But I don't feel bad about that.  I will come back tomorrow and repeat it. 

I am not worried about, nor is it my goal to, getting six-pack abs and be ripped like the hard bodies they have working out behind the instructor.  My goal is to improve my overall health and fitness.  This includes losing some weight and inches. (A flat stomach would be nice, but ripped? Let's be realistic.) I want to be stronger for the hills of Triple Crown and improve my cardio and circulatory systems.  So if the 60-day system turns into 90, who cares?  It's results that I am interested in.

BEFORE PICS - skip if you're squeamish!

WARNING - not exactly a pretty picture!

Before - ugh!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 Event Schedule

Welcome back! Hope you had a wonderful holiday season. I haven't had a lot to write about since November. I did put Candi up on the CycleOps trainer and have even been on it a few times before the holidays.
But, the holidays have kept me busy and then I've been sick for the last two weeks and haven't ridden.

So, as I lay here with a heating pad on my back, I've been thinking about what I want to do this year in terms of riding. Of course, I'm doing RAGBRAI in July (21-27). And the iGranFondo ride is the day before RAGBRAI starts.

Then there is the UPAF Ride for the Arts in Milwaukee the first Sunday in June. I've done this ride the last three years, with different distances each year. Last year, I rocked (for me) the 75-mi course at over 18 mph. Flat and fast. And fun. It's a must do ride.

Two years ago I rode the Minnesota Gran Fondo (MGF) / Ironman Bike Ride.  That was maybe the hardest day / event I've ever done on a bike.  68 miles, temps in the low 30s, some precipitation and the first 23 miles were into a nasty headwind.  But I persevered. This year, unfortunately, the ride is scheduled on Drake Relays weekend (April 28). I went college at Drake and Relays is like our Homecoming - only bigger - and I haven't been back since 2005. I miss my friends. Hmmm. What to do.

That weekend is also the weekend for the "Feed the Need" Ride in Highland, WI.  Last year I did this ride, and if the 2010 MGF wasn't the hardest ride, then this ride was. Temps in the 30s, lots of wind and hills, a wrong turn, and getting SAG'd back because I couldn't finish it.  I signed up to ride the 100 mi course, but ended up only going 53.  (Needed to start my training earlier to do the century.) Yeah. That was the hardest ride I ever did. It's a small ride, but a fund raiser for the local foodbanks in SW WI. 

I think I will probably do one of these rides and skip Relays (again).  But which one?

What else is out there? Well, last year on the iGranFondo I saw a few riders wearing "Wisconsin Triple Crown" rides. It turns out it's a three event series, with a ride in May, the second in June and the last in August. That works well around the others. And, looking at the website, it looks really challenging. Multiple distances but LOTS of hills. Interestingly, it is limited to only 500 riders.  Which seems that it will attract high caliber riders.  Not sure I fit that category.  But they are rides, not races.  And, really, the object here is to challenge myself, to push myself further, not to see how I stack up against others.  Even if I were the last finisher at each of the rides, if I finish, it's still a win in my books.

Then, at the end of August, there's another ride, the LT Gran Fondo, up in the Twin Cities. I haven't ridden that one (weekend closest to my daughter's birthday). So, I probably should not plan on it this year either.

Possible Schedule:
1) April 27: Feed the Need ride (Highland, WI): 50, 75, or 100 mi - OR -
April 28: MGF (Twin Cities): 68 or 100 mi
2) May 18: Arcadia's Brute, part of the Triple Crown (Arcadia, WI): 50,100, or 150 km
3) June 2: UPAF Ride (Milwaukee): 50 or 75 mi
4) June 22: Kickapoo Kicker, Triple Crown (Viroqua, WI): 100, 150, or 200 km
5) July 20: iGranFondo (Sioux City, IA): 100 mi
6) July 21-27: RAGBRAI (Iowa): 7 days, 450-500 mi
7) August 10: Dairyland Dare, Triple Crown (Dodgeville, WI): 100, 150, or 200 km
8) August 25: LT Gran Fondo (Twin Cities): 100 mi (But probably not.)

I don't want to miss any of those rides, except for one of the April rides occurring on the same weekend.

So, should I register for them all (7 or 8)? It'll be a challenge. But they are all do-able. And they're scheduled far enough apart that I could do them all.

What do you think? Go for it? Or scale it back? Do I need to do more than I did last year (Feed the Need, UPAF, iGranFondo, & RAGBRAI)? I am really intrigued by the Triple Crown rides. Hmmm....

And then, of course, there is the matter of this being ok with my better half!  Since the rides are all (except RAGBRAI) local and don't involve being gone for more than a day, I'm hoping that this will be ok.  I'll let you know.