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Saturday, March 27, 2010

What's next for the Red Eyed Vireo?

I'm trying to decide if I should do the Hell's Gate Hundred ,an event put on by AdventureCorps, on April 3.  I love doing their events because:

1. they are in Death Valley and
2. they are professionally run from the race director to the volunteers.

What's holding me back?  Well I'm already doing the Mount Laguna Bicycle Classic on April 17th (my pre-ride here) and I'm supposed to work weekends- or at least one of the two days.

Here is the graph looks challenging and fast.  I'm 100% in but what will work say?  Stay tuned....

Wednesday Hill Repeats- on Newport Coast

Getting a little behind on my workout posting but here is Wednesday.

Entire workout

Ridge Park a 10% grade hill -- 300 plus watts for almost 6 minutes

Newport Coast Drive

30 seconds on and 30 seconds off over 500 watts

Two more sprints- 770 watts and 850 watts

My peak power for the day 876 watts and four more 30/30 above 450 watts

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday Lake Elsinore out and back- 160 miles- 257 kms

I debated whether I should ride yesterday morning.  I haven't been sleeping well lately and it's hard to get up early in the morning and go for a ride-- especially a long ride.  Because of some personal issues my motivation is way down and I'm not as enthused about riding my bike.

I left the house later than usual when I am doing a century plus route.  It was past 8am. I was just cruising along on the Coast Hwy, southbound, when two riders came up alongside me at a light.  We rode hard from Jamboree to Laguna trading pulls and working the rollers.  It felt good to be pushed.  In Laguna they invited me to join them and their group.  It appears they were meeting at Top of the World and doing the steep hills of Laguna.  I declined because I was running a standard chain-ring set-up of 53/39 and an 11/23 cassette.  

If you are not familiar with the hills in Laguna they are very steep.  Many are over 15% and go on for about a mile or more.  I declined but ended up doing the hills anyway-- alone. As I said before, I wasn't motivated so going on a century was not appealing.  I figured I'd do a couple of hills get some elevation gain-- quickly and then go home.  I also thought that the steep hills would get me physically and mentally prepared for the last climb in the Mount Laguna Bicycle Classic on April 17 blog post here.  Pine Creek road has extended sections over 12% and peaks out somewhere in the range of 18% grade.

I began my hill repeats by going up Cress which connects to Summit Dr.  Then I descended Park Ave and climbed that twice.  It's funny to see the pick-up trucks shuttling the downhill mountain bike guys/gals up so they can descend.  I kept seeing the same trucks with bikes and then without bikes going up and down Park.  Isn't climbing half the fun?  I then found another hill not as steep called Temple Hills which you can begin climbing from PCH at Thalia.  I climbed that hill twice as well.  I did the climbs mostly seated just working on my pedaling technique and working on leg strength.  Let me tell you a 39/23 is NOT the friendliest gear to climb Park.  Ideally, you shouldn't attempt these hills with anything less than a 12-27 cassette.  I would go one step further and suggest a compact crank.  Temple Hills is more manageable.  It's still tough but the key was slow, methodical pedaling to work on proper technique.  

Detail of Laguna hills:

Duration:   2:22:08
Work:       1186 kJ
TSS:       122.9 (intensity factor 0.72)
Norm Power: 202
VI:         1.45
Pw:HR:       n/a
Pa:HR:       n/a
Distance:   21.807 mi
Elevation Gain:     3946 ft
Elevation Loss:   3949 ft
Grade:     -0.0 %  (-3 ft)
                         Min.. Max    Avg
Power:       0...... 566......... 139 watts
Heart Rate:   n/a.... n/a..... n/a bpm
Cadence:     30.... 191... 50 rpm
Speed:       0...... 47.8.. 9.3 mph
Pace         1:15... 0:00... 6:29 min/mi
Altitude:     68.... 1006 623 ft
Crank Torque: 0...... 925... 242 lb-in

After doing those five hills my legs were shot and I was hungry.  I didn't eat breakfast before I left the house.  So I stopped for lunch and sat at Main Beach in Laguna.  I watched people playing volleyball and wondered do they come here every Sunday like I ride my bike every Sunday?  Is this their sport, their passion?  I watched families walking leisurely with their dogs and watched couples walking while holding hands.  It was romantic and relaxing but at the same time I had to squash my feelings before they took me over.  

I then realized it was a Sunday-- and it was my first day off in 7 days and I should stop feeling sorry for myself and do something with the day.  So I decided I would go to Lake Elsinore.  I should point something out.  It was way too late in the day to take on this type of  "Adventure".  It would involve at least 4 hours, 52 miles 4,000 feet of climbing just to go Lake Elsinore and back -- that's not counting getting to the foot of the climb and then getting back to Huntington Beach after descending back into Orange County.  It was well after 1:30 pm.  

I went up and over Ortega Hwy to Lake Elsinore and then climbed back.  I think I actually found a climb here in Orange County that replicates the Kel-Baker climb of the Furnace Creek 508.  The Kel-Baker climb is a relentlessly long 21 mile climb that doesn't gain much altitude but wears you down nonetheless. It may be because it comes after the Baker Time Station #5 after 380 miles into the race.  I personally don't think t's position within the race is the only thing that makes it a long grind of a climb.  The whole time I was climbing up Ortega Hwy I thought "man this feels awfully reminiscent to the Kel-Baker climb."  Let's see if you can pick out any similarities

Stage Six: Baker to Kelso, 34.90 miles. Elevation Gain: 2920'.
Leaving Baker, you climb a gradual but relentless 2500 feet in 20 miles  (2.3 %)  (Mountain Section Eight). It may be heating up, so drink plenty. A long descent leads to Kelso at mile 418.

Ortega Hwy climb data from Training Peaks

Distance:   20.778 mi
        Elevation Gain:    2484 ft
          Grade:     2.2 %  (2465 ft)

The climb from Lake Elsinore on Ortega Hwy is a nice climb.  You can actually see the elevation you have gain because the road has many turns that double back on themselves and you can look down.  The climb is 4.8 miles and gains 1300 feet with an average grade of 5.3% --with dips.  Up and over Ortega Hwy and then up Antonio Pkwy continuing on to Live Oak and Santiago Canyon.  It was getting dark and I was racing the sunset.  I didn't make it.  It was 845 by the time I got to a restaurant to eat and past 9pm before I got home.  

My not so motivated start and short ride turned into 160 mile ride 13 plus hours on the bike.  My legs were wrecked. I was famished and really cold.  I was under dressed and I was calorie deprived.   I didn't take any nutrition stuff with me since it was only supposed to be a 2 hour ride.  The calorie deprivation made me feel colder than I normally would.  The last 2 hours of my ride were in the dark with no lights, no reflective gear and dark clothing.  I know not very smart eh?    But it's done now and I am stronger physically and mentally for it.  

Entire workout (134 watts):

Duration:   11:34:15 (13:09:27)-- you can see what lack of motivation looks like in the time off the bike
Work:       5562 kJ
TSS:       503.3 (intensity factor 0.661)
Norm Power: 185
VI:.....         1.39
Pw:HR:       n/a
Pa:HR:       n/a
Distance:.   158.129 mi
Elevation Gain:     10579 ft
Elevation Loss:   10485 ft
Grade:     0.0 %  (103 ft)

               Min...... Max...... Avg
Power:........        0....... 743....... 134 watts
Heart Rate:   91...... 154...... 133 bpm
Cadence:     30...... 225........ 75 rpm
Speed:       0...... 50.9...... 13.7 mph
Pace .........        1:11..... 0:00..... 4:23 min/mi
Altitude: ........... -18..... 2672..... 839 ft
Crank Torque:....... 0.... 1210...... 163 lb-in

Just for kicks on the last 9 miles of my 160 miler I was putting surges over 600 watts topping out at 743 watts which incidentally  was the highest for the day but came at mile 150.  

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday Hill Work on Newport Coast

Elevation Profile from Garmin

Entire Activity
Entire workout (157 watts):
Duration:..   1:50:14
Work: ..      1036 kJ
TSS: ...       126.1 (intensity factor 0.832)
Norm Power: 233
VI:....         1.48
Pw:HR:       n/a
Pa:HR:       n/a
Distance:..   27.785 mi
Elevation Gain:     1447 ft
Elevation Loss:   1414 ft
Grade:     0.0 %  (30 ft)
              Min Max Avg
Power:       0 803 157 watts
Cadence:     30 139 78 rpm
Speed:       0 42.2 15.1 mph
Pace         1:25 0:00 3:59 min/mi
Altitude:     -1 1028 290 ft
Crank Torque: 0 1136 179 lb-in

Newport Coast wattage

Newport Coast with w/kg 

Newport Coast Dr:
Duration:   7:34
Work:       133 kJ
TSS:.        14.2 (intensity factor 1.061)
Norm Power: 297
VI:...         1.01
Pw:HR:       n/a
Pa:HR:       n/a
Distance:   1.535 mi
Elevation Gain:     427 ft
Elevation Loss:   0 ft
Grade:.........      5.3 %  (429 ft)
                       Min Max Avg
Power:.......        1.9 5.6... 4.3 w/kg
Cadence:.....      63 106... 89 rpm
Speed:.......        9.5 14.... 12.2 mph
Pace ........         4:16 6:19.. 4:55 min/mi
Altitude:......     147 576... 365 ft
Crank Torque: 136 389... 280 lb-in

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday 031810 Coffee Crew

Peak 5min (308 watts):
Duration:   5:00
Work:       92 kJ
TSS:       9.9 (intensity factor 1.091)
Norm Power: 305
VI:         0.99
Pw:HR:       n/a
Pa:HR:       n/a
Distance:   1.252 mi
Elevation Gain:     275 ft
Elevation Loss:   0 ft
Grade:     4.2 %  (280 ft)
Power:       149.....403.....308 watts  (4.61 w/kg)
Cadence:     85.....110........93 rpm
Speed:       12.9....18.2.....15.0 mph
Pace         3:18...4:40......4:01 min/mi
Altitude:     256....535........398 ft
Crank Torque: 135....358.......281 lb-in

Weight today 147lbs 

Garmin player for today's ride here 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

031610 Tuesday Coffee Crew


Entire workout (133 watts):

Duration:   .....3:11:33 (3:26:50)
Work:   ......    1531 kJ
TSS:    .......    142.2 (intensity factor 0.679)
Norm Power:.. 190
VI:      ..........   1.43
Pw:HR:  .....     63.7%
Pa:HR:   ......    64.51%
Distance: ......  54.98 mi
                     Min..... Max..... Avg
Power:       0..... 806...... 133 watts
Heart Rate:   0..... 188....... 95 bpm
Cadence:     30.... 239...... 85 rpm
Speed:       0 ......43........17.2 mph
Pace         1:23.. 0:00.... 3:30 min/mi
Hub Torque:   0.... 340...... .54 lb-in
Crank Torque: 0.... 1019.... 132 lb-in

Newport Coast Dr:

Duration:   7:23
Work:       131 kJ
TSS:       14.9 (intensity factor 1.099)
Norm Power: 308 ( 4.5 w/kg)
VI:         1.03
Pw:HR:       n/a
Pa:HR:       n/a
Distance:   1.852 mi
Elevation Gain:     383 ft
Elevation Loss:   0 ft
Grade:     4.0 %  (388 ft)

Power:       0.... 463....... 298 watts (4.4 w/kg)
Cadence:     38....225........ 92 rpm
Speed:       2.4....19.1..... 14.9 mph
Pace         3:09....24:46.... 4:02 min/mi
Altitude:     231... 622...... 427 ft
Crank Torque: 0..... 452...... 275 lb-in

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring Death Valley Double Century Race Report

Sponsors-- I'd like to thank my sponsors for providing me the opportunity to train and race.  Skins for my compression wear, Infinit Nutrition for their awesome customizable nutrition formulas, Uvex for my helmet and sunglasses, Woolistic for my wool armers, Hawaiian Island Creations for their incredible skin block products, and a new sponsor for 2010 that will cover my race fees and lodging expenses.  I thank all of you for your support.

AdventureCorps--  thank you for putting on a fantastic event in one of the most beautiful landscapes on earth.  Your volunteers were awesome as always.  Your support and hospitality made one of the most inhospitable places on earth the perfect place for me/us to test our personal limits once again.  Also thank you for taking so many great pictures.  Photo Credits AdventureCorps.
Bike Setup-- Sasha my Cervelo Soloist SL with Zipp 808 Wheelset and Power Tap, Continental Competition tubular tires. Chainrings 53/39 Cassette 11-23

Clothing-- Skins Compression Tights Bike Religion Jersey, Woolistic 100% Merino wool base layer, Woolistic 100% Merino wool arm warmers.

RESULTS  can be found here on the AdventureCorps website.  

Finishing time -- 2nd place time 11 hours 7 minutes

Also total number of Double Century report may be found here (21 and counting)

Click HERE for the player off of website

Short and sweet version.

I was part of a six man breakaway up until Ashford Mills (mile 45.5) . Phil Kelly one of the riders in our six man group surged ahead at the base of the Jubilee climb and slowly disappeared out of sight.  He maintained his advantage on me from mile 45.5 until the finish.  I was third up the first climb-- Jubilee Pass, second on the Salsbury climb.  I was in second place for 50+ miles after leaving from the Ashford Mills.   I rode alone from Ashford Mills (mile 45.5) through the climbs and back through Ashford Mills (mile 100) .  I was caught by Desert Fox about mile 120.  We rode together from just before Badwater (mile 130) until the finish.  Kelly went on to win at least 30 minutes ahead of me.  I came in about 11:08 and happy with a PR of more than an hour.
Double Century Checkpoint Locations: 17.7mi (Badwater), 45.4mi (Ashford Mill), 57.6mi (Water Only - on Salsberry Pass), 74.3 (Shoshone), 103.2 (Ashford Mill), 130.9 (Badwater), 148.6 (Furnace Creek), and 171.5 (Stove Pipe Wells).
I am the Red Eyed Vireo
If you are still reading---then this is the long version of the race report.


Entire workout (159 watts):

Duration:   10:57:15 (11:08:53)

Work:      6252 kJ
TSS:       498.5 (intensity factor 0.679)
Norm Power: 190
VI:         ........1.19
Pw:HR:       .9.8%
Pa:HR:       -14.7%
Distance:   195.978 mi


Power:...    .....    0.......668.......159 watts

Heart Rate:   ..... 90.....186........150 bpm

Cadence:  .....    29.....163.........77 rpm
Speed:   ......    2.4....39.6.......18.0 mph
Pace  .....        1:31...25:25..... 3:20 min/mi
Hub Torque:   0......499..........71 lb-in
Crank Torque: 0......947..........180 lb-in

Quick Analysis of Entire Activity

Duration:   10:57:15 (11:08:53)  -- Only 11 minutes off the bike about 2 minutes per checkpoint. For the life 
of me I can't remember where I spent THAT much time off the bike.

Work:      6252 kJ -- 568 calories/hr expended -- only 240/hr consumed -- illustrates one of the biggest challenges of Ultra athletes being underfueled by 200+ calories/hr for 11 hours.

TSS:        498.5 (intensity factor 0.679) 500 TSS is huge.  IF of 68% higher at beginning then fatigue set in.  

The following scale can be used as an approximate guide:

  • Less than 150 - low (recovery generally complete by following day)
  • 150-300 - medium (some residual fatigue may be present the next day, but gone by 2nd day)
  • 300-450 - high (some residual fatigue may be present even after 2 days)
  • Greater than 450 - very high (residual fatigue lasting several days likely)
As well, the cumulative TSS per week or per month can be used help identify the maximum intensity and volume of training that still leads to improvements, rather than overtraining

Norm Power: 190--  What my body felt my avg wattage to be which differs from the recorded 159 watts about 2.8 w/kg not bad for me.  Essentially there is an unrecorded physiological toll on the body to ramp up and come down from one wattage to another.  " By taking these factors into account, normalized power provides a better measure of the true physiological demands of a given training session - in essence, it is an estimate of the power that you could have maintained for the same physiological "cost" if your power output had been perfectly constant..." 

Also remember in Ultras, power output isn't that high since conservation is the key and you use just enough to get the job done and no more.  

VI: .1.19--  Variability Index the higher the number the more variable the workout.

Pw:HR:..9.8%-- a little high goal is 5% but this is 200 miles and decoupling between Power and Heart Rate are expected.


Power:        0.......668.......159  watts

Heart Rate:   90.....186........150  bpm

Cadence:      29.....163.........77  rpm

Speed:        2.4....39.6.......18.0  mph
Pace          1:31...25:25..... 3:20  min/mi
Rolling from the start at Furnace Creek we were in one massive paceline.  I stayed near the front five wheels since I didn't know the riding skill of many of the riders present.  Absent from the front of the pack were the tandems that usually lead us out to Ashford Mills.  I did see some riders that I have seen at previous doubles and the 508.  Graham “Python” Pollock, Ton “Desert Fox” van Daelen , Adam “Rock Rabbit” Bickett.     Also riding with us was Phil Kelly.  He and I rode together on the Butterfield Double Century in 2008.  He came in second and I came in third that year just 12 minutes behind him .   I have also seen his results for the Breathless Agony-- quite impressive.  In 2009, he finished the Breathless Agony with a time of 4:43!!!  And a newcomer on the scene Reve Ramos who finished the Fall Death Valley Double in 2009 with an impressive 11:11 time. With this group of talented racers present I knew I had to play it smart.  Five paragraphs from now you will see the totems of the 508 veterans please visit the links you will see that all there results have been better than mine at the 508.
Adam "Rock Rabbit" Bickett
It was nice chatting with Rock Rabbit for a good while as we headed towards Ashford Mills.  He was riding a fixed gear with a Power Tap-- I may have to get one of those ;).  I've always wanted to know what  type of wattage I put out on my fixie.  I'm also curious what happens with the constant pedaling and how that affects the average wattage.  I digress, we talked about 2009 Furnace Creek and the freak windstorm and his nutrition problems.  We also discussed gear ratios because Rock Rabbit is contemplating the 508 on a fixed gear.  I told him that it is an exclusive club (only seven of us have been crazy enough to complete it) and it's not an event to be taken lightly.  Rock Rabbit DID complete the 2009 edition of the 508 on a multi-speed bike even with his long delays due to his nutrition problems.  As a side note, in the 2009 edition of the 508 both fixed gear riders DNF'd.
Ton "Desert Fox" van Daelen
What I find interesting is Rock Rabbit is following the same pattern I did.  My rookie year 2006 at the 508 I had an abysmal attempt.  I then thought about whether I should come back in 2007 and redeem myself.  But instead I came back on my FG  My goal was to complete the event.  The joy, if there was one, was that I rode the event without the pressures of beating my time from 2006.  Rock Rabbit is in the same situation I was in three years ago.  Good luck with that decision I know it will be a tough one.
The pace to Ashford Mills was moderate with the occasional surge because of the non-stop rollers on the desert floor.  Somehow we kept shelling people off the back.  Looking at my power data we weren't going THAT fast. Rock Rabbit and I had were having a continuous conversation and I did not feel under pressure at all.  I kept wondering why we weren't going faster.  You'll notice my intensity factor is .704 so only 70%.
It's hard to look behind you in a paceline, not to mention unsafe, so it's difficult to know how and when the field was reduced.  I looked back a few times and even pulled myself out the the line to see the number of riders.  At one point I saw 20, then 10 and finally we were down to six.  A lot of riders were just sitting on not doing any work.  I'm glad that eventually we dropped the parasites and got on to the business of riding the double. The six riders were: Python, Rock Rabbit, Desert Fox, Reve Ramos, Phil Kelly, and me-- the Red Eyed Vireo.  Do you notice a trend? I do... four out of the six lead riders were 508 veterans.
Phil Kelly
Once again it was frustrating for me to be in a paceline of riders that didn't do a quick turn at the front and roll off.  Ultra cyclists seem to just sit up front for TOO LONG.  I attempted three times to get the riders to rotate through the line quickly but to no avail.  I thought that my example of short fast pulls would carry through the paceline.  I would take a pull of less than 10 seconds and roll off hoping they would get the hint.  We could have been going so much faster.
Graham "Python" Pollack
I remember one rider was up front too long and was slowing us down so I rode up from three wheels back and tapped him and motioned for him to roll off.  Once he rolled off it was apparent he had been working too hard and waited too long to roll off and was immediately dropped from the group.  It's important ESPECIALLY if you are not a strong rider that you take your turn at the front, do your pull, and then roll off so that the the stronger riders keep the pace high and you can draft behind them.  My frustration stems from doing the morning club rides in Orange County where the vast majority of the riders are crit and road racers. When I ride with them I'm the weaker rider and I have to ride smart or get dropped and that means a lot of short pulls and lots of drafting ;)

Furnace Creek (start) to Ashford Mills:

Duration:.......   2:07:33
Work: .......      1244 kJ
TSS: ........       104.4 (intensity factor 0.704)
Norm Power:... 197
VI:...........         1.21
Pw:HR:.....       -7.4%
Pa:HR: ......      -1.28%
Distance: .......  44.69 mi

Min.. Max.. Avg
Power:       0.. 668.. 163 watts
Heart Rate:   99.. 244... 160 bpm
Cadence:     29... 152... 80 rpm
Speed:       4.6... 34.7... 21.1 mph
Pace         1:44... 13:03...2:50 min/mi
Hub Torque:   0... 224... 56 lb-in
Crank Torque: 0... 627... 176 lb-in


We arrived at Ashford as a group of six riders.  Python and Desert Fox rolled out of the checkpoint before the rest of us were ready.  Rock Rabbit and I were the next two out of the checkpoint.  We chased pretty hard to catch them.  Kelly and Reve were behind us and eventually caught us.  And then all hell broke loose.  Kelly surged ahead and Rock Rabbit chased and I got dropped.  My conservative nature took over because   I knew we were on the first of two significant climbs- Jubilee (6.5 miles) and Salsbury (8.5 miles).  So I didn't go too hard.  Python, Desert Fox and Reve were behind me and that was how I paced myself--just stay ahead of the other three riders.
Race Director Chris Kostman in "THE 508" gear 
and six man break in Ashford Mills
notice only one rider coming down the otherwise empty road

I had been wondering what was going to happen once we got to the climbs since our ride to Ashford Mills was relatively calm and here it was unfolding right before my eyes.  I maintained my position as third behind Kelly and Rock Rabbit for all of Jubilee Pass.  Below is my power chart of the the Jubilee Climb.
Ashford Mills to the summit of  Jubilee Pass:
Duration:   32:56
Work:       493 kJ 
TSS:       44.3 (intensity factor 0.901)
Norm Power: 252
VI:         1.01
Pw:HR:       1.45%
Pa:HR:       28.69%
Distance:   6.692 mi
Power:       ..........0.. 406... 250 watts
Heart Rate: ........139... 182... 176 bpm
Cadence:     ........43.. 118.. 78 rpm
Speed:       ........8.4.. 26.8 ..12.2 mph
Pace         .......2:14.. 7:09.. 4:55 min/mi
Hub Torque:   ....0 ..234... 145 lb-in
Crank Torque: ...0.. 416.. 276 lb-in
The important things to take away from the numbers above are:
Work:       493 kJ-- this climb was roughly 30 minutes-- extrapolate for an hour that would be 900kj or 900 calories working that hard not only puts a huge toll on your body but puts you in a calorie deficit of close to 700 calories for that hour.
TSS (.901)-- Which means I was climbing at 90% of my threshold power.  
Normalized Power -- 252 watts  3.70 w/kg (I like to climb at 3.50 w/kg on Ultras)
Pw:HR:  1.45% Less than 5% is the goal-- it is a ratio of the difference between Power and Heart Rate from the first half to the second half of an interval or workout.  This shows my fitness is good because there was very little decoupling between my Power and Heart Rate during the Jubilee Climb.
Avg Cadence-- 78 Rpm my typical cadence is over 80 while climbing but I was using an 11-23 cassette so it was a little lower.
Salsbury Climb:
Duration:   48:33
Work:       673 kJ
TSS:       55.7 (intensity factor 0.83)
Norm Power: 232  
VI:         1
Pw:HR:       2.29%
Pa:HR:       6.77%
Distance:   8.531 mi
                   Min..... Max..... Avg
Power:..        151...... 359....... 231 watts
Heart Rate:.... ..  158......178....... 172 bpm
Cadence:........     41...... 111....... 73 rpm
Speed:.........        7.8.... 13.9...... 10.5 mph
Pace ..... .....        4:20...7:40....... 5:42 min/mi
Hub Torque:......   85..... 222....... 146 lb-in
Crank Torque:.... 158..... 414....... 268 lb-in

The important things to take away from the numbers above are:

TSS (.83)-- Which means I was climbing at 83% of my threshold power. 

Normalized Power -- 232 watts  3.40 w/kg (a little below my preferred 3.50 w/kg)

VI: 1-- means my power was very consistent throughout the whole climb which is why my NP and AP were only one watt different

Pw:HR:  2.29% Less than 5% is the goal-- it is a ratio of the difference between Power and Heart Rate from the first half to the second half of an interval or workout.  This shows my fitness is good because there was very little decoupling between my Power and Heart Rate during the Jubilee Climb and Salsbury Climb

Avg Cadence-- 73 Rpm my typical cadence is over 80 while climbing but I was using an 11-23 cassette so it was a little lower.

Work-- 673 kj on a 48 minute climb I am putting out the same kj I put out on in one hour of riding hard on the flats.

Salsbury Climb- (MILE 52.5)

After climbing the 6.6 miles of Jubilee there is a one mile descent which translates to 2:18 of recovery-- not much.  Up next was an 8.5 mile-- Salsbury climb.  I kept Kelly and Rock Rabbit in my sights on the Jubilee climb.  I pushed hard enough to keep them there but I just couldn't chase.  They crested before me and I thought I would see them on the one mile descent between Jubilee and Salsbury but no.  They were gone.  

I knew I was in third but since I couldn't see anyone chasing me I rode steady on the first part of Salsbury.  But then I saw Rock Rabbit up ahead and turned it up just a little.  I still didn't see anyone behind me so I thought it was safe to push a little harder.  One thing I hate is getting passed on a climb.  And I have always thought, pass someone ONCE, convincingly, on a climb because it messes with your mind if you get caught by that rider again.

Rock Rabbit was suffering when I passed him.  I don't know if it was fatigue or nutrition but he didn't look strong.  I then knew I was running second and it was just Kelly up ahead.  Rock Rabbit stopped at the water stop midway up the Salsbury climb and that allowed me to get a decent time gap on him.  I could just barely see Kelly up ahead but I wasn't making any ground on him.  Finally I resigned myself to maintaining my position and getting over the the summit. 

On the final miles of the the Salsbury Climb I noticed that my left pedal stroke felt strange.  I felt I had too much float and it was impacting my efficiency.  I then realized that the cleat was loose.  It reminded me of when I test rode Speedplay pedals-- not a fan  ;)  

Shoshone (MILE 75)
As I was arriving at Shoshone, Kelly was leaving.  I estimated I was less than 5 minutes behind him.  Once I got into Shoshone I asked the volunteers for a screwdriver.  The volunteers were awesome.  While I filled my water bottles one of the gentlemen there tightened my cleat.  I was in such a rush that I neglected to tell him WHERE to place the cleat.  It wasn't until I rolled out and started pedaling that I noticed the cleat was not where it should be. I wasn't going to turn around and fix it.  I rode the next 125 miles with my left cleat in the wrong place.  It felt strange but as I write this I don't have any knee pains to speak of.  
Shoshone to Salsbury Pass 

Shoshone to Salsbury Summit:

Duration:   56:32
Work:       701 kJ
TSS:        52.3 (intensity factor 0.746)
Norm Power: 209
VI:         1.01
Pw:HR:       -4.05%
Pa:HR:       32.47%
Distance:   12.33 mi

Min..... Max..... Avg
Power:....        0...... 331...... 207  watts
Heart Rate:.......   136.. 171...... 164  bpm
Cadence:........      43.... 136...... 75  rpm
Speed: .........       6.7.... 28.8..... 13.1  mph
Pace.........          2:05.... 8:56..... 4:35  min/mi
Hub Torque:.....   0........ 229...... 117  lb-in
Crank Torque:. ...0........ 452...... 239  lb-in

Fatigue starting to set in on the Salsbury climb.  We do over 5,000 feet in a short 40 mile section.  

41 miles and 5300 feet of climbing

I rode alone on all the climbing sections (about 90 miles total solo).  I made a very quick stop at Ashford Mills on the return.  Some of the century riders and volunteer staff thought I was the first doubles rider coming through.  But I corrected them that Kelly was ahead of me. I wonder if he didn't stop at Ashford Mills.  On my way to Badwater I was caught by Desert Fox.  I was falling asleep.  Yes, it was around noon and I was falling asleep.  I had driven up the night before from Huntington Beach and arrived at Furnace Creek at 1am.  Being the store manager of the Newport Beach Bike Religion I was there late taking care of last minute customers and THEN closing the store. Believe it or not there was still traffic at 7:30 at night on the 91 freeway.  Crazy huh?!

Once I arrived I had to unpack the car, set the bike up, lay out my clothing, attach lights, set up nutrition for first 50 miles and lay down and try to fall asleep.  It was well after 2am when I finally put my head on a pillow. When the alarm went off at 430am I was delirious and groggy.  I was still very exhausted.  I almost bagged the ride right then and there.  But I got up, got dressed and made the early check-in.  I barely got two hours of "sleep".  Of course if you don't know sleep deprivation is cumulative.  On the days leading up to Death Valley I didn't get more than 5 hours of sleep.  I'm up every morning by 4am.  Now here I am midday falling asleep.  I think Desert Fox was having the same sleep deprivation issues because he wasn't going that hard himself.  The good thing was the constant stream of century riders on the road ahead of us.  They provided fresh targets on which to focus on, pass and feel some sort of progress on the course.    

When we got into Badwater I had to go to the bathroom REALLY bad and drink a Coke to wake up.  I had to go to the bathroom at Ashford Mills but I didn't want to cross the road from the checkpoint to relieve myself.  There were too many century riders on the course to pull over and relieve myself alongside the road.  So here I am at Badwater and Desert Fox doesn't want to allow enough time for a nature break.  I filled my bottles and as soon as I popped open the Coke Desert Fox was getting on his bike.  I took two good pulls and threw the rest away.  The Desert Fox didn't want to make a full pit stop and I didn't want to loose his wheel. 

Furnace Creek to Stovepipe Wells

Duration: .......  1:21:41

Work:........        688 kJ
TSS:...........        46.2 (intensity factor 0.584)
Norm Power:..... 163
VI: .............        1.16
Pw:HR: .......      10.03%
Pa:HR:........       4.39%
Distance: ........  24.501 mi


Power:       0 ..........511..... 141 watts
Heart Rate:   106....... 160..... 140 bpm
Cadence:     40....... 149....... 80 rpm
Speed:       5.5....... 27.1..... 18.1 mph
Pace         2:13.... 10:58.....3:19 min/mi
Hub Torque:   0.......... 170....... 55 lb-in
Crank Torque: 0......... 640...... 152 lb-in

FURNACE CREEK - Mile 150 arrived 2:20pm

As we were getting close to the Furnace Creek Inn, I told the Desert Fox that I just HAD to go to the bathroom NOW before we hit "civilization".  I usually take nature breaks BEFORE designated stops because I don't want to waste time waiting on a Porta Potty.  It happened to me once and I learned from it.  We pulled over and did our business.  It was my ONE AND ONLY nature break in 11 hours.  Yet I had emptied two bottles between every checkpoint. I felt great all day as far as fueling and hydration.

 I don't usually stop at Furnace Creek (it's a downhill section) but Desert Fox wanted to stop and refuel.  I also think he thought we needed to get marked on our numbers proving we had been there.  It was a quick top-off of fuel.  I had consumed one of my bottles between Badwater and Furnace Creek (~ 18 miles).  I thought it was funny when a century rider commented on how fast we were in and out of the checkpoint.  We were in and out in less than two minutes.  My reply "We've been here too long already!"  She laughed, I laughed, but I was serious.  

On the way to Stovepipe Wells I was doing calculations on how long it would take for us to get back.  There was a slight chance we might finish in under 11 hours.  In my head I did simple math  that went like this:  

We have 50 miles to go and need to be back in 2 hours and 40 minutes.  So 3 hours at 16 mph would be over 3 hours. Well that won't work.  

So my next calculation was "At 20mph it takes 3 minutes to do a mile and we have 50 miles remaining.  So 3 x 50 = 150 minutes divided by 60 ( 1 hour chunks ) so that comes out to 2 hours and 30 minutes. 

Hmm that means we have 10 minutes to spare.  Great all we have to do is average a little under 20 mph and we can finish in under 11 hours.

What's great about this graph is you can tell when I'm taking my pull.  You see the power increase along with heart rate.  You can also see when I finish my pull and begin my draft. Desert Fox and I were working well together at this point.  It seemed to me that I had fully recovered, relatively speaking, and now it was his turn to drag the chain a little.  But together we kept the pace high enough to average 18.1 mph from Furnace Creek to Stovepipe Wells.  Even though we were working well together, I was surprised to see Kelly heading in the other direction when we were still seven miles from Stovepipe Wells.  In other words, he was 14 miles ahead of  us!! From mile 75 to mile 175 he had put 14 miles on me in a 100 miles.  There was no way we were going to catch him now.  

Stovepipe to Furnace Creek:

Duration:   1:21:11 (1:23:09)

Work:       669 kJ
TSS:       43.6 (intensity factor 0.572)
Norm Power: 160
VI:         1.15
Pw:HR:       -9.81%
Pa:HR:       11.64%
Distance:   24.57 mi

Min... Max... Avg

Power:       0... 431... 139 watts
Heart Rate:   108. 153... 136 bpm
Cadence:     34... 143... 80 rpm
Speed:       2.7... 33.4.. 18.4 mph
Pace         1:48...22:27... 3:16 min/mi
Hub Torque:   0... 252.... 53 lb-in
Crank Torque: 0 ...947.... 151 lb-in

TSS:        43.6 (intensity factor 0.572)--

As you can see my intensity is really down it is only 57% of my threshold.   Fatigue from the many hours in the saddle --- I'm starting to unwind.                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Heart Rate:   108 153 136  bpm -- my heart rate is really down.

Stovepipe Wells

Stovepipe Wells

Desert Fox and I got in and we BOTH had Cokes.  We refueled and off we were again.  We were down to a 25 mile recovery ride -- that's all we had left.  Weather was starting to turn for the worse.  It was getting windier and we could see rain clouds.  The return to Furnace Creek is a road I know well.  I have been on this stretch four times on my 508's.  It's always dark so it was a nice treat to see my way in the daylight for a change.  The return leg was uneventful and I believe we were both finally feeling better. Heck the ride was almost over right? 

It felt great to see riders going to Stovepipe Wells and know that I was miles ahead of them and would get in with a good cushion.  We averaged 18.4 mph on the return leg.  




We were so close to getting under 11 hours but we didn't make it.  I was disappointed at first.  I thought back to my lull between Ashford Mills (mile 100) and Badwater (mile 130).  But then I got a reality check.  I had PR'd the course by ONE HOUR!  So now I have something else to shoot for ... sub 11 hour Death Valley Double Century.  After my double century I had a good recovery meal and put on my Skins Travel and Recovery tights for the remainder of the day and I also slept in them.  And there you have it my Spring Death Valley Double Century race report.  



One of the reasons I had a good day is that I had stressed my body over the last few weeks but I was fairly rested by race day.  On the above charts you will notice that the Pink line and the Yellow line are working towards meeting each other.  The Pink line is the stress of training in 7 day chunks and the the Yellow line is how much rest or recovery you are allowing your body.  The Blue line is the cumulative stress on your  body over the last 42 days.  As you build your base they diverge as you taper they meet.  Pretty simple explanation for something very complex as periodization and peaking for races.