Category Archives: Training

Tour of Sufferlandria: Stage One

Believe it or not, I’ve never ridden a road bike until a few weeks ago. Literally. And I still haven’t actually ridden a road bike on the road. I’ve only ridden it on the trainer with Sufferfest Videos. So, obviously I’ve never done a road race before, let alone a whole Tour. But that hasn’t stopped me from entering the 2015 Tour of Sufferlandria (TOS) with Robby “The Darkness” Brown.

Tour of Sufferlandria 2015

Don’t know what the TOS is? Read my last post for more info.

Today was the first day of the Tour – Stage 1. I headed over to Robby’s place this morning. On tap for today was “Elements of Style” followed by “The Long Scream.”

“Elements of Style” runs you through a useful systems check (I’ve realized that I tend to let my knees flare out and bunch my shoulders up, creating a lot of tension), pedaling technique, and high and low cadence drills. It’s a great video for a recovery ride. I used it this past Monday after the MLK 4 and Joe Dirt Rides.

Today, though, it served as a nice, long warmup before the real suffering of “The Long Scream” began.

Tour of Sufferlandria 2015 Elements of Style Stage 1

“Elements of Style” got our heart rates up and sweat pouring. It was a great start to the Tour.

Sadly, my Garmin decided to stop working this morning, so I have no data for my heart rate or “distance.” I used TrainerRoad to keep me on track with “Virtual Power,” though. And if I had any concerns about my FTP being too low before, those concerns were erased during “The Long Scream.”

“The Long Scream” is designed as an add-on workout – to be added at the end of another video or workout. There is really no warm-up to this video. The suffering starts early and comes at you nonstop for 30+ minutes at or slightly above threshold. The only “rest” comes in the form of slowing down ever so slightly to simulate taking a corner, but each corner only lasts 5 – 10 seconds before you have to ramp it back up.

Tour of Sufferlandria Stage 1 The Long Scream

I had read many people’s facebook posts on how difficult “The Long Scream” was, and the video didn’t disappoint. It was really tough to stay in the green on TrainerRoad by keeping my power high enough, but it was also pretty motivating. When I saw my numbers dipping a little too low, I’d try my best to pick up the pace.

I wasn’t perfect with matching the recommended power numbers (especially when I had to adjust my junk or re-situate myself on the saddle), but overall I definitely suffered. A lot. I know Robby did too. It pretty much sucked, but in a good way. Sort of.

End of Stage 1 of the 2015 Tour of Sufferlandria

We’re only smiling because the suffering is over for today.

All in all, it was a great Stage 1 of the 2015 Tour of Sufferlandria. It’s going to be a long, grueling Tour, though. I haven’t done all of the videos left in the Tour, but I’ve done enough of them to know this is going to hurt badly. Stage 8 (3 grueling speed videos with seemingly endless high intensity intervals) just might kill us.

Tomorrow’s stage is just one video, but it’s the second longest video in the Sufferfest arsenal: Blender. I haven’t done that one, so it should be an (un)pleasant surprise.

Until tomorrow, suffer on, my friends!

UPDATE: Stage 2 can be found right here!

Frozen Feet Half Marathon short and sweet

Since I don’t have the writing skills that my comrades do…here is the Frozen Feet Half Marathon report short and sweet… from my phone.

Where was everyone else?

Where was everyone else?

The race started for me in the 9:30 pace group.  I really didn’t know what my pace would be so I opted for a slower paced start group.   The first mile or so ticked off and I felt great.   We got to the first “trail” section and I found a burst of energy.   I was having a blast and had a smile on my face the whole time.   The tunes were jamming in my ear and my legs felt great.   People probably thought I was nuts as I passed them on the trail.

Elevation profile of the Frozen Feet Half Marathon

Elevation profile of the Frozen Feet Half Marathon

As we came out of the single track it started to rain but I really didn’t mind.   I had water and tunes and my legs still felt great.   Then came mile 7-9.

The gradual hill was fun for the first mile and sucked/blew balls at the end.  I was very happy when we got to the top.  There was an aid station there but thanks to the Ultimate Direction vest I was wearing I didn’t stop.   I passed so many people who stopped for water at the aid stations.

Easy access to water.

Easy access to water.

The downhill was a blast.   When I got to mile 11 I thought the worst was done, and I tried for a second gear.   But my lungs said, “No way, son!”  I struggled through that mile and again tried to reach for the second and third gear.  But the head wind and 12 miles behind said, “Nope…. not today.” I kept my sights on people ahead of me and pushed to the end.

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Clock Time is not accurate. Official Time was 1:52:11

My finishing time was 1:52 something which was around 8:34 pace.   Not bad but I feel I could have gone harder.

It was a great race and I would like to do it again.

Thanks to Kate, Adam, and Michelle for getting me out there and for just being awesome.

Kate's official time was 2:01:43

Kate’s official time was 2:01:43.  Doesn’t she look happy?

Adam set a PR with a time of 2:03:48.

Adam set a PR with a time of 2:03:48.

"The DARKNESS doesn't need darkness for slumber." - BLD

“The DARKNESS doesn’t need darkness for slumber.” – BLD

 

MLK 3 is This Weekend- Oh Yeah!

You know you don’t want to be one of those people that misses out on this, so don’t do it! The third annual MLK ride is happening this Saturday, and the forecast so far looks great.  We had a blast at the inaugural MLK ride, and we had a great encore last year.

We’ll be meeting at the Berryman Campground Trailhead around 8:00 AM, and we’ll plan on rolling out around 8:30.  Ride a little or ride a lot.  Ride fast or ride slow.  I plan on riding a little and doing so slowly.  Then I’m heading back to the campground to fire up the grill.  I’m not sure if the Hoosier Daddies are returning with their smorgasbord of food and beer or not, but I’ll make sure there is a grill there.  We’d love it if you’d bring some meat to throw on the grill and/or a dish to share along with your own frosty beverages.

Whiskey on the Berryman Trail

Mid-ride whiskey break at the first MLK Ride.

Some people may camp the night before and/or the night after the ride.  Plan accordingly if that’s you.  More info can be found on the facebook event page, and if you need one, here is a good map of the Berryman Trail that shows many options to cut the ride short – courtesy of GORC.

This is a low-key, unsopported group ride.  No pressure to do anything other than have a great time.  Bring what you need, and we hope to see you there.

Running for (or away from) Tramp Stamps

In case you missed it over the last few weeks, Bob has become a runner.  Since coming clean about his current condition in one of this site’s most open and honest posts, Bob has turned a new leaf.  Sure he’s started over before and had ups and downs.  So have I.  Haven’t we all?  It’s called life, people.

But this time, Bob seems different.  He seems ready to make lasting change.  In mid-June he set a goal of running 50 miles by August 15th.  But that bar was set way too low.  He completely smashed it by hitting 50 miles on Monday, July 15th (congrats, Dude!).

Instead of celebrating his victory and going back to his old ways, though, Bob upped the ante by doubling down, so to speak.  He vowed to run a total of 100 miles by August 15h.

 Stretching before running

Bob stretching before his run. Who knew excessive running leads to hair loss?

Bob’s confidence must have been quite high when he wrote that post, because he said he was willing to take on a bet.  It probably comes as no surprise, but Bob and I have a hard time turning down bets like this.  And I’m sure you all know how our last bet turned out:

Gold Speedo

Kate looks creeped out, Bob looks terrified, and I look like I’m so happy I’m not wearing a gold Speedo.

I was truly happy that Bob was achieving so much success, and after reading about Bob’s new challenge,  I was very inspired as well.  And I knew exactly what I had to do.

So without thinking, I said I could double his mileage.

Between July 14th and August 15th, I will need to run twice as many miles as Bob does.  After agreeing to some rules (all runs have to be posted so the other person knows the total at all times being the main one), we were all set… Except we didn’t know what the stakes were.  So we turned to all the Virtusites on Facebook for some ideas (yet another reason to like us on facebook – you get to play choose your own adventure with idiots).

So right now, the loser of this bet will have to get a Henna Tattoo on his lower back.  The tattoo will contain the winner’s name worked into a design chosen by the winner.  That’s right, one of us will be sporting a temporarily permanent Tramp Stamp, and I can guarantee you there will be photos… And video.  So stay tuned for that.

And to add insult to injury, Bob didn’t think that was enough.  After throwing around some ideas (one of which would have been awesome but too offensive even for us), we settled on having the loser race in Pink Panties at the Thunder Rolls Adventure Race on August 24th.  You know, to show off the beautiful Tramp Stamp.

If you want to track our progress, you can follow along right here.  Bob is taking this shit very seriously, and I’m pretty sure I’m doomed.  But it will be great motivation for both of us, and it will help get me ready to pace my brother Zack at the Leadville 100 Trail Run on August 17th!!!  How cool is that?

So… Tell us who you think will win?  Me?  Or Bob?

A New Quest and a New Accountability Tool

Last time we talked, I laid down some embarrassing truth about my  lifestyle. “Coming out” was like taking a massive emotional dump, and I’ve gotta say…I feel better now. And while this has all been very humbling, a lot of positive things have happened because of it.

It seems I’m not alone in this dietary fall from grace, as  I’ve gotten emails from several people in similar situations. As the people around them are rising to meet new challenges, they find  themselves  spiraling  into an isolating, sedentary existence. These email exchanges have gotten me really motivated.  Just knowing that other people are dealing with this same bullshit  has been very uplifting. In one man’s words, “Sometimes the easiest way to inspire people is to let them know they’re not alone.” 

So now that we’re all motivated, it’s time to set some goals, (mine is to run at least 50 miles by August 15th.), and with goal-setting comes the issue of accountability. How do we keep ourselves focused? Follow-through has always been a struggle of mine, so I was excited to hear from Silky about a website/app called Beeminder.  Beeminder is basically a way to break your long-term goals down into a more focused, daily “path” leading to success. Stay on the path and all is well..leave the path and they’ll start taking money from your checking account. Yeah, that’s serious motivation. They also collect your data and put it on a really cool graph that shows you how you’re doing. Check it out:

I'm totally kicking ass right now.

I’m totally kicking ass right now.

50 miles may not seem like a lofty goal to some people, but it’s a big deal to me. I’ve been at this for 13 days now and logged just over 18 miles. I’ve had LOTS of foot pain, knee pain, back pain, chapped butt cheeks and sweat in my eyes, but I can promise you that it’s getting just a little bit easier every day.

 

So..how about a 4th of July run tomorrow morning at Binder?

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