Sharpening for Hoodoo and a near miss

366.7/1038 35.3% miles riding
15700/60000 26.2% climbing riding
118.4/200 59.2% running

I have been following a training plan for Hoodoo 500 that is much faster and harder and shorter than I did for the Furnace Creek 508. I am doing this mainly due to family restraints, and also based on my experience with the Terrible Two this year where I did much better than before. I think its mainly due to being in much better shape than years before, though, but I don't think Ultracycling requires tons of hundred plus mile rides to be successful. I was reading an article that Chris Kostman posted about dumb things ultracyclists including buying into the long distance lie. You don't need the 1000 plus months to be successful. Sure you need some real rides. I believe my Terrible Two ride in June and a two more 100 miles/10,000+ feet of climbing rides should be enough.

Yesterday John Wang and I attempted to break an hour for the long ride home. The ride is 20.5 miles and has 1100 feet of climbing. We took off quickly and I dropped into my new Profile CGT aero bars as we were riding 22-24 MPH on the flats. We crossed El Camino and took Valparaiso up to Alameda holding 22-25 on the 1% grade up hill. We were averaging 21.6 MPH at this point and all was good. We flew down to Sand Hill and began the climb up to 280. I was holding 20 MPH up this hill and immediately dropped John which was an idiot move in a 2 man draft time trail. I slowed back and we crossed 280. I dropped John again on the climb and descent and slowed to catch him back up near Old La Honda. I was able to hold 20 Mph all the way too Alpine and kept John in my slipstream. Due to my stupid pace up Sand Hill, I figured the hour was out of the question, but we kept pushing really hard down Alpine and sprinted through Arastradero. We were flying at 25 mph down arastradero from Foothill towards El Camino and I started to cramp up a bit and had to let John pull this section. We sprinted as hard as we could 1/4 mile from El Camino as the light was green and in miserable bad luck, the light changed and we got stuck. The little rest would be nice, but not be worth the time lost. I was yelling and cussing out that light as I could see our chances slipping away. We immediately sprinted and got stuck behind a train near Alma. Against all odds, we kept pushing at 25 on the flats and ended up finishing in 1:00:30. Damn. We just needed a bit more luck, but it was not to be. Our average speed was 20.4. We could easily make if we did not have the lights, but that's the breaks. We have to try this again next week.

This morning I rode with a small Triathlon group in their weekend ride out to Hwy 92 via Portola Valley. We started out slow, but ended up really pushing hard all the way to 92 and back. I was pushing 22-26 on the flats the whole day including really hard speed up the rollers. 3 of the people I was riding with are doing Ironman Canada in two weeks and they could put a serious pace on. The fast guy won his age group in IronMan Canada and went sub 10 hours in Kona (no slouch for sure). It was really fun holding up with them the entire ride and not get dropped. The strongest guy was definetely holding back, as he apologized about having to take off early and started flying way faster than he was during the ride with us. Damn these guys can move. A lot of times in the past I used to make fun of Tri Weenies, but I think we can all learn alot from them.