Monday, September 03, 2007

Hard Labor on Labor Day

A few months ago, jandy badonkadonk had a nice blog post about how he punished himself with a huge climbing day for his crime of DNF'ing a race. That made a lot of sense to me. First, you don't want to make a habit of DNF'ing, so there should be some deterrent. Second, doing an epic training ride as punishment should help you avoid DNF'ing in the future. Quite logical really.

Therefore, since I quit the University RR last weekend, I figured it was time to suffer. The sentence: ten times up and down Old San Marcos. In a row. In the heat. with minimal rest between repeats, as in, just enough time to grab new bottles when needed. (Of course, nothing wrong with keeping those bottles cool in an ice chest...)

Each trip up the hill is a tad over 1,200 feet vertical in 2.9 miles. Based on absolutely nothing, I had a goal of averaging 20:00 per climb for an ascending rate of 60 ft. per minute. I figure that should be a decently competitive climbing rate at the Everest Challenge.

#; OSM time; avg. HR (bpm)
1. 20:04 137
2. 19:28 137
3. 19:44 134
4. 20:05 132
5. 19:48 134
6. 19:20 138
7. 18:53 139
8. 19:49 138
9. 21:10 135
10. 18:57 143

Average OSM time: 19:45
Average heart rate during climbs: 137 (78% of max)
Total ascending: 12,300 feet

Some notes:

* Garmin says each round-trip up and down the hill required about 400 calories. My total riding time was ~4.5 hours. Given that a person can only digest ~300 calories per hour, I was clearly running an energy deficit.

* Fueling/hydration: I consumed ~1,600 calories in two bars and 11 bottles (~240 oz.) and still lost a couple pounds. Toward the latter repeats, it felt like the food wasn't really digesting very well. Makes me wonder... can you exhaust your digestive juices by pounding so much Cytomax in such a short time? Maybe that's a physiological aspect that needs to be trained for long, hot races.

* On the third climb, I came upon a large mouse in the road who had either been injured or was on a bad drug trip. The thing was flipping all around, front-to-back back-to-front, over and over. It was sad. I debated about running over him to end his misery, but then decided against it because I didn't want mouse guts squirting up on my legs and bike. Last week I saw a huge Bobcat run across the road in this same place. He was probably one of the many large animals displaced by the Zaca fire. I hoped he was still around and was able to find and eat the mouse.

* We are really lucky to live in a place with so many active people. Every single trip up the hill, I either had company from somebody else doing the climb or at least exchanged hearty greetings with another person doing a workout. OSM, the place to see and be seen!

* Nice to see a return to the bike by Matt McAllister. He was in a group that climbed up OSM, Painted Cave, and Stagecoach with Blinger and Chicken Ranch. Yet another former bike racer who can't kick the addiction, despite a multi-year dormancy!

* Huge thanks to Eric Forte for keeping me company for three of the repeats. This despite a major effort to win Pier to Peak yesterday.


Anthony said...


I imagine the large mouse's blog reads something like this:

"Saw this crazy guy riding his bike up and down Old San Marcos in killer heat. I tried running and flipping all around to communicate to him he's freakin' nuts, but he only gave me a bewildered look and kept going. I saw him go up and down seven more times.

He must be mentally injured or on a bad drug trip. It was sad. I debated about running in front of him to get him off the road and end his misery, but then decided against it because I didn't want to be run over.

Last week I saw a huge Bobcat run across the road in this same place. He was probably one of the many large animals displaced by the Zaca fire. I hoped he was still around and was able to find and eat the cyclist."

Sorry, I couldn't resist!


Steve Weixel said...

It was crazy hot. I did 11K feet in the mountains, and went through 8 bottles. Made a couple of stops at the Paradise Store for ice! Also ran into that other group going down Stagecoach while I was going up, and again after coming down from West Camino Cielo.

steve said...

Mark - that was an epic day, but I continue to use your epic days to tell epic stories. As you know, Ian and I ran a few miles up OSM, then I road my bike up it ONCE. at the top of the hill, I told a young woman who was cycling up OSM for the first time (she was from out of town, visiting friends in SB ), that there was a guy riding up it 10 times today. She said, " Wow, 10 times? what a loon".

Marco Fanelli said...

Anthony- That's hilarious!

Steve W.- Crazy hot indeed. I was sweating so profusely that it was running down legs into my socks and shoes and then my feet were soaked.

Steve M.- That was cool that you and Ian were running up there. And then you turned it into a Duathlon! The older I get, the more I enjoy the endorphin high that these epic efforts produce. What a great sense of peace and well-being you get after a five-hour workout. Combined with a nice nap, it doesn't get any better... Of course, Gina isn't too happy with the lack of productivity that goes along with it!

Gianni said...

It's always the next to last interval that is the hardest, nice job coming back on that last one.

I don't worry about actually consuming the calories I burn while riding, if I can get 250 a hour in without distress all will be well.
Looking forward to the stories from

jAndy donka-donk said...

I am such a bad influence.....

Glad you survived and you will have the siiiikest off season form now!!!!

Jason said...

That's pretty sick Marco. The mental suffering alone! On Sunday I did the Foxen/Tepusquet/Cat/Drum starting at about 8:40 and almost died. I have never suffered from heat like that. My avg HR for the 5 hours was 161. Had heat chills for half the ride. Santa Ynez airport weather station recorded a cookin 106 in the Valley that day. Did Refugio a couple of times the next day and I saw a huge rat laying upside down in the road. It's the heat man! Driving everything MAD!

Dawn Luke said...

So, after your trip into insanity, did you splurge and go home and consume your usual cottage cheese lunch? Or, did you go a little crazy and add a slice of tomato and up your calorie count to 2?? Please, please tell me you sneak a little candy out of the trick or treat bowl at Halloween!!!

Seriously, you are an animal and a worthy holder of the title, Crazy-Fast Old Dude. You are missed at the Monday Time Trial!

P.S. When I buy my weekly ration of nonfat cottage cheese I think of you! For some reason, it just doesn't work for me!!!!

Signed, Dawn Luke (Really Slow Old Lady)

Marco Fanelli said...

gianni-yeah, Everest. You should do it. BTW, I liked the apple story on your blog. Reminds me of my single Mango last year. Funny how we treat the baby trees the best! This year that tree is rewarding me with two mangos.

Junkadrunk-Yep, ragin' in the off season. It's all about winning the group rides when everyone else is slow. Haven't you learned that yet? I'll teach you about it on the Spectrum ride over xmas vacation.

jason-you're gonna crush everest. I pity the fools in your race.

Dawn-actually, when I got home I was craving salt so I sliced some fresh tomatoes, drizzled them with Balsamic vinegar and olive oil, sprinkled on sea salt and black pepper, and topped them with slices of chevre. Mmmmmmmm good. Then I ate half a Key Lime pie.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention on your blog Marco. It's nice to be in the saddle again after living a life of hedonism and debauchery for 6 good years. Of course...the climbing legs ain't what they used to be, in fact, I think my leg muscles atrophied from watching the DirecTV Sunday NFL Package instead of exercising. By the way...there is something seriously wrong with you and I think you and Forte should seek counseling sooner than later.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone out there have additional photos as I had friends running/walking in this.

Marco Fanelli said...

A ton of SB-area running race photos are here: