Tuesday, June 30, 2015

RAAM Training While I Go Green!

      So, try as we might, Sandra and I cannot find a whole lot of information about what it takes to train for RAAM. It's a 3,000 mile race across every possible terrain and condition imaginable- how do you even start?!
       What we have gleaned so far is that, much like with triathlon, it's quality, not necessarily quantity, of the miles you're putting in that matter. From the scattered blog posts we've found, it seems that a typical week of training is about 250-300 miles in the saddle. That's a LOT, for sure! Right now, I average about 100ish. Thankfully, cycling's my favorite.

         Still, how, among triathlons, wanting to get back on my horse more than once a month or so, and actually having a life outside of training, am I going to make this happen? Sandra's lucky, she lives in Colorado, a place with endless bike paths and safe places to ride. She can commute to work! Well, although I'd looked before and had no hope, I decided to spend some time with Google maps and see if maybe, just maybe, I could try riding to and from work.
        Turns out, it's totally possible! Google updated the bike paths in Austin and I was able to piece together a 25-mile route. Below is the map (that DOES NOT start from my home address or end at my work address, for obvious reasons!)
From Leander, TX to North Austin, TX

                 I was a little nervous about the reliability of the information, so I drove the route on my way home and was very pleased to see that the parts that weren't on Ronald Reagan (a popular cycling road with a very wide shoulder) were actually in protected bike lanes. I work in a slightly unscrupulous part of town with a lot of uninsured drivers, so this was a big relief. Of the 24 miles, only 2 aren't completely protected. 

Not just a bike lane, but a real, protected lane! Woo hoo!
           My first trip from the house to work, I was a little nervous! Although I've lived here for 10 years and am really familiar with directions, I made sure to make myself a cue sheet. This was taped to my top tube the first day. After that I took it off, both because I knew where I was going and because I'd already gotten it wet y sweating on it. :/
Check out those directions (and that handwriting!)
     I get to work in 1:291:45, depending on how many traffic lights I catch. (ALL of them, apparently!) This has me averaging 14.5- 15.8mph, including the lights! That's not too shabby. The weather in the summer mornings isn't that bad- humid, but not hot, and lots of shade. The trip home is not only uphill, but also sunnier, hotter, and generally harder. Thankfully, on the way home there's no time crunch! I have a 40oz hydration system and use every drop on some days.
    When I drive to work it normally takes me 45 minutes in the morning and 1:10 in the evening. Therefore, by riding at least twice a week, I only add 20-45mins to my trip, saves a quarter tank of gas, and get my workouts done all at once! I do have to drive some days for work, as I have to visit sponsors and volunteer groups, but just being able to ride a bike this much more is so enjoyable, rather than sitting bumper-to-bumper traffic. Plus, my car has no A/C anyhow, so really, it's not much different at all!
Letting my kit dry during the day.
      I am thankful that we have showers at work and I have an office that's big and well-ventilated. I had to wear a backpack my first trip, but have planned ahead since then. On Mondays, I bring a tub with two day's worth of work clothes, and keep Febreeze in there as well. I've got space to stash my bike right next to me, clean clothes, and no load to bear when I'm riding! Then, on Fridays I'll take my dirty clothes home and add them to the laundry pile. I've also been bringing food ahead of time for my Wednesday and Thursday lunches. 

      This gets me at least 100ish miles during the week, then whatever I do on the weekends. It still probably won't be 300 miles/ week, but I'll for sure be used to my bike! I'm worried about elevation training, so I signed up to ride the Bikes & Brews Royal Gorge Century in Colorado with Sandra in September. That will give me a good heads-up as to how my body handles the elevation, which will help for both RAAM and IM Boulder! Unfortunately, I don't have the vacation time to ride my bike to Colorado.

    With all this RAAM planning, I still have a triathlon season going on! I've mentioned doing the Texas Tri Series, and yesterday we found out the results thus far. Check out who's in 1st place Female 25-29! Hoping I can keep it up for the next 4 races so I'll be at the top of the podium in November!

No comments:

Post a Comment