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Tahoe Prep: Week 4

It's been an... exciting week. The Woolsey fire is scorching my hometown, and my mom had to evacuate, so Friday's ride and my weekend bike cleaning & repair plans were scuttled.

Clean & lube freehub: Nope

Simply no time. Once life returns to normal, this will get done.

Drop a pound: Check!

  • Last week's weign-in: 187.6 lbs.
  • This week's weign-in: 185.2 lbs.

All good. I'm feeling fine, not hungry. Here's how I'm doing it:

  • Almost no refined sugar.
  • "Breakfast" is coffee with double my usual half-and-half.
  • I do a daily (when possible) training ride around 11am, before lunch.
  • Lunch is a sandwich or other home-made leftovers.
  • I eat one cookie with lunch, eaten immediately after finishing my lunch to reduce the glycemic spike.

This week I'm starting to feel a bit hungry in the mornings, so I'll add an egg scramble or some other low-carb breakfast to the mix.

Ride 3+ hrs: Check!

Being sick with the flu on Monday and getting the house ready for my mom to stay with us on Friday meant I only got three rides last week, but hit my 3-hr target exactly. And I hit my goal of doing the "hard climb" loop twice, so while I didn't do as much as I hoped, I hit all my concrete goals.

Schedule a vacation day in the Spring to ride the Skyline Trail in Big Bear: Nope

Didn't get around to this either, mostly because of time. A little research shows that there's likely to be snow on the ground well into March/April, so maybe I aim for a Monday in May?

This Week's Checklist

  • Drop a pound
  • Ride 3+ hours
  • Clean & lube bike

I'm keeping it simple this week. There's plenty of time for (over-) thinking later.

Schabarum Loop

Tahoe Prep: Week 3

Tahoe Prep: Week 3

The third week of Tahoe Trail 100 training is in the books.

Drop a Pound: Check!


  • Last week's weigh-in: 190.2 lbs
  • This week's weigh-in: 187.6 lbs

I'm skeptical that I'm genuinely dropping weight that fast, but the consistent downward trajectory is great.

Ride 3+ Hours: Check!

Logged 3:50 hrs & 3800 ft of climbing this week, and set a PR on the big climb I've been doing, so I'm happy.

I felt super tired on Thursday, but recovered really well last night and was looking forward to today's ride. But dad life forced that to the back burner. Still, solid week of training, especially if I can sneak out for a cool morning road ride over the weekend.

Plan a Benchmark Ride: Check!

I've put together a loop in Chino Hills State Park that's about 19 miles with 2800 ft. of climbing. Three solid climbs with plenty of little punchy stuff mixed in, if I remember Chino right. The next order of business is to make time to go ride this loop.

What's Next?

Over all, this week went really well. More of the same for a couple more weeks, then I ramp up the climbing a bit.

I've also mapped out a loop in Big Bear that I'm really itching to ride. The research that I've done says it's basically useless to try to train for altitude unless you can train at altitude for 3 weeks or so. That's not going to happen.

Still, I really do need to establish a steady rhythm of 3hr+ rides between now and July, and doing a few at altitude will at least be educational. Maybe I'll burn a vacation day and go do that some weekday in the spring once the trails are rideable.

And there's a problem with my freehub that's causing it to rotate with the wheel once in a while when I'm coasting. At first I thought it was the bearings again, but they're fine. So I'm going to give the freehub a good cleaning and see if that resolves it for good.

This week's checklist:

  • Clean & lube freehub
  • Drop a pound
  • Ride 3+ hrs
  • Schedule a vacation day in the Spring to ride the Skyline Trail in Big Bear.

Tahoe Prep: Week 2

Tahoe Prep: Week 2

Last Week's Checklist:

  • Drop a pound: check!
  • Ride 3+ hrs: check!
  • Sketch out a training calendar: check!
  • Plan a benchmark ride that mimics the TT100's climbing/distance ratio: nope.

Okay, so I'm giving myself an A- for last week's efforts.

The fat loss effort is going well... I think.

Last week's weigh-in: 194.0 lbs.

This week's weigh-in: 190.2 lbs.

I'm giving myself full credit for my fat loss efforts, but both numbers seem suspect to me. I'll keep an eye on things and see where the numbers settle.

Training is going great. I have three solid 10- to 15-minute trail climbs reachable from where I'm working:

Skyline the Hard Way is the toughest of the bunch, so I'm taking my time mixing that in. I plan on doing it twice a week for four weeks, then alternate twice-a-week and three-times-a-week for a month, then do three-times-a-week for a month. I'm hoping that'll be about when I've hit my target weight/body fat %, so I'll make a decision then about how to proceed.

I've put together a rough training plan. I want to spend the next couple of months focused on shedding fat while keeping muscle. After that, I'll continue to watch my diet, but I'll be fueling harder training rides, and eating to recover.

I looked at a few rides from my past, but they all have too much climbing to make a decent comparison to the TT100. And the local rides I've considered have to little.

So I'm considering taking a day off work in the next couple of months to go back to the Santa Monicas, where long climbs are plentiful, and do a loop around Backbone or something. A 30mi ride with about 3500ft of climbing should give me a clear idea of where I'm at.

In the meantime, I'm going to do a little Strava stalking and see if there's anyone near me that has completed the TT100 and has done a few of the same local loops/climbs as me.

This Week's Checklist:

  • Drop a pound
  • Ride 3+ hrs
  • Plan a benchmark ride that mimics the TT100's climbing/distance ratio

Tahoe Prep: Week 1

I've officially started preparations for the Tahoe Trail 100. First item of business: get to my longtime target weight under 180 lbs, at 12-14% body fat. (As measured by my unreliable bathroom scale.)

Last week's weigh-in: 194.8 lbs.

This week's weigh-in: 194.0 lbs.

I'm gonna call that a win. Basically, I ate my first meal of the day after my first workout of the day, I ate home-cooked food for nearly all my meals, and I cut my desert intake in half. Aside from that, my food intake changed very little from normal.

I'm hoping I can make steady progress over the next few months (yes, even through the holidays), which should put me under 180 lbs in about four months. That leaves four months to eat for recovery rather than weight loss, and be ready for the Tahoe Trail 100.

Since the first steps were so clear, I haven't bothered yet, but at some point I'll sit down and work out a target time and a training calendar and plot out the milestones I need to hit.

I'm reminded of an exchange I saw on Billions. It went something like:

"Nobody at your stage in the game has master plan to get there."

"Nobody who gets there doesn't."

I'll have to work backward from July 13, figure out my taper, and work out some kind of target time.

Honestly, my first and only real goal is to participate in and finish the race. Logistically and athletically, that'll be a pretty great day.

But it'll help my motivation in training to have a target time in place, and a plan to achieve it. And it'll help my motivation during the race to know I've trained well and have every expectation of finishing.

So. Final score for this week:

  • Drop a pound: check.
  • Ride 3+ hrs: check

Checklist for next week:

  • Drop a pound
  • Ride 3+ hrs
  • Sketch out a training calendar
  • Plan benchmark ride that mimics TT100's climbing/distance ratio

Schabarum Loop

Tahoe Trail 100

After a quick chat with my wife about our plans for next summer, I've registered for the 2019 Tahoe Trail 100.

I decided to make this a genuinely bucket-list-worthy experience, and signed up for the whole enchilada: 100km of mountain biking with ~7300 ft. of climbing. Definitely a beast of a ride.

The course map is also on Strava, and if Levi Leipheimer's time is anything to go by, I have a long way to go before I'm ready for this race.

Over and over again, I have to admit that the first, best thing I can do for my fitness is to drop 10 lbs. So that's what I'll focus on for a while.

And I just stumbled across a GoPro video of the entire course, which is pretty cool.

Tahoe Trail 100 Official GPX

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