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Back in The Game

The internal knee problem is GONE. Knee tracking is looking really clean now, that video work at 3DBikeFit paid off.

I still have some knee discomfort (patella and surround), which I will call “spring knee”—as in “adaptive discomfort” to a new riding position. But while showing some discomfort on rides, the knees now seem to resolve this more and more quickly. Adaptive discomfort is OK—perfectly normal as training increases. But it does have to be monitored.

I also seem to have passed out of an months-long energy slump and have had a very nice week training, with my longest and hardest efforts in some months. Power generation is very good, endurance is less so.

I am back on my old saddle which is not perfect, but the technically better saddles were driving me crazy due to the lingering twist in my hips caused by an asymmetric crankset.

Audacious goals

I have regained enough confidence to set myself a ridiculous goal.

I am 8 pounds too heavy and have missed 3+ months of training. And so I am going to take on a very serious challenge: the Everest Challenge is 6 weeks way. Here is what I must do in the six weeks between now and race day on August 23, 2013*.

Barring injury of course— my only “out”.

* I am not happy about seeing Everest Challenge race dates moved a month earlier to the intensely hot season. There is no fall color, tourists still drive the roads, and my kids start school that week. Total fail in so many ways. But it’s not up to me.

See also 2013 race notes and 2011 race notes.

The Everest Challenge 2013 info is over at AntiGravityCycling.com.

Body fat

At a portly 180 pounds as of July 8, this is simply too heavy for EC. While a weight of 174 would be a handicap, it would be acceptable. Therefore I must shed six pounds in ~6 weeks (last year I was 168 just before EC in late September).

I have 40 days to lose the fat. A pound of body fat is 3500 calories. Therefore, I must average a caloric deficit of 525 calories per day for 40 days to lose six pounds of body fat, or 700 calories per day to lose 8 pounds of body fat.

The discipline required to maintain 500-700 calorie deficits every day is intense, let alone doing so while gaining fitness and avoiding muscle loss.

Still, it is a key goal, because every extra pound equates to ~3-4 minutes of time over the course of all that climbing in EC. And body fat is an insulator that retards heat loss, a serious issue in an obscenely hot race in August.

Fitness

Last year, I had the deep aerobic base of four double centuries and a century under my belt—none of that happened this year. So I don’t have that unbelievablely deep aerobic base that I had last year. This is a scary thing, so I need to get in some 3-4 hour rides twice a week over the next six weeks, this just has to happen.

Even so, this part scares me: slower up the hill is one thing, but reaching an exhaustion point of not return because of insufficient aerobic base is another. Add in potential 105° heat and it’s not an appealing combination.

Climbing the last mile of the Schulman Grove climb of the Everest Challenge Stage Race (self portrait)
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