Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Only one more shopping day!

Date: Dec. 17
Mileage: 39.2
December mileage: 470.6

I completely forgot to hold my LIVESTRONG drawing for a book this week. I plugged the pleasingly large numbers into a raffle and Nancy P. is the winner. Congratulations! I sent you an e-mail, but if you didn't receive it, post a comment and let me know. I'm going to hold another drawing this Friday, and this week's pool is still relatively small. Five bucks nets you one ticket. You can donate to the fight against cancer here.

Also, Thursday is the last day to buy a book in time for Christmas. I'm going to make a trip to the post office Friday morning for shipment on "Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, depending where they live (in the U.S.)," according to the postman. Then it's Christmas. You can purchase a signed book or two or several from me directly by clicking on the gold "Buy Now" button in the sidebar of this blog.

Thank you to everyone who supported me in my book-selling efforts this past month. Sales have been strong, better than I expected, and I appreciate your contribution to my "Iditarod fund," as well as your comments and suggestions. Geoff and I were just talking today about the idea that if I could somehow maintain the book sales I've had in the past month, I could make a modest living by riding my bike all the time and occasionally entering a crazy new race and self-publishing a book about it. Of course I know I can't keep that up - on all fronts - but it's fun to dream.

I took one step into the dream life by working hard yesterday and today and achieving my goal - a 30-hour workout week. I've noticed that toward the end of a long workout week, I can't get away with the same things I can when I'm fresh. Like riding for 3.5 hours and not eating anything. I do this all the time, but at the end of a 30-hour week, it cuts a lot deeper. My blood sugar was so low after my ride today that my hands were shaking. And I couldn't recover as the day wore on. My heart rate stayed high, and my energy level remained low.

I know, I know. Classic signs of overtraining. So what am I going to do about it? I'm going to do one last long ride tomorrow. I'm hoping for eight hours if I can survive it. I can't say I'm particularly thrilled about the idea when what I really want is an eight-hour nap, but there are several reasons I think this is important:

1. The weather forecast is calling temps between 8 and 14 and gusting winds to 40 mph, which will drive the windchill to 20 below. I know. Sounds awful. But it will give me a chance to really test the clothing I've put together for the Iditarod, minus stuff I don't own yet (but won't really need when the weather is as "mild" as 20-below windchills. Ha!) It's one thing to go out for two or three hours, and it's quite another to go out for eight. That will give me time to really identify problem spots, like sweat pooling on my back or cold toes.

2. The psychological training for the race is as important as anything, and I really need to become reacquainted with putting in tough, long efforts when I am 100 percent less than fresh.

3. I also need to gain better understanding about maintaining performance when I feel like stopping, so I can avoid another 12-hour bivy in the Farewell Burn.

4. I need to work on eating enough calories to cover my effort during longish efforts. I didn't do so well last week. This week, I won't have much choice, because I think my glycogen deficit is spent.

Should be fun. Or wait, fun's not quite the word. Should be educational. After that, it will be time for rest and recovery, I promise.