Life is a highway, with floods and sinkholes

Things are bit of a trainwreck right now. Mostly, it is not worth elaborating on, but there are a couple of important points:

  1. I just moved, and as a result my road bike is not ready for April 29. My indoor bike does not have pedals on it (I cannot find grease).
  2. I cannot bike outside, at least this weekend. For the sake of brevity, just take this as a given.

Rationally, I could take two weeks off the bike and still make it through my brevet (200k) in two weeks. Probably, mentally, I would be better off just taking the time off the bike, but I have bigger goals. My ultimate goal is the Sakotah KOM in September. It is a long way off, so hard to know how anything now changes things.

Here’s the thing about the 200k; it is the best one of the season. The start is close. It is a route I know. It starts at a decent time. Long-term, this is the least stressful 200k. I want to go for the Rouler (RUSA Rouleur Award | Randonneurs USA), so I need a 200k. No one here can tell me if I should do the Rouler or not. I get that. So, let’s just assume I’m going to do it. Let’s also just assume I am going to do the ride on April 29. I’ve looked at the calendar. I am not going to footgun myself closer to the Sakotah KOM in September.

Here are the options as I see them:

  1. Do the workouts. Adaptive training will do…something. Knowing though that I might be a little checked out. VO2Max and Threshold might not be there mentally.
  2. VO2Max workouts and Threshold aren’t going to do much for me on April 29, at least not two weeks before. Maybe the week before it’ll keep me sharp, but the hay is in the barn as far as my FTP for the 29th. Get some base miles in knowing that is all I can really do.
  3. Put two weeks of planned timeoff on the calendar. Do the ride and get back at it.
  4. Put one week of planned timeoff on the calendar. Get the tune-up miles in next week.
  5. Take tomorrow off and re-evaluate.
  6. Take the weekend off and re-evaluate.

The re-evaluation sounds good, but if I am so mentally drained how well is that going to go?

That said, I think I have talked myself into taking tomorrow off and re-evaluating. If I can’t find the time to get my bike set-up tomorrow then I guess that makes the decision for Sunday. Maybe I will just leave it on the calendar for now and see how far I get with things.

In any case, I am obviously curious what people’s thoughts are on how I should proceed.

Go buy some grease for the pedals, take the weekend off and reevaluate. You’ve done the training, don’t let life stress plus more training put you in an unrested place.

At this point showing up to the start line uninjured and mentally fresh is the primary goal.


There are lot’s to unpack in your post.

In terms of overall plan, I think it sounds fine to do an event now, get some rest and then build slowly for your September event.

I would say, that with 2 weeks until your next event your main fitness is more or less locked in. You wont get structural adaptions by doing more base riding now. Normally, you would start to taper in the last week before an event anywat, f.ex. by reducing volume but doing one V02Max session.

But tapering and how little you can get away with is probably fairly personal. If I went into an event not really haven ridden two weeks before my legs would feel absolutely dead - not well rested. So I would personally get some riding between now and your event.

But as Kevin points out, getting to the startline uninjured and mentally fresh is the most important step.

I would probably:

  • Get some grease for the pedals
  • Take the weekend off
  • If you feel for it, do a little easy riding inbetween now and the event (but only if it doesn’t feel stresfull)
  • Do a single effort to wake up the legs a couple of days before your event
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yeah, I realized I needed to get some knee warmers anyway. Knee warmers and grease both procured. No idea what the day will be like on the 29th, but the high was 90F on Thursday and is 33F tomorrow, so…yeah, it’s just that time of year.

Not sure where the tool is to get the pedals on, but they seem to get in their pretty well without the tool, so I might just go for it tomorrow…but yeah, tomorrow is an off day from the bike.

yeah, by “base” I meant Zone 2. Not really upping the volume like a true base block. Yeah, I don’t think there’s a taper for a B event. Even though I need to finish the 200k, as far as being in good form, that is not really going to be required. I have a 135k gravel event in June which is my other A event of the year. It is only an A event in the sense that it is a long way off and I don’t want to drive down there and then have a miserable day. I realize too that it may not be super optimal to have multiple A events if they aren’t true A events, but I kinda just like having multiple times a year where I can go fast. In any case, the mid-June gravel and the mid-late September KOM attempt are definitely sufficiently far enough away. We want to pick a good weather day for the KOM event, and I guess more importantly, not a terrible weather day.

I would not worry too much about having some extra days off the bike in the lead out to your 200k. Most likely it will help you peak. So, I would do your Option #4 - take some time off now, just get your legs fresh for the lead up to the event.

I agree with the others, use the time you would use on your next couple of workouts on getting your bikes operable again. You have time to get the legs moving and fresh in the final week prior to the event.

Last weekend I twisted my ankle 2 weeks before a 300 mile event that I’ve been training for all winter. So, I added an annotation marked “Injury” in my calendar, and TR automatically asked to adjust my calendar, and deleted those workouts and refigured my taper for me. So, you should try that!

Also, noticed that my CTL (I also use TrainingPeaks) has been at a high number for me for several weeks now. My “form” was negative, so those days off have helped me come into a positive number.

My HRV has been consistently suppressed as well, and after taking a few days off, it has shot up 20 points!

So, yeah, recovery is a good thing and in a 200k, you will need it! You are right that if the hay is in the barn, you will do fine. If you were going from couch to 200k, I’d say you could still do it, just lower your expectations and be prepared to suffer. But it sounds like you’re way better off than that.

Hay is in the barn for sure.

I wouldn’t even worry about grease. Especially if the pedals and/or cranks have been greased in the past. Just snug the pedals up. No need to put them on super-tight.

Just put a bit of grease on when you get a chance.

well, the pedals have.

A little peak into this:

We did a house swap in the family. It wasn’t perfect, but it worked out for everyone. We have the same type of stationary bike, so we just left them in their respective houses. However, taking out their pedals was like nails on chalk. You’re right, probably it would have been fine, but no way I was going to not put something on those cranks after that.

I still haven’t found the right Allen key for tightening the pedals, but they feel pretty snug. I realized I need to get stage 5 of the Tour de Watopia tomorrow, so I’m going to do something tomorrow.

I also decided I am going to do a productive Endurance day rather than the threshold workout. I realize I can build on the Threshold for September, but all of my events until Sept are going to be Endurance pace, and I had two weeks without productive workouts (in anything, but specifically in Endurance) and I would like to build that back up.

I guess we’ll see how that two hours goes before figuring out the rest of the week. It isn’t supposed to be warm enough to get any heat adaptation (and I shouldn’t need it on the 29th if the extended forecast is correct…probably around 47F at start and 65F as a high…but a long way out of course)

I called it early today, but I got the Tour done. didn’t have time to get bottles ready. The fan situation is terrible. I just marked on my plan time off until Saturday. By then one assumes I can get the better fans out of storage, etc.

The temps are looking to be cold enough that I am having second thoughts about pushing through. I’ve biked when the windchill was -50F (actual temp -33F), so I am no wuss about such things, but being cold and wet for an entire 200k does not sound pleasant.

In any case, my wife’s hospital schedule is only out through June and doing the 200k now keeps it the furthest away from my September goal. Not sure if the cold means I am more or less likely to break my course record of 9:43. My 200k record of 9:00 seems pretty safe though as that was done on a route called the Northern Pancake. It does have a like bit of an up and them down. The elevation profile really does look like a pancake.

I’m not super happy with the setup in the new place, but I do have an overhead fan and I haven’t actually used it. I used a temporary hallway setup last week which was TERRIBLE. omg.

Not sure if I am going to run gravel tires or road tires. I am running a mullet tomorrow and we will see. There could be lots of water and the extra puncture protection might be good. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow…

I ended up doing the 125k and will do the 200k on May 13. I did get rained on, but not too much. I’m sure I could have done the 200k, but temperature would have been an issue. Cold and wet in the morning and then sunny and dry in the afternoon. So far, forecast looks good for May 13.

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