Friday, September 5, 2014

A Few Random Thoughts

As the summer is winding down--yes, it is, just go ahead and stop fooling yourselves and admit it--I've got a few random note to pass along.

While I was unable to put in place everything necessary to attempt the Hour this year, I will start the process anew with an eye towards next summer. One of the challenges I found in my hunt for sponsors was that I never had a fundraising component. Initially this was because I thought it might be a distraction and more work than I wanted to deal with while also trying to focus on getting stronger on the bike and fulfilling my familial obligations. However, I may have created a sort of compromise. I am going to propose to many of the local and national diabetes organizations to set up a pledge system. The idea will be to have donors make gifts based on the total number of kilometers I complete during the Hour attempt. I believe this will help The Merckx Project attract the attention of an important diabetes philanthropy, which will help spread my reach, in turn leading to greater sponsor interest.

On the riding front, I have seen a marked improvement in my average speed and total distance over last summer. Naturally, neither are where I want them to be at this point. But I do recognize that gains have been made. The trick now is to carry it through the winter and maintain this new, higher foundation for the start of next year.

One of the challenges I faced was the burnout phase. This is the same thing I had to deal with last summer. After putting down a lot of hard miles in May and June, a switch flipped in July and I had to back off in order to not completely blow up. Last year, I knew I had hit that overtraining plateau, but didn't have a direct cause. This year, I realized that it was the type of efforts and lack of easy days in June that caused it. So next year, I should be aware to not over do it in June so as not to wreck my progress heading into August.

The health news I have to share isn't exactly something I'm happy about. My August A1C had jumped an entire point in the three months since May. So I went from a respectable 7 to troubling 8.1. I am attributing it to a combination of complacency with the 7 and my increased appetite resulting from all the extra calories burned. Cramping has been a problem when the summer heat & humidity set in, so I had started adding Tang to one of my water bottles. Generally, I should be burning off most of that sugar, but there is always a chance it's still hanging around in the blood stream.  First and foremost though, I just need to do a better job of checking my blood glucose levels and dialing up enough Novolog when I eat. Ideally, I can get down to a 6.5 A1C and keep it there.

Finally, this year has seen a lot of talk about the professionals taking up attempts at the Hour Record after many years of passing over it. A change last year at the top of the sport's governing body seemed to open the door to the possibility the UCI would revise the restrictive rules that have been in place for a decade and a half. They did so in late-spring and it seems to have had the desired effect of sparking a renewed interest in the feat.

Often the Hour Record is seen as a cyclist's swan song, and this also plays into the record's revival. There are a few top pros who have reached or are nearing the downward arc of their careers. Most expect former World Time Trial Champion and Paris Roubaix winner Fabian Cancellara to make an attempt, and he has announced and then postponed said endeavor. Another such rider is the recently 'retired' Jens Voigt who has announced he will make an attempt in two week's time on September 18th.

Always the opportunist, I am hoping to parlay this rebirth of the Hour Record into interest in The Merckx Project.

So that is it from my end for now. See you out on the road...

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