Festum Prophetae: Waiting for the Hour

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.

– Mike Tyson

The one thing everyone should always plan for is that however well-conceived a program might be, things will never go to plan.

The high level plan for my Festum Prophetae Hour Ride was as follows:

  1. Have a custom Hour Bike built by Don Walker. Because reasons. Reasons like custom bikes are cool and last time I rode a Festum Hour, a rode an off-the-peg frame two sizes too small, plus three.
  2. Have custom Go-Fast track wheels built by Café Roubaix. Because more reasons. Reasons like track bikes look super cool with Go-Fast wheels and Dan builds incredible wheels.
  3. Get less fat.
  4. Get more in shape.
  5. Train on the track and ride rollers from May 1 onwards.

Suffice to say things did not go exactly to plan. The frame “needed” to be repainted because it got scratched by TSA coming back from NAHBS and my OCD kicked into full swing wanting to have it painted in VLVV colors. And Dan was having a hard time sourcing the hubs and rims he had spec’d for the wheels. Delays ensued. I may also have gotten distracted and lost track of the prescribed schedule and dependencies like having the frame in-hand in order to accomplish point V above. The frame made it back to me on Friday of last week and the wheels are in my flat as I write this, waiting for a final layer of glue before having the tires mounted.

I got less fat and in better shape before falling off the training wagon last week due to a tight work schedule. I quickly became more fat due to a wholesale refusal to reduce my alcohol intake to compensate for not training as hard as I should be. We call this phase of training “tapering”.

Since the bike isn’t even assembled yet, it follows that I haven’t done the time on the track, although @Haldy and I have used his crazy voodoo spreadsheet to determine a good gear choice based on my super-secret personal distance goal. As far as the rollers go, well those were sent by Keeper @Marko just as the weather started to get too good to justify riding indoors, so I’ve only spun on them a handful of times instead of the @Haldy-prescribed 2 hour sessions, twice a week. But I really couldn’t be bothered with that when I was laying down mad tanlines. (Rule #7 tends to be a priority when you live in Seattle. The struggle is real, people.)

Life is boring when things go as planned; chaos makes for interest. So here’s my new plan for tomorrow: Show up to the track early, get a feel for how fast I’m supposed to go, get used to holding the pace and get over the nearly irrepressible fear of falling off the track before diving head-first into the Pain Pool at 2:05. Try not to blow out the guns before the starter pistol goes off.

So head on down to the Jerry Baker Velodrome at 2:05 and heckle me. @Packfiller is driving over from Spokane to commentate (i.e. take the piss out of me) and we will be streaming the ride live at http://ustre.am/10hJX.

Special thanks to Don Walker, Café Roubaix’s Dan Richter, and fizik’s Nicolò Ildos for their support and sponsorship in provide the bits and pieces.

Eddy, may your strength flow through me and compensate for what a twunt I am for not Training Properly. Vive la Vie Velominatus, and may you each suffer on Festum Prophetae as the Prophet did for us.

Festum Prophetae: The Impossible Hour Sponsors

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119 Replies to “Festum Prophetae: Waiting for the Hour”

  1. @chris

     

    It’s also become horribly apparent that I really need to get my self down there and ride. He’s only going to be a minute or so behind me now.

    Both of my kiddo’s raced our club’s 10 mile TT last night while I stood at the line with the stopwatch and notepad. Them getting faster than us is kinda like one of those milestone moments yes? Like learning to walk, feeding themselves, the prom… all good. I love it. And after wrapping up the TT my buddy, who had marshaled the 5 mile turn around, and I jumped on our motorcycles and went for a fast ride. That was a good night. Cheers

  2. @chris

    @Teocalli

    @chris

    He’s got it into his head that he only gets PBs when I drive him.

    Mind games. Like wearing your fastest socks, putting on left shoe first.

    Once it’s in there it’s a cert and done deal. Logic and reason no longer factors in the issue.

    Maybe the next time it’s nice still evening I’ll find a way to have him ride down and then turn up the car, pull my bike out and tell him he’s my minute man.

    It’ll mess with his head but he’d ride his skin out not to have me come past him.

    That’s what’s great about the TT game. There are nights a PB just isn’t on the cards due to weather or not feeling 100%. Those are the nights you just want to beat your competitors. Then there are the nights/mornings when you feel good and it’s warm and still. Then you go for it. Those are the nights you try and beat your biggest competitor – yourself.

  3. @wiscot

    @chris

    @Teocalli

    @chris

    He’s got it into his head that he only gets PBs when I drive him.

    Mind games. Like wearing your fastest socks, putting on left shoe first.

    Once it’s in there it’s a cert and done deal. Logic and reason no longer factors in the issue.

    Maybe the next time it’s nice still evening I’ll find a way to have him ride down and then turn up the car, pull my bike out and tell him he’s my minute man.

    It’ll mess with his head but he’d ride his skin out not to have me come past him.

    That’s what’s great about the TT game. There are nights a PB just isn’t on the cards due to weather or not feeling 100%. Those are the nights you just want to beat your competitors. Then there are the nights/mornings when you feel good and it’s warm and still. Then you go for it. Those are the nights you try and beat your biggest competitor – yourself.

    Yeah, I love it. I mean, in the sense that I find it immensely frustrating that I can’t do the ride I know I’ve got in my legs due to pacing, conditions, etc etc…but also addictive and exciting.

    I rate my progress by how I do compared to the average speed of the whole race. I’m normally about average. So if I go under average I know I’ve done a decent ride (especially bearing in mind I’m normally the only rider not on a TT bike and in aero kit).

    Hoping to beat 23 minutes for the first time next week – did 23:05 last week on the same course with a badly paced ride; I did the second half of an out-and-back course in 11 minutes dead so I know I’ve got the speed.

  4. I gave a cursory glance around the comments, and wasn’t able to find what @frank was running for gears. What were you running, Frank?

    In regards to thee wind and rain, I’m so glad that Burnaby is covered, but it’s a pressurised dome. So barometric pressure will effect how ‘thick’ the air feels, and because it is at sea level, the air gets pretty soupy, especially if you’re out there alone.

  5. @ChrisO

    @wiscot

    Just thought you two may be interested –

    I rode my penultimate 10mTT of the season last night, and had a disaster. A road was shut so I went a longer way around, had to cut my warmup short to avoid Delgado’ing the start, realised I’d forgotten my bidon so had to buy a bottle of lucozade and most critically, I’d forgotten my HRM.

    So I rode on PE/speed and smashed 30 seconds of my PB (for the same course). First 10m under 23 minutes. Haven’t got the official time her but I reckon about 22:40.

    So happy but also baffled.

  6. @RobSandy

    @ChrisO

    @wiscot

    Just thought you two may be interested –

    I rode my penultimate 10mTT of the season last night, and had a disaster. A road was shut so I went a longer way around, had to cut my warmup short to avoid Delgado’ing the start, realised I’d forgotten my bidon so had to buy a bottle of lucozade and most critically, I’d forgotten my HRM.

    So I rode on PE/speed and smashed 30 seconds of my PB (for the same course). First 10m under 23 minutes. Haven’t got the official time her but I reckon about 22:40.

    So happy but also baffled.

    Well done, but now you’re fucked – you’ll never replicate that set of circumstances again !

     

  7. @ChrisO

    @RobSandy

    @ChrisO

    @wiscot

    Just thought you two may be interested –

    I rode my penultimate 10mTT of the season last night, and had a disaster. A road was shut so I went a longer way around, had to cut my warmup short to avoid Delgado’ing the start, realised I’d forgotten my bidon so had to buy a bottle of lucozade and most critically, I’d forgotten my HRM.

    So I rode on PE/speed and smashed 30 seconds of my PB (for the same course). First 10m under 23 minutes. Haven’t got the official time her but I reckon about 22:40.

    So happy but also baffled.

    Well done, but now you’re fucked – you’ll never replicate that set of circumstances again !

    Yeah, tell me about it. Also raced a crit the night before which shouldn’t have helped.

    Just felt really strong all the way through and paced it right – has made me wonder whether HR is actually a help or a hindrance for races.

  8. @RobSandy

    @ChrisO

    @RobSandy

    @ChrisO

    @wiscot

    Just thought you two may be interested –

    I rode my penultimate 10mTT of the season last night, and had a disaster. A road was shut so I went a longer way around, had to cut my warmup short to avoid Delgado’ing the start, realised I’d forgotten my bidon so had to buy a bottle of lucozade and most critically, I’d forgotten my HRM.

    So I rode on PE/speed and smashed 30 seconds of my PB (for the same course). First 10m under 23 minutes. Haven’t got the official time her but I reckon about 22:40.

    So happy but also baffled.

    Well done, but now you’re fucked – you’ll never replicate that set of circumstances again !

    Yeah, tell me about it. Also raced a crit the night before which shouldn’t have helped.

    Just felt really strong all the way through and paced it right – has made me wonder whether HR is actually a help or a hindrance for races.

    Racing? HR? Hindrance. You’re either where you want to be in the front or your not regardless of HR. And my experience, my best race results, afterwards I look at HR and am blown away but what I see. And what would have had me concerned had I been watching. I’ve long since relegated HR to simply something to check out later.

    Maybe HR for TT’s is helpful? Not racing. My opinion.

    Power on the other hand? That’s probably a diff story.

    I’m actually charging up a new little Garmin 25 right now as I type this. My daughter is racing this weekend at USAC Jr Road Nat’ls and wanted to run a GPS w/HR. I can’t wait to see what that looks like after the race… 220+bpm ? I have no idea but I’m guessing something approaching a hummingbird’s rate.

    Cheers

  9. @Randy C

    @RobSandy

    @ChrisO

    @RobSandy

    @ChrisO

    @wiscot

    Just thought you two may be interested –

    I rode my penultimate 10mTT of the season last night, and had a disaster. A road was shut so I went a longer way around, had to cut my warmup short to avoid Delgado’ing the start, realised I’d forgotten my bidon so had to buy a bottle of lucozade and most critically, I’d forgotten my HRM.

    So I rode on PE/speed and smashed 30 seconds of my PB (for the same course). First 10m under 23 minutes. Haven’t got the official time her but I reckon about 22:40.

    So happy but also baffled.

    Well done, but now you’re fucked – you’ll never replicate that set of circumstances again !

    Yeah, tell me about it. Also raced a crit the night before which shouldn’t have helped.

    Just felt really strong all the way through and paced it right – has made me wonder whether HR is actually a help or a hindrance for races.

    Racing? HR? Hindrance. You’re either where you want to be in the front or your not regardless of HR. And my experience, my best race results, afterwards I look at HR and am blown away but what I see. And what would have had me concerned had I been watching. I’ve long since relegated HR to simply something to check out later.

    Maybe HR for TT’s is helpful? Not racing. My opinion.

    Power on the other hand? That’s probably a diff story.

    I’m actually charging up a new little Garmin 25 right now as I type this. My daughter is racing this weekend at USAC Jr Road Nat’ls and wanted to run a GPS w/HR. I can’t wait to see what that looks like after the race… 220+bpm ? I have no idea but I’m guessing something approaching a hummingbird’s rate.

    Cheers

    22:40 is a bit speedy. Chapeau.

    We were just pulling out of the drive on Wednesday when we got the txt saying the club 10 had been cancelled. Due to rain which didn’t turn up in the end. The Velominipper and I had turbo session together which was a first and pretty cool. I wouldn’t have gone fast in the TT but it was supposed to be part of the comeback leading up to racing next weekend.

    I generally find HR is only good as a broad brush indicator of how things are going, there are too many variations and unless you’ve tested the fuck out off yourself. Power is brutally truthful on the other hand, although I think I generally test better than I ride – I can really hurt myself in a 20 minute FTP test but I don’t think I could necessarily hope on the turbo and churn out an hours worth at my FTP.

    The keenest of the Velominippers has a Garmin 25, it’s a great little bit of kit although it is a bit of pain in the arse that you can only load routes and workouts onto it through Garmin Connect rather than onto the newfiles folder as you can with the 500 series devices. It’s other big weakness is that I’ve heard that they don’t like going through the washing machine.

  10. @RobSandy

    @ChrisO

    @wiscot

    Just thought you two may be interested –

    I rode my penultimate 10mTT of the season last night, and had a disaster. A road was shut so I went a longer way around, had to cut my warmup short to avoid Delgado’ing the start, realised I’d forgotten my bidon so had to buy a bottle of lucozade and most critically, I’d forgotten my HRM.

    So I rode on PE/speed and smashed 30 seconds of my PB (for the same course). First 10m under 23 minutes. Haven’t got the official time her but I reckon about 22:40.

    So happy but also baffled.

    Congratulations! That’s a great ride. What were the conditions? How would you describe the course profile? You take a bottle for a 10? How hot was it? I’m going to put down the ride to a few things: it’s July – you’re getting fit. The course and weather were right. Your messed up warm-up and distress at forgetting your bidon got the adrenaline going. With no HR monitor you were focussed on pure racing, not looking at some numbers. I’d say try it again going purely on “feel.”

  11. I don’t look at HR in either the TTs or general races. It’s something to look at later or use in certain training sessions. The only time I would look at it in real time is on a long climb where I want to settle in to a pace.

    I did a 25 the other week and it was moderately warm – not cold anyway. I was on the Trinity which has rear-mounted cages and hit a bump which sent the bottle jumping out. This was after about 8 of the 40km. It was a partial lap course and I seriously considered stopping to pick it up but by then I would have been two thirds of the way through so I just kept going.

    On anything less than an hour or so I think food and hydration is more mental than physical.

  12. @Randy C

    My daughter is racing this weekend at USAC Jr Road Nat’ls and wanted to run a GPS w/HR. I can’t wait to see what that looks like after the race… 220+bpm ? I have no idea but I’m guessing something approaching a hummingbird’s rate.

    Cheers

    Good luck to your daughter!

  13. @wiscot

     

    Congratulations! That’s a great ride. What were the conditions? How would you describe the course profile? You take a bottle for a 10? How hot was it? I’m going to put down the ride to a few things: it’s July – you’re getting fit. The course and weather were right. Your messed up warm-up and distress at forgetting your bidon got the adrenaline going. With no HR monitor you were focussed on pure racing, not looking at some numbers. I’d say try it again going purely on “feel.”

    It felt good – but I’m sure I can go faster.

    Conditions were blustery, slightly rainy and not that warm. Typical Welsh summer conditions really.

    The course is the R10/17, you can look it up if you want. It’s not pan flat, there are a couple of drags you need to be aware of. Got a ride on the R10/22A in a couple of weeks which is flatter, so I’m hoping for one of those still, dry, warm days I’ve heard about.

    I don’t drink while I ride but I like to get energy drink in just before the start. I remember being on the start line thinking ‘this is going to be a shambles’ but by 2k in I could just feel I was going well. It’s such a buzz when it goes well.

    I caught my minute man just after the line which was a great feeling as he’s quite a strong rider and usually beats me. I think feel makes more sense, in the absence of a power meter.

  14. @chris

    @Randy C

    My daughter is racing this weekend at USAC Jr Road Nat’ls and wanted to run a GPS w/HR. I can’t wait to see what that looks like after the race… 220+bpm ? I have no idea but I’m guessing something approaching a hummingbird’s rate.

    Cheers

    Good luck to your daughter!

    The young lady raced the road race and crit in the 13-14 age group. The races this year and next are in Louisville, KY and she raced as 13 yr old so this year was essentially a practice run, get a feel for the courses and more importantly, see how she stacks up against national competition before getting to race as 14 yr old next year. It was her first time racing at this level of competition.

    She did well placing 13th and 14th in each of the races (interesting coincidence there I didn’t catch until typing) out of 27 person fields. A couple of 13 yr olds placed in front of her though this age group will catch the ladies at degrees of development and the 14 yr olds were strong.

    A crash in the crit resulted in 20+ riders going down ahead of three to go. These young ladies are so tough. About 50 feet past the start/finish line where the crash happened was the neutral pit and the girls all collected there to shake off the falls and get the bikes straightened out and take advantage of the free lap. And with only one exception all of the athletes jumped back in the race. Like I said, very tough.

    According to the Strava profile of the young lady that won on Sunday she’d already totaled over 2900 miles training ytd 2016! Even at this early age the Nat’ls competition is for real and there are some committed athletes that are impressive. I’m guessing my daughter had less than 500 though fortunately for her, much was races and included a spring season of mtn bike racing that helped her to be in the mix despite so little time on bike. For her though, much time is also spent at soccer, basketball and just playing. And that’s certainly not a bad thing either at this age.

    Cheers

  15. @Randy C

    Strong work by your daughter! Those are great results and it sounds like it was a great experience for her.

    Close to 3000 miles at that age is an astounding amount of training. My son has done a similar amount of miles to your daughter this year and whilst he always says he wants to do more, it’s not always easy to kick him out of bed in the morning before school and there’s a million other things he needs to get through when he gets home from school before he can ride. He probably needs to get more focused and work to a plan but at this age it’s got to be about enjoying it as much as anything else. We’re also treating this years racing to build experience (he’s also 13 is developing and some of the 14 year olds are huge and indistinguishable from the under 18s.

     

     

  16. @chris

    At these ages it’s gonna be the rare kid that wants to specialize on a sport and hammer out these kinda miles. Some kids will of course and they’ll have special results. I’m pretty confident that for most kids, letting them try everything, and just play, they’ll be better set up for the long haul. And really, look at the ages that cyclists really peak. Just having fun before 16 is perfect start to lifetime of enjoying cycling and fitness. And I’m with you on the experience side, pinning on the bib # and lining up goes a long way. Cheers

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