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Gran Fondo Training

On the road with Laura Elder

The moment that we’ve all been training for is soon upon us–the Gran Fondo NY.  This coming Sunday, May 20th, Team TEW will be riding with some 5,000 other participants from around the world, opting for one of two routes: the Medio Fondo at 60 miles/ 100K or the Gran Fondo, which totals 110 miles (177K) with 8,500 feet of climbing and four timed climbs.  Today, we’re supporting Laura Elder, one of our upstate reps who’s been training for the Medio Fondo, an exemplary emotional and physical workout! What follows below are excerpts from her training “diary”–notes that she’d sent to me over the past few months.  Thanks Laura!

March 19, 2012

I am a novice at outdoor riding and so doing this 55 mile ride is a challenge, which I believe we should all do. Face a fear–or a challenge. In this job, it is difficult to have balance. I wanted to make exercise a priority this year. I used to do 3 yoga classes a week, now it’s 3 spin classes.

Started training indoors Jan 7th at Midtown gym in Rochester with Doug Rusho’s Psyclewerks class. They are 5-week classes. The 1st class we had to ride as hard as we could for 20 mins. Based on this “challenge ride”, we got individualized zones based on this ride. There are 7 zones–they are based on wattage–output.  Then he created classes to improve our endurance and strength that ranged from 60-90 mins. When we were told to get into a certain zone it was based on our own zones. After the 5 weeks was over we got re-tested. Low and behold …Improvement.

We were asked whether we needed desire, dedication or discipline to improve. I said dedication…however, after the 1st 5 weeks and with improved zones, it changed to desire. The desire to really improve. I have the dedication and the discipline.

Started the next session of 5 weeks on Feb 25th. Re-tested. Improved again. New zones–now I am pushing my limit. These next 5 weeks are about high caloric burn. We worked in zones 4,5 and 6 for longer periods. These zones are pushing you into being uncomfortable. Re-test is Sat 24th March, but alas I will be in Burgundy.

Session 3 starts April 7th. Do I sign up again or get outside?

Did my 1st ride outside last weekend. Rochester has a great canal system and so I dragged my husband and we did 25 miles on our 1st outdoor, albeit pretty flat. We have plenty of hills and so we will get down to Canandaigua Lake and Ellicottville (ski country) in the next few weeks. With this unexpected warm weather I am going to get out there on Sunday’s. Saturday is about yoga and whether I sign up for the last 5 weeks of Doug’s class. I hope as we get closer that I can get some more rides in during the week. My local bike shop to practice riding with a group, so I will look into that. Looks like Monday night may be an option.

Laura at our French Portfolio Tasting

March 20, 2012

Can I lose 10 lbs before race?!

I did 25 miles on Sunday.

Going to try and ride later this afternoon.

I need to get some hill training but for now just trying to get miles in.

Got my husband riding with me as well!

March 29, 2012

Truly I am a novice and this whole thing intimidates me.

Spun for an hour Monday and will do so tonight.

2 tastings this weekend.

April 12, 2012

Could not do last weekend;

For sure riding on Sunday.

It’s was tough last 2 weeks with work

Tastings and Easter.

Started a detox this week

It’s been a long week —

April 29th 

Sometimes it’s better not to know…before you go out.

We finally were able to get on our bikes today (of late we have had crappy weather and work schedule makes it hard), so we decided we would head to Canandaigua Lake. We started on the West Side of the lake so when you click below, start at the end of the ride, so look at 41.2 mile mark and go backwards.  We went 10 miles into the ride and climbed a hill that was over 1200 ft. We went with some friends and decided to turn around as it was extremely windy and Scott had a really low tire. It was a pretty rough 20-mile ride, according to our friends who had cycled 34 miles yesterday. This will be a goal for the summer!

http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/2320383

Am I looking at Gran Fondo correctly and that we won’t have hills this high?

May 6th

Rode 25 miles today,

Easy ride but started late and needed to be home early.

Will try and get another ride in tomorrow night.

May 7th

I am so f..

This is going to be a tough ride..I have never done anything like this.

5000 riders?

My spin instructor acknowledged me in the last class on Saturday with my improvement..and told everyone I was doing the Gran Fondo.

I am a little nervous as I am so new with the cleats. I know will finish it but it will be a slow ride and enjoy the ride as much as I can!

May 14th

I am really slow .. Rode 30 miles yesterday but we were in traffic so I hated it. We have all these canals and Scott makes us ride the roads. Lower mid back sore.

I know I am fit as I feel great during spin inside but outside is still so new to me.

Will try and ride outside today for a 2 hours.

May 15, 2012

I did do the last 5 class series and improved by 10%! Got a shout out from Doug telling everyone in the class what I was going to do on may 20 th–and that I was nervous —  everyone was so supportive and came up to say good luck

Rode 30 miles last Sunday– was not tired

Still don’t feel prepared

Only lost 4 lbs 😦

May 16th 

Not sure whether I can get a ride outside today (looks like rain), if not will spin.

Thursday and Friday work schedule does not allow for riding outside.

I have done all that I could do with work schedule and weather.  Hopefully this will be the start of more rides and friendships along the way.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Jodi #

    Go Laura! I know you have it in you! You rock! Miss You! We will be thinking of you!

    May 16, 2012

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