I'm Randy Mouri and this blog is about my quest to be an official finisher in the Race Across AMerica (RAAM), the toughest endurance race in the world. It's over and I became an official solo finisher in 11 days, 1 hour and 13 minutes! We continue to raise money and awareness on behalf of Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia (Habitat NoVa). If you would like to make a donation to Habitat NoVa, please visit my page on Habitat’s site. Endless thanks to our sponsors and all the folks that have made such generous contributions. Team Mouri would not have been able to travel so comfortably, which certainly may have changed the outcome of the race.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Scoop on Saddle Sores

Quick update on RAAM. We are down to 84 days from the start.  My weeks mileage was 445 and the saddle sores appear to be under control at the moment.  Training is going ok.  Though I'm putting in the miles, I just haven't felt the spring in my pedal stroke yet.  I know it will come soon.  I just have to be patient.  I was going to work on introducing sponsors this week, however a reader had asked about saddle sores and I think this is an important topic for those planning on RAAM and are new to this topic (though it has been part of my cycling for some time now).  For starters I think this is one of the better articles on saddles sores and covers it well: http://www.liquicell.com/assets/pdf/Saddle%20Sores%20(P.%20Kortebein).pdf

After reading the article, come back to this message and read my additional thoughts below:

The article was well written and covered pretty much everything you need to know about saddle sores.  But once you experience them, you will want to become a specialist.  And since everyone is different (from sweat rate to pedal stroke) the treatment and results will vary with each individual.  So keep track of what is happening with you and what you are doing to treat it and eventually, through trail and error, you will figure something out that will get you through the Race Across America...or whatever type of cycling you are involved in.

If you've been following my blog, you know that I developed saddle sores on day 2 of the Elite PAC Tour last year and fought them off for the next 17 days with the expert advise of Lon and Susan Haldeman, along with feedback from a number of the veteran cyclists on tour.  Though I never was able to get them to heal while riding, I was able to continue to ride.  Here is what I was doing:

I started out with chamois butter while riding with an occasional treat to chamois butter on ice (i.e. storing the tube in the beverage cooler).  What a treat the cold cream is!

After the ride, I would shower and ice the area to help reduce swelling and just make the area feel better.  I then applied a thin layer of Corizone 10 to further help reduce swelling and followed that up with Boudreaux's Butt Paste, which has zinc oxide and helps to dry up the sores.  This routine worked well to keep everything under control, but took time to go through the process.

12 days into the tour I was switching back and forth between powder and cream.  For the powder I used Gold Bond Medicated Triple Action.  The powder gave some relief and was a nice change from the cream.  Though too much powder tended to cake up and form marble like peas in the shorts.  Not a good thing.

I think by day 16 of the tour, the affected area felt like it was on fire.  I was carrying a tube a Lanacane for emergency purposes and this numbed the area and saved the day and got me through to the end.

I am working closely with Al and Mary Delaney of Rehab to Racing and being a little more aggressive with my treatment.  I've been using Cleocin T (a suggested prescription from a riding buddy, Tim P.) on my saddle sores and it appears to be doing a good job at drying them up (only 3 days into treatment).  So I'll continue to ride and treat as directed and see if I can get these sores to heal completely.  Make sure you have a doctor identify your condition, so you know this prescription is right for you.  Al is a brilliant doctor and an expert in his field.  I certainly would not take any prescription medication without weighing out the risks and gains.  Cleocin T is available in gel, liquid and solution.  I am using the gel, twice daily.

For the RAAM readers, I hope this information points you in the right direction and doesn't allow saddle sores to keep you from getting to Annapolis.

Cheers!...and happy training!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Double digits to RAAM

How exciting!  We are now in the double digit countdown to the start of the Race Across America (RAAM).  92 days to go!  My body just heated up a degree, just thinking about it.

Training has picked up and is "starting" to feel more comfortable.  It takes time to settle into a groove.  Last week was 495 miles.  I was shooting for 520, but life moves on.  Sunday was a wonderful excursion over Skyline Drive to visit my parents in New Market, VA.  Susie met me there and we all went out for dinner.  My mom had a tiny scare with arterial fibrillation.  She had her heart shocked back into rhythm and has been doing well.  They're talking about another road trip out to California.  I'm not sure how they do it.  Sometimes I think they're the one's that should be doing RAAM.

Skyline was clear and nearly traffic free.  Spring doesn't attract as many visitors as the Fall foliage, but the view is still beautiful.  A quick stop after climbing Dickey Ridge.  Mile post 6.  This was taken with my phone, so forgive the transition breaks between photos. But I think you get the picture.

Skyline Drive.  Mile post 6.

Along with the increase in mileage, is a slight development of saddle sores.  This is going to be a difficult combination of treatment and miles.  Hopefully, I figure out the right combination.  I'm not sure I can afford to take too much time off of the saddle from this point on.  We'll have to just take one day at a time and see what happens.

Starting next week, I'll be highlighting some sponsor products.

Take that training outside and enjoy the views!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

And the Training Continues

I had a pleasant streak of training after a short, unscheduled break following Sebring.  Since the majority of my training is solo riding, it is always nice to join in on a Chuck and Christa Training Ride.  There is always a wonderful lunch stop at the halfway point, which is always my favorite part of the ride.

For this past week I logged 430 miles.  March was the beginning of my work commute, so the miles will come a little easier.  The Heart of the South 500 is in the books for the end of the month and still a little early in the season for a top ride.  But valuable in the building phase leading up to RAAM.  I have a couple of goals in mind, but the key is to see how we function as a team (i.e. crew and rider).  This route is as hilly as the Adirondack 540 with over 38,000 feet of elevation gain, so I will have to find some hills to start climbing.  Something that is difficult to do when you're on an indoor trainer most of the winter.

The crew continues to do their thing.  Edgar, crew chief, sent out an announcement with updates from the RAAM Newsletter.  Basically, reminding everyone to read, understand and know the rules of RAAM, as the majority of time penalties during the race are crew violations.  Susie has been adding to our sponsor list as you may have noticed from the side panel.  Susie also solidified our partnership with Habitat for Humanity (see top bar).  She will always be my number 1.

There will be some tough days of training ahead as the rain always makes the commute a little miserable, but if Lance can do it, so can I...ride in the rain that is.

Cheers and happy training!