I started by gaining some knowledge by reading this http://www.amazon.com/Core-Performance-Endurance-Nutrition-Revolutionizes/dp/B00381B82C/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_c. I figure the more I know the better off I will be. Mr. Verstegen has written others, but I highly recommend this one if you go LONG. I also read Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes by Monique Ryan. There was a lot of info here, but nothing earth shattering .
I reached out to several members of the cycling community for advice and received a lot of useful info on training and nutrition. Would you believe that one elite cyclist drew up a 12 week plan specifically for me. It was perfect. Thanks Jeff. So, I have a plan. I feel somewhat prepared , yet nervous about all the other stuff I need to figure out. Such as tire choice, race day fuel and finding the perfect pack. I like this one http://www.golite.com/carry-gear/mens/hydration-and-day-use , the Slipstream, yellow one. I am left wondering if it will be big enough. The new Osprey I bought is overkill and larger than I will need. Plus last year it reached 103 and I would like less on my back.
My weapon of choice will be my 2011 Jake The Snake, unless something ' crazy' happens. Kona sure knew what they were doing when they made this one. I have just over 1300 miles on this , since Nov, so you can tell how much I love it. I know it will not let me down and is quite comfortable for a cross bike. Besides , its only 200 miles right?
I am pumped to start my first official day of training on March 14th. Last year I just rode my bike, A lot. No certain distance or intensity , just A LOT. This year I feel comfortable with the more structured plan. It looks good on paper. I dont know what is more exciting for me though. The journey to get to the race or the race itself?
Make sure you check back and see how it goes. I plan on weekly reports of what did or did not work and how many hours / miles I have endured. Your comments and advice are welcome. I know there are others who may benefit from them too.