Friday, November 30, 2007

Can you really get WIND BURN cycling?

The supposed EZ Friday ride, turned out to be a hammer-fest. Present were Randy, Paul, Simon, Jay, Harry and myself. I really didn't want to go hard today, but that's the problem riding in a group of really strong riders. There is always at least one that wants to go hard or at least one that can turn it on and make everyone suffer.

I guess the only way to do an easy ride is to go SOLO.

Anyway, I just want everyone to know that I'm OK. I just got back from the emergency room, where I received treatment for WIND BURN. The ER team is going to write up a case study since they were completely amazed that one could get such a severe case of WIND BURN from riding a bicycle. They also replenished my electrolytes via IV and put me on oxygen. Now, if they'd only have hopped me up on some pain killers, I'd be ready for the weekend hammer-fest.

PS: only joking about the ER story but it sure makes great copy.
PSS: my legs are killing me right now

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Weights and F'in Stationary Bike

Wasn't able to get outside today, but went to the gym with Justina. My plan was to ride 2x20m intervals at Zone 3 on the stationary bike and then a heavy leg workout.

I really hate riding the bikes at the gym. I'm not sure why, but my knees always hurt and I'm deathly afraid of causing any knee strain that will nag me when I'm actually riding outside.

I warmed up for 10m at Zone1, and then increased my power to mid Zone 3 range for my first 20m interval. The one thing about riding a stationary is that its a lot easier to maintain consistent power output, which is extremely difficult to achieve outside. Outside you are always fighting the wind, the hills, and its real difficult to maintain a consistent output. So 20m at Zone3 was definitely starting to hurt. I could definitely feeling the blood flowing through my legs, and I was sweating like a pig.

I rested for about 3m and then started my 2nd 20m interval, but Justina was getting ready to leave, so I was only able to do a 10m interval but I increased the power output to the higher end of Zone3.

I completed my workout doing legs: single and double leg extensions, single and double legged curls and then leg presses.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Todays' Hill Ride

Today's ride was pretty hard. My legs felt pretty tired after going hard everyday since Saturday and I really wasn't able to push them without thinking I'd pop. So, I stayed within myself, and didn't try to max out. This turned out to be good training in terms of holding back. I normally try to blast up the hills but find myself popping towards the end of the ride.

There were some heavy hitters today but fortunately for the rest of us they really didn't hammer too hard.

I'm getting better at climbing and learning the fine balance of not pushing too heavy a gear and not spinning too light of a gear. I'm working more and more to try pushing heavy gears and spinning light gears to determine what works best for me. Its amazing when you get it right how effortless it feels.

Great ride today.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wed Hill Ride led by a Mutineer

If you didn't do this ride, you missed a great ride.

Randy's morning email stated he wanted to do the regular ride instead of the usual Wed Hill Ride. But, as always the case with folks from the other side of the pond, Ad Bax led a mutiny and completely caused chaos within the peleton as we reached Newbridge. Normally we turn right, but Ad and his rebel rousing Hill climbers stayed straight. The rest of the group followed us but quickly turned around to head up Newbridge when they learned that those going straight would be doing the Hill Ride. So, we splintered into two groups today: Climbers and "Slackers" (I think I remember hearing Ad mention this term). The climbers consisted of the lead Mutineer Ad, his all-world son Nick, Paul, Jay, Bill and myself (and someone that normally is in the A.Fenty entourage).

We continued on Bradley and made a left on Persimmon Tree, and a right onto MacArthur, and was thus able to continue on the normal 5+ Hill Climb route. Making the right onto Mnt Gate, I was in the front and Ad kept egging me on to attack. About half way up, I attacked with Nick. He pulled through and I was able to stay on his wheel to the top. For the first time in a long time, my legs actually felt really good, and my cardio felt OK. Fortunately for me, Nick didn't keep the hammer down as we rolled through the neighborhood. The others caught us someplace in the rollers, and the 6 of us flew down Brickyard. We kept a pretty good tempo up Anglers, and down the park. Coming out the park, the tempo was still pretty good and no one was really attacking.

Now this is where it gets funny. We're all in a line coming up the stretch before the VWF and I'm thinking "OK my legs feel good, my breathing is under control, this is normally where Nick attacks. I'm going to show him and beat him to the punch". Well, Nick is pulling us and I'm sitting I think #2 letting him pull and hopefully getting tired. I think to me myself "Now is my time to attack", so I attack hard to the right shoulder. I'm giving all I have, almost popping a nut in the process and pooping in my shorts, and off on the left side I hear a freight train coming and it's Nick in full flight, legs spinning a hundred miles an hour. Needless to say, all I could do at this point was start laughing as he left me in the dust. I think I was laughing because it reminded me the one thing about cycling, and that is 'no matter how strong you think you are, or how good you are feeling at a particular moment, there is always someone riding right next to you that will kick your ass'. And I laughed the rest of the way up to the VWF.

The rest of the ride was fun. Nick and Jay got away coming over Brickyard. I stayed with Ad and Bill through the neighborhood, but Ad sneakily got a jump on Bill and myself as we made the left onto MacA. Ad was chasing down Nick and Jay, and I was sitting on Bill's wheel as he chased down Ad. I'm thinking this is great, Ad is busting a nut to catch Nick and Jay, and Bill is busting a nut to catch Ad. What am I doing? I'm just sitting in, doing no work almost the entire way along MacA before we turned up Eggert.

I'm telling you this was one of the best rides I've done in a long time. Probably because I'm getting my legs back after vacation and feel like I can test my boundries of endurance. During the past week or so, I've just been hanging on by a thread, just waiting for the rubber band to break. Today, I felt really good.

I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope everyone that reads my blog puts on at least 15 lbs during this holiday weekend.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Yin and Yang

Here are two completely opposite activities I enjoy watching when I'm not riding my bike. I love going to the ballet, and I love watching MMA (mixed martial arts) fighting. There is nothing better then watching people dance as if they were tied to strings completely defying gravity. And, watching two guys try to kick the crap out of each other. You just have to be able to appreciate athletes performing at their best, whether they are dancers or fighters.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Better weekend of training

Legs are starting to feel better after vacation in early October. The past couple of weeks, they've felt like lead, and my cardio wasn't up to speed either.

10AM Saturday Ride; Along Beech a Park Police lady yelled at us from the opposite side of the road to form a single line. Not many of the good did, so she turned around and tailed us. No one stopped for one of the stop signs, so she pulled about half the group over. A couple guys started arguing with her and it delayed us about 5 minutes. By the time we got to the end of Tuckerman, there were only 5 of us and we rode at a good tempo the rest of the ride. My legs felt pretty heavy throughout the ride, and I really wasn't recovering too quickly after a hard exertion. Although, my legs started feeling like they were opening up towards the end of the ride.

8:30am Bicycle Place Shop Ride. Wasn't too sure if we were going to be able to ride today, since the forecast was calling for showers mid morning. This turned out to be a false alarm and we almost had the sun come out. Clara Barton was pretty hard because I was either pulling hard or my legs still aren't ready for hard exertions yet. By the time we got to MacA, I was ready to turn left and skip Mnt Gate, but when I say BryanV turn right with the Mnt Gate group, there was no one I was going to skip it. I stayed in contact with the group as they crested MntGate and sat in through the neighborhood. At the bottom of Anglers, I was feeling pretty good, and started a hard acceleration, but got completely bogged down by a slower rider on the right, and had to come to a stop. Loosing all my momentum, I had to put in a really hard effort to re-engage the lead group. Unfortunately, my legs aren't back to full strength, and I bonked about half way up. The rest of the ride, I sat in and tried to conserve my energy.

Towards the end of the ride, Bryan and Super Dave got a big gap and I bridged up to them just before an 6-8 person crash occured. Thank god to my spidey sense. Bryan, SuperDave and I took good pulls down Beech and we went pretty hard along Ross. By the last roller on Ross, my legs were toast.

Great Sunday ride

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Riding in the Wind and Rain

Training Log Update;
Rode 45 miles in the wind and rain today. Temps weren't too bad, if you were a penguin. Didn't see any other riders out there.

Did some brutal intervals (5 x 7min @ VM, 5 x 3m @ AC). Legs are really burning but I'm heading to gym for a big dose of weights.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Winter Weight Training

With lots of rainy weather in the forecast, I'm planning on a heavy dose of weight training over the next week with some L2 tempo workouts on the trainer. I'll focus primarily on doing heavy leg workouts, and some lighter weight upper body work to keep toned. Sorry, no specifics on the exact workouts I'll be doing just in case some of my competitors happen to read my blog. Don't want to give away my training secrets.

Back in the day, yeah that's what all the old timers say when they refer to their youth, I use to weight train all year round. I'd do four day rotations: Day 1 chest/back, Day 2 biceps/tripceps, Day 3 shoulders/legs and Day 4 would be a rest day. I did weights for strength and wasn't too concerned about putting lots of bulk on, not that I could. In '90 I entered a bench press competition, and was able to press 275 in the 132 lb class. I don't think I could press 132 lbs today. I trained primarily for hockey, which was my sport for most of my life. Well, at least from about age 5 to about 10 years ago.

I've always enjoyed being physically active. And have definitely found racing the hardest, most competitive sport I've ever competed in.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Ugly Weather means training in the basement

Forecast for the weekend is rain and more rain, so it's looks like it'll be a weekend of basement training. A couple weeks ago, I rode the trainer, and it took a long time to get motivated. So, I'm hoping it won't take as much time this weekend.

I'll probably do a lot of 5-8 minute intervals at threshold. Maintaining a steady power output is so much easier on a trainer than outside. Need to continue building my cardio engine.

Will also go to the gym tomorrow and do lots of leg weights: extensions, curls, leg press, dead lifts. Workout will include my 15 min core workout. Or I might do the Sat morning pilates class. Need to get my core back in strength after the slack off over vacation.

Maybe Sunday will bring good weather and I'll be able to get outside.