Monday, December 31, 2007

I'm totally LAME

So it's 10:53pm on New Year's Eve, and I'm ready for bed. Justina and I went for sushi and sake for dinner. When we got home, we fed the cats and I fell asleep for maybe an hour. How lame is that? I remember when I use to stay out all night long drinking. But then again, I wasn't riding back then.

Here's to the end of 2007 and best wishes for great 2008. I wish everyone the best.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Good Weekend of Riding

Fri Thrasher Ride was really hard. I really didn't have much left after the hard pace along ClaraBarton, and I pretty much sat in and hung on the back for the last quarter of CB. My legs really hurt when I got home.

Sat slept in until 10:30 and it felt great. Got up, fed the cats, and hung out til Justina got back from her workout at the gym. Around 12:30, I started getting ready for a good long ride and planned on doing intervals at Haines Pt. I wanted to see how hard I could push going up Mass, but after the Fri Thrasher ride, my legs were pretty fatigued, so I just cruised up in L5. I did 10 min intervals along MacA at about L4. I did one easy lap around HP, and then set my ergomo on intervals and started my first 2o min. About 5 min into the intervals I passed Agent Hulk, 15lbs heavier after his vacation and cruising at a leisurely pace. I told him I was doing a 20 min interval and he asked to sit in. I tried to push as hard as I could, but I definitely learned that if I pushed too hard, I would eventually have a power loss and would need to try and recovery, but still trying to push. With about 3 min to go, Nick passed me and I sat on his wheel until the last min, during which I tried to go as hard as I could. We then did a couple of laps at an endurance pace until we came upon Jose and Michelle. This was Jose's first day on the back after getting hit by a taxi and breaking his collarbone. I'm sure he'll be back in form by the start of the season.

Sun Shop Ride. Really late getting out of the house. Skipped Mass and caught the ride just as they were getting on MacA. Rode really hard along Clara Barton trying to stay with the Fungster. Pretty much killed myself, so I skipped Mnt Gate. Road down into the Park and really hard coming out of the top of the Park. Tried to stay on Adam's wheel the rest of the ride. Went with a small group down RockCreek for the extra 10. My legs were really feeling it, and I tried to push the last section on Ross as hard as I could until I finally popped. When I got home, I was completely spent, and slept with my cats watching TV most of the afternoon.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Ever try googling yourself?

I've never heard of this computer game before, but then again I've never played computer games.

I am legend.

"In Raymans world, there once lived sweet little cute rabbits that were constantly victimised by more ferocious animals. One day, they disappeared from the Earths surface, secretly planning their massive invasion. Armed with enormous war machines, they have now returned to enslave Raymans world and get their final revenge!"

"These poor little creatures have become deceitful, uncontrollable and completely psychotic. Our hero and his friends have been kidnapped by these diabolical rodents and have become their slaves. Like a gladiator, Rayman must endure a series of trials for their amusement. But will he manage to gain enough popularity to save his world and his friends from this veritable Invasion of the Rabbids?"

Holy Crap!!! I even have a huge fansite:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Weekly Training Update: 5 miles is not a training ride

Monday: Do you know what it's like chasing Cat 1s,2s into a headwind? F'in hurts. Lungs are bursting, legs are screaming, HR is through the roof. Wait, I'm not even warmed up yet. Not fun. Especially when you know the speeds they are doing are 3-5 MPH faster. You slowly see them gain distance on the downhill rollers. You hope you can claw your way back on the uphill sections, where you normally go hard, but then you realize you have no energy left to push uphill. And, they quickly gain distance. Your last hope are the traffic lights. So you dig and bury yourself.

Was about 15 sec late hooking up with the ride, but putting out 300+W for a couple mins trying to catch them was just about killing me. I prayed for red lights to slow them up. I almost caught them as they crossed Seven Locks but the light turned red as I neared the intersection, and I did something I never do, I ran it (but I looked both ways). Harry slowed up for me but once I was on his wheel, he floored it and I wasn't really recovering sitting on his wheel, I was barely hanging on. I had nothing left to stay with the group as they went up the steep climb on Kentsdale. I normally hammer up this without a problem but after putting in a big effort for the last 10min, I was already in the red. I slowly watched them ride off in the distance as I tried to get my breathing under control. The rest of the ride was a solo recovery effort until I came upon Harry repairing his flat. I did the good team thing and stopped to help him.

Tuesday: Couldn't make it out, so I did about 1.5 hours on the trainer. About 10 1min intervals all out was really hard. I could hardly breath the last 15 secs, and my legs felt like they were going to fall off me. After these intervals, I tried doing some longer intervals but my legs were trashed.

Wednesday: Of course the Hill Ride. After the intervals the night before, I really didn't have a lot of energy to maintain the pace on the climbs, so I rode with Randy coming out of the GF Park. We skipped Brickyard, and did a half-assed attempt at riding up MntGate again, as we waited the guys to come down Mnt Gate. The rest of the ride was just an attempt to sit on wheels.

Thursday: Unlike Monday, I was on time and I met the group along Bradley. Unfortunately, I flatted early in the ride. F'in glass. Repaired the flat and took a route that would connect me back up with the ride someplace along MacArthur. So for about 15mins I tried holding a L4 output until I met up with the gang just before Brickyard. Reversed direction and jumped on their wheels. The rest of the way along MacArthur was a pretty strong pace, and I was just holding on after pushing L4 for 15min. My legs were starting to really burn and my turn in the front really hurt.

This was my second flat in less than a week, so tonight, I put my industrial strength wheels on and pray I don't get anymore flats. The problem is they weigh a ton and I always feel like I'm riding with a parachute on when I use them. So, I guess this will be great strength training. I better not get any more flats with them.

Monday, December 17, 2007

120+ miles on Saturday?

Great ride on Saturday to Sugarloaf with a great group. I think most of us wanted to get a really big ride in before we got hit by the storm of the century. At least all the dopey weather folks were making it out to be a HUGE storm.

In attendance were DC Velo (Mark Sommers, Ken Young, Agent Mulder "AKA Agent Hulk", Shannon "I don't give a crap that all my Landon friends are going to Ivy League schools, I'm going where I want to." NCVC (Jason Meidhoff and Alex Butterfield). Brian Butts (harley). Larsten (unattached). I hope I didn't forget anyone. There were a bunch of really strong riders, but we stayed at a pretty slow tempo (L2) on our way out to Sugarloaf. But the tempo picked up a couple times as the young kids were trying to test us older guys. I rode up Sugarloaf with Ken at a pretty decent tempo as everyone else was content to take their time and spin. My legs were burning by the time we got to the first set of parking lots but we kept going until we got to the Port-a-johns at the top. If Ken had changed his pace, I'm not sure I could've stayed with him. Just a slight increase would have really put me over the edge. And, I'm not sure if I could've tried passing him.

The ride back was spirited with sections of fast riding. A couple times, the kids went hard and tried to escape, but we were diligent and never let them get to far away. I also learned never to slow up when you attack, because you'll need to have some speed going when you get caught. I almost got dropped at one point after jumping pretty hard and then slowing up. When the train went past at 30+mph and I'm doing in the low 20's, they were gone before I knew and had to work super hard to get back on the end. Fortunately, Shannon and Jason slowed up enough for me to catch their wheel and the three of us were able to catch back up.

Toward the end of the ride, Ken and I dropped the group (more like they just let us go) along Tuckerman and we went pretty hard until we got to Old G'town. It really felt good to let the legs open up.

Well as the title says "120+ miles on Saturday?" comes from hearing Agent Hulk claim he was going to ride 120 miles today before leaving for vacation. He wanted to get a really tough ride in so he could recover during his vacation. On the way back from Sugarloaf, he was complaining about how tired his legs were, and I said "you know, if you want to ride 120 miles today, you'll need to do another loop to Sugarloaf".

Thursday, December 13, 2007

As Agent Hulk says "Muscle GRRR"

Worked from my office today and had lots of conference calls talking about lots of issues. What a headache. So, by late in the afternoon I really needed a break and I started watching trance music videos on YouTube while answering emails and writing reports. That shit is the bomb and totally calmed me down.

Was going to ride the basement trainer and do some long L3/L4 intervals, but decided to go the gym with Justina. Rode the stupid stationary for 30 min (5min warm up and then 25min at 295W), thank god for cranking electronic/dance music on the iPod. Man, that shit hurts trying to hold that output for 25min. You feel the blood pump into your legs and your mind starts f'in with you saying "you can't hold it". So you concentrate, listen to the cranking tunes, shut the world out and just keep the legs turning. Before you know it, there is a puddle of sweat on the floor and your 25 min interval is over.

I just can't hold this sustained power output on the road. I'm either cranking out 400+W going up rollers, and then sub 100W on the downhill. I should really concentrate when I'm riding solo to try and hold a set output.

Afterwards, I did 6 sets of leg extensions (maxing out at 130lbsx8reps), 5 sets of leg curls (maxing out at 90lbsx8reps), 2 sets of hack squats (measly 145 lbs, back felt like it was being compressed), and 7 sets of leg presses (maxing out at 350lbsx5reps).

These winter workouts are definitely different from what I did last year, so I hope it helps come start of race season. Last winter, I didn't do as much leg work and I certainly didn't do 20-25min L4/L5 workouts. I'm trying to do a lot more long intervals to build my cardio foundation.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hump Day

Can't believe its Weds already. Yeah, hump day. Work is kicking my ass. Didn't get to sleep last night until 3am, working on a business plan. That's the dilemma we sales reps have this time of year when you work for a public company. "bring in every last dollar you can before the end of the year".

So lets recap this weeks training.

Monday: rode outside about 25 miles, not too hard, not too easy. Recovery ride. Went to gym and did a really heavy leg workout.

Tuesday: rode the trainer for 45 minutes at L2/L3. Went to Raku for dinner with Justina and ran into Johan outside Barnes and Noble. Good to see a fellow cyclist in their everyday lives.

Wednesday: did the Hill Ride, super hard today. We let Jay (Artemis) pull us up Angler, GF Park and Brickyard. Don't think I could've tried any attacks today. Strained a muscle in my back going up Brickyard.

Can't wait to watch WEC tonight. Should be a great card. Those of you reading my blog that don't watch mixed martial arts fighting should watch Vs. tonight. You'll see some of the most exciting action in the world.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

When its Crappy Out, Ride the Trainer

Yes, another crappy day, so I slept in late today. Might as well take advantage of days like this to sleep in since once the weather gets nicer I won't be able to sleep in.

Almost suited up to ride outside but decided to ride the trainer instead. My plan was to do some 20min intervals at 175-200W, some 30 sec intervals 400+W, some 30sec intervals where the first 15 secs were around 350W and then 15 secs 400+W, some longer intervals of 1min at 275W. With lots of recovery between each intervals. I think I wound up riding about 2 hours.

I'm really looking forward to getting outside again.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Finally Some Riding Weather that Doesn't Include Wet Rain

What a crappy week this has been for training outside. I can't even remember what days I was able to get outside. Normally, I'd be able to look up my rides in Cycling Peaks, but my ergomo download cable finally broke last weekend, and I've not been able to download my power files. I think I was able to ride on Tuesday. I know I went to the gym on Monday and Thursday night and rode the stationary for 40 min at L3 and then did a heavy leg workout. I walked to Bethesda for dinner with Justina the night of the snow storm (well, not that I'd call it a storm).

So, this week has not been a great week for training, but I really needed a week like this to recovery. I was really tired during my rides last Sat and Sun, and really couldn't generate or sustain any power. My legs felt sluggish and heavy. I guess I needed this week to recovery.

Today, I slept in since I didn't want to ride on wet, cold roads. Good thing I waited til the afternoon because the sun was out and it was 45F. Road down to Haines Pt for some L3/L4 long intervals. My first one was mid L3 for 20 min and the second one was mid L4 for 20 min. On the way home I tried to push a high tempo along MacArthur. My legs were pretty tired by the end of the 2.5 hr ride.

At the corner of Sangamore and MacArthur I ran into two of the young bucks from the DC Velo squad: Shannon and Agent Mulder. They said they'd been riding for a couple hours, but I'm not sure since their bikes were awfully clean and they didn't seem to be sweating. I'd put money on it that they had their parents drop them off at that corner and they just hang out the rest of the day telling everyone how many miles they rode. Slackers.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Mark Your Calenders for Dec 12th: WEC

MMA fight fans, mark your calender for WEC's Dec 12th Championship tripleheader live on Vs. For those of you that enjoy watching the lighter weight fighters, you'll see some of the baddest dudes around.

Urijah Faber vs Jeff Curan
Paulo Filho vs Chael Sonnen
Doug Marshall vs Ariel Gandulla
Jens Pulver vs Cub Swanson
John Alessio vs Todd Moore
Alex Karalexis vs Ed Ratcliff
Bryan Baker vs Eric Schambari

Cross Training: No riding, No weights

Wed is normally the brutal Hill Ride, but with the snow on the roads there would be no riding outside today. So, my plan was to either hit the trainer in the basement while watching TV or go to the gym and do another heavy leg workout. I was starting to look forward to doing some long L3 intervals on the trainer since I find it really hard to maintain a constant power output with all the rollers in the area. I'm either cruising up hills in L6 or coasting downhill in L1.

Instead, Justina and I walked 3 miles into Bethesda to meet a friend for drinks and dinner at Black's. Its been a while since I walked a long distance in the snow and this was absolutely the most beautiful walk. It wasn't too cold since we kept up a pretty brisk pace. And, it really didn't take that long to get there, maybe 45 min?

After a couple of glasses of wine, oysters, gumbo, french fries, and an unbelievable chocolate cake dessert, we headed back home. Funny how the return trip always seems faster. It was a bit colder, but once we got going it wasn't too bad.

I can't wait for the next big snow storm.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

EZ Ride turns into the Ride from Antartica

So today's ride was supposed to be an easy recovery ride after a long week of hard rides and heavy legs. My plan was to hook up with the 7am ride and just sit in. I was running a bit late getting out of the house and thought I'd be able to catch the ride near Anglers. When I got to Anglers just before 8AM, there was no one in sight, so I headed off towards Democracy via Falls. I get to the corner of Sorrell and Democracy and start back tracking the route. I wound up doing a couple laps up and down Sorrell, still no ride. I'm thinking, man, they must be flying today and I've completely missed them or they are going really slow. Finally a dozen or DC Velo riders come along and I hook up with them. At this point, I'm completely freezing and I can't get warm. We ride the rest of the way back to Beech Drive at a very easy pace, and my hands are killing me. I'm usually pretty warm during rides, and the cold usually doesn't affect me, but today was a completely different story. I was freezing. My fingers were still tingling 8 hours after the ride. I need to get new gloves and winter tights.