Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wed Hill Ride: I get the dummy award

In attendance for the Wed Thrasher Hill Ride were Ad, Paul, Randy, Simon, Jay, Bill, James, Josh, George and James. (hope I didnt' forget anyone). It was a big group with plenty of climbing firepower.

My legs felt kinda funny because I put on a new saddle last night, and I positioned the seat a tiny bit farther back and a tiny bit higher than my previous position. I'm talking mm's but these kind of changes can have big effects on body and leg angulation. The position felt good last night when I rode the trainer. I was able to get a better extension but still allow for my heel to drop a bit as I pulled through the bottom of the peddle stroke. My only concern was that my upper body felt a little too stretched out.

I took a couple spins on my street before heading out to meet the group just to make sure I didn't need to make any adjustments. There is nothing worse than changing something on your bike and then pulling a muscle or ligament. My only concern was still being too stretched out, but I could live with it for one ride. At least I was not feeling anything terribly wrong in my legs.

I met the group along Bradley, and we headed out towards MacArthur. We picked the pace up about a mile before making the right onto Mnt Gate. No one really attacked hard, and we went up as a group. I sat on Simon's wheel up MG, and was breathing pretty hard as we crested. The pace was hard but not killer through the Potomac neighborhood and I was able to get my breathing back under control. It also helped just sitting on Simon's wheel.

As we approached Anglers, Josh took off, and I think Jay was on his wheel. No one else went with them. About half way up the lower steep section, Simon picked his pace up as he passed George and Ad. Since neither reacted, I jumped hard to get on Simon's wheel and stayed on his wheel just before the short steep section about half way up. By this time Jay had popped off Josh's wheel, and we passed him. Simon pulled over to let me through, but I was just hanging on for dear life and followed his wheel as he pulled to the left. He juked back to the right when I didn't pull through and he picked his cadence up and was gone it a flash. I popped, sat up, caught my breath with just enough time to jump back on the group of Randy, Paul, Ad, Jay, Bill and George. I stayed with them the rest of the way up Anglers, down into the Park and out of the Park. Towards the bottom of Anglers, someone hit it hard as we got back onto flat section and the pace was pretty high as we headed towards Brickyard.

Brickyard was all out. I crested with Ad and I think Jay or Randy, while the others were just behind us. The ride through Potomac hurt as my legs were pretty tired and my lungs were screaming. Not sure if it was the cold temps, but I found it very hard to get deep breaths.

The rest of the ride was a blur as we went up Eggert, and then eventually up Goldsboro.

I'm still concerned about my saddle position, and I might take one more ride before making some slight changes: slide the seat forward just a tad to start.

You must be asking now "why do I get the dummy award"? Because I thought I could go with Simon up Anglers. That dude is on a different planet when it comes to climbing. (and on the flats)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My new super hero: Jesse

Jesse is my new favorite super hero rider.

Anyone that says he doesn't ride during the week, and then comes out for training races, only to win is a hero in my book.

Well, maybe he's the super hero of the training race world. Let's see what Super Jesse has in store when the races really count.

A Hilly Weekend

With the Fri overnight weather forecasted for rain and temps below freezing, I bailed on the idea of doing the 7am and the 10am ride. I've seen too many sketchy slides on black ice to warrant an early morning ride. So, I headed out about mid day with a plan on doing 4-8min intervals on the flats and hills. I did an interval up MassAve, two intervals along MacArthur, one up Anglers, 6 intervals up GFPark, and a finally interval up MntGate. While doing the GFPark intervals, I worked on maintaining a steady cadence, some intervals I used the big ring and cadence around 75, and other times the small ring with a cadence 95+. All in all it was a good tempo workout.

My legs were pretty sore from the day before. I got to the BP Shop ride as they were coming down Goldsboro before River Rd. I moved my way to the front for Mass climb and went hard towards the bottom to midway and sat up. KevinY and Russ were coming up on the left side, so I jumped on Russ's wheel. The pace was not blistering but pretty good. We crested and made the right onto Sangamore. The paceline picked up along Sangamore but as we made the right onto MacArthur a bunch of stopped cars slowed us up and gaps were created as the line slipped through the cars. The gaps widen as the front riders really stepped on the gas and didn't let up. I had to jump around at least 3 big gaps as riders were popping. By the time we made the left onto ClaraBarton, there were maybe 20 riders. The pace along CB was pretty high, but not blistering and I was trying to sit in and recover from the effort along MacA. About 15 riders made the right hand turn towards Mnt Gate. Gaps formed through the turns in the neighborhood, and I got caught going too slow through one of them and that was all it took to say goodbye. I took my time the rest of the way to Anglers with KevinY. We went up Anglers together at a good clip.

The rest of the ride, my legs were hurting from Sat's intervals.

Great weekend of riding.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

4 Hard Days

The past four days I've gone hard.

On Sunday I did the BP Shop A Ride from Mass to GF Park, once out of the Park I sat up and let the A group go since I wanted to do some solo TT work. I eventually road up on Yoav near Kentsdale, and decided to ride with him out towards Poolesville. We kept a good steady tempo going and talked the entire time. At one point along Piney Meeting we almost got run off the road by some Asshole. I'm not really sure why cars feel the need to slam on their brakes after passing cyclists, but its happening a lot lately and time is only running out before someone locally gets hit and hurt badly. Should we start packing heat when we ride for protection?

On Monday, I did the usually Thrasher Ride. I had all intentions of going easy but with temps in the mid/upper 50's, and not having to wear the normal cold weather gear, my legs felt great and I felt like going hard. So I did.

On Tuesday, we went hard again.

On Weds, of course we went hard, its Hill Day. MntGate, Anglers, GF Park, Brickyard, Eggert, Goldsboro. But after going hard the previous days, I definitely started feeling the lack of snap in my legs. I normally go too hard early in the ride, and wind up popping someplace along the way. So, I stayed conservative throughout the ride, and was able to stay with the group the entire way, although at times, my legs were definitely screaming.

Today, was finally a recovery ride as I surfed the end of our group and took maybe 2-3 pulls the entire ride. I could definitely feel fatigue in my legs when I had to put in any kind of effort.

My TSB is -15 and my body is definitely telling me its time for some recovery rides. I don't think we'll be able to ride outside tomorrow, and we'll have to wait to see about this weekend.

Skyline with a Speeder

Last Saturday I changed my normal routine and went to Skyline with Kyle Jones (Evolution). I've been doing a lot of high intensity miles lately that are relatively short in duration, usually 1-2 hours, and I really wanted to do some long climbs. So, when I read that Kyle was heading to Skyline, I decided to join him. Although, I was pretty apprehensive since he's been doing a lot of long base miles this winter and I really didn't want to ride hard.

We met at the base before the Ranger Station gate and headed out towards Front Royal for a 1o minute warm up before heading up Skyline. The day was chilly but not too cold and not too windy. It was a perfect day for doing long climbs. The first mile or so we kept a pretty easy tempo and talked the entire way. My legs were not really warmed up and they were feeling a bit heavy. We made a pit stop at Dickey Ridge and then continued on our way. My legs started loosening up and on the next climb, I picked the tempo up a tad but didn't want to go too hard. I was able to keep my HR below 155 the entire day. We got to Hogsback in just about 2 hours, and after a short rest for liquids and food, we headed back to the car. Amazing that it only took us an hour to get back down to the car. Kyle was flying down the descents while I was a bit more cautious since there were a ton of peebles on the road and I was feeling kinda sketchy.

The 3 hour ride was excellent. Good steady tempo with not a lot of intensity.

On the way back we stopped at Linden Vineyards. I wanted to buy a case of wine and show Kyle the place so he could take his wife.

After departing the Vineyard, Kyle headed off towards Rt66 and was gone in a flash. I was taking my time since there were a lot of cops around. As I neared Manassas, I saw a car pulled over and realized it was Kyle. He didn't look too happy, so I called his cell phone to cheer him up.

3 hrs of riding Skyline
Wine Tasting at Linden
Seeing Kyle pulled over for speeding.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Weekend of Long Rides and Gail Force Winds


Was about 15 sec late getting to the intersection of River and Goldsboro. The 7am ride was just going across River Rd as I was coming over the hill on River. Ugh. Even though I wasn't really warmed up yet, I had to put in a big effort to latch onto the tail end before they turned up Mass. My HR was higher than I wanted, but I was able to keep pace as we headed up Mass. Going down Sangamore was fast and as we turned on the MacArthur the pace kicked up super fast for the next mile. Being at the back I could see lots of gaps forming, and the group starting to splinter. Randy was leading one of the splinter groups, but no one was pulling through. I made my way up to help out, but my legs still weren't completely warmed up and we weren't able to bridge back up to the front group. Our groupetto of about 15 riders rolled along CB at a steady pace, but no where near what the front group was doing. We went up Anglers pretty hard, but went pretty slow down into the park. We kept a good steady pace coming out of the park.

I went with a large group of DC Velo riders out towards Poolesville, but only a handful of us kept going to Sugarloaf (Jason, Ryan, Shannon, Nick, Steve from Coppi, and TomH). We kept a pretty calm tempo on the way out, and my legs never felt like they loosened up at this pace. As we got close to Sugarloaf, TomH took off and Shannon pursued. Nick then took off and I sat on his wheel as we went up and down the rollers before the big climb. My legs felt really heavy and my HR was up there as I got to the base of Sugarloaf. I tried keeping pace with Jason but my legs felt like cement, so I rode at my own pace.

On the way back, Nick wasn't feeling too good, and started bonking big time as we neared the turn onto River. I remember riding past him and he looked so pale, almost like a ghost. I think I'll re-name him Agent Casper.

The 10am ride was coming through and a couple (Jason, Shannon, Tom) of us latched on. The pace was much faster and required a lot more high intensity efforts, and my legs started feeling a lot better. Although I could feel some signs of cramping especially when standing.

Total for the day was about 90 miles.

Since the weather dudes were saying how crappy it was going to be on Sunday morning, I decided to imbibe in a lot of wine during our Sat evening dinner party. I woke up Sunday around 11am and felt like crap, not really hung over, but feeling really tired. After getting all the usually feline feeding chores done, I started thinking about heading out for a solo L2 ride.

Around 1:30, I headed down to Haines Pt via MacArthur, and Georgetown. Since I was riding with a tail wind I really couldn't feel how gusty it was, but once I got past G'town and along the path next to the Potomac, I started feeling the gusts coming from the side. It was F'ing windy and at one point as I about to go under one of the underpasses, a gust of wind catapulted me into the guard railing. Fortunately, I had slowed down before this happened, but not enough to prevent my crash. I bent the crap out of my handlebars, but was able to twist them back into alignment. Small paint scratch on the front fork, but you really can't see it. After this, I was pretty cautious as I faught the gusts to HP.

Once at HP, the MD/DC side was super fast with a tailwind but as soon as you started going through the corner near the Awakening the wind was no longer a tail wind, and you were fighting for your life to stay upright. I've never felt winds this strong but it provided great tension training. I think I averaged only about 14-15 MPH on the VA side without going into red zone. I definitely could have pushed harder if I wanted. I only did three laps, before staring my way home.

Now I was riding into a roaring headwind along the Potomac and a couple times had to stop to allow some of the gusts to subside. As I got to G'town, I thought going up the bike path would be less windy than MacArthur and decided to take the path. It was like a wind tunnel, and I crept along at a modest 15-17 MPH.

All in all, the Sunday ride was 2.5 hours at an easy pace.
Just what I needed.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

7am and 10am: Felt good

Did the 7am and 10am ride today and felt pretty good but need to increase my training intensity. Over the coming weeks, I'll be doing more intervals on GFPark, Angler and Mnt Gate. And, work on changing the pace: ie accelerations.

Lots of black ice on the 7am ride was making me nervous. Couple riders went down. Lots of stupid drivers out there today. Legs felt good.

Wasn't going to do the 10am, but decided to go to the end of Tuckerman. Felt good, so stayed with the group to Travilah Store, but had to pee really bad so I stopped. Headed over to River and headed north to meet the group as they were coming south. I turned around and road back with the group along River. Legs still felt good, had a bit of snap left without any signs of cramping.

OK, here are some power #s
(NOTE: this is only for Adam, since he's only a "dude cyclist" these days, and not the feared Cat1 of yesterday. Rumor has it he got downgraded to Cat2 for this season.)

All other competitors please skip 0ver this vital information.

Ride Time: 4hr:14min
1704 kJ
TSS 251.8
NP 163 (entire ride)

681 kJ
TSS 105
NP 173

651 kJ
TSS 99
NP 174

NOTE: keep in mind that these #s will seem low to most riders that weigh 200+ (like Kyle), but I only weigh 110 lbs, and have a huge power/wgt ratio.