Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fall Perfection

BEEP BEEP BEEEEEEP the alarm went. It took monumental effort to peel myself out from under the covers. The house was perfect temperature for sleeping, and I didn't have to go for a ride. But peel out I did. And there were no regrets.

Visited Huntsville State Park today for some trail riding. It was a beautiful crisp fall day. Started out a bit chilly, but warmed to perfection. It's striking how much the trails changed with the reduced foliage and seasonal colors in only a few weeks time.

I started my training year with a goal in mind for a lap time at Huntsville. I reached it today! That's a good feeling. Now, it's time to lower the goal time!

I got caught by the old branch in the cassette trick!

And as I was packing up the Stumpy, I noticed it's about time for a lower fork service. I'll be ordering seals on Monday...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Noontime Escapes

I office just a few blocks from Memorial Park. For the past week, I've used my lunch time to ride the trails. Great way to spend lunch. I'm not pressed for daylight. The usually overcrowded trails are virtually empty. These midday rides are real low-stress. Meditative perhaps. A nice break to the workday. I ride slow, focus on picking good lines, being smooth and maintaining good flow. These rides are about becoming a better rider, rather than a fitter rider.

I leave the fitness part for the evening. Tonight's job: VO2max intervals. The plan's simple, (6X) 6- minute intervals @ 110% FTP / Recover 6-8- min. Treat them as time-trials. They provide a good assessment of fitness plus a good workload. A fun ride!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mystery Weight Changes

For the last three weeks I've been on a downward weight trend. I track my weight and calories very closely. By the numbers, and by the scale for the last three weeks I've been losing about 1/2 to 1 pound per week. Suddenly, I've managed to gain almost 4 pounds in 5 days with no changes to my calorie intake or exercise levels. Normally, I'd just chalk it up to daily variability, or changes in hydration. But the trend is completely linear, almost exactly the same gain per day. Four pounds would be (4x3500)=14,000 excess calories. I haven't consumed a total of 14,000 calories in the last week.

Maybe I've gone exothermic. Or is it endothermic? I can't remember. If I do a metabolism calculation on the last two weeks, it's negative! So, I'm gaining weight from calories I haven't eaten. Nice.

Monday's ride was a nice 2-hour tempo ride, with some elevated effort intervals thrown in for fun. Today brought a neuromuscular ride with some fun spinning intervals:

(6X) From a roll, accelerate your spin for 50- yards in gear that has you finishing at 120- rpm. Rest 2- min.
(3X) Repeat above, but after winding out the first gear, shift and wind out that gear, Rest 3- min.
(3X) Repeat above, but after wind out two gears, Rest 3- min.

Power isn't relevant for this workout. Speed, acceleration, and smooth spin are the focus.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dirt Sunday

Sunday brought a cool crisp fall day. Ideal weather for being outdoors. I dressed and headed for Memorial Park. Spend 2.5 hours riding the trails at an easy going endurance (Zone 2) pace. Tomorrow is a rest day, then some strong work next week.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Flagpole Bending Day

Saturday winds were howling! Blowing with a northerly chill 22-knots and gusting to near 30-mph. Yeeha!

Riding to the north was a real challange. 225 watts yeilded a measly 14-mph! Riding with a cross wind, also a challange! But adventures require challanges and the day turned out pretty fun.

The ride today was just under threshold power, with a hard sprint for 10-seconds once every three minutes. Tomorrow - DIRT!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Double Duty

I'm fast growing tired of riding in the dark. Tough getting riding hours in with the shortened days. Then a realization struck: I work less than a mile from Memorial Park. DUH! Today, I rode during my lunch time to get some midday work in. Off to the Fruit Loop for anaerobic intervals, comme ca:

5:00 100-110% of threshold power / recover 5:00
2:00 140-150% of threshold power / recover 3:00
Repeat 6X or until can't maintain 120% of FTP

That hurt! I barely made it through the last interval. But wait there's more! Tonight I'm doing threshold intervals:

10X Spinups, 1:00 each
15:00 100-110% of threshold power
Repeat 2X

Bookend each session with 15-minute warmup and cool downs and it comes to almost 3.5 hours of riding; almost completely in daylight. Not a bad deal at all!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Full Moon and Threshold Ride

Beautiful full moon rose during this eve's ride. Here's the recepie, short and sweet:

45:00 85-95% of threshold watts / 10:00 rest
10:00 110-120% threshold watts / 10:00 rest
10:00 110-120% threshold watts

Supposedly it's going to get cold. I made chicken soup in anticipation. Roughly followed this recepie. But added a ton of cilantro and more spices. Resisted the urge to put ginger in, but that may be a good addition.

Going to need the fuel, tomorrow will be a double!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Payin' the Cost

Joss Stone

I've had a lot of non-training fun the last couple of weeks. First was a tip to New Orleans for Voodoo fest. The pictures are from the trip. More can be found *HERE* if you're interested. Certainly, a weekend of eating, imbibing, and staying up very late did no favors to my body. But doG damm it was fun! I ran into a friend that... well... I figured I'd never see again. But in a huge crowd we made contact! Luck was on my side for once. That alone made the entire weekend worthwhile!

My legs, lungs, and heart have felt the lingering effect of my self-induced abuse. The legs especially felt like crap all week. They are coming around though. Still a ways to go. Will I feel good enough for the RHR race? I donno. I will be traveling this week and that's not helping. But it is my last opportunity to race until the spring... On the fence, for now.

Big Sam's Funky Nation

Leo Nocentelli!!


Ivan Neville