Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Titration Intervals

Titration intervals are fun. The prescription is to go out and ride on the ragged edge of your lactate threshold. Not going over. Not going under. They are tough to do. Pacing is critical. And you have to pay close attention to your body and what it's doing. Oh, and they must be done where you aren't interrupted by traffic or whatever. Luckily, I've discovered a loop around River Oaks (ritzy neighborhood) that suits.

The just over/under nature reminds me of doing titrations in high school chem lab. That's the source of the name. I seem to recall that we used potassium permanganate for this? I'll never forget good ol' potassium permanganate because of the way my wonderful teacher pronounced it. There's no way I could ever do it justice in letters. Suffice it to say, if you've ever heard Dr. Yvonne Oey say "potassium permanganate" you'll never forget it. What a great teacher!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lake Stude

Today's route was heavily modified to avoid the bayous. I think you can see why. This is Stude Park. Normally White Oak Bayou is only a few feet wide and about, 25 feet lower.

The ride was normal and, other than a tortuous route, problem free. Simply some L2 work to ease into the week. Afterwards a 1-hour session of intense stretching and yoga. I felt tighter than an E-string on Hendrix's guitar. More work to be done on the flexibility front this week.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sand Day Sunday

A happy day in the forest. Huntsville State Park is in fine condition. There is a new bridge on Chinqapin. Some fire damage. And lots and lots of sand. It's like riding on the beach at times!

I like riding the sand. It is fun. It teaches me countersteering and drifting. My technique is to keep my reactions and weight through the bottom bracket. Then retain just a bit of light contact with the seat. Keep the butt wiggling like you're doing the funky butt to steer!


Photo credit jcgreen via Flickr.

Naturally, one cannot write of the doing the funky butt in the sand without mention of the Funky Butt!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Random Powers

My day starts with repair to my Garmin Edge 305. There's a known issue of them turning themselves off at random times after some use. Mine started this most annoying habit last week.

I debated replacing it with the newer 705. But it doesn't really do anything that I'm desparate for. And it's not cheap. Over at MTBGuru Blog a tutorial exists for just this very problem. It's excellent. My thought... what have I got to lose?

I didn't hardwire the connections as the tutorial suggested. I just bent the connection fingers a bit. It's working fine now. More detail pictures and commentary are >HERE<

I hold random powers myself! My ride today places my pace just a hair below FTP and tacks on 20-second big-ring-masher-sprints, every 5-minutes for an hour. The legs are feeling fantastic right now. I felt better as the ride goes on -unusual. I tacked on an hour of high L3 to meet my time goal for today. Tomorrow is some serious dirt time. Time to sleep up.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Climbing Out

A good day on the bike. First in a while to satisfy the body, heart, and soul. I've been in a slump. It started with being sick. But it's lingered on. It's part physical, part emotional, part attitudinal. Slumps aren't just one thing, but a dangerous combination. What would I do without the feedback loop of cycling? Hmm. The benefits of cycling are not solely physical. A holistic strategy helps.

Today did a lot to lift me out.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Crossing Into A New Day

White Oak Bayou is too high, the offroad trails are too wet. So it is a me on the Tarmac for a lonely road ride. As dreary as yesterday was today is beautiful!

The roof's open at Minute Maid Park...

The Great Southwest building watches over downtown...

I expected Braes Bayou to be over the trail, but it's not. This keeps me out of the traffic. Always a plus...

Here's the route. Done in endurance zone, it's a bit under 2-hours. Click for a larger map...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Uhoh. Ma skreet is floodin

Might have to get out my cajun reeboks. Haven't seen this much water in the street since Ike! Yike!

Hammered Again

Friday, April 17, 2009

And Springtime Showers...

No rhodie ride today...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Springtime Flowers

Some spring flowers...

A day free from the cough is a good day. My ride was a definate success. Defined by no coughing, no runny nose. It's a simple plan - stay in endurance zone. Tough to do, as the legs are still feeling richeous.

The next few days will be spent dodging rain and thunderstorms. Or perhaps riding in them!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My patch

After two weeks of limited efforts, I decide to do a threshold test only to discover I have lungs of fire! I can't actually breathe fire like Godzilla. But it does feel like a pyre is burning in my chest. Strict intrepetation says my FTP is down significantly. Quantitatively I realize that my legs felt great, and never reached that 'lactatey' feeling. I'm totally limited by the lungs. How bad? Bad enough that I almost gagged on my own phlegm. Yum! Next ride I'll try some antihistamine before rolling out.

Meanwhile, the garden is flourishing...

Zuke and bell pepper buds...

My strawberries are starting to bloom.

As are my tomatoes...

Even my herbs are going well so far...

My gardening goal is to grow all of the ingredients for a true homemade and homegrown salsa. C'mon tomatoes!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Bad Week For Houston Cyclists!

Here's a tally of this week's mayhem for Houston cyclists:

  • One cyclist got shot. Twice. By some attempted muggers on the Terry Hershey Park trail.
  • One cyclist died of a sudden heart attack just before one of the weekly group rides... ironically known as "The Death Ride".
  • A cyclist had a head-on (applied directly to the forehead) wreck with another cyclist on the White Oak Bayou trail. Heard that one was messy.
  • And one (motor)cyclist got creamed by a car blowing a stop sign a block from my house today. I heard that sickening thud from this one.

The kid that hit him ran. But my neighbors nabbed him and hogtied him with wire ties until the cops arrived! The best part of that was momma bear from up the street giving the guy two barrels of proctective mom verbal buckshot. Then she turns to her son, points to the motorcyclist in the street and says "that's why I tell you to stay out of the street". I don't blame her. The driver that blew through the stop sign was going like 60 through the neighborhood and blew right through two stop signs on his way to this accident scene.


Be careful out there!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Unexpected

Today starts with a good breakfast.

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

This trip goes through the east end of downtown to Hermann park. I feel sorry for anyone driving to the zoo today! There's a solid traffic jam from Caroline to the zoo.

Probably an hour's wait. Unless you were on a bike... I cut lanes down the centerline. Kind of taxing. 100% concentration required and it was tight. Constantly on the look out for opening doors. Tinted windows are not your friend in this situation. I can't see what the people inside are doing for clues...

After the park comes Braes Bayou trail.

I've never ridden this path before. It's OK. Narrow in spots. Overall the design is satisfies. The water stinks! Even down to the routing through rather than around the power line towers! One must be creative when blazing through the city...

From here the route goes through Bellaire, up S.Rice Av., down Westpark, through River Oaks, and then down Allen Pkwy towards downtown...

The winds of change are blowing stong today over at AIG!

Finally back through the west end of downtown and back to the house.

This is a new route for me. Looking at the 30-MPH winds, the length, and how I've been feeling, I expected 3-ish hours. Riding at a comfortable pace was my only mission. I didn't watch the power, just kept the pace comfy. In the end.. it was only a hair over 2 hours. Too short, but a sure indication I'm feeling better. Things return to full-bore tomorrow. YAY!

NOT tempting fate.

A little over a year ago I was just getting over the flu. I awoke to a beautiful Saturday. Eager to do two things. Ride at Double Lake, and see Yonder Mountain String Band. That fateful Saturday I rode off the side of a bridge and cracked my ribs! I still made the Yonder show! But much chemical help was necessary. And every shimmer of my tail feather hurted...

Fast forward one year to this morning...

I awoke to a beautiful Saturday; just getting over the flu. Eager to do two things. Ride at Double Lake and see Yonder Mountain String Band. As I ate breakfast and contemplated the irony of this situation... I decide to clean the house and skip the ride! I'm not superstitious but.. I saw no reason to tempt fate today. True to last year, I DID make the Yonder show, and had a blast. Saw some folks that I only seem to see at Yonder shows... No tears or screams from the hugs this go round!

A short show because of a the venue (House of Blues,ugh!). So here I am at home...listening to my first, and someways favorite Yonder show... Jan 18, 2002 at the now demolished Garden in The Heights. Thank you REE for taking me to that show! It started me on a wonderful journey!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Lasy Man's Dinner

Struggling on my ride today. Legs feel g-r-e-a-t. Motivation high. Lungs full of fluid. Sinus' full too. Pollen from the beautiful wildflowers along White Oak Bayou not helping! Post ride food was good...

This may be the easiest meal I've ever made. It starts with some freshly harvested cilantro.

I'm just happy my cilantro hasn't died. This is the first year I've acutally gotten to use my cilantro before it died off!

That's cooked rice, a can of Rotel tomatoes, the cilantro, cumin, chili powder and salt. Mix. See told ya' it was easy!

Spoon it onto tortilla. Maybe add some fat-free sour cream, jalapenos, picante, whatever. Could add grilled chicken, but that would only increase the effort!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sicko Heartrate Hijinks

I use unrelated methods for estimating my heart rate and power zones. I use Friels' forumlas for HR, and Allen's formulas for power. They correspond very, very closely. Take for example today's ride. [HR in RED, power is YELLO]

Obvious correlation. Compare that to yesterday's ride!

Hmm... Not only was the HR/Load distribution outta whack. I poked around TrainingPeaks and found a maximum heart rate of 243! Whoa. I've never seen a HR above 185! I thought it might have been a mistake, but the elevated HR corresponds with the power load... yikes.

I don't monitor HR on my PowerTap display while riding. I didn't notice the elevated HR. It only lasted a couple of minutes. So, I don't think I was in any danger. My HR was normal after my cool down, too. I only noticed this tonight when filling in my training log. Which is yet another good reason to keep a good log.

Tonight's max HR was in the low 190's. Still elevated, but closer to normal.