Monday, January 31, 2011

Skills with an S

Unplanned day. Today's weather is beautiful, 70°F. Gentle breeze. The weather forecast freightens. Daily hard freezes through the weekend. It won't be out of the 40°s until Sunday. Though my plan called for a rest day... I chose to do a skills session. Last chance to enjoy the outdoors for a while. I can do just about any workout on rollers. I cannot, however, practice manuals, braking skills, or tight turns on them.
These sessions are important. They lack structure. It's simply go out and practice riding elements. That makes them fun. Just as when I was a kid... I prowl the neighborhood looking for anything I can drop, hop, or launch from. I use the trees in the park to slolm around. Days like this keep the fun in the sport. Plus they really help my riding.
Now... to prep for the cold. My aloe plant needs moved inside!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I added a flywheel to my rollers. I bought this with my rollers a few months ago. But never mounted it.

The wheel is small, but heavy. Doesn't look like it would do much. It does.

The flywheel comes with a large warning placard, warning not to use the brakes, or the bike to be pushed over the back. Naturally... the warning just made me try it! It's true... if you hit the brake it will indeed toss you off the back! HAHAAHA! Kinda fun as long as you're ready for it...

Takes a little more power to spin. The loading almost exactly matches the speed/power relationship I see on the road. Great feel.

Without the flywheel, I can't miss more than a couple of pedal strokes. The wheels slow down and off I go. The flywheel adds inertia. It takes a few seconds to spin up, and there's a significant coast. That coast that lasts long enough to grab a drink!

Grabbing a drink is nice for longer intervals. Like tonight's 24'min efforts.

Still seeing a lot of cardiac drift. HR never leveled off over the entire interval. Constantly climbing. These weren't easy, but I felt OK.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ailing Motor

Tonight I set out for four 10'min intervals, 90-110%FTP. This should be an easy plan. It's just to check the motor under some nice controlled conditions... on rollers.

The first interval goes well. HR looks normal for the effort. Nice and smooth. Legs feel good. For the recovery interval... I tended to my potato soup. Maybe that was a mistake?

As I returned for my second interval... my HR shot up. On an interval like this I'd expect the HR to 'top out' and remain steady. But that doesn't happen. My HR keeps climbing. And my respiration was pretty ragged. I dialed back the power... but the HR never returned to what I'd consider 'normal'.

The purpose of this workout is to get right on the edge of being aerobic. Clearly... I was going over it. So... I stuck with the power that matched my respiration, my heart rate, etc. By the last interval... I got the effort right, and ended up with a more consistant effort. Finally.

Experienced some coughing after the workout too. Hmmm. Despite my cardio-pulminary difficulties... the legs felt great. My heart and lungs just can't keep up at the moment. I'm going to give it some more time before panicking.

Oh... the soup? Simple potato, sour cream, butter, milk, chives, and some bacon bits. It was good. A little thick. Loaded with carbs! Great training faire.

Dirt Day

Some very needed dirt time on Saturday. It's been a looong time since my wheels have seen the singletrack. The weather is ideal. Low 60's and not a cloud in the sky. I started a bit rusty, but quickly the groove returns. Warda is a fun place to ride. I've neglected to ride here despite its proximity to home. Shame really. It's a great place to ride. If Gas Pass doesn't bring a smile to your face... something's wrong with you.

The trails are in perfect condition as well. By perfect... I mean absolutely spectacular. Tacky but not sticky. Niether wet nor dusty. Sadly, I only put in two laps today. Neither was fast. I hike-a-biked the longer climbs out of Gas Pass. Each time I called on the lungs they answered with massive coughing. Bad enough at one point a passing rider asked if I needed some help! ;-)

Today wasn't ideal. Only because of the coughing and lack of lung power. Everything else was in place for a perfect day. Sorta disappointing. But... I still had a good time. Lots of smiles! Many spots on the trail bring out the "YEEHA!" today! I'm where I want to be. Outside. In the woods. On the trail. Riding my bike. Ahhhhh...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Tasty Hit

Toasted almond slices, roasted garlic, and basil. Start of a pesto. Add some olive oil, lemon juice, whirrrrrrrr in food processor.

Then boil some shrimp. Toss the shrimp in the pesto...

Gobble up...

This was really good. I typically don't care for pesto. But making it at home allows customizing the flavor to what my tastebuds enjoy. Leftovers are good cold, too.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I was sicker than I thought. My flu morphed into a cough. Despite not having a fever, I still felt bad. I spent Saturday in bed. All day. The entire day. I didn't even eat. Incredibly rare. The rest paid dividends. Sunday I arose to feel much, much better. Best in a couple of weeks. Except for the occasional cough... I seem to be past this dispicable bug.

Despite trying once to ride, which quickly ended in furtive expulsion of green goop... I've been off the bike for two weeks. A significant setback. I'm under three weeks from my first race. A six hour endurance event. My fitness won't be what I want. But I'm reminding myself that it's just a training race. That I need to do the race more than I need to do well in the race. Don't like the feeling of unpreparedness. I'm rife with reservations about this one.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's c-c-c-c-Cold

A string of sub-50°F highs. A not-so-subtle reminder winter visits the Gulf Coast. I worried I wouldn't get good use out of my rollers a few weeks ago. As soon as I'm riding again...
... another not-so-subtle reminder of winter has been the flu I've been battling. Two days in bed. Followed by several more of low-grade fever and then morpholized into a cough. I even lost my voice along the way. The cough is lingering a bit, but I'll attempt the a brief and mellow roller ride tonight to check the engine.
Hope that goes well. 2011 is off to a rough start.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I Knew It!

It began raining just as I was ready to ride last night. It wasn't raining hard. Just a light drizzle. As I looked at the wet pavement I couldn't help but think "wouldn't it be great if I could ride inside?". Oh wait. This is why I own rollers! Eagerly, I jumped on the rollers. And good thing. The weather got much worse. Including thunder and lightening. Here's a tip... don't ride rollers in a thunderstorm. No, it doesn't increase your chance of getting hit by lightening. But... when lightening strikes your neighbors tree... you can get get bucked off from the flinch.

After riding I didn't feel too good. Again... my heart rate was elevated. I shrugged it off and went to make groceries. By the time I got back... it was clear something was NOT right. I checked my temperature... it was 99°F. I decided to eat quickly and go straight to bed. By the time I finished my sammich... my temp was 101°F. And I was shivering almost uncontrollably. I could barely walk. Lots of shivering and sweating through the night.

I knew this was coming. When my heartrate was higher than expected, I considered oncoming illness a possiblity. Though I'm no scientific study... it seems that a sudden disassociation of HR and power output are preditive of an illness before any symptoms occur. Maybe it is the first symptom?

Hope to be back on the bike in the next day or two...