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Jacksonville, FL, United States
In Life as well as in running the secret is Pace.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Weekend the Garmin ate my homework

Friday was, I think, one of the best training sessions as far as doing a challenging workout… and doing it correctly.  
Friday's lovely Graph
I say that to preface Saturday..
We went to Pensacola this weekend to visit my stepdaughter who is now stationed at the NAS there…  We left pretty much immediately after I finished the Friday workout.  We took the dog…  it's 6 hours away…  we took bikes etc… 
The numbers (What I remember from my Garmin data):
The following is a detailed account of my misadventures and whining…  J  read on if you want but the data above tells the story without emotion.
Up at 0545…  Walk dog… breakfast…  gear up…  layer up… (it was 39F..  more weather later)…  I had never been to Pensacola…  I mapped a course that I hoped would be Scenic, low traffic, good roads, and most importantly a straight shot on SR 292
Our hotel was in the middle of historic downtown…  I knew that the first 15 minutes or so that the going would be slow… I just tried to spin when I could.  Once we got past downtown I dialed in at 190 and started spinning…  and immediately dropped Judi.  I basically did this drill for the next 20 minutes.  For the first 40 minutes AVG Power was like 160 and cadence was in the toilet. I had explained the intervals to Judi beforehand… So I took off on my first SST @ 270…  was doing okay until I came to a redlight…  and realized that to stay on 292 I would need to take a left.  I knew that Judi would go straight ( I told her it was a straight shot…) so I turned around to go back for her…  found her…  turned around again…  explained the turn.. then finished the SST.  Avg Watts was about 260.
Then I looped again…. A couple of times actually…   And rode for 15 minutes or so catching/passing Judi pegging 190 and spinning 90+.  Then did my first FTP interval…  towards the end of which was another redlight with another required left hand turn loop, loop, you know the drill AVG power 290ish
Once we got to Perdido Key things got worse…  the wind was fierce..  we were on a very thin strip of land and the 20 MPH wind with Gusts to 30 had Judi at almost a standstill… and even 185# me struggling to keep my bike upright and in the bike lane.  I did do my 2nd hour FTP interval and nailed the 300 watts but cadence on the Key was pretty low…  maybe 80-85 for the entire hour. 
We stopped at the state line for a photo then set off back to Pensacola.  I did my 2nd hour SST right on 270.  Cadence sucked.
At the "Flora-Bama"

The bridge to Perdido Key is steep and narrow… but Judi wanted a picture from the top…  we stopped and tried to get a decent selfie but it just wasn't happening…  I could feel the bridge moving under my feet and I got a bit spooked…  never happened before…  but I was scared…  wind, expansion joints, traffic, low railing…  why is that pertinent to the story?
Well…  it all just added up and I got mad…  just from the frustration of it all and the last hour I did an SST at 270+ (272 maybe) rode the END portion at 200 watts and did my final FTP at 300.  Once I finished the FTP I went back for Judi one more time and rode the last 20 minutes at her pace sheltering her from the wind as much as possible…  no mind to cadence or power.  I think it must have been about 150 watts.
Trying to upload my data with a sketchy Garmin cable…  without saving first… cycled power.. BOOM! Data was gone.
When I woke up on Sunday my abs were sore...  to the touch type of sore...  from straining to keep my bike upright and headed in the right direction on Saturday...
Basically rode the same route… 
The idea for the END Rollercoaster was to keep increasing power which would continue to increase avg power…  after the first 30 minutes or so with the avg around 165 I put it in my mind to get that average up to 20 by the end of the 75 minutes.
Tried to time my Push SST to end just outside of town.  I missed by 2 minutes L Managed to get caught by 3 redlights.  The first of which I made a right turn to avoid and rode through a neighborhood…  which caused the first HR dip…  then got caught by 2 more lights within the last 1:30 (couldn't turn right).  I just cooled down and pedaled back to the hotel

Monday, December 22, 2014

A change of "Pace"

I loved running…  and I miss running…  I miss the brain in neutral, legs on autopilot, quiet solitude, it was a balm to my soul.
But those days have passed…  it's time to add to the list of things I can still do but that I should probably avoid:
1.      Tackle Football…  it was the first to go back in my mid-twenties..  I’m not sure why I was still doing that in the first place
2.      Basketball…  the first knee related stoppage
3.      Ultimate Frisbee – oh how I loved this sport in my 30s and I played like a 10 month old Lab puppy
4.      And now running – I can still do it…  can still do a 22 minute 5k…  but it hurts…  for days
This was 2014
Yes…  the transformation is complete.
The great news is that I have found another sport to enjoy...  But... I think it might be time to change the name of the blog.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Power weekend

"Power is a quality which enables one to reach one's goals.... Yet a preoccupation with power distracts us from paying attention to what is at the foundation of the world."
          Kurt Godel, 1906 - 1978
I subscribe to a "Quote of the Day" newsletter.  The QOTD for Saturday was the above… 
Started off by oversleeping.  Had planned to be out the door by 0630 and when I awoke at 0610…  well that wasn't going to happen.  I had arranged to ride for an hour with one of my friends from 0700 to 0800 then meet my wife at 1015 for the final two hours.
Waking late basically set me up for 3 hours solo to start.  Not the end of the world.  It was cold…  37F at the start
The Plan:
4xEPDs in the first and last hour.
one 10-15' tempo interval during each of the middle 3 hours. (225-250W, no higher!)
So… my first intervals were only 5' into the day.  I broke no records but gave them a go.
I noticed soon after my first intervals that I seemed to be both working pretty hard, and going pretty fast, to maintain some underwhelming numbers.  Tailwind, I thought, it must be a tailwind…  so on I rode.  Feeling okay but working.
After finishing the first hour I settled into some endurance riding. Endurance (END) power range for me is 160-200 Watts…. I was working pretty hard to hold the lower end.
I started the first "tempo Interval"… tried to get the power up to 235ish…  heart rate climbs over 145…  this conversation happens (Goofus and Gallant are the voices in my head":
Goofus: "dude you suck"
Gallant: "we're going pretty fast"
Goofus: "3 minutes into this interval and you can't even hold tempo pace?"
Gallant:  "Maybe it's the power meter"
Goofus: "maybe you suck…  why do you even do this..  you are a grandpa…. Why don't we smoke a pipe and sit by the fireplace"
Gallant: "this is making us better"
Goofus:  "you are an idiot"
Gallant: "let's stop and see if I can fix this thing"
Goofus: "stopping sounds good.  Best idea you have had all day"
So I stopped at the store with the idea that if I rebooted my Garmin and re-synched the PM all might be better.
I tried a few times both on and of the bike.  No change so on I rode. I did another Tempo by heat rate this time.
Then I eased up a bit because I was getting tired.  My average heartrate after 3ish hours was 126 (basically what I'd describe as tempo)
I stopped again to meet my wife…  refuel…  peel off a few layers.  I also rebooted my Garmin one more time..  and didn't touch my bike while it recalibrated.  I knew as soon as we started off again that my reading were normal again.  My final tempo was 225 watts at a 126 average HR…  spot on to what I would expect.  The interval ended abruptly when we came upon the scene of a crash.  3 triathletes in a paceline..  a touch of wheels and one of the riders went down.  We stopped checked him over etc…  I think he eventually got back on his bike.
The EPDs in the last hour were hard but satisfying.
<![if !supportLists]>1.       <![endif]>No pedaling during calibration
<![if !supportLists]>2.       <![endif]>Don't kill yourself over the numbers.  I started to…  and dug a bit of a hole
<![if !supportLists]>3.       <![endif]>I knew that I was 20 minutes short on my workout.  Under the conditions I was fine with that
The Rx:
10' warmup
5' @ FTP
3' easy spin
5' @ FTP
3' easy spin
5' @ FTP
9' easy spin
low SST=260
After doing the SST interval jump right into 60-75' END riding. Vary cadence and vary position on bike during this time.
Got on the trainer…  didn't feel great…  the FTPS kicked my butt…  I struggled through them…  missing target power on all three.
I could not hold 260W for the SST…  basically just aimed for an average 130 HR.  for the last hour I just tried to keep my HR and cadence up.
Super tired after
needless to say the Saturday quote holds special meaning to me...

Monday, December 1, 2014

Riding the Trainer (I guess I'm that guy…)

On Black Friday I did a 3 hour training ride on the indoor trainer.
To which I got this response:
3hrs on the trainer? Wow!  Those are hard rides.   I have about 5-6 of those in me in a season, be careful not to use those all up unless you really need to.    Sort of like timeouts in a football game, keep them close to your chest and use them wisely!   Unless you're one of those strange breeds that has no problem sitting on the trainer for 3hrs!
I guess I'm that guy…
Thought process:
Okay, 3 hours steady endurance zone.  I can't ride from home…  too many red lights, stop signs, cars.  So…  I need to get all of my gear together, plan a route, plan a stop for more water etc.  Load everything up, Drive at least 10 miles.  
Ride by myself on the same dang road.  It is pretty out there…
but I digress.
Load the bike up, get out of that wet chamois…  drive home.   Unload, put everything away.
The 3 hour ride just took up half of my day.
Cue up a steady workout on Trainerroad, put the bike on the trainer, find a movie or two. 
No commute, no redlights, no idiot drivers, no layering of clothing
I'd generally prefer riding with my friends but often the trainer trumps riding alone.  J

Friday, September 5, 2014

RAID Alpine Day 3 - The Queen Stage

so… to sum up our cycling adventure…  so far I have managed to ride myself into the ground… just in time for the longest stage.
Meanwhile Judi had been riding smart and dosing her effort.  
Since the stage was so long and hard, our guides had us start slowest first and fastest last in order to help them keep up with us better with the support van.
Judi and I were the first to roll.  I had no idea how long Judi would hang on…  or me either to be honest.  I just knew that in order to have a chance at finishing one must begin.  So we did the first off at 0800….  and this turned out to be the best 2.5 hours of the whole tour…  the I'seran was spectacularly beautiful..  
Judi and I were basically alone all the way up the climb…  taking our time…  soaking up the morning…  the bike…  our effort…  each other's company.
although we were quite happy to finish the climb…  the top was 3 degrees C…  and a light rain quickly turned to sleet.  
I did not really expect Judi to attempt the descent…  but she decided to….  and in our haste to get back to lower elevations and warmer temps we did not gear up as well as we should have…  
By the way…  did I mention that I lost my knee warmers?  Yep…  the day before I really needed them...
After a long descent with a massive headwind and a bite of lunch we hit our second iconic climb of the day
It was 12ish K but very constant at about 8%.
This was followed up by the Galibier…  steep…  monstrous…  and unrelenting.  Judi was already tired when we started but in a show of determination climbed to the top.
The road seen in the valley below is the beginning of the climb. It is about 5 k at 4%-6%...  it looks flat-ish in the picture and pretty much so on the road but it burns the legs…
Next up…  the ramps and switchbacks…
the ramp on the right 13% ouch!

Very Steep near the top.
But we made it


Sunday, August 31, 2014

RAID Alpine Day 2

Day 2

pretty scary profile, no?
Well it scared me…  and after a night of cramping I was less than my normal enthusiastic self… but there was really nothing to do but get on and pedal…  that's what we came to France to do.  I did lower my seat.. I found that I spent an awful big part of the previous day way back on the saddle and felt a bit stretched…  this really helped.  
Judi and I, once again started last…  then fell further behind "getting ourselves sorted" as the Brits say.  We just turned the pedals and were soon atop the first climb and had even caught the back half of the group.
After a nice coffee stop we hit the Cormet de Roseland…  our route was a bit different than the profile above.  we skipped a couple of the minor peaks and just went straight up.  Lunch was about 5 km short of the summit.  
Judi had enough by this point and decided to ride it in the van.  
After a quick lunch I set off with the group.  The upper pat of the climb was crawling with people…  I know not what they were doing but they and their cars were everywhere.  The summit was windy and cold so after a quick photo or two we were off for a fast and twisty descent.   
Tom, Lester, and Me

We had a quick stop in the next village…  then set off for the final climb of the day…  10 hot and steep Kilometers up the Col de l'Iseran…  this climb is freakin huge…  we were stopping not quite halfway up.  Once again I probably rode too hard and went a little deep on the final climb.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

RAID Alpine Day 1

We left pretty close to on time..  and rode out of town in a nice double pace line.  we were short three rider, however, one (Martin) had yet to arrive and two others who waited the delivery of their bikes.
Our first alpine climb started soon after we left the city…  the Col de Cru.  We started the climb last after stopping to remove layers then climbed strong.
Natural Fountaiin

After a bit more rolling we hit the Col de Ramaz…  which was to be our first big test a proper Cat 1 climb.  We caught and passed a few other riders on the lower slopes and about half-way up I pulled ahead of Judi to climb a bit at my own pace…  after a few kilometers we came to a flatter part of the climb and I decided to go back a bit for Judi.  She was quickly found and we continued to the top.  Unbeknownst to us there was some kind of cycle sportive going on.. and the finish was on top of the climb.  I tried to get a decent shot of Judi "winning the KOM"

Lunch - we arrived late…  and during lunch judi decided to take the shortcut to the hotel and I decided to climb the Col de Joux Plane.  the only problem…  pretty much everyone had already left while we were eating lunch… oh, did I mention that I was navigating via the printed directions?  I did not have my Garmin loaded with the course…  for a while I thought I was following Route 50…  until I realized 50 was the speed limit…  I rode probably a bit harder than I should have but I did begin to catch our group on the Joux Plane…  and by the top I was with everyone else..  and they all had Garmins with directions…  I was getting the hang of the descending too and had a great time flying down the mountain with a couple of the guys.  
Mont Blanc in the background

We got a bit turned around in the valley…  but were soon sorted out again and hammering along the flats.  Although I was hanging okay with Tom and we had dropped everyone else the efforts of the day were catching up with me.  Our route ended with an unnamed 10 Km climb @ About a 6% average gradient and it kicked my ass… stayed close to Tom most of the  way up digging deep to do so…  With about 5 km to go I got a cramp…  I tried to stretch it out but in the end I kind of had to ride through it.  Tom was nice enough to wait for me a couple of times at intersections to insure that I knew the way.  Thankfully the last 1.5 Km was downhill…  I was ever so happy to see the hotel, Judi, and drink a well deserved beer.
When I went to bed that first night…  I was wrecked physically…  still cramping…  aching back…  and pretty sure that I would not be able to complete the full course the next day which featured even more climbing.
Well earned