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

Monday, February 23, 2015

Swamp Classic

Doing this race was not the original plan.  Going to Gainesville, GA…  visiting my aunt and doing Southern Cross in Dahlonega was the original plan… but ice storms in the North Georgia mountains caused the race to be postponed until march…  So…  what to do?

I decided to head down to Gainesville, FL for the Swamp Classic and do the road race and time trial on Saturday.

The Road race was three 11.5 mile circuits.  With a few small hills (yes hills…  I said they were small…)

We (the Masters Bs) were grouped with the Cat 5s (lovely).  I started on the second row.  A couple of guys jumped from the gun and I went along…  we managed to do a lovely job of thrashing ourselves for 10 minutes or so only to look back to see the group 50 meters back…  time to shut it down.

At that point I decided to just sit in and wait.  Pretty boring for the next hour or two…  like a decently paced group ride…  By the end of the second lap I had that we were definitely going to stay together and that my best shot was to launch at the top of the final hill 400 meters or so from the finish.

Fast forward a lap and I was right where I wanted to be…  right on the yellow line mid pack at the top of the hill… so I hit it…  flying down the hill and picking up speed…  I passed the front of the group and got a gap….  And the finish line was coming into view and so was this small incline…  I'd noticed no small incline on the first two laps…  legs slow down…  downshift one gear…  the finish line will not come too me fast enough…  A rider passes me on the left …  I try and hold his wheel…  d@m#...  Another rider on the right…  the finish is slowly coming to me…  I feel another rider next to me pedal… pedal… pedal… pedal… he's next to me pedal… pedal… his wheel nudges in front of mine at the finish.

Fourth…  in the field sprint and 4th in the Masters B.  My 180 BPM HR was the highest I have recorded since my late 20s

Time Trial:

Caught my 30 second man, 60 second man, 90 second man (behind whom my 2 minute man was drafting?)…  only my 2 minute man was riding a TT bike tho…  and I was all geeked out with TT Bike, aero Helmet, 2 minute guy decided to take off with 500 meters to go… I finished right behind him.

Didn't stick around to see the results posted and that was really a good thing.  Halfway home I realized that I never moved my chip from my road bike to the TT bike..  I kicked myself over and over again during the final hour driving home.  Checking the results the next morning vs my Garmin file showed that I'd have been third… 

Oh well..  another race next weekend

Monday, February 2, 2015

The race within

It's Monday morning…
Still a little tired Legs are sore.  Tough race on Saturday…
So… let's go back a bit.
Sunday ended a Six day block of training.
Tuesday was an easy 80 minutes of tempo riding…  and without a Spin class to tech was a nice gentle start.
Wednesday was challenging but doable:
On Thursday I still felt powerful and energetic after teaching spin at lunchtime
Friday morning I had a hard time getting started but did just fine
Saturday was "The Race Simulation"
I felt I had something to prove…  I can push myself when I have to..  I can put a hurting on myself when I'm out to put a hurting on the group but…  can I push myself that hard solo…  in training?
It was a race within my own head.
The Rx:
race sim solo ride
lots of jumps and bursts and short hard efforts
a few 5-10' efforts that are mock breakaway the BSST intervals but a bit shorter.
add some easy spinning and rest just like in a race. This should be a WELCOME relief and awesome change to rest and recover that I don't allow you during all your other training, so make the most of it and recover, get HR down and get ready to GO AGAIN
The route was down the coast on A1A to St Augustine and back…  easy..  simple
The first 12 minutes were steady but neutral…  stop signs etc…  then a couple of accelerations.
About 30 minutes in did a series of longer attacks 2-3 minutes followed by 5 or 6 ~1-1.5 minute efforts.  I made a mistake in trying to add a 2-3 mile loop in Vilano Beach (1:07ish) ran into stop signs and a dead end.
Over the bridge in to St Augustine, turn around, back over the bridge into a 20mph headwind.
On the way back I had a ¾ 20mph headwind.  I did a few shorter efforts but I was getting tired.  Decided to just ramp up fast to faster tempo and finish with a sprint.  The "finish line" was the finish line for the local "Thursday night Worlds" ride and even has 200m to go marked off.  So, I jumped at the mark and dig for the line…  not the best or most powerful of sprints after flogging myself for 2.5 hours but it did empty the tank.  From 2:30 to the end I just soft pedaled.
70F and sunny…  rode in the afternoon with my wife.  Old Blue Steel mush have a dead battery in the speed/cadence sensor… Knee a bit tight… I had a flat 20 minutes in…  realized I had no tire iron…  changed the flat with an Allen wrench and my car key…  cut it short.
So…  Now it's Monday and I've done some mobility work to loosen my knee…  rolled out my quads a bit and I feel a bit better.

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