Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Monday, March 27, 2006

My Chi Isn't Centered!

I'm having issues right now balancing life and biking and have come to the conclusion that I probably need to commit to more time to home activities in the coming weeks than I had originally planned. Now that Spring is here it's easy to get excited about biking but I also realize that I now have to get going on thatching the yard, overseeding, pruning branches on the apple tree, cutting back the hedges, etc., etc., etc............. Not to mention that I have to finish the kitchen remodeling that I've started. I definitely have some organizing to do to get all of this to mesh and get the most out of my biking time and also get the house work done. Well, anyways, back to what I've been doing.....Sunday was a good day of riding out in West Bend where I met Dave, my racing partner, and we managed to ride for 2.5 hours around the beautiful roads and trail systems of West Bend. West Bend is a great area to bike and is extremely biker friendly in town thanks to the wonderfully maintained trail system that skirts the rivers and traverses the parks in the city. We basically had a nice slow, steady ride partially because I wanted to take the time to enjoy learning about the trails and roads and also because I had some major chain failure on the Pinarello after changing the chain the night before. Here is Dave ready to hit the road...........

Well, after a good week of riding last week in which I rode 13.50 hours I finally to get rest this week as it is a regeneration week, or the 4th week of my microcycles. I'll be doing a 1.5 hr ride tomorrow with some Muscle Tension intervals which basically help build strength and a 1.75 hr ride on Wednesday with some Over/Under Intervals. Check back tomorrow for an update.......

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Simply Killer!!!

Yesterday was quite the ride, 50 miles of killer hills and lots of wind!! I did the Alpine Valley course from Superweek which basically starts at the Alpine Valley Resort and does a loop around the surrounding area with lots of rolling hills and 3 really steep leg burners and needless to say my legs burned. The total elevation gain from the 50 miles is 3,757 ft. which is obviously a lot of climbing, especially for me with as bad as I'm climbing right now. When I wasn't climbing I was going in to a 25 mph headwind and I was basically right at Tempo or Steady State heart rate the whole ride. I had scheduled to do 55 minutes of Tempo but after 1 lap of the course I realized the whole ride was going to be above Tempo rate so I basically just rode it out for 3 hours and 10 minutes. My max heart rate was 188 and my average heart rate for the ride was 159 which is high but that's too be expected on this course. After the ride I didn't feel too bad, I ate a lot right away and ate quite a bit when I got home. Later in the day I just watched movies and relaxed. All in all it was a good day. Through the magic of GPS here is what the distance and elevation looked like for the ride:

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Rolling Right Along

Unfortunately yesterday's weather didn't quite cooperate so I was stuck inside on the rollers as we had temps in the low 30s with a wind chill of about 20 degrees and some flurries. I managed to get in a 2 hour ride on the rollers which was basically a scheduled Recovery Ride day which is just a nice easy ride to clean out the legs. I felt great on the bike but was a little tired overall from probably not getting as much sleep as I should be while I'm on vacation. Today I will be going out to Alpine Valley in East Troy to do about 3.5 hours with 55 minutes of Tempo on the Superweek course which is extremely hilly. I'll get in my Tempo workout and do some much needed hillwork at the same time. I'll definitely be keeping it easy on the hills as I don't want to tax myself too much and not be able to complete my 55 minutes of Tempo. The weather so far is o.k. with temps in the mid 30s and sun, and it's supposed to hit 40 so it should be a good day of riding. Well, off to ride, until tomorrow....................

Monday, March 20, 2006

Get 'Er Done!

The weather this weekend was great and I managed to really get some miles in during the two sunny days. I did a ride of 3 hours 10 minutes on Saturday and 2 hours 30 minutes on Sunday, and boy do I need the rest day today! Saturday was a good relatively rolling course to East Troy and back and there were some nice hills at the end. I did meet up with another racer on the road who humbled me pretty good up the hills and then on the flats afterwards, I definitely have some work to do. The other biker was going to be racing this year in the Masters 4/5 category also and if his skill was any indication of what I'm up against then I am in real trouble. I did accomplish my goal of doing 60 minutes of Race Simulation on the ride and it felt pretty good but I still stink up the hills. Sunday was even nicer than Saturday with highs in the low 40s and nothing but sun. I did a ride on the Root River Parkway of 2 hours 30 min with (3) 7 minute Steady State intervals. Basically I keep my heart rate right below time trial pace and do 7 minutes with equal recovery. It helps increase your Lactate Threshold and build sustained power. Today is going to be a nice Recovery Day as I am on vacation this whole week and I'll just be working around the house. Tomorrow it is supposed to snow so I'm probably going to be stuck inside on the rollers for a couple of hours and I'm hoping Wednesday that I'll get out to Lake Geneva if the weather is good and do about 3.5 - 4 hours out there. Well, pray for good weather, until next time............

Friday, March 17, 2006

Let The Good Times Roll

Last night was a really good night on the bike, 2 hours with 25 minutes of that as Tempo work. I was scheduled for 35 minutes of Tempo but that was probably a little optimistic as I only did 20 minutes the first time on Monday. The extra 5 minutes was easy but I don't know that I could have made it 10 more minutes, especially inside when I'm sweating up a storm, if I were outside I could probably do it though. Tonight is a scheduled rest day and tomorrow I'm scheduled for either 2.75 hours or 3 (don't have my schedule in front of me), hopefully it's not too windy tomorrow as they are calling for 36 degrees with 10-15 mph winds. I'm really looking forward to next week as I'll be on vacation and will be doing some longer rides around Lake Geneva and Alpine Valley. It's probably a little bit ambitious but I really need to do some hillwork and the following week is a rest week so I can relax after a hard week. Overall I think I'm on schedule for my first race on the 9th of April but I really would have liked to have more days outside than the 6 or 7 that I have been able to do. I'm going to keep up the Tempo work through April and use these early races to pretty much gauge my fitness and my competition (Cat 4/5) and hopefully by May and June I'll be flying right along. Until next time........

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Well, I'd like to say that I rode for my scheduled 1 hour 45 minute ride last night, but unfortunately I wasn't able to get in a ride due to other commitments and because I was sleepy. I had to wake up at 3:50 a.m. to be in Chicago for business and didn't get home until 6:30 p.m. so needless to say I was completely wiped out. I thought about shortening the ride but instead I did some cleaning up around the house and got to bed early. I figured there was no sense pushing myself since I was going to be vacation next week and will be riding plenty during the day while I'm off. Tonight I will definitely be riding for 2 hours with 35 minutes of Tempo and tomorrow will be a normal rest day. I'm keeping it short today, but there will be plenty more to come. Oh yeah, we are getting 3-7 inches of snow today so riding outside this weekend will be pretty difficult if they don't get the roads cleaned up well, here is a picture of the current radar.....

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

2 Hours - No Problem

I got back to my normal schedule tonight and rode 2 hours of Endurance Miles on the rollers, basically just riding a steady pace and keeping my heart rate right around 147. I definitely sweated out some of the beer I took in this last weekend at Wilderness Resort but it's going to take just a bit longer to get rid of that 5 extra lbs. of food I still have left from my buffet binge. Tomorrow will be a 1 hour 45 minute ride on the rollers again with 35 minutes of Tempo riding somewhere in the middle but it will be a struggle as I have to get up for work at 4:00a.m. to catch a train to Chicago at 5:15. Hopefully I'll get some sleep on the way back so that I'm rested up for my ride. ........I'm a little disappointed in the weather as it looks like this weekend and the following week might be a little cold and snowy. As I am on vacation next week I hope that the forecast changes because they are calling for 3-6 inches of snow on Thursday and possibly some rain and cold weather for next week. Well, time to get to bed as I have to get up in approximately 5 and a half hours..............

Time To Get In Gear!

Well, I was hoping Monday was going to be a better day than it turned out to be, but I failed to live up to what I had set out to do as far as training goes. I got my bike back last night from the bike shop and of course I didn't test it out before I left the store and when I got back home the derailleur noise that has been bugging me was still there! I almost went back but there was no way I was giving up my bike again for another 3 days. I decided to check it out on my own and after doing some extensive listening and dismantling I found that the chain was not lining up correctly when I would shift in to the 11 or 12 tooth cogs and the teeth were hitting the chain as it wrapped around the cogs. I did buy this cassette used for a pretty low price on e-bay so it's possible that the spacers that the guy sent with it aren't correct. This only happens with the 11 and 12 tooth cogs so most likely that is the issue. Unfortunately the 11 tooth cog sold on it's own is $56.00 and the spacers aren't sold separately on any of the major mail-order sites. It is a used/old cassette so I may just buy a new one but probably not for a couple of weeks. Anyway, back to the training regimen.....I was supposed to have a rest day but had to make up for missed time while on vacation so I did an hour ride with 20 minutes of Tempo work. Basically Tempo is when you keep your HR at 88% + 2-4 beats for the high range for a set duration, in this case 20 minutes. I felt great during the whole ride and had no issues keeping at the high heart rate. Tonight I have a ride scheduled of 2 hours which will just be an Endurance Mile ride and then I have some Tempo work scheduled again tomorrow. My first race is only 26 days away and I'll be doing alot more Tempo work in the next two weeks along with some long rides next week while I'm on vacation. That's it for now, check back again tomorrow for more updates!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Back To Reality

I'm back home today after 2 days away in the Dells and it's time to get back to training. Unfortunately my bike is still not back from the bike shop so I could not train today. I'm a little unhappy with the fact that I haven't been able to ride for 4 days at an important time of the year like this, but I will be riding tomorrow which is normally a rest day so that will make up for one day at least. The saving grace is that I will be on vacation from work in a week so I will be able to ride for 3-4 hours a day during my time off. Hopefully I'm not coming down with a cold or something because after getting back today I am feeling a little under the weather with a sore throat, plugged ears and a headache. I'll take my vitamins and get lots of rest the next few days to try to alleviate that. Well, tomorrow will be about a two hour ride with 40 minutes of Tempo so off to rest, and I'll update you all tomorrow.................

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Easy Rider

Wednesday night was a nice easy ride, 1.5 hours of Endurance Miles which is basically a leisurely stroll on the bike. I was scheduled for 1.75 hours but I got sidetracked a few times by phone calls and a little chain noise that I had to remedy so I cut off the extra 15 minutes and I will make that up tonight by adding 15 to my scheduled ride of 1.5 hours. My heart rate last night averaged 141 for the ride which for me is about 75% of max which isn't too bad considering I've only been riding for 3 months after a 9 year layoff. My perception of the ride was considerably less though as it seemed very easy and nowhere near 75%, I'm guessing my max heart rate isn't following the 220 - age formula but I'll know more after I actually do some controlled time trial tests once the weather gets warmer. After Wednesday's ride I've hit 1300 miles on the odometer, not bad for 3 months and 8 days. Most of the miles have come since the middle of January and February as I was only doing about 30 -45 minutes in December. Overall I'm feeling good and can't wait for the warmer weather so I can test my legs. I didn't want to post another picture of me on the rollers because who wants to see that, so I'm posting a picture of American Floyd Landis on his way to taking the overall lead yesterday in stage 3 of Paris-Nice.....

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Pushing for Power

Last night was a great night on the bike, I did a 1 hour 45 minute ride on the rollers and felt really good and had no problem finishing my intervals. I did (3) 5 minute muscle tension intervals in which I push a large gear, in this case I did 53x11 as fast as I can for 5 minutes at a time. This exercise helps build strength for pushing large gears for a short time, not to be confused with building power which allows you to push semi-large gears (53x14) for an extended time. I also did some leg presses tonight on the weight machine to help build strength but as the days get longer and the weather gets warmer I will eventually phase out the weight lifting in favor of bike specific exercises. All in all it was a really good night, I felt great on the bike, I ate well today and my weight is down to 187 lbs.. Tonight I'm scheduled for another 1 hour 45 minute ride with no specific workout, this will just be an Endurance Mile ride. Until next time.......

Monday, March 06, 2006

A Good Day For A Rest

Well, after a day in which I was supposed to do a 2.5 hour ride I got a much needed rest day today. Yes, I said that I was supposed to do 2.5 hours yesterday but never managed to get that far as I was experiencing some dizziness and had trouble getting my heart rate above 135. I did my long ride Saturday which is by far the longest I've ridden since 1996 and I didn't eat enough on Sunday to recover from that type of effort. I knew right away when I couldn't get my heart rate up that I wasn't recovered from Saturday's effort but I figured I'd keep on trying to ride. After about 45 minutes I got really dizzy and almost passed out twice. I'm attributing that dizzy spell to some dehydration and lack of caloric intake as know that I just didn't follow a good recovery diet. I ate well today and did 10 quick minutes on the rollers to check my heart rate and sure enough it was right back up to normal for my perceived effort and I was easily able to hit 158 bpm without any dizziness. I'm going to chalk yesterday up to a learning experience as even though I've raced at the highest level in the past, I still have a lot to learn about my body at the age of 32 and what I'm capable of now. Tomorrow should be a good 1.75 hour ride with some muscle tension intervals and I'm definitely looking forward to hitting the bike again. By the way, this is a picture of all the great snow that we are getting...........

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Longest ride since 1996!!

Today was a great day, 37 degrees and hardly any wind. It felt great to just ride without having to dread the weather and wonder if I can make it for more than 2 hours without losing body parts to frostbite. I was short of my goal today by 5 minutes, but I still managed to get in 2 hours and 40 minutes outside today and felt great doing it. I had no problems with the legs or lungs and had no fatigue at all today. I did 5 reps of 3 minutes each of Fast Pedaling where I basically pedal for 3 minutes at 120-130 rpms and disregard my Heart Rate in relation to my limit for Foundation Miles. All in all it went very well today.....until I stopped pedaling. Shortly after I got home I could barely walk or bend over, my back was spasming like crazy and right now it's all I can do to stand up. I took some acetaminophen and will use the heating pad on my back later. Tomorrow is supposed to be a really bad day with 2-4 inches of snow so I'll be stuck riding inside for approximately 2.5 hours, that won't be fun at all!!! Well, time to go relax in the recliner to ease my troubled back. Oh yeah, here's the food I pigged out on after my long ride, a bowl of noodles and parmesan cheese, 2 pieces of bread and honey, two waterbottles and a cereal bar....

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Nice Easy Ride

Today was somewhat of a recovery day with 1.5 hours of slow Foundation Miles and (4) 3 minute efforts of Fast Pedal. I actually slept pretty good last night and that made all the difference as I felt great on the bike today. Tomorrow will be a rest day which I will thoroughly enjoy and then Saturday I have a ride planned to the west side of Waukesha to a paved river trail and then back which should total about 2 hours and 45 minutes. It's supposed to only be 32 degrees but mostly sunny so it shouldn't be too bad. It was a short work week as I had off Monday but I'm still glad it's Friday tomorrow, the work day can't go quick enough for me. Only 18 more days until Spring AND my week of vacation! Until Saturday................

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Another Tough Day

Today was another tough day as I didn't get much sleep again last night so the fatigue was still there from yesterday and it was hard to do all 1 hr and 45 minutes but I did manage to finish. Again, I had to look somewhere for inspiration and I just basically had to convince myself that by training this hard I will make myself better than everyone else. If I quit on a ride now, so early in the year, it will make it easier to quit later. I felt guilty I guess when I started to think about stopping again today and there was no way I going to let myself do that. I'm getting ready to go to bed now and hopefully will sleep well tonight as I am extremely tired, the problem is staying asleep and getting a full 8 hours. Well, as for my progress this year, I now have 1,150 miles and counting, and at this pace will finish with 4,000 for the year which isn't too bad for my first year back. Tomorrow is a 1.5 hour ride with 4 reps of 3 minutes each of Fast Pedaling where I basically try to keep a relaxed, steady position on the bike while pedaling about 120-130 rpms. Should be fun! ....that was a joke. Actually, I love riding my bike so it really will be fun!

Frodo thinks biking is for the birds [or humans I guess]