Friday, March 26, 2010


I prefer to take a recovery type ride the day after working out with weights. But my morning went like this: 45 minutes of physical therapy exercise for my left deltoid; 30 minutes of abdominal work (it could be done in 15 but there is no rush); 20 minutes of yoga standing poses; acupuncture. Given some rest and hydration between, plus drive-time, it was noon when I returned home.
The weather forecast is wind for tomorrow and Sunday, so another tt practice is indicated for today. The thermometer registered a pleasant 75 degrees. By 1:15pm I was back in the park and warming up. Great choice!
I still couldn't hang in the 90%-plus heart-rate, and my legs certainly knew I'd worked them hard yesterday, but the clock showed times comparable to last year before the qualifiers.
A couple days ago I forgot my new tt helmet. This time I had it.
My warm-up 5k utilized the regular helmet, the serious practices had the new one. Yes, I could tell the difference, especially going into the wind. The helmet covers my ears, and even if I can't prove aerodynamics, just not having the wind noise made me feel faster.
The lesson here is not just for cycling, or even restricted to sports: Having the proper equipment makes goal achievement much, much easier. And, of course, the harder you (study) practice, the easier the test.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


The pundits are hypothesizing if Tiger can win the Masters on his first foray after his "problem." He has, afterall, had four plus months away from competition. This really isn't an editorial, but since I titled it such, I'll put in my two cents worth. Back when he started he said something to the effect of: "If I bring my A-Game, I'll win." Lack of game experience or not, if he can put distractions to the side for four days, even A- or B+ should get him another green jacket.
I, on the other hand, must bring my A game just to keep the competition in sight. That isn't going to happen on my first time-trial April 10th. Yesterday I finally got on the tt bike and did a few 5k reps. I thought it was the first time since last October, but somehow managed one on January 27th. Tiger, at least, has been practicing.
The dead calm wind,when I left the house, indicated perfect practice weather. Driving to the park, I noticed flags standing straight out. These weren't little gas station triangles, but good sized Stars and Stripes. I estimate 15mph when I started and 20mph when I quit. The bike was being blown around when the wind came from the side. Practice was cut short in the interest of safety. Don't get me wrong, it was a good workout, so I ignored the slow times, the gasping breath, the heart-rate.
I like being fast, I like being good, but most of all, I like having fun. Outcomes notwithstanding, April 10th and 11th will net me two days of fun racing on my bike. Speaking of fun, soon a group of us will begin riding the Natchez Trace. Check back later to see if expectations met reality.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


While in California I cycled with my ears stopped up. Upon arriving home I went to my ENT doctor. Here it is, three weeks later and so far no relief. Between weather, medications, and other whiney excuses, my training has suffered greatly. However, I managed to get out this past weekend for 45 miles on Saturday and talked my friend, Evelyn, into accompanying me on my 42 mile, 22 climb traditional Sunday ride. For those in the Austin area, the loop is: Raincreek, Loop 360, Bee Cave, 620, and through Balcones.
Here is where the reality check comes in. I've been riding with Evelyn for several years. Even though when we started together she was coming off a serious hip situation, and certainly not close to 100%, I was usually in the 70% range and always ahead on climbs. I felt a little dishonest in not telling her that Raincreek had two hills, 16% and 16% with a 20% ramp, just to get us started. She is familiar with 360 and 620 so they were no surprises, however she hadn't been training on hills, so this would be a good workout. I'll cut to the chase: she led me up all the hills and was kind enough to ease off the pace so I wouldn't expire.
I know she has been training hard these last few months while I made excuses, so she gets the kudos. I, on the other hand, need to get with the program. We'll be taking this ride again in a few weeks. Check back to see how we did.