Monday, January 31, 2011


Earlier this month I worried about not getting enough outside riding. Through the 16th I had less than 100 miles in 4 rides. With today's planned 32 miles, I'll come in right at 400 and will have had 11 of the 14 days outside. In addition, I've received my money's worth of gym workouts, having made 11 visits for either weights, yoga, or spin classes.
But here is how all of this came about: Last Friday I had spin class in the morning and usually that is my big workout and the afternoon devoted to abdominals and yoga standing poses. However, the weather turned so nice, I drove up to Walburg and did one lap (24 miles) of the upcoming road race. My legs were approaching jelly when I finished. No problem, I usually take Saturday's off.
The weather forecast called for rain Saturday evening lasting through the morning. That would put a crimp in my Sunday ride, so I opted for an easy Saturday 31 miles in the cloudy early afternoon. An aside: I put on my pink lenses to help visibility, but miraculously the clouds blew away. Pink lenses in the sun always make my eyes "jump" for a couple hours after I get home. A second aside: operative word "blew." My out and back course took 53 minutes out, 75 minutes back. Again, my tights held my muscles in place because surely they would have fallen off otherwise. Ah, but I had Sunday off....
The rainy weather stayed south, and Sunday morning was fine, just some clouds. I did my hill ride and am pleased to report that the legs responded nicely and my time excellent. Now I could take a few days off....
Eric sent an email asking if we wanted to ride at 11am Monday since the rest of the week would be crap. Well, I will show up and see what happens. I know I'll have Tuesday off.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Not me, my Garmin 305. 25mph, downhill, roughish road bounced my bike computer out of the holder and onto the road. Dang! It took a bit to realize what happened, stop, and walk back to the scene of the disaster. I also lost one of the buttons. Pook, ding-fu!
I originally planned to ride in the kitchen, but with the weather not as depressing as forecast, I took the opportunity to get in my hill workout. Similar to last week, except a few degrees colder, I actually felt pretty good. Until losing the computer. I gathered it up, and continued the ride.
Neither Courtyard nor Jester felt as tough as usual, but I don't have stats, only perceived exertion. Once home I emailed Garmin to see if they feel they can rehab the computer. If not, I'm in the market for a new one. Cycling goes on.
Today I really am riding in the kitchen, with my old HRM.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I've always said "make a face" but I believe "pull" a face is the same thing. In any case, last Monday was my first ugly face; I realized my first race was a month away and it is 48 miles. When in my best shape last fall, my longest race was 28 miles. Actually, the longest race I entered was 33 miles, but I was so far behind after the first 10, it turned into a training run. So, 48 is quite a stretch, especially for February. Thus I made a face and went out and rode 47 miles. The pace was pedestrian and I really just wanted to know what it felt like after a lot of time in spin class and weight training. I gave thanks for my tights, in that I'm sure they were the reason my muscles didn't fall off the bones.
The other ugly face came Tuesday morning. Monday night the weather forecast called for overcast morning and 20+mph winds starting around noon, with the temperature rising from mid-40's to mid-60's. I planned my hill ride for 10am, thus finishing at 11:30am. Early Tuesday morning my favorite weatherman opined he thought the wind would have come through by now (7:10am). So I got myself together after making a face, and managed to be ready to ride at 9am. The wind started around 8am.
Temperature on the marquee read 47F. But, putting my best spin on it, the wind out of the north gave me 30 minutes to warm up before turning back into it. That counts as "Good."
Monday's mileage and the wind in my face climbing Courtyard and Jester is the "Bad." Once again I thanked my tights for holding my muscles together.
Wednesday I previewed the race course, which is two 24 mile laps. I'm expecting the winners to come in around 2 hours 15 minutes. I did it in 3hr 10min. Hmmmmm. While that sounds bad, I'm not worried yet. My heart rate monitor showed a lot of time in Zone 3, not much time in Zone 4 and zero time in Zone 5. Three weeks to bring my speed up to something respectable.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Cycling outside being minimal and predictable this time of year, I turn to what's happening in spin class, which itself is generally without adventure (some would say boring). Yesterday had a few things out of the ordinary. First off, the Wednesday noon class is usually quite full and with the January influx of folks who made resolutions to get in shape, yesterday was over-full. They do a good job in cutting off the sign-up list at 25 (24 yesterday because we had two instructors), but # 22,23, and 24 found out that all the bikes were taken and were grousing. Our instructor has no tolerance for folks who don't use the sign-up sheet, so once it was determined who the folks were (it took a while because they claimed their bikes then left the room), they were dismissed and the bikes turned over to the signees. First time I had seen that happen.
Ah, two instructors (who could have passed for twins). They were introducing a new choreography and were truly syncronized. Plus, I can tell you now, this workout had me about ten beats higher than the previous classes. One of the regulars brought her brother to class. About ten minutes into it, a loud noise emanated from his bike. His chain had broken. Immediately, sister gave up her bike and departed the class and he readjusted hers and was back pedaling within a minute. I'd never seen, nor heard of, a chain break in class.
At the end of the workout, as we were cooling off, the instructor asked who had heart-rate monitors. Surprisingly, very few of us raised our hands. Me being closest, she asked "how much did you burn?" This is funny. I heard her words but was a tad slow in computing their meaning, and to cover up, I asked her to repeat, while I fathomed her request. I rejected if she were asking about my lactic acid build-up, then realized she was asking about calories burned. When I answered instead that my heart-rate was plus 10, she got her answer from another person: 540. My Garmin counts calories, but the HRM I use in spin class is my old one and I had to wait until I got home to check the manual to see if I mis-remembered how to access that info. Nope, it doesn't count calories.
So, here are the thoughts running through my mind: 1) More folks in class should be using HRMs; 2) Apparently lots of folks, instructor included, gauge their workout by what the computer shows as calories burned (with all that entails in terms of motivation); 3) I never look at the calories burned on my Garmin, and don't intend to start. My gauge is time-in-zone, mostly zone 4.
Seriously, if you ride a bike with some goal in mind, you need to have a measurement of how you are doing. That's why I love my Garmin, it gives me lots of data. While my prime measure is TIZ, I occasionally switch to cadence, and always in the back of my mind is overall time, but that is so dependant on weather and traffic, it is never a good indication of how hard you worked. Only when time-trialing do I look at speed.