Saturday, November 10, 2012


     This very short entry announces my (our, Marilane has agreed to see where this takes both of us) beginning into the world of no meat, no fish,no dairy, no oil, no refined sugar.  That leaves fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains.  Because we are frugal folks, we haven't tossed all our non-compliant food, but rather have eased into the program.  Today we will start restocking the pantry.  It might take several weeks to be 100%.  The meat and dairy were the easy part and are gone already.  Holidays might be a difficulty, we will see.
     The catalyst for this humongus change is my inability to lower my LDL cholesterol sufficiently with medication.  In the last eight years I have gone from zero plaque in my arteries to being in the 58 percentile for people my age.  Given the amount of physical activity I do, it is unwise to have a major artery blocked.  But there are other reasons.  I won't beat up on meat and dairy, who knows, I may be back ingesting it.
     Here is my plan: a month on the strict diet to see if there is any movement at all in my cholesterol (it doesn't have to reach my goal by then, just go in the right direction); three months to see how my overall body reacts.  If all goes as the proselytizers promise, they will have a new acolyte.  Check back regularly to see how I'm doing.

Friday, November 9, 2012


     I took Sunday and Monday off from any exercise.  Tuesday I did push-ups (Day 2 of Week Six of  attended Body Flow at Golds, and worked the weight machines.  Wednesday we had a multitude of appointments and thus I didn't ride on the most gorgeous day of the year.  My Thursday appointment cancelled, leaving me an opportunity to finally get back on the bike.
     Eventually, I'll get to the point of this entry.  Wednesday was gorgeous, Thursday was clear, but quite breezy.  I could not believe the computer readout of the heart-rate.  It was ridiculously low.  I had the wind at my back, mostly, on the way out, so speed was high (but nowhere close to a record).  It blew in my face on the way back, dropping my speed considerably.  Overall, this was the slowest ride for this course in several years.
     But, as hard as I worked on the way out and especially on the way back, my heart-rate remained low.  Average for the whole ride was only 118.  So, even if the leg muscles were complaining, the heart didn't have a hard workout.  If I had not taken a few days off, I would have worried that my Saturday TT had been too much for the heart.
     Today I went to spin class.  The wind that yesteday blew so hard in my face, had doubled by today and I happily exercised inside.  The first thing I noticed was the heart-rate read-out showing 52.  I briefly saw 48 but suspect that to be erroneous.  Even so, 52 hadn't been seen by me in maybe ten years.  As I warmed up on the bike, it remained low and only after about five minutes into the class did it even hit triple digits.  Again, with sweat rolling off me and screaming quads, my heart blissfully remained in zone 3.
So, TT results notwithstanding, it appears I have benefitted greatly from Saturday's race.  We will see if this is a very short term situation, or if I can continue to train and keep my new low.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


 Results are in and are worse than expected.  Unfortunately, I had my the correct time, at 33 minutes, 43 seconds.  In September my average speed came in at 22mph and one month later I only managed 18.6mph.  Ouch.  Last year, my time was faster than whole bunches of people.  This year, I'm toward the bottom.
     Clearly, my heart-rate was too high and my cadence too low.  In my practice rounds, average cadence was in the 82-84 range but in the race I only managed 78.  Ah well, that gives me something to work on this winter/spring.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


     After previewing the course a few weeks ago, I immediately dropped my average speed 1.5mph for this 10.5 mile course.  The departure order is based on your speed estimate, and back in August when I first signed up to ride, my practice times were consistently 22mph.  So, at 20.5mph, I estimated a 30 minute time trial.
     We are talking about November 3.  I didn't expect the temperature to be in the mid-80s with a high humidity.  I had my trainer to warm-up on, but first did a 30 minute loop around part of the course.  That may have been a mistake, because even though I didn't push very hard, I consumed a whole bottle of electrolyte and felt bushed as I came back to the car.  Plan A called for me to do 10 minutes on the trainer, getting my HR back up, and leaving another 10 minutes before the start to recover.  As it turned out, I was still recovering an hour after my warm-up.  Parking was a half mile from the start, and required going up a 10% climb, but they provided a shuttle, which kindly took Marilane and I to the start.
     Because I do my warm-up on my road bike, I took a few minutes to make sure all was well on the TT bike, riding around the park loop and shifting gears, etc.  I arrived at the start line about ten minutes prior to my appointed time.  My heart-rate just prior to the start was 108.
     The first mile is on level, smooth asphalt across Canyon Lake Dam.  Today the wind was more or less at our back for the start.  I was determined not to get overly excited and push too hard, thus leaving me out of gas half way through the race.  Even so, as I approched the end of the dam and an incline and left turn, I glanced at the computer and saw I was at 150 (90% of maximum).  This was to be expected, but I also expected it to drop to about 145 on the approaching downhill.  Alas, it never did.  I finished the race with an average HR of 153 and a max of 161 (95%) which wasn't even on the final climb.
     Back to the race.  Not even two miles into the race I passed a rider who had started 90 seconds ahead of me.  He was struggling.  Three miles into the race I got passed by the rider who started 30 seconds behind me.  Bummer!   I kept him within sight for the next four miles, but at a climb, right turn into Sattler, into the wind, he was able to accelerate on the level road and I couldn't.  One more right turn brought me to a long climb.  It is about seven-tenths of a mile long and tops out at 7%.  It was on this climb that I maxed the HR.  Then came the downhill.  On my road bike, not trying too hard, I topped 37mph, and anticipated  40mph during the race.  I had the same gears and more aerodynamic equipment.  My excuse is the wind had come up, generally in my face, but whatever the reason, my max speed was 35.4mph.
     Then came the left turn into the finishing climb.  It really is brutal.  I used all my gears and kept a steady, slow cadence.  Two folks passed me in this final stretch.  Happily, I eased over the finish line and continued onto the warm-down loop.  I kept doing the loop and monitoring the HR.  It dropped quickly to 80%, but even after five minutes wouldn't drop below the mid 120s.  Most of my training results in HR under 100 within three minutes.  I coasted back to the trailer area and Marilane called out as I passed.
     After depositing my bike on the fence, I sat down on the ground and accepted a cup of water, my Camelbak being empty.  Another five minutes and I stood and was ready to go back to the car.
     It will be a few days before the final results are posted.  Unlike last year, I didn't wait around for hours until the announced results.  Janet indicated she would stay and whatever place I finished would pick up the trophy (or medal, whatever).  As I write this the next morning, I'm still lacking energy, although not quite as sore as expected.  It was, afterall, only 10.5 miles of heavy riding, so other than the heart, the rest of the muscles didn't have that difficult a time.
Postscript, my time was about 33:45 and speed around 18.9, quite a bit slower than even my adjusted estimate.