Monday, March 31, 2008

Intervals In The Rain

Yep. I seriously HTFU today. I had a doctor's appointment this morning at 9:30am, so I slept in, got up and went to that and then decided that I needed to get these intervals out of the way.

So, at 10:30am this morning, I got my gear on and headed out into a light drizzle. The street I live on is fairly straight & flat and dead-ends, so I figured this would be a good place to do the intervals today since the roads were wet. I rode 10min out, turned around and came back. On the return trip, I got in a 2.5min zone 4/5 with decent cadence, in preparation for the real intervals. I know people were probably thinking what is that fool doing - out riding in the rain.

The intervals: 2 sets of 3x1min zone6 with 1min rest between intervals and 6min rest between sets. Wow. I went wayyyyyy too hard on the first one initially and didn't even finish it. Did a little better on the other 2 for that set. Damn. Yes, those are a bit hard. Second set was a little better - I tried to not go as hard for the first 20s, but still hard enough, and then build up to the most I could do. I might have been able to get out of the saddle towards the end of each interval for 5s or so, but on wet roads, I didn't want to do something to cause me to wreck.

Wow. When I was finished with these, I was really hurting. Probably could have used a bit more time to cool down, but in the rain, all I wanted to do was get out of the soaking clothes, empty my shoes of the water sloshing around in them, and get a hot shower. Me just after getting back home:
Yes. These were hard. Yes, I'm tired now. And, I was tired earlier. Didn't go to work today either.

#1: 248/529/106 (ap/max/rpm)
#2: 244/398/92
#3: 230/360/85
#4: 267/357/82
#5: 227/345/82
#6: 244/341/88

And, it's still raining....looks as if it will be raining again tomorrow as well. There is a narrow window of riding opportunity from 10-12, but I think I'll wait till Wednesday to get the recovery ride in - no rain then.

Did I mention that these intervals were hard???? I bet Thursday's intervals are going to be worse!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Intervals Are On The Menu

I've got some new stuff to do now! The mentor guy changed up my training to include some new seriously painful interval work. I'll be doing this from now until the Burnsville Metric and then again starting about a month prior to Assault on Marion.

Zone 6 - anaerobic capacity work. Go as hard as I possibly can for the interval duration, minimal rest, repeat. 2x/week. Long tempo rides on the weekend, which for me, I want to be in the 4hr range starting next weekend and work up to 5hr or more by AoM.

Mondays: 2 @ 3x1min z6, 1min rest. 6min rest between sets.
Tuesdays/Wednesdays: one day will be an easy zone 2 recovery ride, 1.5 - 2hr, one day totally off bike.
Thursdays: 2 @ 3x30s z6, 30s rest. 3min rest between sets.
Fridays: probably off or a zone 2 recovery ride, 1.5 - 2hr.
Saturdays: long zone 3 tempo ride. i'll be starting at 4hr length and working up to more time in the saddle in preparation for AoM and other longer rides.
Sundays: zone 2 recovery ride, half the duration as Saturday's ride.

This stuff will, hopefully, help me get faster and also help to be able to recover more quickly (I think). If this dang rain would just stop now....(yea, I know we need the rain, but it's seriously messing with the training). I may have to learn to ride when the roads are wet....

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Results Are In

For the bloodwork done this past Wednesday. The numbers are looking pretty good - I do wish the cholesterol was a little lower, but otherwise I guess the numbers are ok.

Glucose: 77 (2006-87)
Cholesterol: 186 (2006-185)
Triglycerides: 69 (2006-82)
HDL: 88 (2006-71)
LDL: 84 (2006-97)

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Lesson In Patience....

Today's lesson in learning patience is to get to the goodness that's found inside this grapefruit sitting on my desk. I've tried before, to peel it and it is very frustrating! Damn thick peel. So, brought the good knife with me to work today and I'm gonna skin this thing at lunch for my afternoon snack.

There's got to be an easier way! But, damnit, patience will prevail! :)

Yes!!! A sharp knife and patience have prevailed!! That grapefruit is h.i.s.t.o.r.y. I might have to have another one later tonight.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Foods Today--'s been suggested that the fatigue & tiredness I'm feeling could be coming from the fact that I'm not eating enough in my efforts to lose weight, specifically, this last 8-9 pounds to reach a weight goal I set for the Burnsville Metric. I have to choose between fast weight loss & poor cycling performance Vs. slower weight loss & better cycling performance. I can't have both.

Today, I chose the later, even though I want to lose it quickly, I'm not prepared to sacrifice my cycling performance any longer. That's really hard....I probably haven't been eating more than 850 to maybe, and I mean maybe, 1000 cal/day. I didn't really feel like eating this evening but I did. And, I used Fitday PC to log what I've eaten today. Grand total of 1143 calories. I feel like a slug I've had too much to eat.

I'll give this (eating more) a try for the next couple of weeks, but if I start to gain weight, well, something will have to change.......

Rest, Recover, Get Stronger

That's it. After looking at my ride data for the past 3 weeks, I believe it's time for an easy week. I've had consecutive weeks of increasing mileage (100, 110, & 164mi) and I'm really tired now.

I went out last night to the Oh Melo Velo/Slow Spokes ride in Cary, planning on doing an easy recovery-type ride. The fast guys (18/19+) took on off and I made no attempt to tag along this time. Hooked up with Jon, who had just ridden 45mi before this ride, and we rode for several miles together. He turned around before heading up this really steep short hill and I kept going. I climbed that monster better than I have before but decided that I should not attempt to go any further...well, went on out to Hwy 55 and then headed back. A few people commented on how tired I was looking....yea, I am tired. Had the usual 2 Blue Moons & a portobella sammich w/salad at the post-ride chow & guzzle. I think if I don't make the rest of this week easy, that I'm going to see that performance loss and I will get frustrated. Gotta ride smart.

So, I'm going to finish this week out with zone2 rides, maybe work on the cadence some, take Saturday off and then do the pre-ride of the Crowder's Mtn Metric on Sunday. And, I need to get to bed by 11pm, not 11:30pm or 12am. I don't get enough rest and I can't sleep in till 8am every morning..

Rest, Recover, Get Stronger.

That will leave 4 weeks until the Burnsville Metric. 3 weeks of increasing mileage/hard workouts and then the week before Burnsville will be an easy week. I'd like to have 3, but at least 2, rides with climbing in them before BM. I'll get one of those this weekend, Crowder's Mtn (3000'), then again on 4/13, and maybe a trip to do some of the Triple Hump route for the last ride.

*Edit* Ride Smart. ^RRGS. I had to make a decision based on being smart, getting rest/recovery to get stronger. I'm bailing on the pre-ride of Crowder's Mtn metric on Sunday. I most likely will feel like I can do the ride, but in the best interest of my cycling, I decided to not do that ride this weekend.

So, I'm going to take it easy the remainder of the week, zone 2 rides of an hour, work on the cadence a bit, then be ready to hit it hard again for the next 3 weeks.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

VO2max Intervals Hurt. But - I like the Pain!

OK...well, I'm not exactly ready to go to the mentor/coach and tell him "you can say 'I told you so' just yet"....but, my ass dropped like that (snaps fingers) in the first 5min of the ride! It was pretty cool (temp-wise) and along with the fast pace....the Exercise Induced Asthma kicked in pretty quick.

Shit. I could not get any air in on that short climb up to Thanksgiving Road. 2 of the guys waited on me, but I just couldn't catch them - I motioned for them to just go on....I couldn't get any air in my lungs. Damnit. But, I told Lawrence I wouldn't be riding very far with them....I turned off on Antioch to do my intervals. Remember - you NEVER skip intervals.

6x3min intervals at VO2max with 5min rest between each one. Good googley mooogley!!! They were hard. I also tried to do some last minute, those hurt like crap!!! Started out trying 10s sprints, but couldn't do that. Dropped back to the last 5s and was barely able to complete them. Fark. Hard as hell.

Damn. I soooooooooooooo want to ride with these guys. But, sad as it is, I don't think I'm ready for this pace. I'm a 17-18mph rider. I am positive that on longer rides, I can do this pace. Not so sure I can do 18+ though. Right now, these guys are doing 19+ probably. I just can't do that. I don't know...I'm not giving up yet. It's soon to be 'that time of the month' and maybe that's affecting me somewhat....I don't know.

Monday, March 24, 2008

What's Up This Week??

Hmmm...I think NOT 164 miles this week! Holy Cow! I went to bed last night at 10pm, took a Melatonin (cause as tired as I was I knew I wouldn't sleep well), and didn't get up till around 8am today. And, here I am posting from work and I'm still tired. I could go home and take a nap.

Monday: Nothing. Total rest today.
Tuesday: I need to do intervals, 6x3min VO2max. Hammers ride tomorrow too. Might ride with them for 20min or so for a warm up then head off on my own to do the intervals.
Wednesday: This will need to be an easy day - recovery from Hammers/intervals.
Thursday: Definitely participate in the full Hammer ride today. Goal is to stay with them the whole ride this time. Meh - if not, just keep coming back. At least I'll get pushed beyond my limits trying to keep up.
Friday: Should be a day off, but since the temps are going to be in the high 70's (possibly 80F!) I think I'll do an easy ride today, zone2 with some Powerstarts.
Saturday or Sunday: Depending on the weather I'm going to go pre-ride the Crowder's Mtn metric route. Solo, unless I get some takers from around home or someone meets me out there from that area.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I'm Officially

Tired. I did a short 24mi zone2 ride this afternoon and after about 20-25 minutes, I could tell that I really didn't have anything in my legs. Had a slight headwind to ride into heading to Micro, got there, turned around (no stop) and headed back. Some tailwind, some cross winds. Damn I'm tired and am I about there? was all I could think about.

Got passed by this guy on the way back too. Some sort of tri-guy...he was wearing a full Hammer kit and had on a dang TT helmet (I think!). That got the competitive spirit going, but it didn't last long. I tried to catch him, but I just didn't have anything left in the tank.

So, my plans for going to the gym tomorrow evening are canceled now. My legs need some serious rest. That dang FTP test on Friday fried my legs. Wow. That thing was brutal.

I'm Officially Registered For

Assault on Marion!! Rider Number 1300!

Oh Boy! 11 more weeks! Damn. I hope I'll be ready for this ride. No. There's no 'hope' to it. I will be ready for this ride.

That's all for now :)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Quote Of The Day....


Yep...I was talking with the mentor guy mid-week, after my first ride with The Hammers, expressing my desire to ride with them today for 60+ miles. His comments were that maybe I should re-think this idea because I got dropped the last 15min of the ride on Tuesday and I've only done 1.5-2hr at a pace greater than 18.5mph (around 30 miles)...."You need to remember to ride smart and not over do it. That can lead to loss of performance and more frustration."

I'm hard-headed though...Talked to the Hammer ride leader before the ride and he and another guy say that if I'm never pushed beyond my limits I won't ever get 'there'. So, I said OK. Oh Boy!! The first 20-30 minutes was into the wind at a 20+mph pace!!! Where's the fire???? Why are we going so farkin' fast???? Damn. I knew that I would not be able to maintain this pace for 60+ miles. I took a very short pull, maybe 30 seconds, rotating to the back, but hell, they were going so damn fast, me and 3 other guys fell off the back of the group after about 13.5 miles. We decided that we would turn around and head back - all 3 of us didn't have the legs for that pace/distance. 1 went on....

So....I did ride smart today and didn't over do it (by too much:)). I realized my limitations and quit before I got in way over my head & got dropped somewhere down in the Princeton/Goldsboro area. That would've sucked big time - 30+ miles from my car, alone, and riding back into the damn wind. No thanks.

I'll probably get out tomorrow afternoon for an easy's actually been a pretty hard week for me...141 miles/8hr40min for the week. And, the way TrainingPeaks does the week (Mon-Sun), I'll have around 160+ miles for this past week after tomorrow's ride. More of the same to come next week plus a pre-ride of Crowder's Mtn Metric is on the agenda for next Saturday.

Hammer ride leader just called to check up on me (4pm). That's sweeet. Those guys did 65mi today, had a headwind on the way back in and STILL averaged 19.5mph. He said that the wind slowed them down a little bit /rolleyes/. If a 20+mph pace is their average in the OFF-Season, ain't no way in hell I'll be riding with them this summer. They'll kick it up to 22+mph for summer rides most likely.

Oh well. Something to strive for I suppose. I told him to give me a call for the Tu/Th rides and that I could probably ride with them one of those days but not both. Don't want to do too much too soon.....

Friday, March 21, 2008

FTP Re-test

Repeated my field test for threshold power this afternoon. O.M.G. This was the hardest one that I've done by far since the first one in November. I guess I might have gone too hard/fast the first 10min because I had a lot of trouble focusing and maintaining for the last 8 to 10 minutes. There was a bit of coasting during this time because I just couldn't continue.

I finished up right before crossing I-95 into Kenly and had to just lay on the handlebars for a couple of minutes before attempting to even get off the bike. When I did try to get off I almost fell off. I had nothing left, couldn't have gone a bit further I don't think. This time, I seriously did think about calling SAG to come get me. But, after resting a bit, eating a gel, drinking some fluids, I decided to ride on back to the car.

My next test will be when I do the first TT in CLT on 4/09. I'm looking forward to the TT, but not the pain it will require to complete. Damn - I absolutely hate this test.

November/December test numbers: NP/AP=181/180, 19.5mph, 88rpm. 182/180, 20.1mph, 96rpm.
March test numbers: NP/AP=193/190, 20.8mph, 94rpm.

Not sure for tomorrow's ride...Hammers might be too much for me after today's ride. May have to stick with the original plan & ride with Jay & Tommy.....

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

First Hammer Ride!

First ride with ‘The Hammers’ last night. These guys generally ride pretty fast during the riding season – 20+mph averages, but right now they are taking it ‘easy’ and only doing around 18-19mph!

We rolled out around 5:40pm for a 28mi ride. Headed out from Archer’s Lodge down Covered Bridge to Thanksgiving and rode Thanksgiving all the way to Hwy 39. They opened up a gap on me in the climb up to Thanksgiving, but I caught back up with them after the turn and didn’t have any problem keeping up with them for the remainder of the ride.

We mostly rode double paceline and occasionally single and not much rotating through. I think these guys were just cruising tonight. We had one stop at 14.5 miles for some stretching, then it’s back in the saddle and hammer out till we reach Antioch Church Road. I knew this was going to be my downfall so I just said the heck with it after we crossed Hwy 39 and took the lead up the first little grade. Me and another guy leading out…and I refused to be beaten to the crest. I’m pretty sure he could’ve beat me (these guys are all really strong and wowza! You should see the calves on these guys!!!), but I guess he just let me go.

That was it then. My legs were cooked especially after the 51mi ride the day before and not getting the proper recovery meal in afterwards (unless you want to count the 2 Old Scratch beers I had /rolleyes/). A couple of downhills and I stuck like glue to Jay’s wheel for the one between Hwy 39 & 96. On the climb after 96 I was able to stay with Jay for a short distance, but my legs were killing me and I just couldn’t.

The Hammers do not wait on you if you get dropped. I got dropped on Antioch. It was getting a bit dark by this time and Jay waited on me at Thanksgiving and we rode back together until the last climb on Covered Bridge. I just rode it at my pace – no need to kill myself now.

It was a great ride, I think I did pretty dang good till the end. 28.5mi, 17.7mph average (18.3 till Antioch). I’ll probably try to ride with them once a week. Maybe on Thursday’s because Jay says that is their easier ride (Hammer City on Tuesday’s).


Monday, March 17, 2008

Week of March 17...

Probably going to be an easy to moderate week for me this week. I want to do a re-test for my FTP on Saturday, which means taking Thursday and Friday off from riding. I have the day off today and it is beautiful here today! But, the wind is kicking up around 11mph with gusts up to 27mph! I so want to get out this morning and ride! What would the mentor or Jay say? HTFU. Yea, I know I should. I could probably ride this evening, but there's the possibility of taking my son out to dinner for his birthday, so I can't count on that. It's 10:25am. Time to woman-up and get my stuff together and go ride damnit!

So, today - going to head out when I finish this and ride the Frostbite 40mi route. Possible afternoon mtb ride with my friend Jay at Umstead.

Can I get a Hell Yes???!!!! I sucked it up and went out this morning around 11am to ride the Frostbite 40mi route. But, once I started, I just made the route up on the fly, depending on the wind. I hate the wind. But, I rode into it quite a bit. Rode out to Lake Wendell Rd/231 and headed towards Middlesex. Rode up Flower Hill 2x. I did much better on it this time - could have been that I didn't have many miles in my legs that made the difference...Left that and rode the Frostbite in reverse, out to Shoeheel and back around. Old Cletus told me to tell my 'husband' that he said Hi. LOL.

Got back to Archer's Lodge and I had around 43 way did I want to end at 43, so I thought I'd ride just a bit more and get 45....reached 45 and said, hell, just go on and get 50 in today. Ended up with 51.3 miles, 15.5mph average. A bit slow for me, but considering the wind, I'll take it.

I know one thing - my hydration was not good enough for this ride. I started to feel bad in my legs after about 2hrs and struggled a bit the remainder of the ride. I stopped several times to stretch and that seemed to help a lot. Only drank 2 bottles - 1 of Cytomax, 1 of water and 2 gels. Had a banana for breakfast. I didn't have enough to drink yesterday, maybe 90oz of water. I need to make sure that I get at least a gallon in before rides like this and a bit more pasta the evening before.

Kicking back right now with an Old Scratch Amber Ale and listening to a bit of Kid Rock....

Tomorrow, I'm going to go ride with The Hammers. I should be able to hang with them if I don't take any pulls or if I do pull it can only be very briefly. They ride at the kind of pace Andy & I rode the first 1.5hr of the Frostbite Tour. I can do that. Most likely, this ride will be in the high zone 3 or even a zone 4 ride for me.

Wednesday - not sure what I'll do...initially, the weather was going to be rainy, but now, it's changed to 26mph winds! Maybe it won't be so bad in the evening and I can get out for a zone 2 ride.

Damn that wind!!! /mad/ Suck it up!!! Go ride!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Today's Ride

First - I did VO2max intervals yesterday evening. This new bike set-up is working pretty good right now. Went over to the Clayton Bypass to do these intervals. I really like doing them here because I can do them on a nice grade (~4%) and it helps to keep the power more constant. The ones I did earlier this week were on flat roads and though they were just as hard, I find it easier on a grade. Anyways...The first one, as usual, was started too hard/fast, a bit of trouble on the 2nd/3rd, and then I tried to do the last one as hard as possible..

#1: 222/100 (ap/rpm's)
#2: 188/101
#3: 199/102
#4: 201/100

Would ya look at that first one??!!! Damn. I just need to keep them in the 210 range when I do them (if possible) as this would be right in the middle of my zone5.

On to today......

Invited a friend that was visiting his parents this week (he's home from spring break at ASU) out to ride today. We planned on doing around 50 miles, but when we got to the start, some of my 'faster' friends were there and were going to do a 40 and 65 mile route. These guys are called 'The Hammers'. We opted to ride with them for the 60+ mile ride.

We were able to stay with them for all of about 11 miles! The pace was a bit much for my friend, who, because of the weather in Boone, hasn't been putting in a lot of miles. We took a short pull, but not short enough and his legs were done. That was ok though. We were off the back of the group pretty quickly.

Ended up riding down to Princeton and from there wound our way over to Pine Level. During all this 'winding', my friend kept having trouble on any of the grades we hit. The grades around Clayton are pretty dang flat!. Anyways, we stopped a couple of times for stretching and slowed down a bit more, but it didn't help. His legs were done. So, I called in SAG to come get us.

The kid (20yo) did well though for not having much riding in his legs this year. When we got back to the cars, The Hammers were there and we talked with them a bit. They are starting to ride on Tuesday/Thursday next week and invited me to ride with them. I think it will be good for me. A good zone 4 ride, hang on for as long as possible, repeat the next week. Eventually, I'll get to where I can hang on for the whole ride.

I ended up with 40 miles, 17avg. I was going to go out and get in another 20-25 miles after we got back to the cars, but about 3 miles into that ride, it starts to rain. And, I'm cold. So, turn around and head back to the car and done for the day.

Sidenote: I got the results from the bloodwork...I'm normal. Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium are all normal. Means that I'm not properly hydrated when I ride is most likely the culprit of the cramping. I drank a little bit over a gallon of water on Friday plus a huge plate of linguini w/shrimp & tomato sauce at lunch. I felt really good today:). No cramps.

Friday, March 14, 2008

It's Friday!

Yay! It's finally Friday! It has been one hellacious week this week. A bit of riding this week, though I tried to keep it on the easy side since my calf is sore and I have the new bike set-up going on.

Monday was VO2max intervals. 4x3min w/ 5min rest. Mentor is dropping the rest time down on me! Felt pretty good doing them even though I didn't eat hardly anything all day long. They were ok, though the mentor says they were good. Cadence wasn't where it should've been, but whatever. 209/100, 200/85, 192/100, 197/100, and 188/96. The last one was a 'just for the hell of it' one, because when I finished the 4th one, wasn't really sure that I felt like doing another one...

Tuesday no riding.

Wednesday was just a zone 2 easy ride that turned a bit hard the last half. The first 15mi I had a really nice tail wind from the Grocery Bag all the way to Cletus' little store at Shoeheel. 20mph avg! W00t! Wish I could do that all the time. The last half then, of course, was into the wind. That sucked big time. 1:40 ride time.

Thursday was my son's birthday, he is now 17yo. After doing the birthday thing with him, I hung around the house a bit, but just couldn't stand was like 70 something outside so I just had to go for a short ride. Another zone 2 ride and really short because I started so late (6:30pm). Only 10 miles, but I worked on keeping my cadence above 95 (97avg). Did one PowerStart for 718w.

And, now here we are at Friday! I'm thinking about going out to the Bypass and doing some VO2max intervals again. With the new bike set-up, I'm interested in seeing if those numbers (or any interval number, i.e. zone 4) will be slightly higher since I will be able to incorporate more quads into the pedal stroke.

Tomorrow's plan is for something around 52-62 miles riding from the Grocery Bag....

Oh yea...I think I'm going to go and do the Crowder's Mountain Metric ride on 04/13 since I don't think I can do Tour de Cashiers at this time.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

New Set-up

Yesterday, I brought my bike with me to work with the plan being to change out the stem & seatpost during lunch, then ride after work/PT. Got the 'before' measurements then put the 'new' stuff on. Seatpost looks nice, even though it's silver instead of black. Stem looks good too. But, I have a problem....I can't get the damn front end from having movement fore/aft after tightening the compression plug then the stem bolts. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. I followed two different sets of instructions (Park Tool site & friend) and I just can't get it right.

I guess when I do get this fixed, I should try to have a bit of control and not do rides that are too long or set-up could take a little bit of time to become adjusted to and I need to be careful and not get hurt. Yea, Yea, Yea, I know...I'm already slightly hurt. But, the hurt I have now is not really the same as what I had last May. This hurt is sore hamstrings/calf from the recent adjustments. If I didn't get hurt riding the Ring of Fire, then I can't see how riding Burningtown caused me to get hurt.

So, that inability to get the front end from wiggling and not riding put me in a pissy mood yesterday...farkin' beautiful day and I didn't get to ride. Damnit. And, now, today, it's going to be something like 72F here. I'm going to take it up to the Trek store at lunch and see if Matt can fix it and/or show me what I am doing wrong. I hope there's not something messed up....knowing the kind of luck I have though, I've probably messed something up. I really need to get out and ride...the stress is bringing me down big time now.

I'm about to the point where I can not deal with this shit anymore. Some people know what I'm talking about....something has got to change and soon. Leave or stay? I don't know. Staying is making me F'ing miserable right now. HTFU. Just do it. Damn. *sigh*

Monday, March 10, 2008


A new week, but nothing really new. My right hamstring is still a bit sore, the medial joint line of right knee still hurts a bit. It just sucks big time right now and not just the knee/leg problems. Just everything. I don't think the actual mountain ride was the cause of the pain I'm having now...I think it was the lowering of the saddle that 0.5cm and then doing that ride. But, I'm going to leave it there for now, as it does feel a bit more comfortable than before.

I think I also need to work on strengthening the hamstrings and the VMO (
vastus medialis obliquus) muscle. Stretching is just going to have to become a habit 'cause sitting at this damn desk/computer all day does nothing but hurt the situation. I am getting up and stretching the hammies just about every hour. And back on the 800mg of ibuprofen. *sigh*

I managed to do some powerstarts yesterday...had a max power of 780w. I want to break 800w. Might try again on Wednesday. Think I probably need to make sure I use just a bit easier gear so that I can get the cadence up into the 90's instead of the low 80's or lower. Well, see. Might try a long ride on Saturday. I haven't ridden long since the Frostbite Tour and I really need to ride long just to do it and to get away.

Dang. I am in serious need of some hugs. :( I don't feel like writing any more about riding right now, except to say I should have a package in the mail this offset seatpost. Hope there are some instructions on what I'm supposed to do as far as set up...

Friday, March 7, 2008

Cramping Issues

Well, I’ve decided to go see my PT this afternoon. The cramping that I had on the Frostbite Tour and my recent mountain ride has left my calf/knee/hamstring really hurting. I have been stretching since the Frostbite, but it’s not helping a lot right now. Hurts like the dickens right now. Well, I suppose it (stretching) is helping, but I need to go see Matt and let him work his magic. It’s going to hurt like hell this afternoon.

Damnit. My hamstring hurts. Medial side of knee hurts. The tendonitis/bursitis has really flared back up. Matt wants to see me for 5 visits. Deep massage, ultrasound, & ionophoresis to get some steroid stuff into the painful/inflamed area. He did suggest or mention that I could get a shot (still doesn't recommend it) and then a step-down steroid to help with reducing the inflammation. Doesn't really like that idea, because he knows I won't stop riding and that it may just do more harm because I'll be feeling good and work harder.

He would really like for me to take a couple of months off - no riding what-so-ever and maybe this would really heal. I just can't do that right now. Can't or won't? Doesn't matter. It's not happening right now. He will try to 'enable' me so that I can continue riding this spring/summer/fall, but really suggests that I take off from around Thanksgiving till maybe the first of February and heal. I don't know...if I can make it until then I might think about it.

Such a bummer. I can't stop riding. I would be 10x as cranky as I am now. This is my only way to relieve the personal (& work related) stress that just piles up on me. Damnit.

The cramping is really annoying. I’ve never had problems like this before with cramping. After about 30-35mi, I start cramping in my right inner calf. Always starts on the right side. Sometimes, I can get it to stop or lessen, but lately I’ve not had any such luck. This past Sunday on the Burningtown route, I started getting the cramps in both calves after, probably 2 hours of riding. It then, as usual, progressed up my leg to the VMO muscle. So, if I got out of the saddle to climb, my right quad would start to cramp. Makes climbing really hard. After the ride was very bad. Got back to the car and as soon as I did, I had a cramp in my right quad even before getting off the bike. Then another one in the left quad. Damn, those suckers hurt!

Could be that the cramping is caused by the weight loss that’s occurring. And, since I’m not eating a whole lot, I’m sure that there’s some deficiencies in some key minerals. Probably dehydration as well because I’ve been very slack about drinking my water too. But, since this past Sunday, I have stopped drinking the diet Sundrop and replaced it with water. I was consuming probably 2 -2.5 20oz bottles a day and no water. I’m now doing at least 72oz of water a day (no Sundrop’s) and adding Lite Salt to my food. Hopefully, that will help some.

I’m also making some changes to the fit on the bike…this might have a little bit to do with the hamstring soreness. Lowered my saddle 0.5cm to help get my foot in a more level position as I pedal instead of the toe-down pedaling I have been doing. It could be that the toe-down pedaling is contributing to the calf cramping. But, I really think it’s more due to lack of proper minerals/vitamins and dehydration that I’ve been having such problems with cramping.

I do have an appointment with my regular doctor on Monday concerning the weight loss. He’s aware of it and I’ve been under his supervision (somewhat) since August of last year. I hope to be down to some respectable weight (155-160 pounds) by June and will discontinue the meds & weight loss then. That will be soooo nice to be that slim again! Anyways, maybe I need to supplement the diet with some vitamins or something else – blood test needed to check for deficiencies?? Yuck, I hope not. Needles=bad.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

New Chain Ring FTW!!

I've had some problems recently with my chain coming off the big ring when trying to do PowerStarts in a 50/13-14 or so combo. Finally decided, after noticing that some teeth on the ring looked like some metal was shaved off, to get a new 50t ring, cassette & chain. I'm full SRAM now. No Shimano on the bike now.

Anyways, I put this stuff on last night and planned on doing a zone 2 ride this evening. Figured that I would also try some PowerStarts to see if the chain came off. !!W00t!!! This fixed it! I was able to do them in the 50/13 combo. Yay!! If it doesn't rain Saturday, I'm going to try to do them again, but in a slightly easier gear - 50/15, so that I can get the cadence up to 95+. I am thrilled!!

New Kid, Mechanics & Set-up

Well, the ride with the new guy on Monday wasn’t too bad. He’s a strong rider or I was just really tired. I vote for the latter. Good grief! This guy is really young! 24yo and really tall. Probably about 6’4” and skinny as a rail. How skinny? Ummm, like a Rasmussen type of skinny! Seriously – he can’t weigh much more than 165-170 pounds. We rode up to Falls Lake, near Blue Jay Point and then back down Six Forks/Strickland to the start point. It was a good ride, but my legs were not recovered from the mountain ride and every hill burned like crazy. No problem keeping up with him on the flatter sections and I could keep up with him on the hills until the last third, then just blow up.

This kid has the same surge that everyone else I ride with has – as they come to the crest of the climb they just seem to accelerate over the top. The one (of many) thing that I’m not able to do at this time. Damnit. But, it is something that I will start working on more diligently. Must learn to ride more conservatively on the bottom third of the climb, pick it up a bit on the middle third, and on the last third pick up the pace a bit more…practice, practice, practice. Very frustrating – these climbs are.

I finally got around to changing out the 50T chain ring, cassette, and chain on my bike. It appears that there is a piece missing on the old ring – a pin of some type that keeps the chain from coming off to the outside. Doh! The new ring has this pin, old one just has a hole where this pin used to be. It was a farkin’ PITA to get those chain ring bolts out, but I finally did. My hands are so sore this morning and I ruined a shirt last night getting grease on it. Oh well. It was actually sorta fun to do. No other way to learn. The cassette was a breeze to replace. The chain, well, I used the same length as the old one, but I cannot get the Power Link to install correctly. It won’t close completely. I’ll be going to the LBS at lunch to get it fixed and make sure everything is ok before riding this afternoon.

Going to be a tough week…high cadence drills this afternoon, tomorrow will be either 4x6min or 3x8min zone4 intervals (probably should do the 8min ones), then on Friday it’s GASP!!! 5!!!x3min VO2max intervals. 5!!! I’ll probably really suffer with these (no probably to it – I will). But, if you’re not hurting you’re not working hard enough! I figure I need to do these at least once a week and work up to doing more. Or decrease the length and increase the frequency of these.

Oh yea, going to make a few changes to the bike setup after my ride Sunday with Andy & his friends. One of the guys used to coach and he had a couple of suggestions for increasing my power or efficiency on the bike. He seems to think that I need to move the saddle forward about an inch, which will allow me to put more power into the pedal stroke. Suggested, during our ride to scoot forward some on the saddle, but this just wasn’t comfortable – felt too scrunched up. So, will have to make changes to the setup and hope it helps.

Since I have a setback seat post, I don’t have enough room to move the saddle forward an inch. This means that I will have to get a new seat post with 0 setback and a new stem. I picked up the stem yesterday – a 110mm! It seems really long compared to the 90mm that I currently use. I’ll just have to borrow one (seat post) for now before I buy one to make sure this is going to work. Hopefully, I can get these changes done this week and try it out on Saturday.

Got some new tunes for my iPod to use for climbing. Well, they’re not “new” new, but new additions to what’s currently on the Pod. I’m going to try these when climbing: Everybody Hurts/REM, Closer/NIN*, Hey Man Nice Shot/Filter, MeatPlow/STP, and The End/The Doors. *NIN=Nine Inch Nails. AC/DC is good, but it’s not working any more….

Monday, March 3, 2008

650 miles - I'm certifiable

Yep. I'm certifiable. Crazy. 650 miles roundtrip to do a 46 mile group ride in Franklin. 66F, beautiful sunny skies! What more could you ask for??

I was up visiting my Dad in Valdese and had planned on riding Hwy 80 from Marion, up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Once that far, I would decide whether to turn around or maybe ride towards Mt Mitchell. So, I planned on riding up that way this weekend, just hadn't planned on the Franklin trip. But, it's all good.

My uncle was visiting my Dad Saturday evening and wanted to see my bike. I take it out of the car, bring it inside to show him. I then notice that there's movement in the fork/stem area. WTH? I think maybe I just didn't get the compression plug tightened enough after I removed a spacer. I tighten a little bit more. Nope. That didn't fix it. I didn't know you had to put that spacer back on the top under the cap when you removed them..Doh!

So, I get up with my friend Andy and tell him what's going on & ask if it's safe to ride...He tells me that he wouldn't ride it like that - it's not safe. OK. Great. Now what the hell do I do?? I ended up driving 1:45hr Sunday morning, meeting him in Sylva and he added a spacer which fixed the problem. So, now I'm out there, might as well do the group ride. I'm not going to be in the mountains and not ride! No way!

We meet a couple of his friends about an hour before the actual group ride and get a nice little warm-up in. I felt pretty good except that I couldn't breath too well. The cold air just makes my lungs close up. I drank a Coke and that seemed to help.

The rest of the group arrives and we head on out to do the Burningtown Loop. I really like that route! I did pretty well on the route - falling behind on the climbs as usual, but able to keep up fairly well on the flatter sections. One point, in the beginning of the ride, we're all descending and I'm trying to catch a couple of the guys. Tucked really tight, coming up on a curve...uh oh!! That curve is way sharper than I realized!! Hit the brakes! Lock/skid the rear wheel! When I feel it skidding, I let off the brakes and thought I might be able to make the turn, but I couldn't 'cause I still had too much speed. Damn. OK. Up that driveway then. I'm glad the driveway was there instead of some drop-off down the side of the mountain!!! Sheesh. Hop off the bike walk it down the drive and play catch up again. Smelled like burning brakes!

Other than that little incident I had a great time. The climbs were, as usual, hard for me, but they were not as hard as the last time I rode that route. I guess I'm getting stronger. Plus, the weight loss is bound to be helping too. The only big problem I had was cramping again. I farkin' hate it. Every damn ride I do lately, I'm cramping. Starts in my right inner calf, then the left one. Then my right VMO muscle when I stand to climb. Killer quad cramps after the ride yesterday.

Thinking back...most of this cramping has happened since I've been losing weight...from about August of last year. Suggestions I've got are to start adding Lite Salt to my diet, taking a vitamin, and making sure I'm getting hydrated. I fail on all three of those things currently. I did add the Lite Salt to my eggs this morning and had a V-8. Got a 32oz bottle of water at the desk too. I've got to get that solved.

So, it was a great weekend! 7 hours driving yesterday, 3 hours cycling. LOL. What I do for a ride in the mountains. I seriously need to win that $173 million dollar lottery so I can quit work and move to the mountains :) And buy a new bike :) I might just buy a new bike if I lose another 23 pounds.