Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Training Ride - Wednesday, 30 June

Today I rode out of the Highlands again. It was basically the same route as last Wednesday, with a few different turns here and there. I felt really good and rode faster than I did last week. I was actually very surprised to see that. After Monday's ride I was hoping for a good outing today, and I'm pleased that I had one--on paper, at least. I ran this morning--Starburst and I thought today would be a good one for Office Dog Day, so Sikari and I ran the mile and a half into school. We made good time, but it killed my legs. I'm glad I ran, but the lesson is that it's a bad idea to run on a ride day. And it's especially bad to run cold on any day. So my legs were lead for the ride, but it was enjoyable all the same. Definitely an improvement over Monday.

Maximum speed: 36.6 mph
Average speed: 13.1 mph
Distance: 25.44 mi
Time: 1.55.40

Also, on a personal note, I'm happy to report that I've left the weight loss plateau and am down 3-4 pounds since returning from break.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Training Ride - Monday, 28 June

Today was a terrible ride. I'm just going to put it out there. I hated it. Reasons it, and therefore, I, was so miserable:

1. I mistook "GA Tech-Vinings Recovery Ride" to be just that, and did not expect constant hills to climb.
2. I left at around 2:30p, and it was very very hot and sunny. With about 4 miles left to get back to Tech I ran out of water and Gatorade.
3. I got lost (or at least couldn't find my correct turn) no fewer than 3 times. Each time I missed a turn meant that I had to climb a hill again. One street I went up and down two times and couldn't find it. At that point I called the ride quits (it was about halfway anyway) and turned around (and missed my turn on the way back).
4. I had problems shifting the whole ride: after adjusting the front derailleur last Sunday, I now have difficulty shifting to the middle from the big AND from the small rings.
5. I had constant trouble unclipping from my pedals, making stops treacherous and frustrating.
6. I could hardly hold up my head, my neck was so sore and stiff. I have gotten a stiff neck in the past, but never so quickly into a ride. I attribute it this time to be partially due to the climbs and having to hold my head differently to see uphill and partially due to the fact that I jacked my shoulders on Saturday filling my tires with the crappy pump.

I basically was constantly yelling at the hills, my shoes, the bike, my neck, everything. I was angry and frustrated and angry. Fury doesn't describe it. It was hatred of the whole thing.

Basically, it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad ride. It was slow, it sucked, and I hated every minute of it. I had the refrain "you can't" and "give up" and "who could you call to pick you up, even though you couldn't tell them where you are?" going through my head for the duration of the way back to school. I was so frustrated that I just wanted to cry. It was such a miserable ride. I want to cry even now, everything went so wrong. The only bright side to the whole damn thing was that by adding so many extra climbs when I turned around, it meant that I got to go downhill at least a little bit more.

Let no more be said about the ride except that at least it's over.


Maximum speed: 31.5 mph
Average speed: 12.0 mph
Distance: 22.79 mi
Time: 1.53.05

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Training Ride - GTR Saturday, 26 June

Today we rode out of Stone Mountain, through Decatur (got it right this time), into Little Five and midtown, and then back out... maybe I got Decatur in there in the wrong order (or maybe we went through twice?), but that's roughly what we did. It was a really good ride, albeit hot at the end. We didn't practice any special techniques besides pace lines toward the end, but it was great to get out with the TEAM again and get to know some of the riders better.

Maximum speed: 31.8 mph
Average speed: 14.2 mph
Distance: 40.27 mi
Time: 2.49.17

See? Good ride. It was a little slow, probably in no small part because of the heat as the day progressed, but I think it also had to do with the fact that Stone Mtn/Atlanta are hillier than PTC. I think we still made good time for a 40-mile ride. I felt great immediately afterward, but by the time I got to the third patio challenge patio (third one overall, not third one today) I was totally drained and I could feel my head shrinking. I chalk this up to the massive amount of sun I had up to and including that point, the very hot heat (mid-nineties, again) and the lots of fluids I'd been drinking.

Wait, strike that last one. That should've helped...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Training Ride - Wednesday, 23 June

I did not want to ride tonight. I mean I REALLY didn't want to ride. I was really tired, my legs (and body) were lead, and I had no idea where I would ride 20 miles in town. Knowing that I would regret missing today's ride big time (and no alternative plan for a ride tomorrow), I e-mailed the TEAM asking for recommendations. One teammate suggested a ride that leaves from the Highlands every Wednesday and, after hemming and hawing (and a premonition of kicking myself if I bailed) I joined them.

I'm so glad I did. A lot of my struggle today was talking myself into meeting yet another bike group. Even though I have seen time and again that cyclists are friendly and welcoming, I always am so intimidated by the mere act of just showing up the first time. Today was another such day, but I talked myself into joining them and it was a good ride--a little slower than I would have liked, but that's to be expected in the city. Today I truly was an urban cyclist.

Maximum speed: 32.8 mph
Average speed: 12.8 mph
Distance: 20.63 mi
Time: 1.36.42

There's about a half-mile of stats missing in there from the beginning; we stopped at an Honored Hero's home (Warren) and I took off my computer there and forgot to put it back on until about half a mile later. Whoops.

It was a really neat ride today. We started in the Highlands and then rode around Emory and Decator (is that spelled right? It looks funny) and Avondale. It was so nice to find neighborhoods in which there aren't stop signs every few feet (and those that there were we "ignored"); what a surprise to find a great ride in the city!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Training Ride - Sunday, 20 June

I was really (REALLY) tired this morning. I woke up a little before seven, walked the dog, ate breakfast (twice!) and was barely awake for all of those ~3 hours. So I took a nap, instead of riding before noon while it was still relatively cool.

That means that at 1:00, when I was awake enough to ride, it was really freaking hot. I went with Nick to the Silver Comet Trail for today's recovery ride, and it was nice. Despite the heat, it was a really nice and relaxing ride: no pressure, and lots of shade on most of the trail. I seem to have lost my travel pump (I think I left it on the trunk of the car when I drove off from PTC after yesterday's ride) and need to replace it.

Anyway, the ride was smooth and relaxed and it was nice to hang out with Nick. I'm glad I thought to call him and that he's amazing at getting past jet lag.

Maximum speed: 18.5 mph
Average speed: 13.4 mph
Distance: 14.16 mi

I will say that two breakfasts is not ideal, especially if either of them involves Waffle House. Ugh. I will never lose weight if I keep eating like this.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Training Ride - GTR Saturday, 19 June

Today was the first day I was finally able to ride with the team, and it was great! Just like bike clubs, there were all ages and abilities and everyone was super friendly. It was wonderful! We rode out of Peachtree City (and, seriously, two different types of golf cart crossing signs is a bit much, not to mention the special paths they drive on around town) and, while it was hot, it was certainly bearable. Yea!

Maximum speed: 31.7 mph
Average speed: 14.9 mph
Distance: 41.27 mi
Time: 2.45.15

I was only expecting a 35-mile ride today, but 41 was a pleasant surprise. Additionally, some of the roads we were on are going to be on the century route, and they were rolling at worst (in terms of hills), gorgeous, and just so nice. It really was a great ride. I started out with some ladies who were quite a bit slower than I am, but when a couple of people came into view ahead of us, I was given the go ahead to catch them, which I did with ease (about 5 miles in). After that, it was a fabulous ride (before then it was a nice ride, just a little slow for me).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Training Ride - Wednesday, 16 June

I did this in two parts, partly because I had already planned on commuting to school this morning and partly because there was a thunderstorm brewing and I got caught in rain about 6 miles in tonight. I road around Cumming, since I was up there getting my car fixed (yea, I have A/C and blowers now!) The road the house is on is actually part of a weekly route for one of the cycling clubs in Cumming (this club has 4 groups that ride on Wednesdays, it was incredible to see so many cyclists out at once), and I ended up passing them at two different points on my ride (going uphill both times, I swear I wanted to say something about how I was obviously going the wrong way as they whipped by).

C grew up in the area and told me a safe route to go and, while I missed a turn (but was able to make up for it with my keen sense of direction), it ended up being a very nice ride. It was pretty, the area was nice. My only regret is that, by missing the turn, I didn't get the fabulous payoff at the end of coming down the beautifully steep hill that I started off climbing (it was a 2% grade, so not bad, just about a half mile long and from a dead stop).

Commute Stats:
Maximum speed: 28.1 mph
Average speed: 12.0 mph
Distance: 5.10 mi
Time: 0.25.34

Cumming Stats:
Maximum speed: 32.7 mph
Average speed: 15.8 mph
Distance: 11.28 mi
Time: 0.42.42

With the open offer to stop there whenever I feel like it, especially on Wednesdays, I am considering going to Cumming and joining their weekly Wednesday ride.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Training - Friday, 11 June

Today's training ride started out great and ended up mostly OK. Dad wanted to test the 25-mi Tour de Cure route to see if he would be able to do it on Sunday; since it starts in Mendon Ponds, we rode out there and that contributed to the extra 10 miles I needed for my 35-mile at-pace ride today.

It turns out that it's actually a pretty nice route. Some small hills but nothing too obnoxious. My rear tire was totally flat when we left, which was a surprise since I had ridden on Wednesday without a problem. Deciding it must be a slow flat, I took Dad's advice and inflated it and took off. As this is a training-not-complaining blog, I will not discuss that any further.

I can't remember much of the ride at all, just that I felt pretty good. Apparently I drank a lot during the ride (or, more likely, during the couple of stops to wait) because with 11 miles left I had about 4 oz. of gatorade/water left. I rationed, but it was a struggle. At mile 29 my legs got wobbly and I could tell I was low on sugar. Even so, on the last 11 miles I raised my average speed from 14.9 to 15.1 mph, so it couldn't have been bad. I think that, by that point, I just wanted to go home (I remember yelling at myself at some point, out loud) so I pushed it.

The stats:
Maximum speed: 34.6 mph
Average speed: 15.1 mph
Distance: 35.28 mi
Time: 2.19.43

All told, I feel pretty good, it was just rough going for a couple miles toward the end. It was a really pretty ride, through the farm country in Mendon, Rush, Honeoye Falls, and Pittsford.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Training Ride - Wednesday, 9 June

Today I woke up and the sky was overcast and dreary. Oh, and it was cold. I don't mean freezing cold like winter in the NE sense. I mean cold like, even though I grew up in NY it's still strange to have a 53-degree day in June sense. I think the high today was 63. It wasn't bad, but it would've been more bearable if there had been some sun. It was quite the contrast with yesterday.

Given the weather, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I had a hard time motivating myself to ride more than the required 15 miles today. It would have been nice to have one last Wednesday ride with the bike club, but I just wasn't feeling it. I almost didn't ride at all, but I knew that, even if I were to make it up tomorrow I would hate myself for delaying the ride, especially given how difficulty it will be to get in 55 miles this weekend, what with all the travel I have to do.

(Now that I think about it, though, I may just go for a 35-mile ride on Friday and then do the 20-mile recovery ride on Saturday in PA once I get to ARA's. That doesn't sound too bad, actually.)

Anyway, all I did was an out-and-back on the canal path, just to say that I did it and not hate myself for being a complete waste of air today.

Maximum speed: 25.9 mph
Average speed: 15.1 mph
Distance: 14.97 mi
Time: 0.59.15

I'm looking forward to getting back to GA so that I can meet and start training with my team, as well has have my regular 5 mi commutes each day. I think that sounds just about heavenly.

For those following along at home, tomorrow, if the weather holds, I will make some headway on the deck. There's no reason I can't finish sanding the damn thing, at least, as long as it's dry.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Training Ride - Saturday, 5 June

Today was supposed to be 30 miles. There was no way that was going to happen, and for two very good reasons.

1. I had to work on the deck, as it was a good day. After the 2.5 hours I spent on it today, there are still (by my estimation) about 11.5 hours of work remaining and only a week in which to squeeze them.

2. I am marching in the Mendon parade tonight. Yes, it's only a couple of miles, but it's a couple of miles with a 50lb snare drum slung over my shoulder. And I have to be there at 5:30p. If I had started the deck (and then lunch and then my ride) a couple hours earlier (i.e., 9:00a) I could've gotten a full 30 miles in.

As it is, I did 20 miles, and the first 10 were into a headwind. It was just not my day, so instead of the ambitious hilly route I had planned on doing for 17 miles I did 20 on the canal. Smart thing. I will do 20-25 miles tomorrow, instead of 15, to make up for the ten I missed today. Tomorrow is going to be brutal.

Maximum speed: 27.9 mph
Average speed: 15.2 mph
Distance: 20.23 mi
Time: 1.19.39

To illustrate the significance of the headwind, today's route was purely an out-and-back: same terrain in both directions. OUT I averaged 14.3 mph and BACK I was able to bring that up to 15.2. Killer.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Training Ride - Friday, 4 June

Today I wasn't scheduled for a ride at all, so I thought I would take a leisurely route with one of my best friends from high school. We went through (by?) the village to get to the bank, where I could then deposit some of the cash donations made in the last week. We caught the canal path at Lock 32 on the way back and, despite the several miles of cinder trail, had a pleasant ride to the basin. We even got Tom Wahl's root beer, and I didn't cramp. yea!

Maximum speed: 34.6 mph
Average speed: 11.8 mph
Distance: 13.70 mi
Time: 1.09.34

This, as I said, was a nice little "unofficial" ride, and it makes me think that maybe 5-10 miles per day will be a nice way to get out of the house on off days and just enjoy myself.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Training Ride - Wednesday, 2 June

Tonight was great. I rode with the bike club out of Mendon Ponds again, on a 26-mile route. I was the slow person, and I've come to realize that I need to stretch or otherwise warm up right before going out on these rides. It turns out I maintained a good pace on the slightly hilly route, and the faster group was always in sight, but I felt like crap right at the beginning while my legs got into it.

Then we caught the group and I stayed with them for the last 7 miles or so. It was just the few hills at the beginning that knocked me out. I was actually going pretty quickly, averaging around 16 for the first part of the ride, too, but I felt lousy.

Maximum speed: 32.8 mph
Average speed: 16.3 mph
Distance: 25.67 mi
Time: 1.34.19