Monday, January 31, 2005

1/30/2005 -- Sunday, more miles..

The plan today was to head north and ride one of the staple Aurora routes, keep the intensity moderate to low for a few hours. Sunday, was my day to sleep in, so after a really lazy breakfast of popovers, Ben and I met up a little after 11:00 for the ride.

After just a few miles, I stopped to do a preventive brush of my tires to remove any pieces of glass that might have become logged on the tires. On doing this I noticed a huge gash in my new rear tire! It looked like I'd ridden right across a piece of steal. This isn't what you want to see at the beginning of a long ride, for it forecasts flats. Five miles down the road, I found myself on the side of the road fixing my rear wheel, luckily after fixing it, I remained flat free for the rest of the ride. Last year while riding through the Indian reservation on the third day of the three day RAO training camp while brushing my tires I found a piece of steal wire in my tire. It had not yet worked its way through; the moral is brushing early and often pays off.

Once back on the road we road up the Burk to the north end, before pealing off to ride a loop through Everett. We climbed over the hills which separate Seattle from the Snohomish valley and on entering the valley, I tried to up my pace, I'd been keeping my heart rate low ~130 BPM, in the valley I tried to raise it to ~150 BPM. I'm not sure exactly why, but it was real struggle.

I think part of the difficult was due to some of the back pain, I've been getting from my rain/winter bike. Once, I raise my handle bars to mirror the height of my ultra bike I expect this pain to disappear.

The return from the valley seemed to go quite quickly and right at the end of the ride, I had a very strong climb up the final hill of the day.

The ride excluding the time spent fixing the flat the ride worked out to be 4.5 - 5 hours with a average over 17 mph. Not to shabby fine for the end of January, but also something which must be boosted by June, thank goodness there are still a few months left.

Post Ride Recover: Hammer Whey and Hammer TR, and Raised Legs..

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, January 29, 2005

Saturday -- Maple Valley & Back South.

Today, the plan was to get some more solid base miles in. The weather was a little cool today, but nothing to complain about especially since it’s still January. After meeting up with a new friend at the Starbucks in Leshi, we then headed south. She was looking to get some training miles in for an Arizona Iron Man, and I more miles for RAO. We ended up heading down south, out to Maple Valley. I really like the route out to Maple Valley, the route starts out relatively flat and then starts to kick a little over a couple of climbs. On getting back and hitting the lake we circled back around the south end. The whole ride was around five and a half hours and was at a real easy base intensity; I kept my heart rate ~130 BPM. Right now I’m really not tracking distance for it doesn’t really matter all that much, just intensity and time.

I sort of passed out on getting back. Last night I slept less then 6 hrs, and then the whole week has been crazy. Post Hammer Whey and Tissue Regenerator, I propped my legs up on the wall and proceeded to pass out. The only problem with this was I woke up an hour later with very cold legs and quite hungry. After dinner it was back on the foam roller. It hurt again today which is always a sign it’s doing some good.


Friday -- Rollers

In the evening today, I road the rollers for about an hour and a half, nothing big just a little roller time before the weekend. I kept the heart rate and intensity low.


Thursday, January 27, 2005

Wednesday, 1/26/2005 – Computrainer and Rollers

Today was another of the team Computrainer(CT) sessions. Unlike our normal CT sessions which are designed to be workouts, this one was to be performance test to gauge training and get some TT practice. The course wasn’t anything fancy, just a perfectly flat for 10 miles. Choosing to do a 10 mile TT wasn’t by chance. In about four weeks the road season will kick off with a 10 mile TT, the Ice Breaker TT. Due to demand the team ran a few extra testing sessions, it was very cool to see the computrainer facility packed with team members, warming up, testing, and cooling down.

We warmed up on the bike for about a half an hour before starting the time trial and recalibrated the bikes right before the start. Then we were off.

I quickly was out in front of the other seven riders, and ended up logging what I think was fastest time for the night. I think I could have done a little better if I hadn’t gone quite so hard right at the beginning. I basically pegged my heart rate at 180 bpm for the duration of the test. I think it would have been better to say do the first half at 175-178 BPM and then ramp up, any way something to try next time. My power over the first half was definitely much stronger. For the first two miles I was pushing near 400 watts, but by the end I was down to around 310 watts.

In the end I average over 25 miles an hour, finishing in a little less than 24 minutes and averaging 337 watts. Not too shabby especially since I was on my power cranks. A couple of months ago, I average 333 watts with normal cranks and 303 watts with the power cranks for this same test.

The one big mistake I made besides pacing was to eat two bananas an hour before the virtual TT. Throughout the TT I pushed so hard that I ended up feeling quite sick, and felt like I might loose my snack at any moment.

Post TT, I spun a little on the bike and did some stretching and took some Hammer TR. On getting back to my apartment I did some easy spinning for another hour on the rollers to help my legs recover and then spent some time on the foam roller.


Tuesday, -- Rest Day

I had wanted to get over to the gym today to lift, but with everything else I needed to do I didn't have time. Today ended up being a rest day.


Monday, 1/24/2005 – Rollers

I didn't have too much time today. After work and post dinner, I hopped on the rollers and road for ~1.5 to a big wave surf DVD I rented. Hawaii looked like a real nice place to be.


Sunday, January 23, 2005


The plan today, was very similar to yesterday, to do some decent mileage, at a moderate tempo. Today, Ben and I met up a little after 10:00 and road out to May valley on getting back from May Valley we threw on an extension around Mercer Island before heading back in. It ended up taking ~4hrs and 45 minutes. Neither yesterday or today were all that hard tempo wise but by the time I got back today I was fairly tired and hit the hay for few hours. It feels really good to start to put in some decent mileage.

In my opinion part of training for events like RAO, is getting the mind in sync with being out awhile. You need to get in the mental state where after 5 hrs on the bike you feel like saying hey I really haven’t been on all that long, I haven’t earned a rest yet. Long rides do that. Note, some people take this sort of training a little far in my opinion.

Recovery: On getting back I ate two scoops of whey, and took some Tissue Regenerator. After which I spent some time on the foam roller, wow did I find a sweet spot.

1/22/2005, Finally Saturday!

Today, I slept in a little late and unfortunately missed the team ride. For a change the weather was quite warm, the weather service said that we are getting hit by a weather that’s blown over from Hawaii, aka the pineapple express. On the up side it’s quite warm, it was in the 50’s in the morning, but on the down side is the rain. Why couldn’t we get real Hawaii weather, this is hardly Kona weather.

I ended up hitting the road right at 10:00 AM, and decided to ride a staple ride with a twist, out to maple valley and then up around the north end of the lake. Tempo wise the plan was to stay at a lower tempo and but put in some decent mileage the route out to works out to just under 100 miles.

The ride went very well; I kept my tempo low at my pre-Prineville level. It ended up taking around 5hrs, 45 min.

1/21/2005, A little rollers in the moon light,

After work and post dinner, I logged a little time on the rollers. It ended up being about an hour and half. I also swapped out the tires on my rain bike for some newer ones. While my old tires still had a little life left in them they were getting thin and I just hate flatting on the road. I save my old tires and try to use what’s left in them up on the rollers or Computrainer.


1/20/2005, No Riding

Today I took my grandparents to a "Pink Martini with the Seattle Symphony” concert. It was my Christmas gift to them. If you like “world music” and haven't heard Pink Martini, I would highly recommend them. They are a locally based band too from Portland.


1/19/2005, Wednesday Night CT Session.

Finally a scheduled event to impose some very needed order on my life. After work, I did the weekly CT session my team does. This week the new software we were using wasn't working quite right so we did the basic 10 Km time trial course three times. This week, I focused on holding my self back and not pushing as hard as I have been. To both build mental stamina i.e. being comfortable with letting people ride ahead of me and to take a little of George's advice and reduce the intensity I've been training at. I finished mid pack on all three rides and felt good. My good friend Ben, who will be racing with me at fireweed had a very good third TT and finished first.


1/18/2005, More Rollers,

Today I was a zombie at work, maybe I shouldn't have stayed up so late riding the rollers last night. Today felt like it would never end. I was stuck at work till 10PM, on getting home after a quick bite to eat I was on the rollers for an hour before hitting the sack. I can't do this much longer, I need my life back.


1/17/2005, More rollers,

AHH! I didn't get out of work till 9:00 tonight. This wasn't the plan at all. On getting back home, I grabbed some Thai food, and hit the rollers. I was only able to log an hour on the rollers before I had to turn in.


1/16/2005, Short ride outside.

By the afternoon the weather had switched into defrost mode, so I was able to get out for an hour and half on the road before heading north back to Seattle. This weekend I had lots of great plans but some how they just didn't happen. Hopefully this next week will be light enough I can log some quality training.


1/15/2005, Freezing Rain.

I had grand plans for riding today, family activities seemed to consume most of the day and the weather wasn't quite optimal for cycling either. We had freezing rain. I logged about an hour on the rollers riding to my new 2001 TDF DVD. As a side note, of all the recent tours this one is special for me in that I was in Europe during this tour and had been in Paris to see the final stage.

Posted by Hello


1/14/2005 - Party Time

Today, a bunch of us all gathered at the "Team Shark HQ", to celebrate Terri's contribution and achievements in ultra cycling. Over the last month or so, George had been secretly sending off emails and planning the event. At the party, there were lots of RAO veterans and a few of us rookies too. Between glasses of Martinelli's (I've now sworn off all alcohol for RAO), I bounced training ideas off of the veterans (Gregg, The Sharks, George, Terri, etc). The two things I took away from all this were: I should cut back my intensity just a tad so I peak at the right time, and a strategy concerning pull lengths for my two man team at the Fireweed 400.

It was quite fun to be able to meet the Llamas, right now I'm afraid, the whole "candy" thing is nothing more then a facade, for I think they are really hard candy inside.

As a side note: I wore my kilt (family tartan) to the party. And through the night the burning question on every ones mind seemed to be not how was your training going etc, but "Do you ride in it?” and “What’s under the kilt?". Well the answer to the first should be obvious, no. Bicycles might have been invented by the Scots, but kilts and bicycles don’t mix too well. And my answer to the second question should be just as obvious. What do you think? There is really only one way to wear a kilt.

BTW: The sharks have the most magnificent bike room I've ever seen. Its not so much a "bike room" as a temple to two wheels. Every cyclist should some day make a pilgrimage to this room, just to know of its existence is an honor much less to actually have set foot inside of it.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

This week has been absolutely crazy, so I haven’t had any time to blog. Stay tuned, some time Saturday evening post ride, I hope to be able to catch up.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

1/12/2005 - Trainning

Today, I broke out the beater bike and took the real short route into work. So I cheated a little, I road the most direct bus connection which is about 7 or so miles away. After work, on getting back to my apartment, I grabbed my race bike and headed out for the now regular Wednesday night workouts at Racermate. We road the same course we had done the previous week, a flat warm-up, followed by a decent, and finishing with a 14 mile ladder climb. Like last week I pushed hard, and tried to keep my wattage over 300 watts. By the end of the course I'd averaged 292 watts, so not to shabby. Some time last week it dawned on me that I hadn't been sticking in my aero bars enough. So this week I stuck in the aero bars for the duration of the course. I had planned ahead and brought my Hammer TR with me, so right after workout it was a little TR and then back home for pasta dinner!


1/11/2005 - Weights and Computrainer

Today, after work I did my lifting routine, I have only been getting in once a week but I really should try and get in twice. The lifting routine was much the same, 50 sit-ups x 3, 30 back extensions x 3, 30 rows x 3, and 30 (pulling that bar down) x 3. Right now for my lifts I'm doing about 90lbs, by the third set I'd notched it back to 80lbs.

I still felt like I wanted to do a little more, so on getting back to my apartment, I put in ~1hr 45 minutes of easy riding on the computrainer and then spent about 15 minutes with the foam roller.


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

1/10/2005 - Computrainer Indoors,

Today, after work I went to an Aurora meeting (my USCF's team). Not too much in the way of new news. Seattle Bike Expo this year is going to be on the 19-20th and for a change will be held at Magnuson Park. Just like last year the team is going to be running the virtual time trial booth with the computrainer guys. So if you bring your ride and $10, you can do a 10 mile virtual TT against 8 other riders. I'll be manning the booth Sunday morning.

I picked up some tires I'd ordered from the team’s tire sponsor, Schwabe. Going into the events last year, I'd stocked up on tires, the last thing you would want when competing at RAO would be to enter without back up equipment. How crappy would it be to be in a total groove climbing bakeoven, hit an industrial staple, total your only tire and be out of the race?

With yesterday being such a wash training wise, I wanted to do a little catch up today. On returning to the apartment, I hook the computrainer up in independent mode set it to ~200 watts and road for a little over 2 hours. For the first hour, I worked on keeping my cadence up, for the second hour I didn't focus on the cadence quite as much so it dipped a bit. One gripe I have with the computrainer is the lack of backlighting on the display. When riding to a movie it’s nice to turn the lights off but this in turn makes it hard to read the display. I ended up using a flash light every now and then so I could read it.

After riding, I rolled around on the foam roller for another 15 minutes and ate Hammer TR and 1 shot Whey.


Monday, January 10, 2005

1/9/2005 - Frozen Hill Climbs

Today, I woke up to snow on the tops my car, I live in Ballard the "Warm" part of Seattle. My friend Ben called to say that in his neighborhood had snow on the ground. So we decided to postpone our great riding plans till later in the day for fear of slipping on the ice. Later in the day we got out and did about two hours on the road (~30 miles), and basically focused on doing hill repeats. The pinnacle of which was a single trip of Dravis rd. Dravis is maybe .1 - .2 miles in length, but it more then makes up for its lack of distance, by averaging 18.5% the whole way up! Yikes! The cogs on my rain bike are wearing out, so the largest gear I could stick was maybe a 23, 39/23 at 18+%, yeah, you get the picture.

After getting back to the apartment, I finished off my tour DVD on the rollers, and then watched another movie on the rollers. The second movie roller session wasn't all that great, cause I kept getting interrupted through the session.

Upcoming plans: This next weekend, I'm going to be back doing some riding in Oregon.


Sunday, January 09, 2005

1/8/2005 - Misc Miles

The cold weather continues, today, I got up early and met some other riders on the team at a coffee shop. I was quite tired from having not slept well the night before and really never quite felt right, my wattage was consistently down. After a brief meeting at the coffee shop we did about an hour out on the road, then another hour indoors on the computrainers, after which I put in another hour and half outside. I wish I had skipped riding with the team and just done a long ride on my own. But its still just January, and I'm planning on doing some longer miles tomorrow.


Friday, January 07, 2005

1/6/2005 -- Rollers

Today’s workout was nothing to special, just another 2-hrs of low intensity (~115 - 120 BPM) on the rollers. I'm almost done with my 12 hr tour video, only 30 minutes to go. 2004 went fast.


1/5/2005 -- Computrainer & Rollers

Today was another indoor training session with the team over at Racermate. This week’s course was 19 mile course. The course started out with a few flat miles (~3) to warm up on, after which there was a significant decent, interspersed with .1 mile climbs. On hitting the bottom of the decent ~5 miles into the course, it then climbed up over three separate climbs to the original elevation.

After warming up, it took me just under 50 minutes to ride the course. For this workout, I went fairly hot, my heart rate was in the 163 – 173, except for the end where I observed a new personal max heart rate of 187 BPM, yeah the polar was smoking. My power for the course was almost always in the 300 – 340+ watts. After finishing the course, I spun for another 15 minutes waiting for everyone else to finish.

On getting back home, after dinner (fish tacos), I hopped on the rollers and did a little easy spinning on the rollers for another hour to spin the legs out.

Ok so today was a little more intense then usual. In addition to my standard Hammer Tissue Regenerator and whey protein powder, I also spent some more time on the foam roller. The foam roller is a recovery tool that my PT showed me a few months ago. It is basically a large very firm/hard cylinder of foam and the drill is you basically lay on it sideways and roll over it. The net effect is it simulates a massage on the quads and IT Band.


1/5/2005 - Way To Go Alessandro!

I just got the email below from Alessandro, 201 HRS on a Spin Bike, way to go!

"The ultra Italian Cyclist Alessandro Colo carried out a new record of duration in Trainer Home, by achieving 201 hours bnon stop and nearly 5800 kms virtual, this attempt began on December 27 at 15 hours and finished on January 4 at midnight, new record in Guiness Book, act of ultra in search of a new participation in the RAAM next June. Colo is a trainer of Spinning in Rome, true specialist in this winter practice, he took part in 2004 in several Ultra tests Outdistances in the USA, the Race Across Oregon, the RAAM and the F.C 508."

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

1/4/2005 -- Gym

Lifted weights after work today, all core body lifts: sit-ups, back lifts, rows, etc. I don't do a lot of leg lifts for two reasons, first I don't think there is much to be gained by doing macho leg presses other then bum knees, and second when it comes to leg power I prefer to develop that on the bike.

One note on weight lifting, I think most people don’t do enough reps. When you talk to most gym people they talk about doing 10 or 15 reps per set. Low reps are great if you want to become a “BIG” poser like Arnold. But if you want power over size then you should think about longer sets. In Joe Friel’s training guide he talks about sets 3 sets of 20 – 30 reps , so no surprise when I’m in the gym I do 3 sets of 30 reps for everything but the sit-ups and there I do 50.


Monday, January 03, 2005

1/3/2005 -- Rideing

Well the cold weather continues.. Today I got out a little after noon, and got in around a 3 hour ride around the north end of the lake. I didn't kick it up much, just a bunch of easy miles. Much to my surprise on getting home I actually still had toes! After dinner I put in another 1.5 hours indoors. On the bummer front, it turns out that my plan on coaching most likely won't work this year, for the coach is unfortunately out with a very serious injury. Oh, well its not like I've ever used a coach before, so it won't be all that different.


1/2/2005 -- Maple Valley

Got an earlier start today, and was on the road a little after 11:00 AM. The plan today was to meet up with a friend Ben Larson, who will be crewing for me at RAO, and do a loop down through Maple Valley. This is a real staple training route with good number of challenging climbs, etc. Today it worked out to be around 4.5 hours. The ride went well, but man-o-man was it cold today. I wish I’d been wearing my ear warmers in addition to the hat I had on. I can’t wait for the summer heat to return. I will take heat any day to the cold weather were suffering through right now at least it’s dry. For the majority of the ride, we kept the pace nice and easy (heart rate ~130 BPM).

Right now it feels like I’m a long way from where I want to be in June, but I just remind myself that for some reason I feel this way every year in January.


News from Italy

I thought this email might be of interest to anyone reading this. Before the holidays, I wrote Alessandro, to congratulate him on his Furnace Creek performance, and see how the weather in Rome was, anyway this is the email I got back.. 200 hrs on a spin bike, holy $@!@#$..


1/1/2005 -- Feeling Yucky!

With all my cycling I'm a super light weight when it comes to beer. Somewhere between the single bottle of Guinness I had at the party and staying up till 3:00 AM, I felt totally wasted all day today. I finally got out around 2:00 PM and put in 2.5 solid hours on the road. But well it just never felt good. The city seemed really quiet today, maybe everyone else felt rotten too.

12/31/2004 -- New Years Eve

Before heading off to a party with friends I put in exactly an hour on the Computrainer. I know, I know, I'm crazy, but I was just going to kick myself all night if I didn't get in a little training. I arrived, a little late but well before the ball fell. Oh, and at the Party, Ms Kelly and I won Trivial Pursuit! Woohoo!


12/30/2004 -- Computrainer

I've been wanting to do more Computrainer riding in addition to what I've been doing with my team. I finally got my home setup up and running and tonight, road it for about ~2.5 hours getting about half way through one of the stock Kona courses. I also played some more of the tour on the TV too, though I think I focused more on my spin scan numbers then the video.

The one part of the Computrainer training I'm really excited to experiment with is the ability to partially simulate real courses indoors. My plan is to map out the whole RAO course breaking it down into chucks. What better way to spend an evening after work then doing repeats up Bakeoven.


12/29/2004 -- Rollers

Drove back to Seattle today, got in late with just enough time to log an hour on the rollers rolling to my new 2004 Tour De France DVD. (11 more hours of fun remaining!)


Sunday, January 02, 2005

12/26 - 12/28

Took a couple day vacation to Bend with the family for a little skiing. On the 27th, I did a couple of hours of cross country skiing. The only thing of real note here is the hip flexor muscles the power cranks exercise are the same muscles used to break trail and Assos cycling tights are perfect for X-Country. On the 28th it was up the chair lift for a little down hill at Mt. Bachelor. The snow report is not so good if you want to ski but great for cycling. There were lots of rocks poking through the pack. But with such a thin pack, maybe training in the mountains can start earlier this year.