Thursday, March 24, 2005

More Gym Time, & Computrainer Time

Tuesday I was back in the gym for some more time working on my “core” muscles. Gym time is my least favorite time of training, but I know its something I gota do. On getting back to my apartment, I set the bike up on the computrainer and did a little easy spinning I didn’t do anything to hard.

Wednesday, was another team CT session. This weeks plan was to run through the 10 mile TT again. With all the hard riding I’m going to be doing in the coming week, I didn’t want to work too hard on this workout. My plan was to just do some easy spinning over the course as the other riders road hard, and maybe offer some awful commentary.

Well, holding back isn’t something I do too well. Ben and Garry took off like rockets, and I was slacking for the first little bit. And I said hell with it and started chase, I still held back and just road tempo instead of a all out TT effort. It took me a while to make my way back up through the virtual field. On getting to the front, I decided that their was no point in leading so in an attempt to both cool down, and pace my self I just shadowed the leader in to the finish line.

On getting back to the APT, after thai dinner, I put the bike back on the Computrainer and road another virtual 26 miles, at a totally chill pace. I’m really excited about AZ, only two more days! Cycling Camp here I come!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Monday 3/21 -- Rollers

Did some crunches and then spent a little over an hour just spinning easy on my rollers. The plan was just to get some more active recovery in. I’m really excited that there are only 4 more days, until PAC Tour Desert Camp! I fly out to Arizona on Saturday, Arizona is going to be such a nice change and wow do I need a vocation. The miles each day won’t be huge but they should add up, and one can always add bonus miles or throw the frisbee too.

If any of you out there have done this camp before and have recommendations on things to do in these cities or places to eat dinner, please email me / leave a comment.

Daily Schedule Week #5
Tucson to Sierra Vista 85
Sierra Vista to Douglas 74
Douglas to Lordsburg 99
Lordsburg to Safford 91
Safford to Willcox 89
Willcox to Tombstone 103
Tombstone to Tucson 87

Sunday 3/20 – Recovery Ride

Had thought I might get out the door early today. But some how, the day kept slipping and it wasn’t till a little after noon that I was out the door. Then my legs felt like crap, totally paying for my lack of structured recovery from yesterday. It also didn’t exactly help that with all the rain the day before I’d successfully washed every ounce of lube off my chain, and I hadn’t done anything about it.

Road over to Ben’s, then we headed out to just ride the lake, which was all I really wanted to do today. Did I mention the wind? The wind reminded me of training in the Willamette Valley when the wind blown grass seed fields lie horizontal and pointed at you. At some points I felt thankfully just to be staying upright and that it wasn’t raining as had been forecasted.

By the time we hit Seward Park, my front tire, which is getting rather thin flatted. After fixing it we continued to creep around the lake, about time we were rolling through Kirkland the rain opened up, and by the time I rolled into my apartment I was quite cold.

Recovery today: 2 scoops whey, 4 hammers TR

Monday, March 21, 2005

Saturday 3/19/2002 -- 200km brevet

I really like to intersperse my training with "Milestone Rides", this weeks 200KM brevet was one of these. Milestone rides are organized rides that I plan on doing regardless of weather, on a given date, and sometimes with additional goals attached. These rides help breakup the training season, and remove the whole "where am I going to ride today" question that normal training days present. Milestone rides also force me to get on the road a little earlier then I might otherwise, which is a good thing too.

This Saturday, was the annual SIR 200KM Brevet, the actual course was ~138 miles. The ride started sharply at 7:00, at one of the member’s house, located around 45 minutes outside of Seattle. Thankfully I finally got the majority of my bike maintenance under control, and was able to hit the sack a few hours earlier then I have been these last few weeks, making the required 5:00 AM revelry call ever so slightly less painful. I picked up Ben from his place a little after 6:00 and then a little before 7:00 we arrived at Gregg’s, with just enough time to pee and register.

The bulk of the Randonneurs are not the speediest of cyclists, all functions of their average (fitness, age, fitness, and equipment choices, and did I say fitness). After about a mile or two all relatively down hill, Ben and I were leading the charge with at most 6 other Randonneurs in toe, this group was widdled down to 3 extra riders, then a few miles later, one of the Randonneur’s remarked, that we really didn't need to ride as hard as we were as arriving at the first checkpoint to soon could result in disqualification! Now this just blew me away, who ever heard of getting disqualified for riding to FAST! How lame is that!

We eased our pace a bit arrived at the first stop, got our silly brevet cards signed and were back on the road again. The weather forecast called for rain, but while overcast everything was currently dry, and coming into the first stop I was over heating slightly, I took a minute to put my hat in my hip bag. Jan, the one fast Randonneurs who's modus operandi is "I will wait for no one, pull no one, and draft anyone fast", didn't wait and took off down the road. Two other riders waited a minute, and then the four of us were off auickly catching Jan.

We pushed the tempo slightly heading down to the next control point. The one of the other riders disappeared; he was either adducted by aliens or dropped. Anyway with this Jan, the nameless rider, Ben, and I arrived at the next control point. Cards signed we were back on the road. Jan again taking off, with out waiting for Ben or I but then sucking our wheels like a leach once we caught him. Over a few more hills, we were back on the course heading out to Enumclaw WA, and fighting a real bitchen headwind. We started a four man pace line with Ben, myself, and the Nameless rider doing 99% of the work. And then the aliens hit again, and coming off one of my pulls I noticed we were down to three riders: Ben Jan, and myself. Since Jan never pulls this left Ben and myself to pull our up through the gale. On hitting Enumclaw, we turned up mud mountain road and started the ever so gradual but very constant 10+ mile climb up toward Crystal Mountain, a ski resort located on Mt. Rainier.

Climbing up the mountain Ben and I started pacing up the mountain, doing ~21 - 22+ mph. After a mile or so at the front we would rotate. At first, on each rotation, the one of us rotating of the front would slide back behind Jan and the other rider would take off up the road opening a 20 - 40 foot gap on Jan. Jan would close the gap, and then the rider behind Jan would attack again. Well, after a few rotations, it became apparent that we finally had Jan in difficulty, Ben took a pull, I road around Jan, I think he might have tagged my wheel, after which I attacked with Ben in tow.

At the top of the climb we hit another control point and then turned around to head back down the mountain, and out to another small city. Ben, was on the ball, and marked our time coming out of the control point. Heading down the mountain, we had 9 minutes on Jan, and a half an hour on the next group. Coming down the mountain, we road tempo, but didn't push the pace as we would soon be back on the windy flats.

Flying down the mountain it started to rain, it would continue to rain solid through the end of the ride.

Back on the flats the course took us out and back through a small city, before heading back to Gregg's house. Back on the flats, Ben and I kicked the tempo up a notch. Coming back from the turnaround at the city, we had upped our gap on Jan to 18 min and a 45 minutes on the next group.

At this point Ben and I started to run into caloric deficit. The plan for the ride was to start the ride motoring on Chocolate Ensure, but as we would have to carry all our bottles, we were limited to starting the ride with only 3 bottles each. Thus after the first three hours we had to switch to other foods, cliff bars, gel’s, bananas, and PB&J. This transition wasn't handled well, thus the impending caloric crash. Sensing doom we both grabbed our hammer gel flasks and just started chugging. Hammer Gel is a fantastic sub hour fuel, but there is around a 45 minute lag between consumption, and caloric availability. Thus started the suffering period, I just hammered away staring at my polar heart rate monitor counting down the time till the gel would start its magic, and hoping that we wouldn't loose much of our lead.

The gel kicked in, and both Ben and I started to motor, at around 1:20, we thought, there was a chance we might get in before 1:30 which we both thought would be very cool. We started to up or pace for a final push to the end. The pace shot up from 21-22 mph to 23-25 mph, if my computer is right I even hit 28 or 29 for a little bit. Anyway, 1:30 came and went, and at 1:38 we rolled into Gregg's place. Jan wouldn't arrive for another 35+ minutes, and it was over an hour before the next riders started to arrive.

Ride Stats: 138 miles, 20 mph average speed (not bad with the wind and climbing), at most 15 minutes off the bike (getting control cards signed, etc). Both Ben and I felt that with a few extra bottles of ensure we would have been even faster.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Rolling On..

This weeks CT session was canceled, so this week I've been spending some extra time on my rollers. Most nights I've been getting in around 1hr - 1.5hr on the rollers. Last night, Thursday, I was able to log close to three hours of quality roller time. If it stays dry this next week I want to start to do some outdoor night riding.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Tuesday 3/15/2005 - Back in the Gym & On the Rollers.

The plan today was to get back into the "Core" body gym routine. So, even though I was completely famished, right after work I headed over to the gym to quickly do my core lifts. If I'm fast it takes about an hour to get through my routine. After getting back home and eating dinner, I was on the rollers doing some easy spinning for an hour.

In the sponsorship news, I'm really pleased to announce the Team Tartan has secured a Kilt Sponsorship through Sport Kilt ( Team Tartan will be using the Royal Stewart Tartan as its official tartan. Sport Kilts endorsed by the Scottish American Athletes Association are fantastic and economical way to enjoy the freedom of wearing a quality kilt. What better way to relax after a hard day of training at cycling camp then to lounge around regimental style in a kilt. As one famous Scott said, “For Freedom!”.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Tartan Website Posted

The inital Team Tartan website is finally posted:

Monday, Massage Day!

Not too much to report, my quads are doing fairly well, but wow are my calf's tight.

Recovery: Went to sleep early!

Sunday -- Industrial Staple

The plan was to get out early and do 90 - 100 miles. The early part of the plan got amended, as it was 11:00 by the time I was riding over to Bens place. Back on the road we headed out towards Snoqualmie Falls. There was a very strong wind blowing down from the north. The day went really well, until we were heading back in the final miles of the day, and I was just thinking to myself of bonus miles we could tack on when I hit an industrial staple and more or less nearly totaled my rear tire. The staple went right through the side wall sending me from 120 PSI, to Zero almost instantaneously. My first attempt at fixing the tire was an utter failure, as the inner tube protruded through the broken sidewall of the tire. Thankfully Ben had been munching on an energy bar and I was able to boot the tire with the wrapper from the bar and limp back on 1/3 pressure. In the end I ended up getting in around 90 miles.

Recovery: 2 scoops hammer whey & 4 TR.

Saturday -- Mason Lake Road Race

Saturday was the 2nd Mason Lake race and my first road race this year. With my involvement with the Aurora team I have felt it important to do a few road races. Being the "Mason Lake" road race, its not to hard to guess that the race might take place at Mason Lake located on the Olympic Peninsula just under two hours by car from Seattle. This didn't seem too bad until I realized that the cat 4 start time of 9:30 would require that I leave Seattle 6AM. Ugh. To throw a wrench into everything Friday was the day I had planned on cleaning up my rain bike and turn it into a road racing machine. The plan here was to be done with the bike rebuild no later then 8:00 so I could be thoroughly rested before the race. Things didn't end up going quite as planned and I ended up tightening the last cables, at 11:30. The morning came all too soon. Thankfully I had arranged to car pool down to the race with two other team members, Ben and Chris, once over at Chris's I passed out in the front seat of his Subaru.

The Race!

The race was a short circuit race, three, eleven mile laps. The Aurora squad had great starting position; we were all easily in the top 20 on the road. Rolling out, we rolled down the course, made a right on to the course, headed over a small climb, and then started the decent. I suddenly was reminded why I prefer ultras. Descending at 40 mph is one thing, but doing 40 sandwiched in a peloton of cat 4 racers isn't my idea of exactly a good time. Over the decent I'd slipped back a few spots, due to nerves. Then we zipped along a flat section, and took the other right hand corner. Now, I had a great line going into this corner but other riders had differing lines causing me to loose position again.

Going into the second lap, I'd slipped way back and was now near the rear of the pack. The team plan was for me to get out and attempt a breakaway going into the third lap, to facilitate this the idea was that some other riders would attack stretch the pack out a little and then right at the start of the third lap I would go. Nearing the end of the second lap, the only problem was I was still near the back. I started to move up, but it was quite difficult due to the road being clogged with riders. Then Gregg, another Aurora rider, went to the front and took a pull. The pack stretched out slightly, and I was at the front on schedule.

When I popped off the front, I dug, and developed no more then a car length gap on the pack. Two other riders shot up the road. Now we were a group of three. We started a pace line, and I looked back to see the peloton stretched out into single file just holding on. We started a pace line at the front doing fast rotations. The pace line worked until riders who weren't going to take pulls got intertwined in the line.

Turning onto the final 5KM stretch, Greg, Matt, and I went to the front to try and elevate the pace. Our attacks were fairly disorganized. At the 1 KM I sat up. I had promised myself that I wouldn't do anything past the 1 KM to go mark as there was no way I was going to get myself mixed up in a cat 4 sprint with Zabel wannabees.

After the race, Ben and I put in another 20+ miles on the road.

Recovery: 2 scoops hammer whey & 4 TR.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday Morning Update

Tuesday Evening

Nothing to exciting, just another evening of YARS! (yet another roller session) Before this nights session I switched out my TT wheels for my regular wheels, they work slightly better on the rollers. I ended up rolling to ~1.5 of my 2000 Tour DVD.

WednesdayIt was back on the computrainer, this weeks session was a 19 mile course. It started off with a flat warm-up, then descended down for a mile or two with short .1 mile climbs interspersed on the decent. The course then flattened out for a few miles. After the flat section the course then laddered up over a series of 4 1 mile 3% climbs before finally descending back down to the finish line. Over the session, I just tried to put out a real consistent effort, nothing to huge. During the last few miles of the course I felt some uncomfortable rubbing going on between the shorts and my leg. Well, I’m glad the course wasn’t any longer, because after all was said and done I had rubbed off a quarter size piece of skin. I had planned to try and be back on the bike later in the evening, but a few other things got in the way namely finishing my taxes.

Thursday Morning:
Broke out the beater bike this morning and road to the bus stop just a little over five miles away from where I live. The ride in felt really great, it really helps put me a good mental state for work. This evening I really want to put in a quality roller session. Nothing hard, but at least few hours of pure goodness..

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

3/7/2005 Monday

Today, I went to the Aurora team meeting after work. We discussed this coming weekend’s raceing plan for the Mason Lake road race. This weekend I'm doing one of the two road races I'm going to do before RAO. The Team's looking good. I just hope the weather stays nice. After dinner, I hopped on the rollers and did an hour to a Tour DVD. I didn't have time to switch my tires since the TT so the rolling resistance was a little way too low. Instead of being a more normal session it became a cadence fest.


Monday, March 07, 2005

Weekend Update with Team Tartan

This weekend could either be thought of as the end of the rest week or as a more gradual start to the next phase in the training. The plan for Saturday was to do the local Seattle Randonneurs annual 100k ride, yeah its only ~63 miles, which at this point isn’t anything. The plan was to just do the ride at a totally chill pace with the idea of finishing the ride feeling like we hadn’t really done anything. This is exactly, what happened, on the final turn, Ben remarked, "Kenneth, I though we were going to ride today, after which we both just laughed". The funny thing too, was there seemed to be a group of more "senior" riders who really wanted draft us. It felt good to know that they worked hard that we didn't.

Sunday, was the start of the racing season with the 10 mile Ice breaker Time Trial. Some how I'd totally missed the pre-registration. After only 6hrs of sleep, I was up back up and heading down to Enumclaw for to register for the TT. The start time for my TT was 11:55, which gave me close to 4 hrs to warm-up for the TT event.

After breakfast and doing some final gear setup, I had 2hrs left. At this point both crew chief Ben who was going to go 2 min before me, and I hit the road for a little warm-up. We did around an hour on the road and then were back at the start to put in some final time on both the rollers and trainers.

The weather on Sunday was nothing short of fantastic, it was hot, hot enough to only wear summer riding clothes. No gloves, no leggings, etc just a helmet, jersey, shorts, socks and shoes. After a brief session stretching, I was on the line.

Ben took off, then a 12 year old junior racer, and then I went. Off the line, I was jazzed, I hit 29mph, my heart rate hit 165, and I dialed it back a notch to ease into the event. Less then a mile into the course, I'd caught the junior. After this I didn't see anyone till I reached the turn around at a little more the 5 miles. While I was hot, off the line, after getting into a tempo for some crazy reason I kept reverting to “Ultra-Mode” and had to keep remind myself that I was in a TT needed to push it. My heart rate just sat in the 168 - 170 BPM range. (Way to high for ultra’s but way to low for the TT)

After the turn around, I caught a few riders, but not Ben. I think these riders had hit the road three and four minutes before I'd started. I really should have pushed a little harder on the return stretch. When I rolled over the finish line, I felt like I could have continued on at my pace for much longer.

End result:
Officially 10 mile TT
My computers distance (9.81 miles)
Time: 23 minutes 20 seconds
5th Place in the Cat 4's.

I was only 11 seconds off of 3rd place, 20 seconds off of second. I know I could have been a little faster if I'd had any idea as to how close I was riding to the others. Master crew chief Ben had a fantastic TT finishing 8th. To put the times in perspective, last year I did the same course in a little over 25 min, so things are looking good.

After the TT I did easy spinning on the rollers for another hour. The recovery week has been really good, the legs are feeling really good right now.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Recovery Week Review,

This week has been all about recovery, in past years, I haven't really done these and one of my resolutions this year was to do some quality recovery, every now and then to avoid injury etc. For someone who really likes to ride, these weeks can be just as hard as regular weeks, hard in a different way.

Monday was massage

Wednesday, it was a very chill CT Session. In the past few weeks, I've been getting some calf pain, my calf muscles have just been getting tighter and tighter. After the CT session, I asked both Tim, and an ex-euro pro racer if they had any thoughts on my bike fit. Well, one thing they both thought was that my saddle was a little high. Tim said my high saddle position was causing me to use my toe muscles a little too much. The end result was I brought both the saddle and the bars down a notch, and am going to try it at the lower height for a week or two before the huge miles kick back in.

Thursday, I picked up some cables to re-cable the race bike and did a very chill hour on the rollers. Tonight, I would like to do a few chill miles, maybe around 1.5 and re-cable the bike before riding on Sat.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

2/28/2005 -- Massage Day!

Today was the first of what should be a semi-regular event from here on in. Massage Therapy, my calves were a little tight. They still feel tight. Having promised myself that I will do everything I can and then some to be fit & healthy come RAO. I scheduled my next session for 2 weeks from Monday.

If anyone's in the Seattle area, and looking for a great massage therapist. I'd recommend, David Nicholson, 206-527-8120, he's ex-pro racer. So, when you say, just work on the legs. He knows what you mean.