Monday, April 28, 2008

Week in Review: April 21-27, 2008

What an awesome week its been. The weather was perfect, except for Sunday. A harbinger of things to come. I hate cold. It was great to have temps in the 70's and 80's. I love the heat. I can't explain why but since living in Texas for a little less than a year way back in 1981-82 my body does not do well with the cold and I seem to thrive in heat. I've gotten better over the years with dealing with the cold. But if I don't have to be out in it, then I'm not gonna be out in it. Got bless rollers and TV, I'll never have to ride in the rain and cold again. 500 of the 1500 miles I've logged in the last 10 weeks are roller miles. That's how much I hate the cold. Speaking of time on the bike, I've now logged 10 weeks of solid base and have this last week to go to complete Base 3 of my training plan. The following week is a rest & recovery week. I'm very much looking forward to the time off the bike. The last 2 weeks have been brutally hard and this week will be no different.

My body is responding well to the overload. After the brutal beating I took on Tuesday at Davidsonville, I traded my off day from Friday to Wednesday. My week started with one off, on on, one off. Not a good way to start a 11 hr week. I knew I would have to hump it hard the remaining days of the week and that's exactly what I did.

Thursday was a particularly nasty workout that called for 6 x 6 minute mock TT efforts at 250-260 watts. Since we all know that more is better I did them all well in excess of 265 watts. The first two were rather weak at 295 watts average, but its hard to find a road in Columbia where you can go more than 2 minute without stopping. I did the first interval going down Snowden River Parkway out toward Rt-108. Once past the Kripsy Kreme its a false flat all the way to Tamar Drive. But it's still too short, so I had to turn right into the 'hood on Tamar to keep it going. The road goes downhill into some short rollers, so I pedaled my ass off to keep the watts up. Even on a 53x12 its still hard to generate 200+ watts going downhill. Girth and gravity make it all to easy to go fast when the road goes down. The 2nd interval was a bruiser heading down the new section of Montgomery Road. I hammered that sucker all the way from the golf course past the Giant to the top of the hill on Lawyers Hill Road. I humped that for about 300 watts. Which wasn't easy since that stretch is mostly on a downgrade. My goal for the night was to get over to Race Rd in Elkridge to do most of the 6 intervals. Lawyers Hill Rd is my short cut to Levering Ave and to Race Rd. It also goes by Speeds, the 2nd best Ducati shop in a 100 mile radius of Balto/Wash. (The 1st is Duc Pond in Winchester, VA in case you were wondering). Race Rd is pretty much flat from start to end except for the part on the other side of Hanover Road that leads toward Cocoa Cola Drive. The stretch from Furnace Rd to Hanover is roughly 5 min 30 sec from start to end at TT pace (1 min. 30 at Ducati pace) so I extended it past the stop sign up the false flat on Hanover Rd that leads toward BWI Airport. The road is closed to all but local traffic and pretty chewed up with road construction. I hope they finish that soon. That little section is part of regular Sunday loop for me. I managed 3 intervals there. All of them over 315 watts average, the best at 330 watts. My goal FTP number. The last interval I saved for the trip back to the office. I cut thru Patapsco State Park on the MUP that now connects up to Illchester Rd. Every local rider knows Illchester Rd! 18% of pain, pain, pain! I skipped it. Instead I did the steadier climb up Bonnie Branch Road. Illchester is too short. Once you get to the top it runs flat all the way to Montgomery Rd for about a mile. Bonnie Branch on the other hand is a steady 4% average climb all the way from it's bottom, where its meets the bottom of Illchester, to it's end at Montgomery Rd. The last 300 yards are some it's hardest tarmac. It's also very bucolic in its scenery. There are a couple of abodes on the lower parts of the road, where the feeder streams into the Patapso run along side the road, that are beautiful. I would give my left arm to live in one of them. I imagine their current owners did. If I lived in that neck of the woods I'd probably never be fat again. That little enclave is the nexus of some of the best and hardest climbing in the area. I have one hill routine that hits them all. I'll save that for another blog entry.

After that last interval I was toast. I limped back to the office, got my shit together and went home. I could barely walk the rest of the evening. I downloaded my data and saw that my TSS scores were all above 1.0 for those intervals. The one I did at 330 watts was like 1.35. And I had already increased my FTP in WKO to 265 watts a couple days prior. Testing is in 2 weeks and I'll be surprised if I don't see big gains.

Fridays workout was supposed to be an active reco ride. Well it was, except for the sprints I did to make up for not doing them on Wednesday when I was supposed too. Those didn't go as well as I expected. The workout was 5 small ring sprints for 50 yards to warm up the legs followed by 3 big ring sprints starting on a 53x19, spin out, shift once to 53x17, spin out and done. The next 3 sprints start off in a 53x17, spin out, shift, spin out, shift again, spin out and done on the 53x14. The very last sprint was a start in a 53x15, spin out, shift, spin out, shift again, spin out and done on the 53x13. The goal of these sprints is not all out power and pain but to teach me not to dump the chain onto a 53x12 or 11 when it comes time to pay the bills. Even though I was not doing all out power and pain I never got past 1025 watts for all those sprints. I was kinda disappointed as I was hoping for a new 5 sec number to be proud off. 1025 watts puts me squarely at 'Untrained' on the Allen/Coggan chart. I dunno what to make of it. Maybe I didn't have fresh legs. Maybe I held back too so I wouldn't get dropped on the Davidsonville ride 12 hrs away on Saturday morning. Whatever the reasons it's still disappointing to see what you thought was your strength turning out to be a weakness.

Ahhh, the Davidsonville Ride. The bane of my existence. It's the kind of ride you just cant keep away from no matter how many times it all ends in tears. Much like my golf game of many years ago. The occasional flashes of brilliance give way to total suckage and pain. But its those spurts of greatness that keep me coming back to repeat the pain and suffering with the hope of extending those moments of glory.

It all ended in tears.


This time it wasn't my fault. Well it it was, but not due to fitness. I found out after the first hump on Sands Road that I had great legs on the day. I was having one of those 'chainless' rides. (Andrew Coggan, you were right about the sprints. Thank you!). I also found out that my rear wheel was about to come flying apart like the Bluesmobile at Daly Plaza. I knew I had a sketchy wheel before we even left the parking lot. I was gonna just bail and go to work and switch out the wheels on my other bike at the office. But Deutchman said, "fuck that shit, ask around for a wrench" I asked about 15 people there for a spoke wrench and that last guy I asked, a really cool guy name Les, gave me his. It's on my key ring now. I worked the wheel enough to not worry about bailing on the ride. But after that hard short sprint up the hill on Sands, the spokes worked loose again. I could feel the brake rubbing and so I opened up the brake caliper so it would stop. That got me another couple miles to ride but that wheel started wobbling worse than a drunken sailor on shore leave. By the time I got over the last hard hill on Rt-408 past the golf course it was toast. My ride was over with the main group. Shit!!!! I was pissed. At myself mostly but the wheel in particular. I, finally, was having a good day. With no worries about getting dropped I'm waylaid by a mechanical. I stopped and worked the wheel with the spoke wrench for a good 5 minutes. I TT'ed it back up Brooks Woods Rd and with no hope of catching them on the road I turned off for RT-2. My aim was to get ahead of them at the new roundabout at Friendship Rd. and get to the store stop and fix my wheel some more before they got there. That almost worked out. They got there before me, but not before Bill N., who was dropped. As I was turning down the road to the store Bill shouted out what I thought was "They all went straight." Meaning they skipped the store stop and the beach and went straight on to Fairhaven Rd. Turns out that it was only Bill who was skipping the beach. D'oh. Anyway, I rode the rest of the ride with Bill and we took it easy (relatively speaking) back to the park & ride but still maintaining a good pace. We never did get caught. I had to stop 2 more times. Once to fix the wheel again and at the new gas station in Harwood to get some water. We turned out a pretty solid 19 mph average for 48 miles. Once the other fellas came in I found out they had done close to 23 mph for 62 miles. Damn! I wanted to be part of that. Unfortunately I wont have a chance to be for the next few weeks. I have motoref duties for the next 2 Saturdays. Poolesville RR on May 3rd and Cascasde Crit the following week. I'm really looking forward to those gigs. Getting paid to ride the scoot rocks!

I'm gonna wrap this up with yesterdays ride. The weather sucked ass. I was supposed to do 3 hrs easy with my non-racing cyclist friends at 8:30 am. They live off Millersville Road and I always just ride over there from my house 5 miles away in Arden On The Severn. The plan was to head out Rt-175 to WB&A and loop the BWI Trail, ride up the B&A Trail to Annapolis, past the Naval Academy and cut thru West Annapolis back to Bestgate Rd and Generals Highway and then down Sunrise Beach to home. I stayed in bed. It was raining and I was in no mood to get wet. I spent the morning being lazy instead watching a freshly DVR'd F1 race and later Race 1 of WSBK in Assen. FUCK YOU SPEED CHANNEL! Troy Bayliss is the man, but I wish he'd stop adjusting his hat with his right hand during post race interviews. That pinkyless maw of his (he lost it in a crash at Donnington last season) grosses me out. I was gonna ride the rollers for 3 hrs while watching all the AMA races from Fontana. Luck was on my side because at 4 pm the roads were dry and it wasn't raining. Whoohoo! I'm outside baby. Besides, AMA Superbike sucks and as long as Mladin and Spies are still in the series it's gonna keep sucking. At least Spies is moving on to MotoGP next year, but old man Matt should find something else to do. He's worse than a sandbagging Cat 4. 7 times AMA Superbike champ is not as prestigious as one would think.

But I digress. My ride on Sunday picked up where Saturday left off. With great legs. At least until mile 45. Buy then, I was outta fuel. I did what most us fat guys do to lose pounds quickly. Ride long with no food. I did the first 2 1/2 hrs on 2 bottles of water and thats it. I almost made it home too, but once I hit Bestgate Rd, I had to stop for Gatorade. The Berry Rain got me home. My ride ended up being 55 miles at a 17 1/2 mph avg. Not bad for a solo Active Reco/Endurance ride. My avg HR for the whole ride was 136 bmp, about 79% of LTHR. I never hit above 161 bpm. My body is tired!

Look out fellas, the Fatguy is getting fit!

Numbers for the Week


Hours: 10:47
Miles: 191


Weight at the beginning of the week: 213 lbs
Weight at the end of the week: 208 lbs (OMFG!)
Calories consumed: 18,221 calories
Calories burned: 24522 calories
Net gain/loss: 6301 calories

I cant explain a 5 lbs loss in one week. Maybe I underestimated my workload? I did put in almost as many hours on the Ducati as I did the bicycle. So maybe that's where the missing calories are. I dunno, I don't care. Gone is gone.


5 sec: 1127 (carryover from 3/2) Seems I'm stuck with this until a really hard sprint workout.
1 min: 468 watts (carryover from 4/12)
5 min: 355 watts (carryover from 4/2)
20 min: 253 watts (carryover from 3/15) I need to test and soon!

I did have new numbers for 10sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, and 60 min. I could even say CP6 went up too, but I don't use Friels protocol so I wont. But I know it's there if I wanna extra moral boost.

Testing is in a couple weeks. I fully expect all these number to update. Especially 5 min and 20 min power.


My favorite part of training! The reward.

This week I bought a variety 12 pk of brews from Flying Dog Brewery of Colorado. In the box are 2 each of 6 of their many styles available. To be quite honest, they make good brews, but not great ones. None of the ones I had really stood out as exceptional.

The ones that were in the box.

Gonzo Imperial Porter - Very good. As good as Sam Adams
Old Scratch Amber Lager - Tastes like Sam Adams Boston Lager. Looks like it too.
Flying Dog Classic Pale Ale - Reminded me of Bass Ale.
Tire Bite Golden Ale - Too close to Flying Dog Classic Pale Ale
Snake Dog IPA - Good stuff. Not as hoppy as Dogfish Head 60 Min. IPA. A plus in my book.
In Heat Wheat - A good Hefe, right up there with Sam Adams too, but there are betters Hefes for the money. The one I reviewed two weeks ago for instance.

All good beers. The 12 pk was 13 bucks at Village Liquors in Waugh Chapel in Crofton. My new favorite beer store since finding out they stock the corked 7-fiddys of my favorite brew, Saison Dupont Valle Provision.

See you all at Poolesville and remember to stay to the right of the yellow line. Oh and if I find one discarded Gu wrapper stuck to my Ducati or sucked into the airbox, heads will roll. Under my fat 180 Conti Sport Attack!



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