Monday, April 7, 2008

Week in Review: March 24-April 6, 2008

Oy! What a week. After the previous 12 hr week I had a lot to do to keep the pyramid going. I had scheduled 13 hrs worth of workouts with only one rest day and had hoped to complete them all. And if it weren't for the rain all day on Sunday, I probably would have.

Where to begin...

Lets start with the fact that i ended up with 2 rest days. After a normal Monday off, I had to bag Tuesdays workout for family reasons. By the time I got home that night I had no desire to train. Not even on the rollers. I was worn the frack out. I think that Sunday 4 1/2 hr ride kicked my butt more than I realized. With only one more race this month and then a month of working as on official, I'll have a chance to put in some ridiculous hours in the saddle and not have to worry about being overtired on a race day.

Wednesdays workout was fantastic. A 5 min blowout followed by 2x10 at threshold wattage. This is the part of the program where I start working up to the famous '2x20' workout. However, my body was fresh and my power is up. I was trying to hold my threshold wattage, but it was too slow. So i gauged my effort on PE and HR and much to my surprise my 10 min wattage numbers were great. My 5 min wattage jumped from 323 to 351 in the space of 3 weeks. My 10 min wattage jumped to 297 watts in the same workout. The real surprise was the dramatic drop in PE and HR at those wattages. My HR was 10 beats lower for the same efforts and speed remained constant. Now i need to step up the HR during my intervals next week and I hope to see increases in wattage and speed. Hopefully that will bode well for me to shift my AT closer to the magic 93% of Max I'm looking for before the June Church Creek TT. With some good training and luck, I hope to hit my 33o watt FTP goal by then.

Thursday's workout was not as much fun as Wednesday's. The plan was 45 minutes at tempo interval followed by a 10 minute threshold interval. I was hoping to hit the Thursday Davidsonville ride at 6pm and just let myself get hammered into the ground by the fast guys and call it a day. But the weather again intervened and forced me indoors to work these intervals proper on the rollers. For the 45 min tempo interval I was to hold 190-225 watts. As easy as the higher wattage intervals were the night before, this one was torture. I had thoughts of quitting it more than once, and it was only 225 watts max. I didn't quit it and ended up averaging 216 watts for the 45 minutes. After that torture, I thought for sure that 10 minute threshold interval wasn't going to happen. But it did. For that bad boy I averaged 265 watts. 5 more than I was supposed to. I was very glad to get off the bike after that session.

I must of got a good nights sleep, because on Fridays reco ride, I felt great and I got to be outdoors riding on my reco loop instead of the rollers. I had dared to hope that things would go good for me for Saturday's Walkersville event. My first race of the year and first real road race in 8-9 years.

But it was not to be.

The race. What can I say. I failed. But at the same time I also succeeded. How's that possible? While I did not manage to stay with the main field after Ramsburger Road (the failure), I did not abandon the race either (the success). After getting dropped, I tried to chase back on on the faster tail wind sections. I thought I might succeed too, but as fast as I was motoring solo, they were just that much faster as a group. I let of the chase and decided to just keep on motoring at tempo and hope for attrition to place better than DFL. Half way up Devilbiss Bridge Rd I looked back and could see riders strung out all the way to the horizon. I knew I had some company if I eased off a bit so I wouldn't be riding solo into the wind for 4 more laps. Well it didn't quite workout that way. Only 3-4 riders came up from behind. The first 2 were just going too hard. The next two were about right, but I ended up dropping one of them and got dropped by the other on the very last time up Ramsburger. Well he was about 50lbs lighter. The last time up the hills toasted me for good, so i didn't bother to chase him. After the race he thanked my for letting him suck my wheel on the flat parts of the course where I had the power advantage. He was a nice guy, I wish I had gotten his name.

Let me start from the beginning. I got in my warm up by riding the back roads for about 45 min. I was still feeling really good. The wind was howling much harder than forecasted. A definite 15-20 knot NW wind. That will make Devilbiss Bridge Road a leg burner as that portion of road is dead into the wind. I lined up well at the staging area and was 5-6 riders from front during the roll out. After the real start things got a little faster, but i was feeling no pain and was holding my position on the road. Then we got to Ramsburger Road. The first bump was not problem. It was the next series of bump that did me in. My weight is a serious disadvantage and I knew it. I was grinding out the watts as best I could and hoped that I would still be in contact with the tail end of the group after The Barn. If the field had been just a little bit bigger I would have had it. I got my legs back on the downhill section and was chasing hard to get to the back end. I just couldn't seal the deal. Frack! Now I kept going as hard as I could until I could no longer see the field. I had made up my mind even before the race started that if I got dropped, I would not quit the race. So I kept on going until the end, getting in a great tempo workout.

All in all, I'm not terribly disappointed in my race. I knew I was too heavy. But the race still confirms for me that the workouts I'm doing are working. The glaring hole is in VO2 max and short intense efforts. Everything has been Tempo and Threshold work up to now. And that makes perfect sense too, as I'm only at the end of the Base 2 phase. I feel confident that my course of training is correct. By the good races at the end of May I should me much lighter and much stronger. My next race is the 3/4 Carl Dolan circuit race on April 20. I'm looking forward to that one. It's one of my favorite races. I always do well at it even when I'm not in top shape.

Here's a nice picture of me taken by Sue Estes. I was warming up at the time. Quite a bit of heft going on there. But hey, my IF looks bitchin!

That's all for the race.

I had planned to ride 5-6 hours on the W&OD trail and catch some action at Tyson's Corner to cheer on teamates. Again with the farging rain! Sheesh! I miss the drought. I slept in instead and spent the afternoon with my wife shopping. I needed that time with her. I glad it rained. What i ended up doing is watching a great Tour of Flanders race on Versus while doing 2 hours of reco on the rollers. My ass was sore I almost couldn't finish. That's was quite a display of power by Stijn Devolder. I'm glad he won. The last 10 minutes I was so caught up in the action, that i hadn't realized my speed and HR were going up on the rollers.

Lots of good racing this weekend. In F1 Filipe Massa not only finished after 2 straight weeks of DNF's, he won the race. Good for Fill. Hamilton is turning into a hard luck kid after his win in Melbourne. I've said if before, Raikonnen will be the one to beat this season. It will no surprise to me if he repeats as WC. As long as the Ferrari don't break.

I missed out on World Superbike. Speed really sucks for motorcycle racing coverage. Bastages. They only had race 1 on Sunday. I have to wait until Tuesday for race 2. So now I have to avoid all my favorite moto websites so I dont get spoilers.

Numbers for the week:


Hours: 8.5
Miles: 144


Weight at beginning of the week: 217 lbs

Weight at end of the week: 216 lbs

Calories Consumed: 18158 (2594 per day average) Oooof! That's a lot.

Calories Burned: 22,396 (15400 rmr + 6996 riding)

Net gain/loss: -4238 calorie deficit

I need to be careful here! Too much food.


5 sec: 1127 watts (carryover from 3/2)

1 min: 446 watts

5 min: 355 watts

20 min: 253 watts (carryover from 3/15)

Some new number in the short ranges. Nothing changed to the big numbers, but numbers dont always tell the story. I may have new 20 minute numbers after the Thursday hammer ride.


New beers tried this week (and accounted for in the meal log):

Franziskaner Weissbier. A brilliant German hefe. Put out by Spaten interestingly enough. Hefe's are one of my favorite styles of beers after Belgian & English Ales. This one is excellent. I may rethink my purchasing habits and buy this instead for an everyday Hefe over the Sam Adams hefe I have been drinking.

I capped my weekend off last night with a 7-fiddy of my all time favorite Belgian Ale, Saison Dupont Vallie Provision. Its a bottle conditioned farmhouse ale. If you have never tried a saison, do so. They are the best warm weather beer.

Perfection in a glass.



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