Sunday, December 04, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up & Winter Training Series #5

Well this week it was trainer time due to bad weather after work.  I guess I'm just going to have to get used to the idea of riding the trainer during the week & getting outdoors on the weekends to ride.  The trainer has become a necessary evil to get ready for racing season.  I was able to ride 2 days on the trainer this week.  On Monday we were so swamped at work due to the long holiday weekend that I was totally wiped out when I got to my parent's house for the work week.  I pretty much ate dinner, took a shower, & actually was in bed by 8:30 pm.  On Tuesday I was able to ride the trainer doing a Cyclo-Spin workout.  I haven't done this workout in quite sometime, but I remember it kicking my butt the last time I tried it.  This time it wasn't so bad, so I guess that's a good sign that I'm getting in better shape.  On Wednesday I got on the trainer once again, this time using my favorite album to workout to, Operatioin Mindcrime by Queensryche.  I really love using this album for a trainer workout.  I warm up with about the first 2-3 songs, then gradually increase the load with each song until I hit about the 8th song which I use as a recovery period, then the rest of the album is riding the big ring & trying to keep the cadence about 90 rpm or higher as I increase the load.  I really can't keep track of any data on the trainer because my cyclocomputer requires my front wheel to be moving to keep all the important stuff, when riding the trainer, all it shows is heart rate & cadence, but will not keep averages of them. 

On Friday I did the Winter Training Series #5 route due to other commitments that prevented me from joining the group on Saturday.  I must say that this was the most challenging route we have done to date.  I was glad that there wasn't much wind when I was out on the route.  I was able to keep a good pace going for most of the route until I hit a certain section of road.  This section of road had several short, steep climbs on it which really took it's toll on my legs. As I was heading home I was certainly feeling those short climbs.  I really can't complain about the ride though, I felt good the entire ride, kept a steady pace, & enjoyed the challenge of the route.  Here is the data for the WTS #5 route:
Total Distance: 67.88 miles
Total Time: 3:40:08
Avg. Speed: 18.55 mph
Max Speed: 34.93 mph
Avg. Cadence: 92 rpm
Avg. Heart Rate: 153
Max Heart Rate: 173
Calories Burned: 3517

On Saturday afternoon, I took my commuter bike out for a recovery ride, my legs were a bit sore from the previous day's ride.  I just rode easy & spun my legs to let them recover.  It most certainly helped.

On Sunday afternoon, I rode with my friend Eddie H. who has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to bike racing.  He's been doing it for over 20 years, so it's nice to pick his brain & learn what it will require to succeed this upcoming season.  We only had about 90 minutes to ride, so Eddie certainly pushed the pace early in the ride.  I was doing my best to hang on as close as I could.  Eddie is a very strong rider who could drop me at a moment's notice, but I try my best to stay with him during a ride.  During some portions of the ride we went kind of easy for a bit, then the pace picked back up.  I was feeling it on parts of the ride, but I needed to be pushed to see if I could hang on.  All in all it was a good ride.  Here is the data for Sunday's ride:
Total Distance: 28.65 miles
Time: 1:29:48
Avg. Speed: 19.14 mph
Max Speed: 31.80 mph
Avg. Cadence: 91 rpm
Avg. Heart Rate: 144
Max Heart Rate: 166
Calories Burned: 1311

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Winter Training Series Ride #4

Yesterday was the Winter Training Series ride #4.  We started at Bare Bulb Coffee & had 19 people show up for the ride.  The weather was great & I didn't need much more than arm & knee warmers for this ride.  We started out & headed to Roberta using the hilly route.  About 22 miles into the ride Charles said the KOM attacks could start which they did commence.  I needless to say was not one of the protaganists in this endeavour.  I still need to get the weight down before I can even think of being competitive on the hills.  I just stayed within myself, know there was still a lot of riding left to do & not wanting to wasted energy I didn't need to at the time.  I rode up the hills at my steady pace & was actually catching people.  I made up time on the descents & caught another group ahead of me.  I rode with them for quite sometime.  We hit the base of Firetower hill & I stayed at a steady cadence.  This hill usually has me riding up in single digits, but this time I was able to keep the speed in double digits.  I guess all the riding so far is starting to pay off.  After the store stop, we headed back though Fort Valley.  Once we got rolling, we starting practicing rotations.  This is where you have two lines of riders and as once  you hit the front of one line, you move over & start falling back in the second line.  Once you hit the back of the second line you pull over & start moving forward again.  If you have a group of riders who are good at doing this, you can keep up a good pace for quite some time.  It took us a bit to get it going, but once we got it down, we did well into Fort Valley.  After leaving Fort Valley it was a double paceline ride back to Bare Bulb Coffee.  It was a good ride & everyone had a good time.  Here is the data for the ride:
Total Distance: 77.74 miles
Total Time: 4:11:18
Average Speed: 18.45 mph
Max Speed: 40.47 mph
Average Cadence: 85 rpm
Average Heart Rate: 139
Max Heart Rate: 170
Calories Burned: 3426

Riding at Night

Last weekend I had found my lighting system.  I had been looking for this for quite sometime & when I brought down the Christmas decorations, it was in the same box as the Christmas lights.  I was happy to find it because this meant that I would still be able to ride outdoors for a bit longer & not be a prisoner to the trainer as of yet.  I charged up both batteries & made sure that the entire system still worked.  The system worked great & so I thought I would give it a try up at my parent's house the following Monday night.  I used to commute to work quite regularly when I was working in Macon & really enjoyed riding during the dark.  It's a totally different feeling when riding in the dark.  You have to become more attuned to your surroundings & listen more carefully so you won't get run over by either a vehicle or some kind of animal jumping out in front of you.  I decided on a loop near my parent's house that wouldn't be too busy with traffic.  I mounted the lights, tail light, & wore my neon yellow wind vest for extra visibility.  I chose the wind vest over the reflective vest I have for this ride because it was still about 70 degrees out & the reflective vest makes it quite warm during the ride while wearing it.  The headlights worked great & the traffic really wasn't as big a hassle as I thought it might be on one of the roads.  This route is good because it has some steady uphill sections on it & I can vary the route so it won't get boring.  I rode two laps of this course & it took me an hour to complete it.  My legs felt good during the ride & the uphill section wasn't as bad as I though it would be.  I feel I'm getting stronger on the hills, but I still have a long way to go yet.  All in all it was certainly better to ride outside at night than to be stuck on the trainer.

Winter Training Series Ride #3

For this Winter Series Training ride, we joined the group from Macon on their winter ride.  This was not going to be a good day as I soon found out.  I was on the way to the ride when I remembered that I had forgotten my water bottles at the house.  I had to turn around & get them.  This simple lack of being prepared would cost me later in the day.  I was running behind, but hoped I would have a chance to warm up just a bit before everyone left.  I was just about finished getting ready when the entire group took off.  I latched on to the back of the group, but we were already doing 20+ at the start of the ride.  My legs were certainly feeling the effects of no warm up at all.  I wasn't able to stay with the group for long.  I had a map & just rode at my own pace & tried to get my legs to warm up.  At one intersection I ran into Manuel & asked him which way the group went.  He told me he wasn't sure & he was trying to figure out which way to go.  I had a map of the general route, but it was hard trying to read the exact roads to ride.  We kind of found some of the roads & made our way back to the start point.  Even though I wasn't able to hang with everyone, it still wasn't a bad ride.  Here is the data for the ride:
Total Distance: 50.21 miles
Time: 2:41:43
Average Speed: 18.63 mph
Max Speed: 38.43 mph
Average Cadence: 88 rpm
Average Heart Rate: 155
Max Heart Rate: 165
Calories Burned: 2687

Training Camp Weekend

This post is a couple of weeks late & I apologize for that, but just haven't been in the mood to post anything lately.  A couple of weeks ago we had our first training camp for the team I will be riding for next season.  This was the first time the entire team was able to get together & ride as a team.  The weekend consisted of rides on Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, & Sunday morning.  The weather for the entire weekend was fantastic, didn't rain at all during any of the rides.  It was a bit on the cool side on the beginning of each ride, but once we got further into each ride, the weather warmed up.  The ride on Friday was for about 2 hours give or take.  We rode down in Milledgeville & I forgot how hilly it was down there.  The route had a couple of good climbs on it that had me doing single digit speeds up them, but I need the hill work anyway.  Here is the data for the ride on Friday:
Total Distance: 36.89 miles
Total Time: 2;09:13
Average Speed: 17.17 mph
Max Speed: 45.17
Average Cadence: 84 rpm
Average Heart Rate: 148
Max Heart Rate: 174
Calories Burned: 1976

On Friday night we had a team dinner with the sponsor & his family.  Our sponsor is fantastic & really is treating the entire team great.  We received our helmets & shoes for next season.  Then we received a couple of surprises.  The first was a duffle bag in team colors with the team name embroidered on one side & our name on the other side.  The other surprise was that each team member received a chair in the team color with the team logo on it.  Everyone was surprised by the gifts & it makes everyone that much more inspired to do our best this upcoming season.

On Saturday the big ride was on the schedule.  We were doing about 67 miles that day.  We started out on the same route we used on Friday, but added some more hills on the ride.  We worked on riding in a paceline, with each person taking a turn up front, then we kind of split up on the hills & became two groups.  One group was made up of the stronger riders & pushed the pace.  The other group was the riders just getting some base miles & saddle time.  I was in the second group.  We worked well together & really enjoyed riding with each other.  Here is the data from Saturday's ride:
Total Distance: 67.36 miles
Total Time: 3:35:27
Average Speed: 18.86 mph
Max Speed: 43.36 mph
Average Cadence: 85 rpm
Average Heart Rate: 143
Max Heart Rate: 170
Calories Burned: 3133

On Saturday night, we had a get together at the club house where our sponsor has a condo.  We had pizza from Mello Mushroom, salads, wings, & soda or water to drink.  Charles talked about what he had planned for the team this up coming season.  It was great just to hang out with the other team members in a relaxing atmosphere & get to know each other. 

On Sunday, we checked out of the hotel, had a worship service for those who wanted to attend, then it was time to head out for the final ride of the weekend.  This was somewhat of a recovery ride after the long ride the day before.  We did the same route we did on Friday afternoon, my legs were feeling the effect of the hills all weekend, but they really weren't as sore or as heavy as I thought they would be.  We rode in a double paceline & took turns up front & generally had a good ride.  Here is the data for Sunday:
Total Distance: 36.20 miles
Time: 2;04:23
Average Speed: 17.46 mph
Max Speed: 44.33 mph
Average Heart Rate: 136
Max Heart Rate: 168
Calories Burned: 1603

All in all it was a great weekend of riding & getting to know everyone on the team.  I look forward to racing with these guys during the season.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Winter Training Series Ride #1

Yesterday was the first Winter Training Series Ride put on by Middle Georgia Endurance.  The weather was a bit windy to say the least.  I met up with Charles & Justin at Charles' house, then headed to Bare Bulb Coffee to get a cup of coffee before the rest of the group showed up for the ride.  We had a great turn out for the first ride.  Kim, Steve N, Steve W, Keith, Tyler, Colin, BK, Derek, Chip, Martin, Felix, Trey, Charles, Justin, & myself.  As I said before, the wind was the biggest problem during the ride.  It wasn't that bad as we started towards Perry, but as the ride progressed, the wind did pick up & was gusty from time to time. We rode in a double paceline for the first part of the ride, taking turns up front for anywhere from a minute to 2-3 minutes.  The stronger riders in the group took the longer of the pulls.  My legs were feeling quite good the first part of the ride & I did take my share of pulls up front.  We made it through Perry & headed towards Fort Valley, using Camp John Hope rode made for an eventful ride. This road has quite a few hills, some short & steep, some a bit longer, but going into the wind made it even harder.  We made a store stop in Fort Valley, then headed out back towards home.  We were doing a rotating paceline & it took a few mintues to get the rotations going, but once we got it figured out, it worked out quite well.  We had somewhat of a headwind the rest of the way home, but with doing the paceline, it really wasn't as bad as it could have been.  All in all it was a fun ride with a great group of people.  Here is the information for the ride:

Total Distance: 69.83
Total Ride Time: 3:58:25
Average Speed: 17.56 mph
Max Speed: 36.07 mph
Average Cadence: 87 rpm
Average Heart Rate: 141
Max Heart Rate: 171
Calories Burned: 3356
Blood Glucose Pre-ride: 208
Blood Glucose Post-ride: 111

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Recovery Ride

After yesterday's hard ride, today was a very needed recovery ride.  I made it a point to do two things on this ride, one was keep it in the small ring, no gearing higher than a 39 x 16 & the other point was to keep my heart rate under 140 bpm.  I used a loop I have used quite often since I've been in this area.  It's a great route to use for recovery, no really big climbs & it's relatively flat for around here.  The weather was fantastic, a bit of a ENE wind, but I didn't worry much about that.  This ride was all about enjoying the scenery & making sure the legs felt good the entire ride.  I was chased on parts of the ride by some dogs, but as soon as I yelled at them, they just decided to leave me alone while I was riding.  My legs felt good just spinning the gears.  I made it a point to have a tailwind on the last part of the ride, so I could just relax a bit more & enjoy being out on my bike.  All in all it was a very nice day to take an easy ride.  Here is the ride info if anyone is interested:
Total distance: 17.53 miles
Total Time: 1:03:30
Avg Speed: 16.56 mph
Max Speed: 27.46 mph (downhill coasting)
Avg Cadence: 87 rpm
Avg Heart Rate: 121
Max Heart Rate: 140
Calories Burned: 655

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Ride to Hawkinsville

Today was a ride with a group to Hawkinsville & back.  The pace was going to be between 18-20 mph.  I was looking foward to it, but not the weather at the start of the ride.  It was 38 degrees when I left the house & headed to the starting point of the ride.  I wore a compression shirt, bibs, jersey, insulated vest, arm & leg warmers, & toe covers on my shoes.  I made sure to spin the legs on the way out to meet the others to let my legs warm up before the real ride started.  There were four of us who braved the cold for this ride, Martin, Steve, Trey, & myself.  We headed out towards Hawkinsville via SR 247.  We had a bit of a tail wind on this part of the ride & the pace was quite brisk.  We each took our turns up front & worked well.  On the way back from Hawkinsville, we had a bit of a headwind, but it wasn't too bad.  The weather had improved & warmed up a bit during the ride.  We rode through Perry & past the GA National Fairgrounds.  All in all it was a good hard ride for everyone. 
Here is the data from the ride:
Total Mileage: 55.12
Total Time: 2:48:46
Average Speed: 19.59 mph (everyone else had over 20 mph avg speed, but didn't ride as far as I did)
Max Speed: 32.57 mph
Average Cadence: 90 rpm
Average Heart Rate: 144
Max Heart Rate: 166
Calories Burned: 2426
Blood Glucose Pre-Ride: 110
Blood Glucose Post Ride: 100

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sorry for the lapse in posts

I'm sorry it's taken so long to post something new, but life has a way of throwing curve balls.  I've been unable to get to a decent working computer for quite sometime, so hence no posts.  I've gotten my computer fixed & it's time to start posting more often.  I've been busy with work here lately, so I haven't been able to exercise as much as I would like to.  The time change is coming soon & it looks like it will be trainer & roller season before you know it.  I'm not really looking forward to it, but it is a necessary evil if you want to be ready for the next racing season.
Speaking of the next racing season, our first team camp is coming up in a few weeks.  I'm really looking forward to getting to ride with the rest of the team.  I've ridden with several members during the local group rides, but some of the team members I've never ridden with.  I'll go into more details as camp gets closer.
Today I was able to get in a little over 2 hours on the bike.  It was a bit windy, but things like that happen.  I rode out to Perry & rode the Perry Parkway, one of my favorite roads to ride on.  I had a tail wind down the Parkway & put it in the big ring & kept it there on that stretch of road.  My legs were feeling pretty good & I was able to keep up a good cadence & speed.  I had a headwind on the way home, but still kept it in the big ring trying to build up some more power in my legs. 
Here is the data from today:
Total mileage: 39.52
Ride time: 2:07:48
Avg Speed: 18.55 mph
Max Speed: 31.80 mph
Avg Cadence: 88 rpm
Avg Heart Rate: 147
Max Heart Rate: 168
Calories Burned: 1930
Blood Glucose pre ride: 140
Blood Glucose post ride: 122

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Long Ride Today

Today I was able to get in a long ride.  The weather was a bit overcast and cool at the start of the ride, so I wore arm warmers to keep the chill off.  I started out doing The Bike Store sunday route & during the ride I ran into a lady with a flat tire.  I stopped to give her a hand until help arrived, then proceeded on the ride.  Once I hit 341, I decided to head toward Camp John Hope Rd & ride that until it hits 127.  It's been quite sometime since I've been down that road & I had forgotten how hilly it was.  I managed to survive the worst climb on the road, even though I was only doing 8.5 mph up it.  Once I hit 127 it was pretty much a tail wind into Perry.  I had been keeping up with my hydration & eating during the ride, but decided to stop in Perry to check my blood sugar.  I had started out with a blood glucose of 134 but by the time I hit Perry an hour & a half into the ride, it was down to 95.  I stopped & had something to bring it up & then headed down the Perry Parkway for the rest of the ride.  The legs felt great down the parkway & I was able to keep up a good cadence & speed.  I came back down Arena Rd, towards Houston Lake Rd to head on back home.  My legs felt good the entire ride & I did a much better job at watching my blood sugar during the ride.  Here is the info for today's ride:
Total mileage: 54.02
Ride time: 2:54:33
Avg speed: 18.62 mph
Max speed: 35.79 mph
Avg cadence: 91
Avg heart rate: 148
Max heart rate: 169
Calories burned: 2659
Blood glucose pre-ride: 134
Blood glucose post ride: 141