2006-04-29 PSP Metric Century+

71.25 miles.

PA State Police Metric Century ride with most of the chaingang.(chaingang is the name of the the mailing list for cyclists @ work.) I think almost the entire gang was there. Me, Tex, JL (Mr. CL), and GP drove over in JL's truck, where we met DL (up from Philly for the ride) and MH. The ride was very, very, very well done. Beautiful scenery, nicely rolling hills, and wonderful support from the PA State Police cadets. There were several loop rides available, but we did the two loops that make up the Metric Century (plus a return trip to the start between the loops, which is why the ride was 71.25 instead of 62). I actually felt pretty good after the ride. I took it slow and easy, and ate like a hog the entire ride. Even J felt pretty good. My previous long ride on J was quite a bit shorter. I expected more saddle/neck/arm pain, but it never really appeared.

Weather was *perfect*. I was wearing fleece tights and fleece arm warmers, and was cool at the start but fine by the end. Not a cloud in the sky, and low humidity.

Now I have to figure out what my plan is for the next month. I have my first race of the season in two weeks, and I'm not even close to being prepared for the run. I think I'm going to alternate hard/easy weeks for the next four, then reset and figure out what to do after my first two races. I'm not expecting much from either of my first two races, but I might be able to get myself into shape for my August races.

(Oh yeah, one thing about today's ride that I didn't like was the total, complete, utter lack of eye-candy. Come on! It's a bike ride! In the spring! And Mark is single! There couldn't have been even *one* cute, single, non-lesbian female there? Argh! I hate springtime!)


2006-04-28 Lunch Ride

Ate General Tso's for lunch, then immediately hit a bike ride with GP. It wasn't the most high-energy ride ever :-). 17 miles.

Metric century tomorrow AM. The entire work crowd (DL/GP/MH/CL/JL/Tex) is doing the ride.


2006-04-27 Masters Swim

2x[200 pull, 200 kick, 200 swim] WU, then 100/300/500/300/100 (I lost count during my 500, probably did more like 100/300/550/100/100), 8x25 hypoxic (did much better this time... focused on not swallowing air and constantly breathing out through my nose). 100 cooldown. I did 200 breast to make up for whatever I missed on the pyramid.

Note: When breathing left, I turn hard left. Must work on this.

I'm actually somewhat surprised by the "all freestyle, all the time" workouts at Masters. The Masters group in Raleigh, who used to start after my adult stroke development class, always did a lot of back/breast/butterfly. I might have to start swimming on, say, Sundays, and make Sunday a "non-freestyle" focus day. I have rather enjoyed working on back/breast/butterfly. I quite thouroughly suck at all of them, but I like learning new things. Earlier this year I was trying to develop an IM, but I seem to have let that goal slide.


2006-04-26 Lunchtime Ride

Nice easy ride, a bit flatter than our normal rides. The hills on this ride reminded me of NC, where they are true rollers (you can carry enough speed on the downs to get over the ups without adding too much effort.) I have to remember this route. It heads generally S or SW, instead of the normal routes with go N towards the ridgeline. I don't think any of the roads we did today were new, but I usually only do them as a means of getting to somewhere else.

This might be entirely mental, but I felt strong today. The pollen is still slamming me, but my legs felt strong.

I took J's computer off a few weeks ago, and keep forgetting to put it back on. MH's computer said 17.3mph, 15.67 miles.


2006-04-25 Masters Swim

Legs were *still* sore from last weekend's hike. Good grief! Couldn't kick at all tonight.

400 free WU, then 50x50 on 50 (actually on the minute, coming in at 45-50 for me), then 100 cooldown, and 100 breast. The 50x50 on 50 was in honor of H's 50th birthday.

Felt fine except for my legs. I couldn't point my toes at all because my calf muscles were tweaked.

Also, for the second year in a row, pollen has knocked me on my butt. My sinuses have been totally clogged. Wasn't a problem while swimming though. Go figure.


2006-04-21/22 Hiking

GP and I went down to the Skyline Drive and did some backpacking. We started/ended at the exact same parking lot where SU dropped me off for my first/second days of my Skyling Drive / Blue Ridge Parkway bike trek in 2004. We hiked the A.T. to Little Devil's Stairs, then north into the valley, then camped somewhere North of the Skyline Drive in the valley. Rain rolled in just after we made camp, and it never stopped. The hike was originally planned for Friday-Sunday, but when we got back up to the ridgetop on Saturday, we decided to call it an early trip. We were cold and wet, and our legs were TOAST. GP massively overpacked (two locking carabiners and 30 feet of webbing? Smooth move, GP!), my legs were simply not used to carrying a pack. As I type this (Sunday afternoon), my quads are still tweaked.

Although it wasn't quite the trek we originally planned, I still had a blast. It was nice to be out hiking again. I hadn't been on a purely hiking trip in quite some time. And with the beating my legs took, I feel quite comfortable calling this a good fitness-builder hike.


2006-04-19 Lunch bike

DL was up from the Conshy office for a sales meeting, so he brought his bike and we all (Me, DL, GP, MH) went out for a ride. Country Club Route. MH is getting stronger! Our average speed was up to 17.something, and could easily have been even faster if we tried.

The weather here has been *awesome* lately. The winter (which was apparently "mild" by PA standards) was killing me, but I must admit that I'm enjoying the heck out of spring in PA.


2006-04-18 Masters Swim

Missed 300 of the warmup. I can't even remember the workout. Pretty basic stuff though. Some drilling, a 12x50, a 6x150, some other stuff, then some things, and some whatchamacallems, with some hoohas throw in for good measure.

60 minutes.

Finished with some 50's on the minute, breathing once on the first 25, three times on the second 25. By the time I finished this, my stomach was bloated like nobody's business. I gotta learn how to stop swallowing air in the water.

Damn I'm tired.


2006-04-16 Easter Ride

62 miles, 5400' (over a mile, woohoo!) of climbing. This was intended to be a training ride for a metric century a whole bunch of us are doing in two weeks... but it ended up being a bit of an overtraining ride :).

Called GP to set up a ride, and not more than two minutes later, JL called to see if there was any ride action going down. JL rode over to my place, we both rode over to GP's place, then we headed south for a while, neart Ski Roundtop. JL stopped at mile 30 or so to meet CL (Mrs. JL), who was at her parent's house near our 30 mile marker. GP and I continued by riding north across the valley, then decided to be studs and cross Sterrit's Gap into the next valley. Then we took 850 over to Lamb's Gap to come back into the Cumberland valley. Luckily, Lamb's Gap to Orr's Bridge took me more or less home.

This was a solid ride for me. I was tired at the end, but it was a "good tired". Muscular Endurance was the limiter on this one. I was able to consume plenty of calories and liquid. Doing both Sterrit's Gap and Lamb's Gap late in the ride was one heck of a lot of fun. The South side of Lamb's Gap would be *brutal* on the uphill. It gave me the willies just going *down* that thing.

Stretch, massage, ice bath, "sit on sofa to finish watching film I started last night, while swathing my legs in packs of frozen veggies" after.

Dreyfus is begging for a walk, but I'm having problems getting my butt off the sofa just now :).


2006-04-15 AM Racquetball

Racquetball with BK. Good games. Still a few too many unforced errors, but the general quality of our games is coming up. Three close games.


2006-04-13 Masters Swim

Much better swim this time. I can lift my arms now :-). Let's see... 800 WU (2x4x[25 drill / 75 swim), 6x125 free (?), 12x75 (?) breast = (1 & set) / free = !(1 & set), 6 hypoxic 25's, but these took me a while to get down... originally i was breathing 0, leaving on the minute, but that was too easy, so i tried breathing 1 leaving on 30... and that was too hard. leaving on 40 breathing 1 worked well. The was also 100 kick somewhere in there, and maybe another set or two. I gotta pay more attention. Good workout, though. I'm definitely gonna get better if I keep swimming with this group.

Coach noted that my non-breath-side arm is totally straight... gotta work on that.

Massive stomach gas after... not sure if it was the salad I had just before swimming, or bad breathing technique, or both.


2006-04-11 Masters Swim

Insert picture of quivering shoulders ___HERE___.

The Masters group here is a swell group of fellas (all fellas tonight, though they insist there are women who swim there too :-)).

Good workout. Can't quite remember it all. 2x[100 pull, 100 kick, 100 swim], then 4x25, 4x50, 4x75, 4x100. 100 kick. 6x50 drills [coach thinks fist is stupid, but we did one arm, catchup, finger tip drag]. 6x50 on the minute, getting out of the pool then jumping back in at the end of the 50. then some cooldown. Might have been more in there somewhere. I can't remember. Damn I'm tired. Hadn't done a long or hard swim in a while.

2006-04-11 Bike

Lunch ride. Country Club Tour route. We were something like 2 mph faster this time than last, with less effort. What a difference it makes when the wind is 0mph instead of 20-40mph!

I was, of course, still wearing two pairs of shorts + fleece tights + fleece arm warmers. MH and GP were both overheating in shorts+jersey. I can't believe how easily I get cold. Which is annoying, because even when cold, I still sweat like a maniac. [Sigh].

Swimming with the Masters group tonight. Should be good for a laugh if nothing else :).


2006-04-10 Run

Short treadmill run. Felt kindda crappy the first few minutes, then found a groove. Spent the whole time working on some form issues seen on videotape after my last run.

Entire run was at 9:00/mile, but my HR never went over 140. This is quite pleasing. I looked at a treadmill run from 4/22 last year, in which I noted that my HR was 146 @ 10:00/mile. I was also 8 pounds heavier and 3% higher bodyfat. Go me! I was cycling and swimming more last year, but I think my cycling this year might be slightly higher quality. My swim is a big ???.

I think I'm going to try to get back to 160 lbs, 10% body fat. I haven't set specific triathlon goals, but I'm going to restart my "10 reps at bodyweight bench pressing, 10 pullups" goals, as they have both eluded me in years gone past.


2006-04-09 Brick

Worked all afternoon, but wisely brought my bike to work. GP was feeling under the weather, but Tex was down for a ride, so he brought his bike to work and we rode from there.

Worked our way up to Sterrit's Gap via a fairly standard set of roads from lunchtime rides, then down into the next valley, over on 844 (?) to Mountain Rd., back up to Sterrit's Gap, and down the last road, thus covering the entire Quadruple Bypass route, but only uphill in two directions. Then back to work via this road and that (I can't remember the names :-)). Just under two hours, 31 miles, for 15.4 mph average. Not too bad considering the hills, I guess.

Run from work to the Bent Creek / 114 intersection and back after the ride (1.0 miles or so... nothing special, just enough to get that funky brick feeling out of the legs)


2006-04-06 Swim/Run

Took J to work, but didn't get a chance to ride her. Oh well.

Decided to make up for my lack of exercise this week by doing both a swim and run, neither of which I had done in quite some time. The swim started off well enough, but it didn't take long for my form to fall straight to hell. Tex showed up for Masters near the end of my workout. I told him I'll swim with the Masters crew next tuesday. I really need to do that... my swim workouts have been mostly non-existent, but weak even when I manage to get my butt to the pool. Having a good group with which to swim really makes a difference. I know I've mentioned this concept in previous blog entries. I sometimes really miss my Adult Stroke Development class in Raleigh. Coach Jim really helped me a lot, and having other folks doing the same workout was a great motivator.

My run after the swim was just a "welcome back, long time no see" meeting with the treadmill at the apartment complex gym. I took my new videocamera to record my form, and much to my surprise I kind of like what I see on the tape. My form isn't nearly as bad as I expected, but I do see a few things I can work on.

Weight is still at my "winter weight" of 171. With a few notable exceptions (McDonalds! Donut! Five cookies at Subway! Snacks at work!), my diet has been good enough. I simply don't have the workout volume that I need.


2006-04-02 Bike

Over to Casa de GP, then down to Pinchot Park, 1.5 laps of the bike course from my upcoming triathlon, then home. 52 miles and 4000 feet of climbing. Great day for a nice long ride. I ate/drank plenty and, while I was tired at the end, generally felt great. My stomach was behaving quite well this time.

First ride on Debra in a long time. Felt good to be riding her again, but I need to work on my position... I lowered her saddle and didn't make any other adjustments. I also managed to (ARGH!) lose her computer :-(. I know exactly the area where it fell off: I went over a bridge with a big bump, thought "wow, Debra sure does smooth out those bumps!", then wondered why Gerrit had dropped back. Turns out he stopped to pick up the water bottle I had launched. A mile or so later I noticed I didn't have my computer. We backtracked a bit and still couldn't find it. I hope I can find the willpower to NOT buy a Garmin Forerunner 305 to replace it. I also think Debra needs a bigger rear cassette (everyone knows I like 'em big in the rear :-)). Is there ever going to be a time in my life when I feel like I have all the cycling gear that I need? I reached that point with hiking/camping gear, but hiking is a minimalist activity, where I enjoy the experience more the *less* gear I have. Cycling is like a bottomless greed-feeding pit. [Mark closes his eyes and repeats to himself "I have everything I need, and more... I have everything I need, and more... 26... 26... 26..."]


2006-04-01 Racquetball

Saturday morning racquetball with BK. Only got in two games because my right arm went nuts on me. Every square inch of the arm from the shoulder to the elbow was in agonizing pain from almost the very start of the first game. Not sure what it was, exactly, but it wasn't fun. First game went to BK 15-14. Second game I could hardly swing the racquet, but played pattycake shots in good positions and managed to win. Then I called it quits. Good thing, too, because my body simply shut down after we stopped. I got dizzy, nausious, hot/cold, etc. I limped home after a few rest stops, and promptly puked. But after getting some food in my stomach, the dizziness went away. BK suggested that the queasiness was a low blood-sugar reaction, which sounds quite plausible. I didn't have anything to eat before playing, and I felt better almost instantly after puking and getting something back in my stomach. I'll have to pay more attention to this. I've never been much for working out in the morning, but I've also never thought about my blood sugar levels in the morning.

Icing my arm off and on all day has really helped. I think I put too much stress on it by playing racquetball thursday night with GP, then bowling last night (puts more stress on your tendons than you might imagine!), then racquetball again this morning.