Yesterday marked my long ride ever, coming in at approximately 139 miles as a part of the Rapha Gentlemen’s Race. We headed out to the beach (Lincoln City) on Friday evening and stayed in a suite at the Inn at Spanish Head thanks to team president Jim who served as sugar daddy for the evening. [...]
Archive for March, 2009
At least all this rain is good for something.
Here are few snapshots of the many bits and pieces that will be used in racing this weekend.
A cassette off the horribly untrue and low-tension wheel I’ve been riding on. As much as Joel and I tried to save it, It’s about done. Definitely no more racing to be had on this one. The cassette, however, will find a new home on…
This wheel. It was my primary racing wheel until the hub got all gunky and less than smooth. It’s now the best I’ve got in spite of it’s shortcomings in the hub (found out today it’s in the freehub bearings, actually), and it’ll be my primary race wheel this weekend. The new race wheels will be here soon, but not soon enough. It’s still a fast wheel, though not quite as fast as that wheel lurking behind it.
Then there’s the new race tires. These will replace the ones I’ve currently got that are getting low on tread, have plenty of cuts, and have encountered their fair share of glass and pointy rocks.
Finally as far as wheels go, there’s this pair, snagged off my training bike. With a little cleaning, truing, and some new tubes they’ll make a great backup set of wheels. If I flat in the race, I’ll have a good wheel to use this time. No more of that nonsense from the second Banana Belt.
And the training bike. I’ve been fairly merciless in tearing this bike limb from limb in order to keep the race bike in working order. This one is very close to working order, but may continue to lose components over time. There is a plan hatching in the back of my mind to take everything off it in favor of building up a cyclocross bike.
There’s the trainer that Phil very graciously lent me for the weekend. This will be handy if not essential for warming up for the time trial and criterium.
And why not add some flair? I replaced my other bottle cages (one had cracked at a weld seam) with some lightweight metallic blue ones I had sitting around. Sure, they don’t match anything else on the bike, but who cares?
Seven rides in the last nine days. Nearly 300 miles. Thousands and more thousands of calories. It’s no wonder my metabolism is going crazy. Take today, for instance:
I woke up about 8:30 and had a bowl of leftover pasta.
An hour and a half later, I was hungry again. I had some bread with jam and some yoghurt.
About 1PM, I was starving again and had lunch – more pasta and a banana.
Then I went for a ride. Hill repeats today. 10 of them on a 1.5 mile climb with an average grade of 7 Percent. Fifteen miles uphill at an increasingly harder pace, with the last one going all out. Ow.
I got back about 5:30 starving and ate the remainder of the pasta (I was cooking large packages and simply reheating leftovers) when I got back, plus I had some eggs and milk.
About 8:30, I couldn’t stand the growing in my stomach, so I made a box of mac & cheese for dinner number 2.
It’s now 10:20, and my stomach is growling at me again. Enough already!
I’ve changed up my workout routine a bit this year leading into racing season, and so far it appears to be paying off. The first major change came from running 5-6 days a week over Christmas break since I didn’t have a bike with me. As I mentioned in the last post, this seems to have improved my climbing ability on a bike.
Primarily to maintain the running endurance I built from running regularly for several months, I’m still running 1-2 days a week, usually for 5-6 miles at a moderate tempo.
Next up, I’m doing bodyweight workouts to build general strength. I don’t have access to a gym, and bodyweight workouts are reputed to be a great way to build lean muscle. I looked into some different routines and basically ended up coming up with my own. I focus on core, legs, and some upper body with 4-5 different exercises in each of those categories and rotate through each by doing one exercise per category and then moving on to the next exercise immediately. By the time I come back to that category, those muscles will be rested but I will have been continuously working out. I only do one set for each exercise, but I do as many reps in each set as I possibly can before I simply can’t do more. This strategy leads to a very fast, intense, and brutal workout that gets the heart rate way up. After all 15-20 exercises are complete, I evaluate how I’m feeling and if I think I should work on any section more or if I’m done and then move on to stretching. So far I’ve managed to work myself well with this routine. I’m always sore the next day.
As far as on the bike workouts, I thought I would have a lot less base than I do since I haven’t been back on my bike that long, but apparently an hour long run translates into 4 hours on a bike pretty nicely. My endurance has surpassed my own expectations by far. Still, I’m trying to get in at least one long ride per week (60+ miles).
The rest of my time on the bike consists of ramping up intensity slowly. It’s still early in the season, but I do have a stage race in a week that I want to do well at. I usually get in one good ride of hill repeats (exactly what it sounds like – go up a hill, go back down, then go right back up again a bunch of times in a row) per week. I’m starting to add high intensity intervals in order to increase my ability to recover in races. Intervals are always the most painful workouts, but result in some of the most noticable benefits. Finally, I’m doing some long tempo rides in order to increase my time trialing strength. Ususally I’ll throw my aero bars on the bike and go out for an hour or so at a pace that’s just under my anaerobic threshhold. I need to get in another one or two of these rides before next weekend.
So that’s about it.
In a typical week, 1 run, 1 bodyweight workout (ususally same day as run or a shorter ride), 1 endurance ride, 1 hill repeats, 1 tempo ride, and one set of intervals. Oh, and on race weeks I’ll cut out one of the high intensity rides in favor of racing.
After a rest day yesterday and intervals today, I plan to do two more hard days of riding this weekend, then take it easy next week leading up to the stage race to be as fresh as possible.
I had a great day yesterday.
I took a day trip down to Eugene for a bike ride and to see some friends. Bike ride might be a bit of an understatement. We did Wolf Creek, an 80 mile ride in the wind and rain that meant nearly five hours of riding. It’s got some large climbs and lots of rolling hills plus some scenic views. It’s definitely one of the rides that defines the Eugene area, and has always been one of my favorite. With a group of just four of us, the wind and weather made for a long day, and by the end we were all beat. Given my hard three hour tempo/time trial ride the day before, I felt surprisingly good. My legs were fairly dead from the day before, but my energy level was high.
Plus, I got further confirmation that I am indeed climbing like a mountain goat this year. I think it’s a combination of two things. Running has definitely improved my climbing – especially out of the saddle. I can stand forever on a climb, whereas in past years I really would only stand to shake out my legs briefly. The second part is that I actually hit my race weight this year. Each of the last two years I was in good shape come race season, but I figured my ideal race weight would be 170 or slightly under, and I’d end up at 175 or slightly over. This year I’m… hold on… 167 as we speak. That doesn’t make a big difference on flats, but going uphill 7-8 pounds less is a major difference.
That difference could be a very important factor for the stage race I have coming up in early April. The road circuit that’s the final stage of the race has a 5 mile climb that we’ll go up twice. While in Eugene, I also picked up my trispokes from Chris to get a cassette on them in preparation for the race.
My aero equipment is pretty much on permanent loan to Chris. I want to do whatever I can to help see that he goes pro at some point. But for this race we’ll get to share it, which is exciting. I love throwing all the aero equipment on to go race against the clock.
Anyway, after the ride we (Chris, Karey, Derek, Leeann, Mike, Me) went to Agate Alley Bistro and had burgers. Not quite the most typical post-race food, but definitely hit the spot. Then it was on to Sweet Life, which is pretty much a must if you’re in Eugene. I had the key lime tartlet – my standby whenever I go there. Then things got really interesting.
Keep in mind, we’re all tired from the ride, and my reflexes aren’t quite 100%. I didn’t particularly lose my balance, but I did take an extra step backwards to make sure I had my footing as I got up from the table. As this happened, somehow or another my hand ended up in the drink of a girl sitting at the table behind ours, knocking it over. Not just running into it, but very much submerged in it. The table must have been at the perfect height for this to happen, as I was completely upright and not leaning over. It spilled everywhere. I quickly righted the cup to preserve some of the contents, and then I wasn’t sure what to do. I quickly apologized and offered to buy another of whatever she was drinking, while at the same time trying to process what on Earth had just happened. She declined the replacement drink, and I had a hard time balancing feeling bad and at the same time wanting to laugh my head off at the bizarre predicament. It must have been a rich drink, because my hand was fairly covered in chocolate. We cleaned up the spill on the floor and went on our way.
Once I got back to the car with Chris and Karey, we couldn’t help but crack up. The foam on the latte, if you will: I missed it, but Karey told me that right after the spill and hand-in-drink occurred, she took another sip!
You don’t realize just how internet-dependent you are until you don’t have it. Being without it for 36 hours made me realize just how much I appreciate being constantly connected. It took a while to catch up once I got the connection back. So let’s review a bit. Before heading to Corvallis last Wednesday night, I made enchiladas that I thought were worth sharing.
Starts out fairly normal with ground beef (venison in this case), onions, green onions, and taco seasoning which I made from scratch in this case.
The twist comes from the enchilada sauce. It’s comprised of cream of chicken soup, yogurt, and shredded cheese.
Throw some tomatoes on top, and you’ve got yourself a meal!
Next up over the weekend came the first collegiate races of the season, which I got to volunteer and spectate at, as opposed to race in. Saturday was spent racing around doing Karey’s bidding. My goal was to do as much as possible to keep her sane throughout the day. Race organizing is stressful, but she did a great job. I got to drive a follow car for one of the races, which is a fun job if you enjoy watching cycling races play out. Plus I enjoyed watching the dash in my aunt’s Prius as I got nearly 60MPG average during the race.
The weather cooperated for most of the day until right before the team time trial was to begin. I got poured on while in the middle of setting up some road signs. It was a rare soaking rain, as opposed to typical Oregon drizzle.
Sunday I headed to Oregon State’s campus to watch and photograph the collegiate criterium. I had fun trying to get some tough angles and using a slower shutter speed that required perfect panning to get good shots. When I got it right, however, they turned out great.
Adam’s 1-man cycling training camp is of to an okay start. I got out and rode for about an hour today, but it wasn’t particularly enjoyable in 40 degree weather with rain. Instead I came back and did a bodyweight workout, watched a movie, and got caught up online. Tomorrow I hope to go out for a much longer ride.
Oh, and then there’s the cats.
They’re… well, cats. When I want to play, they’re not up for it, but when I’m doing my best to ignore them they can’t get enough attention. Jinx did a great job of standing on my head to wake me up this morning though. I won’t be needing an alarm this week.
Lots and lots and lots of pictures after the break. Check them out.
Society is odd. There are many things that come to mind that back this statement up, but one of the examples most relevant to me has to do with work and my generation.
It struck me the other day that it’s rather odd that my main goal in life right now is finding a job. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it just odd that I’m craving work when my current routine is checking job sites, digging around social networking sites, goofing off, riding my bike, and having a glass of wine with dinner. It’s the easy life, and it’s driving me crazy. I want to work!
I suppose it takes looking back the past 18 years or so to really understand what’s going on here. In those last 18 years, all I’ve been trained to do is work. In elementary school there was gifted and talented, which is an awesome program but could also be argued is the first jumping-off point towards college prep. Middle school was all about preparing for high school with honors classes to get ahead and increase the school workload. In high school, college prep focusing begins in freshman year. My entire course layout was focused around college prep work. I took numerous honors and advanced placement classes. Taking part in extracurricular activities in order to boost your college-worthiness was considered a must.
As of my freshman year of college, I had a brief period where I decided I was done with the whole notion of getting ahead and separating myself from the competition. Instead, I was going to go through and get a plain old degree and see where I went from there. Ha. That didn’t last long. Two honors programs, a minor, two organizational leadership roles, racing and training with a cycling team, and a part-time job later, I graduated from college once again as an overachiever. While I enjoyed challenging myself, there’s also the general expectation that if you have the ability to excel, you take advantage of it.
All those different forces pushing you towards achievement, and I guess it’s anything but surprising that I want to get back to working my butt off ASAP.
There’s been a lot of conversation about my generation entering the workplace lately. We’re the first graduates that grew up with the internet from a very early age, and based on everything I’ve read people don’t know what to make of us. Depending on who you ask, we’re either lazy, unmotivated, and needing instant gratification, or we’re smart, amazing multitaskers, and generally the greatest thing since sliced bread.
I’m not going to get into that debate, because I think depending on the individual, our generation is both. What I do think is that my generation is entering the workforce with completely different expectations than any other generation before us. Watching the financial rise and in many cases fall of our parents’ generation, we’re no longer expecting long careers with one company and a guaranteed retirement simply based upon the fact that we have a college degree. We realize that a career might end up being a number of jumps between companies just to survive. Granted, there is a certain sense of entitlement – we’re willing to pay dues and start at the bottom, but we also want our voice heard because we bring a completely different skill set to the workforce. We want to make a difference, and we don’t want to feel like we’re jumping through hoops just to get ahead.
Personally, I’m certainly not expecting I’ll immediately wind up in a job making executive level decisions. That would be silly. However, I do expect that wherever I end up, I’ll have a voice and be able to excel. That’s what the last 18 years of schooling taught me to do, so what else would you expect from me?
Who’s in the mood for a trivial post? I know I am! This post is all about my morning alarm. You’ve been warned.
I’ve always been someone who can wake up when I need to wake up. Working Alaska tourism during summers while in college, I’d get up at 2AM after 4-5 hours of sleep to be to work at 3AM for the morning shift as Bell Staff Manager. I’d work 10-12 hour days and usually get off that job early to mid afternoon. From there, I’d go to my second job at a golf course and often work into the early evening. Hence the 4-5 hours of sleep. I worked 80 hour weeks – one summer I worked 79 straight days. And I managed to get through college with a manageable amount of debt as a result.
But back to the original point – if I know I need to be up for something, I’ll have no problem waking up. If I get into a routine, I’ll actually start waking up 5 minutes before my alarm goes off without trying. When there is something I have to be up for that I’m anxious about such as a bike race, it’s a given I’ll be awake before my alarm goes off.
The problem is that when I don’t have anything specific to be up for, my sleeping self refuses to wake up for anything! This has been an issue lately with the lack of job and no need to be up early. It’s not particularly a problem, other than that I want to get started on job hunting, riding my bike, and other projects at a reasonable hour. The issue has been compounded recently by half-way waking up, looking out the window at wind and rain, and noticing just how warm and cozy I am under the covers.
So, to remedy the situation I’ve taken to fighting my sleeping and semi-conscious self. Problem is, my semi-conscious self has outsmarted me every time. I’m actually to the point where I’m really impressed with my sleeping self’s prowess and dexterity.
To begin to understand the situation, we must examine my alarms…