Sunday, September 20, 2009

September update

Had a quieter month since last post, just a few rides with friends, no pbs, nothing special. Guess the year is winding down what with the lack of light early in the morning. Whats left:
  • Doing a 10k on sunday (a week today) running that is. My knees feel better, guess I just really did go too far too fast
  • Going to attempt as many of the Low Key Hill Climbs as I can. Still time for a sub-25 on old la honda...
Gave up on the half marathon for this year though.

Interesting thing I found swimming yesterday; after doing a lot of upper body lifting all year I can suddenly swim much better. Maybe some kind of triathlon isn't out of the question!

Random plug; check out - new favourite site for tracking rides.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Update! Marin 200k, new bike parts, and other rides

Oooops, fell off the edge of the blogging thing again didn't I. Since I last posted I did the Marin 200k - which was harder than I thought it was going to be, but then, I kinda got lazy about prepping for it. I finished it in about 9:20 riding time (about 70 minutes at the rest stops on top of that), which was faster than the other 200k, but obviously less climbing.

Coleman valley road was a fun climb but it really wasn't that hard. Compared to some of the south bay climbs it was fairly insignificant.

After I got back I stripped down my bike - its really light with no components on it, who needs carbon - and installed the SRAM rival set. Things I learned along the way:
  • Read the instructions first. Ooops, installed the bottom bracket incorrectly and had to redo.
  • Its really hard to tension gear cables without a cable stretcher. And don't install those ends until you need to.
  • Its important to install the little piece of metal around the cable where it goes into the shifter because otherwise the tension will cause it to tear through the surround. Another ooops.
  • Adjusting the gears really isn't that hard with the correct cable tension.
  • Its easier to install some pieces when the bike is on the ground instead of in the stand because you can't put enough torque on it.
The rival doubletap is easy to used to. Yes, I did brake instead of changing gear a couple times. Its much nicer only having the double up front though.

I've done a couple of rides with the new setup - my lowest gear is higher now - up Old La Honda, Moody Road, Redwood Gulch, etc. I haven't set any PBs yet other than up Redwood Gulch, where I came in a hair over 15 mins, which is about 2 minutes faster than my best (computed retroactively from the GPS track from the sequoia 200k).

I now have about 110 miles on the new setup so I'm going to tighten it all up this weekend. So far the bottom bracket has a bit of a squeak so I can tighten that, the rear brake squeels (is this a bad thing given that I use it too much anyway?), and the shifting has stopped being quite so smooth.

I also started tearing apart my unsprung steel mountain bike. I'm debating what to do with this. I think I'll install my old triple on it, but probably keep the disc brakes. It needs a bit of work to get it back to working order.

Finally, got a new edge 705 - mine was dropping a lot of data. Garmin wanted a month to RMA it but REI was willing to exchange. So far when I look at the data it looks much much clear, which is great.

Today: Smoke from the lockheed fire has infiltrated the south bay, so I'm not going to go bike because I don't want to breath the stuff in the air. Maybe tomorrow will be better. My quads are sore anyway from working out at the gym, so an extra day off isn't so bad.

Running? Once this week. Going to start gradually building up mileage again. No knee pain. Doubt I'll make the half marathon target this year though, I didn't start early enough.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

And a quiet week

Saturday is the Marin Century 2009 - I had registered to cycle Mt Tam but that got shot down because of the stupid California budget problems!! So I have a choice; 100miles or 200km. I think my cycling friends are going for the 100k, which seems a bit wussy, but if I do the 100 miles at least I get to cycle a bit with them. Haven't quite decided yet. Probably leaning towards the 200km.

So this week's schedule is fairly light; I ran Monday morning, went to the gym, and today I biked to work (with a small not hilly 1 hour ride home). Tomorrow morning I'm tempted to go ride Old La Honda again, but taking it easy up there rather than trying for a time. Thursday is white water rafting day, and as long as I don't hurt myself, Friday is a day off, followed by the century. (Is this really a light week??)

Since I dissasembled part of my bike to find the size of the seat post stem my front derailleur has been clicking because I probably put it back in a slightly different place, so I adjusted it a bit today. Its probably still off, but I'm not concentrating on it too much because I intend to replace my groupset with the SRAM Rival. I think I'm going to try out the 170mm cranks - I have 175mm right now - and an 11:28 in the rear to begin with, since its pretty easy to change that. That gives me a lowest gear ratio of 34:28 = 1.214; right now my lowest is 30:26 or 1.15 - so I can't wuss out so much any more! That said I climbed Old La Honda in 30:21 = 1.42 the other day, so I think I'm going to be able to handle it.

Front fork was still clicking too today, so I tightened it again (this fixed it last time, but I may not have tightened it enough). We should see tomorrow.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Again up Old La Honda, but not as fast

I rode Google - Arastradero - OLH - Alpine with Saksiri yesterday (~50 miles) but I didn't break any records. Guess I was recovering a bit.

I ran the splits from OLH; I lost ~39s in the first mile, ~49s in the second, and ~7s in the third (primarily due I think to having to avoid that damn truck!) so I suppose I was just uniformly slower on the ride. Probably didn't have fresh legs given in the intervening day I ran and went to the gym and did leg extensions and other leg stuff.

I calculated the above manually. Yes, it was a pita. I did it from the distance measurements (which don't quite line up), but I thought this may be more accurate than the altitude (which doesn't line up either). I really ought to write a program to do this!

Started planning on replacing my gearing with the SRAM rival groupset; it looks like I'll go for a compact double in the front, and an 11-28 in the back (since its so easy to change anyway); cost around $1000. Gathering measurements so far, which aren't very well documented on the internet.

For the record, my trek 2.1 has:
175mm crank arms
34.9mm front derailleur clamp
English threaded bottom bracket

Weighed in again this morning; 179.8lbs, woot.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gym day; fixed my knee (I hope)

Quiet day, watched the tour de france time trials this morning. I should try that, see what happens!

Went to the gym for usual workout, and ran from my office to there. This time I swapped out the orthotics I got with my running shoes for the ones that just came with the shoes, and rather shockingly I got zero knee pain. Nada. Nothing. I also ran faster than normal. I hope this is the problem! Back to running every other day I guess.

Tomorrow I plan for a quick moody and back VO2max style workout. If I get up early enough. Abductors are still sore from monday's workout!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Montebello, the gym, and Old La Honda

3 updates; on sunday I rode up montebello road, where it was waaay too hot - bike thermometer read 102! Wow, that was hard. It was quite obvious early on that I wasn't going to be close to my best so I backed off quite a bit and just aimed to get up there - I was 400 feet behind quite early and riding in my smallest gear for most of the time. Clearly poor prep - was up late and drank copious amounts of alcohol and ate crap the day before - probably didn't help either. This estimated FTP at 200W, but I didn't change it.

Monday I ran to the gym from my office. Knee felt tight but no pain. I intend to change out the insole things in my shoes and see if that helps. Hella hard workout though on my own - lots of ache afterwards, but set several records - chest pressed 2x30, 40lb flys, and better at pullups.

Today I rode OLH and busted my record. I timed a 26:08, but I suspect its more like 25:48 because I was cut off by a truck driving idiot near the top and had to stop while he drove into the ditch! I cycled altamont on the way, which hits 16% - no wonder there's a "bicyclists beware sign". The trick on OLH though - its all mental, don't change down, keep pushing. I kept it in 30:21 the whole way so I think I can do the compact double now (when I get some spending money) and tried really hard. My average power came in at 268W, previous best was 257, and I hit W/kg of 3.21. WKO puts this as a new 20minute average power record, although I didn't do so well on the 5sec/1min/5min, but I wasn't trying for that. It scored the climb of OLH as an intensity of 1.231, which seems high, so maybe my FTP is better than I thought.

Then tonight when I got home I weight 179.8! Yes, I haven't eaten yet, but getting there....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Short steven's creek run and back in the saddle; OLH!

Back at home after vacation, and still coughing a bit.

Monday I ran Steven's Creek Trail Loop for 30 mins, but my knee felt bad and I ended up limping (working on a PT appointment to fix this). Other than that, it felt fine.

Tuesday I cycled to OLH and then up for the first time in a month, and this felt much better on my knee - it wasn't perfect but it definitely didn't hurt. I was pretty out of breath going up the hill and my average HR was lower, so definitely still showing the effects of swine flu. My time was 10s off my best, but I almost weighed in at <180lbs>

Plan for the rest of the week is to rest of weds, run 15 mins on thurs, do OLH on friday again, run 15 mins on sat, and then do montebello sunday morning. Should be fun.

Interesting that I've reached a plateau in my climbing times though; I expected to do better given 2 weeks rest, but that could be the cold. Either way I don't think I've progressed much recently. I probably ought to start doing things like 2x20 intervals. I suspect montebello is a good proxy for this so I'll start working it in once a week.

The mt tam century is unfortunately cancelled in August due to CA budget stupidity; I think I'll opt for the 200k instead.