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.

Vacation run at 3000 feet

Whilst on vacation in arizona I got swine flu (!!), but after recovering, I tried a run around at 3000 feet. It actually felt fine other than the fact that it was about 80 degrees outside and my knee felt tight. Ought to train more at altitude.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

10 things I didn't know about arizona

1. Its not flat. In fact, it can't actually make its mind up what elevation to be at when you're in the northern part. Its 5000 feet one minute, 7000 the next
2. When its 86 degrees outside at night you remark on how nice and cool it is.
3. The northern part of the state hasn't caught on to this "street light" thing yet.
4. It has a sensible speed limit on the freeway! 75 mph.
5. There are roundabouts with the correct priorities
6. Some of the mountain roads are very alps-like.
7. The tv networks are obsessed with the weather.
8. Running at altitude is harder than running at sea level. But not that much harder.
9. The roads can be very straight
10. There aren't many sidewalks in the rural parts. Nice for running as you can hit the softer stuff at the side of the roads.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Monday & Tuesday running

Two running workouts; Steven's Creek Trail on Monday for 30 mins, and a run around shoreline before work on tuesday. The tuesday workout didn't go so well; after about 25 mins I had pain in my left knee so I switched to walking. Its been twanging on and off for the rest of the day. Lots of different advice from people; I suspect I probably need to work on my technique, and not ramp up so quickly. I'll take a couple of days off and then try it again next week.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Saturday day off; Sunday Old La Honda/West Alpine

Feeling tired on saturday so stayed away from doing exercise. Sunday I went with another google, Ryan, up Old La Honda, down to La Honda, and back up Alpine and down Page Mill. This was during one of those nice summer california heatwaves so it was damn hot - my bike thermometer read 102 at the top of alpine.

Respectable (for me) OLH time of 28:06 or so - 30 seconds off my best, but it was hot - and took 5 minutes off my alpine climb time - only the second time I've done this climb, and definitely easier chasing someone. I also set a new pb for power for 60 seconds (not sure what it was). The garmin 705 was acting up again though - it claims my max power was 20 megawatts or something - insane - and the capture from it is very gappy - definitely dropping data. Its just a pain to reboot it while I'm going - I can tell when its going wrong because it stops reporting the instantaneous gradient.

Afterwards I was pretty tired. I had a nap and watched a boring movie.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Ran around shoreline lake

I failed (again) to get up early this morning so I went for a run in the afternoon anyway - I needed to clear my head after a day full of meetings! I ran around shoreline lake and tried doing some resting via walking, and then some higher sped intervals on the way back. Quite fun really. I scored a 77.1 TSS - not my highest - but with some good pace numbers. Then I went back to the gym and played around with my new friend, the foam roller (although its a bit love/hate right now). I grabbed one at the store on the way home, lots more pain in store!

My minimal pace curve now claims I can run a mile in 8:36 or so - I guess I must have done it - but has a very STEEP wall at 57 minutes, probably because thats the longest I've run.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

And more running at the gym (elevation profile is of course off). Ran to the gym, then did some interval style stuff up and down the hills.

I then tried calibrating the 405 to my footpod using the gps. It says "calibration successful", but I did jog on the spot for a bit. We'll see...

5am start, and up Montebello Road

Finally got out of bed this morning at an early enough time to go ride for a reasonable distance - I left at 5:41am for the up montebello rd & down page mill route. It started off with some high clouds, but there was a definite boundary and I could see the sunrise to the east over the clouds. Unfortuntely while climbing I never got to go through the fog as it was just hanging in the valley - it did look as though there was a sea of cloud above the hills. Not much wildlife out today, just some bunnies.

The power/HR data shows that I didn't try hard though. I was 14W down from my average power, and my average HR for the climb was 153 vs 167. This translated into 3:17 slower! Need to try harder next time.

Small bright spot - set a new record for max power with 964W. Got home in time to shower and get to 9am meeting too.

Need to go do more intervals, don't I....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday; 30 minute run

Just a short run along Steven's Creek Trail in the morning; got up late because I forgot to set the alarm. New tracking device, so need to get calibrated.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday; bike to work and Page Mill loop again

Two rides and a gym visit today. Nothing particularly spectacular though.

In the morning, I biked to work
Gym was mostly machines - hamstrings, abductors, lateral pulldowns, leg press, and some core..
After work I did the same route as friday, but was 63s faster climbing Page Mill. Wasn't trying /that/ hard either.

WKO+ gives me improved maximal powers too, so clearly I was going harder.

TSS score for the week so far: 147

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday longer run

5.6 miles, 52:46, 9:22 pace, 145 bpm. Along Steven's Creek Trail but further this time.

I definitely ran slower - my best pace is 8:36. I also noticed my heart rate was much slower - the average is down from 153 on the last run. This could be because I went slower, or also possibly because I didn't drink coffee before I went. Or maybe I'm just fitter.

Got a new toy for fathers day - a garmin 405 - I should be able to get more accurate speeds out of this since it'll calibrate with my footpod correctly - and I'll have GPS tracks for running.

TSS score for this week: 629 - best since the century. My CTL is up to 66.5, have been steady in the 60s range since 6/7 with slight upticks. I might be hard pressed to get it higher unless I exercise every day or do some longer rides.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rode a normal route backwards

My average power was down a bit in buckets, but thats probably a function of only climbing for about 15 minutes. My 5 second power was up from recently, which is probably from sprinting up hills.After work yesterday I cycled from Google to Page Mill via Arastradero and then down Moody - which is a fairly normal cycling route for me except I did it backwards! Somewhat interesting to ride in the opposite way to that which I do normally; the road certainly looks different in the other direction and I saw things that I don't normally. My average power outputs were a bit lower, but since I usually push harder climbing and the only climb here was Page Mill for 18 minutes thats not really that unexpected (although if I use the "look for the drop in power" method my FTP is higher; too short a ride to tell, must go ride Monetebello Road). This was with the new firmware for the edge 705; didn't really notice any difference though.

Today I'll go for a ~30 minute run. I weighed in at 183lbs, a new low!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Biking to work

Since everyone else in my family is out today, I biked to work. Not a particularly fast time, but I sustained 300W+ for a minute because I can't abide going slowly. I doubt this sets any kind of record for me. After work I'll go bike up a hill I think since its a nice Friday.

Thursday I went to the gym and I wore my heart rate monitor. The plot shows when we were doing intervals running up hills and so on, and you can totally see when I was on the eliptical machine warming up at the beginning because my heart rate is very consistent.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Morning run

Ran 3.6 miles along the Steven's creek trail, turning around when I hit the 15 minute mark, which was at the gate that starts to go under highway 101. I tried to concentrate more on mechanics of running; landing on the ball of my foot as in the Pose Method. I think this is roughly how I run anyway.

This seems to have made my pace slightly faster. Note that the big change is when I switched from using my bike GPS to my watch fitness monitor, which has a different sampling frequency, plus I may not have the distance completely calibrated at the moment since it is only coming from the foot pod.

Weekly total so far: 11.5 miles. I'm not doing so well at slowly increasing my distance (its 3, 6.4, 11.5 now) but this is fairly arbitrary depending on what you call a "week", and I already have a higher base level of fitness from cycling.

Off to the gym this afternoon.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Today: 40 miles biking

Up Old La Honda in 26:23, a new fastest time. 257.2W, 3.05 W/kg.
Up Moody Road in 5:26, fairly close to fastest. 305.6W, VO2 = 46.77
5x 5 minute intervals on Foothill Expressway on the way home. Need to create a real training plan.

Its almost a year since I started seriously getting fit biking, yet only 2 weeks into running. Suprising how early I can get up really.

Tomorrow: Run 30 mins/3 miles in the morning, and go to the gym in the afternoon.