Friday, February 27, 2009

I had a 'max power' test last night. I'm looking for data on competitive female cyclists to find out where I stand right now. As with the 40 minute power test, I can't find comparable numbers – just the chart with the 1 minute, 5 minute and 20 minute tests. However, I think I can extrapolate that I'm doing OK. I think.

I also had body fat analysis [in the Bod Pod!]. Much easier to find body fat data – happily I'm solidly in the range for female athletes [12-18%]. I was actually surprised that my percentage was as low as it is [14%, give or take], I was afraid it would be over 20%. That it's nowhere NEAR 20% really illustrates that, as with many people who've had a lifelong struggle with weight, I don't have an accurate concept of my physical self.

Looking forward to training camp! One more week.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Things to do before camp:

- take my bike in for new brake pads, new cassette and chain + general maintenance

- buy extra tubes

- put on new tires

- make a boot out of old tire

- locate some Hammer Gel brand Perpetuem (has anyone tried this? Its vegan and has some protein in it for long rides)

- improve power-to-weight ratio

- get more packing material for bike case

- stay healthy

- get new mid-weight gloves to replace the ones with big holes in the palms

- spin drills, one-legged drills, spin drills, one-legged drills . . .

- count down the minutes.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I ate too much breakfast. Arg. I need a nap now.

I've had high adventures on the Lakefront Path lately. Yesterday I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful weather and ride outdoors, but due to previous commitments, wasn't able to actually get on the Path until 6:30 pm -- after dark. Everyone else on earth was taking advantage of the weather as well, so I was dodging hundreds of joggers in the dark. It was impossible to get above active recovery.

Then I hit Oak Street Beach. Which is STILL a big icy mess. All cyclists are forced to dismount and pick their way across the 100 yards of muddy, seaweed strewn ice. Its ridonkulous that the city hasn't done anything to clean that up.

As per usual, almost no joggers -- or other cyclists -- south of the Aquarium. Which was great at first, but got increasingly creepy. Riding through a wooded area with no street lamps, the modern, urban woman's constant low-level fear of attack ramped up to yellow. And when I caught sight of a dark figure moving in the trees, it hit red. I turned around.

This morning, I'd planned to do my three hours on the Path before work. Yes, it was supposed to rain, but my knee has been bothering me and the trainer aggravates it. And no reason to think it actually would rain when I wanted to be out there.

But it was, of course. But not hard, just a steady drizzle. Dana texted that she was still in if I was, so I suited up and headed out. I turned around twice, but the thought of the trainer turned me right back around. I was already out there, after all.

And we had a good ride. Dana got us started, and once my legs warmed up I was able to pull us down the path at a good clip. We turned around at the golf course and chatted our way back north at endurance pace. Back at the aquarium, however, Dana flatted. We stopped under an overhang to change it -- she has the tightest tires! We fought with it for way longer than I want to admit. Finally we got it off the rim, changed the tube quickly and got on our way. But it was too late -- we'd cooled off and in our wet clothes were really suffering. I cut my ride short before I lost feeling in my hands.

So, I still have an hour to ride today. And it will most likely still be raining after work when its time to ride home. Wheee.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Noticed this morning that I had to increase power output to get my HR into endurance. Training is working.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I did a "power test" this weekend. 40 minutes, full on, on the computrainer alongside 18 teammates. I've never done one before, so I wasn't sure how it was going to go. After we calibrated our stations, the guy running the test came around and asked each of us if we'd had a power test before and if so, what our average power was. I hadn't, so he guessed. He guessed 145. Which I questioned -- that's endurance pace for me. But as I didn't really know what was supposed to happen, I let it go. But during the warmup, I see the guys on either side of me really working while I'm spinning away in active recovery. Finally when I can see on the screen that I'm supposed to be on the hardest level, I tell the guy that mine isn't getting harder. He assures me it isn't broken.

Then the test. 40 minutes, just you going as hard as you can up and down hills. You can watch your progress on the screen in relation to everyone else's. You can see your power and your average power. I know where I can hold my heart rate in the Fitness Check time trials that last 25-30 minutes, so I aim for slightly lower than that, and just hold it. Its hard, but doable. After 30 minutes, I ramp it up slightly and for the last two minutes, I just crank it out as hard as possible. I almost throw up.

But my average for 40 minutes is 201! And my power to weight ratio for 40 minutes was 3.3. On the 20 minute test charts (I haven't found a 40 minute chart yet), this puts me solidly in cat 3 territory. In February. On the wrong chart. Lots of room for improvement, but I'm satisfied.

I rode an endorphin wave home.

Sunday, the Women's Development Program had a potluck get together to talk about the team target races, our individual goals and our goals as a team. It was really cool to hear what all the different people are thinking about. New women and longtime teammates alike. I think its going to be a good season.

Monday, February 2, 2009

January fitness. Its sort of amazing that I can no longer do what I was able to do just a few months ago. A couple weeks relaxing, a month and a half keeping my heart rate under 150 . . . and the first outdoor team ride in weeks shows me how fast that top end slips away.

But I'm not bothered. I got dropped on team rides last January too. I'll get it all back and more, relatively quickly. February is the beginning of intensity training, March is camp, April is sprint intervals . . .