We make holes in teeth!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Weekend Post on Trainer Session

I don't feel like waiting until Monday to put this workout in, and there's not enough space in my riding log to enter it. So I'm going to put it in now so I remember what I did today. This is all high-end work so it was all at the highest resistance on the trainer. The weather sucks butt.

I warmed up for 10 minutes, roughly. Then I did the following basic set:

Resistance 5
Gearing 52x20 (ish)
Cadence roughly 100
1 minute on, 15 seconds off
1 minute on, 15 seconds off
1 minute on, 15 seconds off
1 minute on, 15 seconds off
1 minute on

This totaled 5 minutes on, out of 6 minutes. After this I was off for 2 minutes. Then I did it 3 more times, but I changed a few details:

Set 2, gearing at 52x19, cadence 90
Set 3, gearing at 52x18, cadence 80
Set 4, gearing at 52x17, cadence 70

The last set I did 2 minutes on, 1 minute off, 5 reps. This brought my total "work" time to 30 minutes. I walked back up the cadence pyramid with this last set, each rep a higher cadence in easier gearing, same resistance.

Set 5 breakdown:

Rep 1, gearing 52x16
Rep 2, gearing 52x17
Rep 3, gearing 52x18
Rep 4, gearing 52x19
Rep 5, gearing 52x20

The cadence was basically what I could handle for 2 minutes. The second minute I usually pushed it up a bit, then the last 30 seconds I would push as hard as I could to finish it off.

After that hour, I did 20 minutes of tempo on top of that and cooled down for a bit and called it a day.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008


I'm finding that the 4-on-3-off structure of training is changing the way my body reacts now. You would think that by Tuesday I would be exhausted and insanely hungry. While I am tired and hungry, it's not nearly as bad as you might think. What I'm finding is that Wednesday I start to totally shut down and eat like there's no tomorrow. It was all I could do to not eat everything in sight yesterday. By the afternoon my legs were sore as could be. This morning I hit snooze which is something I never do anymore. It's not good or bad, it's just a different pattern that I find interesting.

Now that I'm in a pattern I will more than likely change it up over the next 15 days to get ready for the trip. We leave on Saturday the 8th and I will be able to ride that day as our plane doesn't fly until 10:30 at night. But I'm not going to take 3 days off then ride once then get on a plane. I'm more than likely going to overload before I leave so I don't feel the need to try and ride 10 times while we're over there.


"A 19.5 avg solo is hauling ass. That's a good indicator of your fitness at this point. I'd say that your focus on building strength at lower rpm is good. The most intense and volatile fitness is that which is required to push big gears at high rpm, so the building combination of big gear/low rpm and little gear/high rpm is just what the doctor ordered for this time of the year, IMO. That's what I'm in the midst of myself right now."

Things seem to be working out so far this year, which is nice. I really wish I could get down to Allaire every other week to follow you guys around but it's just not practical. And it seems like right now we don't have a core of guys who train every week up here in the Frozen Tundra of Green Bay. I'm hoping to be able to maintain this state for the 2 weeks we're away then really start to focus on pressing the ceiling up once I get back. Oh and getting a new bike too!

Really pushing the big gears at higher cadence is something I've never done. I suppose I touched on it last year but it was awfully painful so not a whole lot. I'm feeling a lot more prepared for the demands of racing this year but as the astute observer might notice, it's not even March yet.

Walter enjoyed my train observation the other day so here's my morning observation. There's a big black female conductor who always seems to be in the car I ride in (they usually take care of a block of 3-4 cars each). She gets people to show their tickets by basically getting up in their grill and announcing, "GOOD MORNING ALL TICKETS DISPLAY!!!"

She does this 12 times per car, at least. She also seems to relish arguing with the passengers.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Whether or not we want to, many of us live our lives by numbers. Numbers dominate our surroundings. Try to get away from it and you'll see just how pervasive they are. Consider just this morning. Alarm at 5:45, weigh 183, brew coffee for 4 minutes, start car at 6:35, leave at 6:45, train at 6:55. Money and time make up a big part of the numbers game. And in my case, weight is also a daily occurrence.

Some numbers for today:

183 - my weight for 3 days running now. My lowest weight ever* is 182 which I hit last spring. I'm hoping to see that number again this week and would love to see 181 before I go to Taiwan on March 8th and gain 40 pounds.

3.5 - this is how many hours it took me to get home last night. Our train blew an air hose which caused the brakes to lock in the tunnel outside of Penn Station. So we sat there for 45 minutes then had to be towed back to Penn Station which was a zoo because our train had killed all outbound trains.

3-6 - the number of months until I'm likely in a new role at work. Details on this still TBD so who knows what's really going to happen but it looks like something has been worked out. I'm excited about the new opportunity as well as being able to write some meaningful lines of code again.

10 - the number of primaries Obama has won consecutively, if you include last night's Wisconsin and Hawaii contests. I'm somewhat tuning out to this because I'm afraid the Clinton Machine is going to do something shady to steal the nomination. So as a natural protection I disengage myself entirely. I don't see how she can win at this point. The media wants to point to Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania but the reality is that these are proportional primaries (as opposed to winner-take-all) so even if she wins them all she will have a slight delegate lead between the 3. Neither math nor momentum are on her side right now.

2 - Sore legs I have right now. This block of 4 days adds up and right now, I feel the math of it in my legs when I walk up the subway steps.

1 - singular sensation.

* by "ever" I mean since grade school. I hit freshman football at 200 pounds so everything is relative to that.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mano Y Mano

I read someone complain recently that "mano y mano" actually means "hand to hand" in Spanish and that people who use it instead of "man to man" are wrong. The problem with that is it ignores the evolution of language. The word decadent has changed since I learned it as an SAT word in high school, much to my chagrin.

A bike recap. Saturday on the road where I was in the Bernardsville hills for 90 sluggish minutes. I had to really hammer out the last 4 miles to push the average up over 16 for the ride. Lots of vertical but that ride took forever to warm up, possibly a hangover effect from the 3 days off structure. On Saturday ventured down to Allaire again where I took part in a huge buzzing train of riders. I didn't feel overly good on the bike and had some mechanical problems to boot.

Yesterday I turned in my fastest ride ever, pulling a 19.5 average over 36 miles and change. I'm starting to push bigger gears at a lower cadence on the climbs which seems to keep me at a higher pace and a lower perceived heart rate and effort level. I've been trying to train at a 90 cadence but my self selected cadence seems to be more like 80 which feels better. On climbs it seems to slip to 70 where I'm happy.

This morning I did my 3x20 sets at a higher resistance and gearing but kept the cadence in the 70 range. As evidenced by yesterday's ride I'm solid on flat and rolling terrain. I need to work on higher resistance at lower cadence for race season. I also put the backup road bike on the trainer last night and tried to fit it as close to the roadie as possible to get the most out of these sessions. I also gave up on the bike computer on the trainer. Who cares how many miles you ride on the trainer? What does it mean anyway?

There is a woman standing in the vestibule of the train with a smirk on her face, a seemingly permanent thing. That must be strange to always wear.

There's a guy sitting next to me that is enormous, but not in the fat sense even though he is a bit portly. His forearms are the size on my calves.

Mano y mano, but what if it's 2 on 2? Many y many? If they're both named Manny? Manny y Manny? All named Manny? Mannys y Mannys? Or just many Mannys? What if Manny wants to fuck up a Mango?

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