Sunday, March 27, 2011


I raced Barry-Roubaix on Saturday. I was happy that I was even able to show up to the race not-injured and not-sick. I was over my stomach bug from earlier in the week, but since March was kind of a wreck from a training standpoint, I had no idea how I would race.

Dad and I ended up getting to the park a little late, so I didn't get a warmup in. It was cold, in the low 20's, but I ended up dressing just about perfectly. I did have a moment of panic early in the race when my fingers were freezing, but they warmed up after a few miles.

The race started pretty fast, but it should have been manageable. My lack of warmup and lack of training caught up to me though (big shock there...), and I was off the back of the main/front group before we hit the dirt roads.

I actually felt decent on the two-track section. I probably passed more people there than anywhere else. The sand was reasonably firm so it wasn't too difficult to ride through. You just had to watch for a couple of icy spots.

For most of the race, I felt strong on the climbs, and I was able to make up ground there, but I just didn't feel like I had any seated power, so I struggled on the flatter, faster parts. That trend sort of fits with what I've been training though... I just haven't put a lot of time in on the bike yet. My tires were probably also a little too aggressive and a little too soft. The roads were super smooth and fast, you could have just about used a road tire! I won't blame my tires, but I will use something different next year.

By the time we hit the paved roads again near the end of the course, I was pretty gassed. I had even less seated power, and my legs were getting close to cramping on the climbs. I ended up finishing about 10-15 minutes slower than I'd wanted to, but, given how my March went, the race probably went about as well as I could have expected.

In general, I had a good time at the race and I enjoyed the course. Dad raced again and beat his time from last year, despite having the wrong shoes for his pedals. I'm planning to do the race again next year, but I'm starting a list of things I'll do differently...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sick, Again!!!

Well, March has pretty much been a disaster for my training. I got a good day in on Monday, and then Tuesday I was pretty tired and had a scratchy throat, so I didn't do anything. Very early Wednesday morning my stomach rebelled on me and I was pretty miserable all day. I feel much better today, but my body is still out of whack. My resting heart rate was about 20 bpm higher than normal yesterday and again this morning.

I think I'll try to get on the trainer tonight and ride easy for a little while and see how that goes.
My new best-case plan for Barry-Roubaix is just to go out and ride it and not worry about going fast. I haven't been thinking about the worst-case.

In better news, today is Cora's third birthday! It's hard to believe that she's three already, but it's also hard to remember what things were like before she was born.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Solid Weekend

Well, the week started off a little rough. I didn't get feeling halfway decent until Wednesday. I did a couple strength workouts later in the week, but I was very conservative with my riding. Just some very short, very easy rides on Wednesday and Thursday.

Yesterday, I hit the dirt roads from Pontiac Lake to Davisburg. Temperatures were in the low 40's, so it was reasonably pleasant. I felt pretty strong early on, but I could tell that I haven't been riding much. My back started getting tired and sore about 2/3rds of the way through, and it was pretty sore by the time I finished. The ride didn't leave me feeling particularly confident about Barry-Roubaix. I came home, stretched and massaged with the foam roller and tennis ball, and my back seemed back to normal.

Today, I did mostly the same route, but I went farther to give an extra half hour of riding. This time, I stretched beforehand, and it seemed to help quite a bit. I could feel my back getting a little tired, but it never got to the point of bothering me. I felt much better for the first half of the ride today than I did yesterday (despite it being significantly colder today!). I started fading a bit after my turnaround point, but it wasn't too bad. I had a headwind coming home, so that was part of it. The wind blowing off the still mostly-frozen Pontiac Lake was really cold!

So, after today, I have some confidence that I should do OK at Barry-Roubaix next week. The extra week of recovering from my cold will probably help me more than anything else.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rough Weekend

Ugh... I had a rough week and weekend. I got good workouts in on Monday and Tuesday. I rode Wednesday night, but I felt pretty bad on the bike. Thursday I felt sick, and so did the rest of the family. Friday I seemed better, but everyone else was worse. Then I was a little worse on Saturday. Today, I feel worse, but everyone else seems to be getting better. Hopefully that means I'll be feeling better tomorrow.

I got my mountain bike mostly put back together today, but that's about all I did. No interesting new parts this year, I just cleaned and replaced the normal wear items (chain, cables, etc).

Barry-Roubaix is only two weeks away... hopefully I can ride soon.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

2011 Baseline Testing

I did some baseline testing for this year over the weekend.

My strength test was actually the second of the year (the first was here). I made good progress over the last test:

- Deadlift: I made an increase over my last test, but I'm still not quite to the level 1 target.
- Chinup: I added 1 chinup to my max, still at level 1.
- Turkish Getup: Actually did it this time around since I've been practicing the movement. Only about a third of the way to the level 1 weight though.
- 1-leg Squat: This one was a nice surprise. On my previous test, I got stuck at the bottom of the squat. This time, I didn't get stuck and was able to hit the level 1 target (5 reps). I hadn't been specifically training this exercise, so I was pretty happy to be able to do it! Next step... add weight.
- Pushup: Still at level 1. Level 2 is to do 12 pushups with hands on a suspension trainer. This is tough to do! My hands want to spread out as I get to the bottom.

So, I'm up to 3 out of 5 tests at level 1, and I'm making good progress on the exercises that aren't there yet.

The other testing I did was on the bike. There are two power levels (measured, as always, with my trusty, not-so-accurate-but-hopefully-repeatable Kintec Power Computer) I wanted to track this year: critical power at 5 minutes and at 30 minutes. For both tests, I didn't really feel great. I still have some lingering symptoms in my throat from my cold, but, aside from being annoying, it's not obviously affecting me.

I did the CP5 test first. I did it right after my strength testing, which may not have been a great idea, I don't know. I've only done this test twice ever. My memory was that it was a really hard test, and it didn't disappoint. I did fairly well compared to where I want to end up this year, about 13% away. I think that isn't so bad for early March.

I did the CP30 test the next day. Still had my throat thing going on, but it was a little better than Saturday. I'd been watching the kids all day, so I was ready for a little suffering on the bike. I didn't feel particularly good for the test, but I got through it and my pacing seemed OK. My result wasn't what I'd hoped for. It actually wasn't too far from where I've been other years at this time, but I'd hoped to see some improvement.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Spring Fever

I'm not the only one itching for better weather...

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


I have a couple lingering cold symptoms that seem to be slow in going away, but I'm otherwise back to normal. I did my normal training on Monday night and last night and everything seems good.

I moved into a new set of mobility drills, which included the squat-to-stand exercise. This was one that I suspected was involved with my knee injury last Spring. I didn't notice anything while I was doing it, but later, my knee was slightly achey again. So, that one is now forever banned (unless I can figure out what I'm doing wrong, but I'm hesitant to even try). It's a little strange, because I can do other deep squatting-type exercises with no problem. Anyway, the knee seems fine today, so it should be OK, but I'll pay extra attention to it and be cautious over the next few days.

I'm planning on doing some on-the-bike testing later this week. It's always interesting to compare the results to previous tests, but I'm especially curious this year since my training has been so different. It's too bad I was sick last week, no doubt that will skew these results down, but I should still be able to get a pretty good feel for where I am.