Saturday, February 28, 2009

Achilles

My achilles heel . . . peanut butter. I have no defenses or strength to resist you. Your light brown creamy, nutty goodness makes my mouth water and my knees shake. Why do you tempt me with your sweetness? Can't you see that I am trying to lose weight. Why do you wake me up at three o'clock in the morning, calling my name to come eat you on some delicious bread?

Mmmmmm . . . . creamy, peanut buttery goodness.
Either crunchy or smooth, on bread or crackers, nothing tastes better. Your companions on the journey to the centre of my belly are jelly, jam, bacon (yes, bacon - you should really try it!), chocolate and my favourite and daily combo - banana. I will never tire of you. You are the perfect food.
I love you. My belly is fatter because of you.

One of these jars last a week in the house . . . . my wife might get a knife full once in a while.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Rides on the radar

I was over on the Tall Tree Cycles Ride Log and have found some a few new rides that I'm going to try and work into the ride/race schedule this season. Matt, winner of the illustrious Big Ring Racing Invitational Mock Grand Prix, posted up some interesting, long'ish dirt/gravel rides:


All three of these rides would be most excellent on this bike . . . . which I am waiting to arrive . . . and waiting. . . . and waiting.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jacks - I miss the big goof.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Winter Beater vs Time Trial Beauty

Is this going to last, until I get this?
My commuter has taken a beating this winter.
How does my bike compare to coach's new TT machine? You tell me.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Three hours of Hobbits

Feeling like a bag of crap Saturday and mostly laying low seemed to help set me up to be able to ride yesterday. I really wasn't sure if I was going to make it through the workout.

Three hours is a long time, so I chose to watch the first of the trilogy that I started last week:

I've never been a Lord before.

video
The video is sideways (sorry) and loops back on itself. You can watch it for three hours if you like and get an idea of how I spent the better part of my Sunday afternoon.

Pastels were the colour of day for my hankies.

You can't see them, but on the stool beside me is a banana and a Power Bar. I don't know about you, but I find Power Bars take more work to chew than the energy they give you. I was scraping the bottom of the energy bar barrel today - I think I got that bar in a schwag bag from a race in the past year or two.

Three hours of structured riding - workout can be found here. Every minute was accounted for so there was no time lolly gagging about. It was a mirror workout to last weekend's ride, except this weekend I was able to complete both ladders despite feeling a little under the weather.

Mmmmmm, fruity protein shake for recovery. It even matched my pastel hankie headbands.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sick and a soak

A hot soak yesterday and lots of sleep made me feel a little better.
Duckman would be proud!


Thursday was my day off, Friday I was planning on skiing after work - but it just didn't happen. Friday's are usually a write-off for me anyway. Something happens to the brain and body and it just wants to shut down on Fridays after a long week of working with knuckleheads. This Friday was no different and even compounded by a looming cold/flue. Last weekend I battled through it by taking ColdFX (which REALLY works). However, it lingered in my system all this week, sitting on it's haunches waiting to bite me in the ass. And Saturday it did. Felt all achy and sore all day/night yesterday and ended up doing nothing all day.

Today is my long ride. Going to play it by ear (and legs, and lungs and muscles) and see what happens.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday's News & Views

No Sign of Cycling

I don't often read the newspaper (partly because I'm illiterate, partly because I don't have the time), but yesterday I had a brief opportunity to thumb through it.

Most of the Ottawa Citizen had coverage of Obama's visit to our nation's capital - which was pretty cool as he left a very positive impact on the people of the city, and the country for that matter, with his short visit.

I was more interested in the sports section. I grew up playing hockey, played at a serious and competitive level here in Canada and overseas and am a HUGE Leafs fan (yes, despite the Leafs sucking I am still a fan), so I try to still follow what's going on in the league.

There is no shortage of hockey coverage - today is in fact Hockey Day in Canada - we are a nation which embraces and loves our game.

What blows me away is the lack of cycling coverage in Canadian media. Perhaps it is because we are a nation covered in snow for 11 months of the year, we live in igloos, eat whale blubber, we put our elderly on ice flows to die, and our climate doesn't allow for us to participate in sports outside the winter realm. Reading the sports section of the paper yesterday pissed me off - every winter sport in the world covered, every junior, midget, bantam, pee wee and atom hockey team in Canada has their season statistic printed, the International Dart League covered, and the seasons preview of the Lawn Bowlers league are all in there . . . . everything BUT cycling. Does anyone in the Canadian sports media even know that there is a world class cycling event taking place right now in North America?!?

The cycling section in the Ottawa citizen in one word is LAME.

Birth Poll Results:
42% of people taking part in the poll believe that we will be having a baby girl before our due date on March 3rd. Close behind, a baby boy at 32% of the votes, also before our due date. Time will tell, and here's to hoping it's either or boy or a girl.



Fat is Where It's At
I don't know what I am doing wrong, but I can't seem to drop any weight like I did last year. This time last year I was already down to about 185 lbs, from a whopping 206 lbs on Boxing Day. I can't seem to make a dent on my flabby torso (right now I sit at about 195lb'ish). I'm doing everything right - healthy food, proper portions, no 3 AM peanut butter sandwich runs, lots of training . . . . I just don't get it.

I do believe that I have put on muscle, which we all know is heavier than fat, over the past few months. Measuring and training with wattage in my correct power zones using the PowerTap I think has really helped and is probably one of the reason for the muscle gain. Also, my regular (two or three times a week) core body workouts and leg strength work is putting on some muscle.

I'm also starting to give up the hope that I will have a slim, ripped body which is completely suited to riding. I've never in my entire lifetime been even close to having a ripped, lean body - so why would I now, at the ripe old age of 36 (37 in March - just in case you want to send presents), think that I would/could have such a body!?

Acceptance is the answer! I just don't have the genetic make up (but then again, I don't have the talent either . . . I mostly get by on sheer enthusiasm). So, I've decided to do my best and see what happens and stop obsessing about my weight. That's not to say that I'll be parking my ass in front of the bakery on a regular basis (maybe occasionally), but I'm going to keep on keeping on with what I am doing - I'm recovering well from my rides, I feel good . . . . and gosh darn it, people like me.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Change of Plans

Intermontane Challenge is going to have to wait for this year.
Just because I can't go doesn't mean you shouldn't !

I had originally planned on heading out to Kamloops towards the end of July to do the Intermontane Challenge. After doing the BC Bike Race last summer, I've been dreaming of doing my next stage race. Unfortunately, money and time are going to be restricting me from doing such a costly adventure. Sucks donkey, but what are you going to do.

So, instead I'm tentatively (90% certain that I am going) scheduling The Wilderness 101 race, which takes place down in Pennsylvania (only a seven or so hour drive away!) on the 1st of August. The Wilderness 101 is one race apart of the National Ultra Endurance Race Series.



It's a "Hundie" or a hundred mile (160km) race is a long day in the saddle. Despite not being able to make it out west this summer, this is giving me something to really look forward to.

I've been reading as many race reports as I can about it. Anyone do it before, got any insiders tips?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Artsy

Thank you to all of those who sent me well wishes, sympathy cards, e-mails, phone calls and who stopped in to hope for a speedy recovery from my "athletes foot" infected toe. (did you read any sarcasm into that?)

For lack of any blog fodder today, here are a couple pieces of bike art that you'll find in my basement . . . . yes folks, I am desperate for a blog post. Desperateness aside, the art is pretty nice.

Picked this up in the tiny village of Castellane, France during our trip this past August.


Look familiar?
Got this for Christmas this year. Nothing like a naked lady on your wall.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Toesday

An hour and a half at endurance pace/watts. Nothing fancy, just a steady, consistent effort.

Isolated, one legged squats.

Some core body - how do you think I keep my girl'ish figure?!
Flabs of steel - PapaG would be happy.


And one infected "athletes foot" toe.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I probably should have trained Sunday, but I didn't. My baboon sized taint had other ideas after sitting on this for three hours on Saturday. Besides, I had better things to do. Like take a nap.

Sunday afternoon cat nap with Mrs. Pibbs.

Yes, Mrs. Pibbs. We got her from The Ottawa Humane Society when she was just under a year old. She had had a litter of kittens before we got her, so we can only assume that she was married in a kitty-cat-chapel before having 'relations'. I got no place in my house for some floozy pet.

Then me and Prego went for a waddle (ever see a pregnant woman walk?!) on the Rideau Canal - the longest skate way in the world despite what Winnipeg says. Nope, we didn't skate - not a great idea for an almost nine month pregnant woman to be doing double axles and triple lutzs. So we figured the next week or two is the last wee bit of 'couple' time we'll have - it was a beauty day to be out and about.

Monday was 'Family Day' here in Ontario = no work! Whooohaaa! Most of my chump friends work for the federal government and hence had to work - suckas. I took advantage of the warm temps and blue sky and got out for a skate ski loop of the park all by myself.

Snow was a bit granular - which made it wicked fast skate skiing.


Beavers came out in the warm temperatures the past week to fell some trees - some fell across the trail.

Warm temperatures made for some melting and run-off, freezing into walls of ice at night and in the shade.

It was by far the best skate skiing conditions of the year. Super fast, firm and well groomed. Get out while you can.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hope on Two Wheels - Bicycles for Humanity and BEN Namibia

Please take the time to watch this short CBC news report on how donating an old bike can help change the lives of people in Africa. I am extremely proud to be apart of Bicycles for Humanity and the work that they have done.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Going nowhere fast

Today's workout:

Hour One
- warming up 15 minute warm up (160+ watts)
- 15 minute Single Leg Drill (1 minute left leg, 1 minute right leg, 1 minute both, repeat)
- 15 minute steady riding (183+ watts)
- 15 minute tempo riding (215 - 253 watts)

Hour Two
- big gear, low cadence work 4x (10 minutes of big ring, low cadence, 5 minute recovery)
** one gear harder after each 10 minute segment, so my cadence lowered throughout the set. #1: 70rpm, #2, 65 rpm, #3 60rpm, #4 55rpm

Hour Three - power hour
- ladder effort of 2x through:
- 1 minute easy, 1 minute hard,
- 2 minutes easy, 2 minutes hard,
- 3 minutes easy, 3 minutes hard,
- 4 minutes easy, 4 minutes hard,
- 5 minutes easy, 5 minutes hard
- REPEAT!

(I didn't actually get though the second ladder - the legs were pooched by that point, so I finished the last 20 minutes at endurance pace followed by 10 minutes of recovery)


My ass after today's 3 hour ride. How appropriate for Valentine's Day - a heart shaped ass.

Just an hour in - two more to go.

I didn't want to get off the bike mid way through the ride to swap cycling videos, so the only movie I had that was about three hours long was one of The Lord of the Ring movies. Watching it got me thinking that Gollum would make a good cyclist, especially so a climber - he's all small and wirey and lean.

Maybe if I had a body like Gollum I'd climb faster.
"Me wants to climb faster."

Today's numbers:
3:01:28 hrs
just a little over 85km (and I didn't go anywhere)
avg speed = 28.08 km/hr
aprox. 2000 calories burned

Saturday Morning Workout

What are you doing today?

My Saturday late morning and early afternoon will be spent here.
Weeeeeeeeeeeee!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Birthday r-tard best of blog

Happy Birthday Blog. It's two years old. I never would of thought that I'd keep this up for two years, let alone having people read what's in my brain for two years. Who's sicker - me for doing it or you for reading?!?

Back in January I mentioned about doing a "Best of" blog - a year in review dealio about the blog. All my contemporaries did theirs back in January. Not only am I a slower bicycle driver, but I am slow to catch on to pretty much everything. In my professional field, education (specifically special education), we would refer to someone like me as M.I.D. - meaning: mild intellectually delayed. 'Mild' is the key word here, and since I have not been formally tested so to pin point how delayed I am, 'mild' is open to interpretation by who ever experiences my intellect.

Whacked with a skipping rope. Whack. Whack.

Two years. Long time. If you're bored and got some time to kill, this is where it all began. Really though, I wouldn't bother - it's not very good. I'm always surprised by what people comment on when I post something. Some of the posts that I have spent the most time on (i.e. "How Iron Maiden and Professional Cycling Are Similar") usually get no responses it all and the ones I just throw up, put together willy nilly seem to get the most comments. Now I'm not posting just to receive comments which in turn validate my very existence and inflate my self esteem to a level equivalent to a depressed schizophrenic (somebody love me, tell me I am good, love me) . . . . okay, again, honestly I am - but I am bound by my contract with Blogger to say that I don't blog for that reason. What I have learned is not to try so hard in blogging and just 'blog' about whatever.

Fugg it. I don't feel like doing a "Best of". You do it for me.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Heart rate, schmart rate

There's something wacky going on with my PowerTap heart rate monitor. It seems to be working one second, the next it seems to turn off. Check out the peaks and valleys above in red.

I got a short workout in after work today (my third ride this week of four workouts planned for this week). Started out doing a 15 min warm up, followed by 15 minutes of isolated leg reps (1 min one leg, 1 min the other, then one minute spinning & repeat), 15 minutes of low'ish tempo, and finally 15 minutes of endurance pace. Breaking it up in smaller segments makes the ride go by that much quicker. It was actually a test run of the 3 hour workout I have planned for Saturday.

The Saris Cycling Group obviously sees some great potential in me and are very interested in my training because I regularly receive the CyclopsPower Training Newsletter by e-mail. Can you say that? I sound pretty important don't I? Yes, you'd better look up at me when I'm speaking as I tower above you in greatness. Actually, to be honest, they'll send it out to anyone who subscribes.

Saturday's workout is based on Lindsay Corbin's workout (clicky clicky to see her article). The only thing to do now is find a video long enough that I can leave in so I don't have to stop and get off the trainer.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'm on crack

The conclusion of last weeks blog post of my cracked frame . . . . it's still cracked.

For about a half an hour I contemplated contacting the bike company about possibly getting a warranty replacement. I bought this bike in 2002 and have ridden the hell out of it. I've logged on average 3500kms per season on it (which by roadie standards isn't that much - but considering I wasn't riding seriously back then, it's enough), it's been my late winter/early spring training ride, and has sat on my trainer for the past five winters. It doesn't owe me anything. I'm also pretty certain that there was only a five year warranty on it anyway. The idea of taking it back to the manufacturer and expecting a replacement doesn't sit well with me.

You can see the crack right through the inside of the seat tube.

A little J.B. Weld worked into the crack and let cure seems to have fixed it. Maybe only a temporary fix, but it will do. I'm hoping that this will show up soon and become my new spring ride - along with cx racing, long gravel rides, commute, and touring rig.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Prego Poll

You may or may not know that my beautiful wife is somewhat pregnant.

By all scientific and medical know-it-all apparently we're (when I say "we're" I really mean 'she') due on March 3rd. We don't know if it's a boy or girl, but have been assured it's one or the other.

The time has flown by and I can't believe we're (again, I mean 'she') only three or so weeks away. So in preparation of a little baby coming home, I began tonight on the very difficult task of trying to figure out how to put together, make recline, add a bonnet, learn how to collapse and take apart a state of the art baby stroller. I can take apart and rebuild a hub, lace a wheel, build a bike, and so on . . . . but do you think I could figure out how this freak'in thing worked!?!

Even had a little practice with a proxy baby getting in and out of the car seat. Eeyore was very cooperative and didn't complain a bit . . . . I'm hoping the little baby on the way is as cooperative.


So in anticipation of this great event, I am putting up a poll on the side bar ----------->
where you can vote whether we're having a boy or girl on/before/or after our due date - you're guess is as good as ours.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Linkaging

Yesterday's blog post (heads up on that courtesy of Curvy Butt) on Svein Tuft was pretty cool - well, not the blog post, but the link to the wicked story about him. He's given me reasons to have a favourite road racing team to follow and cheer for this season:
  1. he's a fellow Canuck
  2. he likes dogs
  3. David Zabriskie rides for Garmin (he's a pro with a stash!)
  4. they got argyle race kits (what's not to love about argyle?!)
  5. Garmin's team goal is to 'ride clean' (I'm hopeful, but the jury is out on this one)

David Zabriskie

Interesting Reading:
  • In case you didn't read the comments from a few days ago, GregZ (not affiliated with or related to David Z [above], unless he has a stash too) linked this article by Bobby Julich on "Battling the Bulge" . . . . . I'm guessing it was directed more towards me than you.
  • Clint Eastwood look alike has three narrow misses on one ride and forgets to pack this to deal with dipshits (remember, guns don't kill people, people kill people who are stupid)
  • young rider dies in sleep at Tour de Qatar
  • my little nephew's Tri training team
  • hardest ski ever ends in an upset tummy


Thursday, February 5, 2009

How I Got Fat

Two broken bike items in just a week has got me thinking. I've either gotten really, really powerful in one month since really working out in my power zones with the PowerTap OR I'm a fat ass. After much consideration, I'm thinking it's the latter.

How can this happen every winter? Last winter I needed to shed almost 24lbs in order to getLink down to my 'ideal' racing weight. I know that everyone usually puts on a little weight over the winter - it's normal and natural. We become a little more sedenatry, we're not exercising as frequent, racing stops, there are all sorts of holidays that entice us to stuff our pie holes, and so on. It's also nature's way of helping us prepare for colder weather (those of us in northern climates anyway) - a little extra fat keeps us mosty toasty. However, I think that last winters gain of 26lbs actually started in August '07 - remember this? Was that Mother Nature telling me that I am a slower learner and needed to start early? Freak'in hell! I had boobs!


I made a little video explaining what happened/has happened again.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Use the force . . . . but not to break things

The "C" on the head unit of the PowerTap is cadence.

Short ride for today's training had me doing a 'force' workout - simulating hill work. Low cadence and semi threshold'ish riding for 3 minutes, followed by three minute rest at endurance wattage, and repeat four times (see power plateaus below in graph).

After the first forty minutes or so I did a few form sprints (the spikes on the graph) and some isolated leg intervals to finish off.

- soaked handkerchief, el cheapo wheel stand and my cheat sheet (all my power zones on one side and specific workouts on the other kept for handy reference during rides)

After one of the form sprints (10 seconds all out while maintaining good form and pedal stroke), I looked down between my legs and saw this. Earlier in the ride I heard a noise, sounded like a squeak, but paid no heed to it.

Could I be that powerful that I can break the seat tube?! It's not the first thing I've broken in the past week. I'm guessing it has more to do with my pre-season heftiness . . . . yes, I am fat.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Saturday's Skate Ski

PapaG and I just about to descend down Blacks on the Champlain Parkway Saturday afternoon.
Beauty day for a ski - the best of the year.
Report here.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Rest/Wax Evening

Sometimes you have to listen to the body, especially when it shouts at you. I don't think I've been over-doing-it lately, but if feels like it. Maybe yesterday's skate ski with PapaG wore me out - which by the way was a wicked awesome ski; best of the year for me! Hopefully he'll have a report up on the blog soon that I can poach some photos from.

So instead of getting a workout in I opted to get some necessary ski maintenance done.

I've neglected my classic skis lately and it shows with the amount of kick wax I was able to scrape off. How many colours can you make out?

Mmmm . . . . great big wax booger.

LinkThree sets of skis to be done. One is Tanya's, who dropped by to get her skis ready for the CSM this weekend.

I work on them from the right to the left, and rotate through. Clean, brush, wax, cool - switch - clean, brush, wax, cool - switch . . . . then, scrape, brush, wax, cool - switch - and so on and so on. The trick is to keep them in order and remember what wax you've put on.