Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wasted & Ready

EDIT: this blog has been a long process. I started it on Sunday, finished it yesterday, and after spending a long time on it Monday night had issues. No internet at work is causing me anxienty and stress. Here's hoping this one works...

"I am wasted but I'm ready. I am wasted but I'm ready.
Running as fast as I can. Running as fast as I can."

Not really, but we got in yet another pretty solid weekend of base riding! I know a lot of the enduro nuts are out putting in crazy hours, but I'm still building a fitness base in general and working FT, so I'm happy to be getting in the time that I am.

We set off Friday night for a somewhat wide-open weekend. We knew we'd be riding in Palm Springs both days on the road, and generally, where we were headed on Saturday. I had no idea how long the ride would take, and I wasn't sure how long it'd be either. Saturday was set for the i.e. Bikes team ride so the roadies could get their road license re-instated for the team.

I don't have a road license, and am not planning on getting one, but it was a team activity! A small group of us set off from a park in La Quinta and headed out on the rural farm roads toward a school just before Mecca.

It was cool that Pua wound up coming out to participate in the ride as well!

After the first part of the ride she set off on her own to do 5 hours of tempo riding.

At a super easy pace it took us about 45 or so minutes to cover the first part of the ride before we met up with the majority of the riders. By the time we all met up at the school it was warm outside already. Gone was the cold weather that was forcing winter knickers and wool base layers just a few weekends ago. It was almost 80!

We all set off together and once through Mecca the group split up.

All together now

The paparazzi/SAG for the ride

I stayed in the middle of the front group for a few minutes at the base of the 15 mile climb, but it became clear pretty early on that if I wanted to get in "my" training I couldn't ride at threshold with this group, so I peeled off the back and watched them pull further away.

Justin soft pedaled for about 10 minutes until I finally caught him. At that point I figured I was due for another interval, so he pulled me back to within sight of the group before my time was up and I was back to endurance pace. He kept at his own pace for awhile as I fell further back again.

I caught him on my next interval, but then didn't see him again until a regroup. From the regroup (complete with cold water, bananas, and oranges) we all headed into Joshua Tree. It was really windy. Super windy. And all of a sudden I went from holding Z2 to struggling to stay out of Z4. Crazy. Apparently the grade had gone up a few %, so while it seemed like I was just being weak, it was actually the start of the real climb. And, we climbed for awhile. Into the wind. It sucked. Every now and then we'd get to a short section of no wind and concrete and it felt like I was flying, and about 10 seconds later that would end!

Refueling mid-ride in the new kit

We stopped at the gate/entrance where you have to pay usage fees, refueled, regrouped, and then set off back down the hill!

Justin and I got out front, and I was there for about 5 seconds until all the guys with lots of power and triple rings went flying by. I did wind up riding with one other woman most of the way down. We'd trade spots in a quasi-pace line, and eventually I got paranoid that my camera
fell out of my pocket (or was falling out), so I slowed up to take a hand off the bar and check it.

Justin waited up for me a bit once we got to flat ground, and he pulled me back to Raegan and Ryan and the 4 of us stayed together all the way back to the school. We were working pretty hard most of the way, but finally uncomfortable sit bones after a long day in the saddle on rough
roads forced us to slow up to conversational pace and take more butt breaks.

Coming back with Salton Sea in the background

Seemed like Justin and I were the only ones around that needed to head back to the park from the school, so we didn't even stop at the school; we kept powering on.

We got about 10 miles further and spotted the rest of the bonus milers up ahead. It took a few minutes, but we caught up and rode with them the rest of the way. I kinda felt like ass, and totally felt like I was pre-bonk, but since it was a group of strong guys I held on and rode near the front of the pack.

Got back to the park just in time; I really needed the Recoverite and PB&J!

Justin and I stopped at a local coffee joint on the way back to my mom's. Caffeine post-ride works IMO. I'm definitely going to keep drinking coffee after big rides!

We got back, sat around, then I got down to business making dinner. Chicken breasts and sweet potatoes. YUM. She had nothing for post-dinner snacks, so I had one unfulfilling cookie and a handful of peanuts and called it a night.

Sunday we slept in a bit, and I had a huge bowl of cereal and 2 cups of coffee. We need a bigger coffee pot at home. I ran around for a bit, and eventually realized we were running really late to make my bike fit later in the afternoon. We headed out the door after Justin got a route picked out.

The legs felt pretty good. How my legs felt that good after 95 miles the day before I have no idea. I never put down a ton of power, but they didn't feel fatigued. I hated sitting on the saddle, but otherwise was good to go.

New Socks! My favorite thing!

I had to re-arrange my training for the weekend a bit, but I got in my time and spent most of it at endurance pace, so that was good. Got back after just 2 hours and had a huge turkey sandwich with some minor fixins. It was pretty bomb, but I was hungry. Headed out the door, and made it to the shop just in time to meet Mike as he was setting up for my bike fit.

All hooked up and nowhere to go

We put some new cleats on my new shoes and Mike got down to business getting me all measured and stretched to discern my flexibility and any imbalances.

Then he told me we'd be doing a 1 mile TT (half flat, half at 4% grade). I didn't know I actually had to do any work during this thing! Just as a heads up to anyone in the future getting a power fit - you have to work hard! He said to go about 5/6 on exertion.

For the first TT it was a bit modified version of my set up. He had fixed the seat position so my knee was right above the crank arm, etc. and got me pedaling. I got to watch the virtual me barely tick by the white lines on the road. Wow was I slow.

As I was pedaling he put up the spin efficiency screen and told us a bit about it, but said not to pay attention to it (if I watched it I could alter my pedal stroke, and therefore his advice couldn't be as useful). So, I didn't pay attention to the screen after that.

He made some minor adjustments putting the saddle to the general fit height, etc.

Then it was time to go again!

I was sweating like crazy and my legs were burning after the 2nd time.

He raised the saddle up about a cm or so, and had me go again. I took a short break after to hydrate a bit and cool off, then we were at it for the last one, with the saddle down a bit more.

I had by now found the "distance" meter so I at least could tell how far away I was from finishing. It was a rough set, but I felt like the position was pretty good since my legs felt a bit faster.

After that he brought in my road bike to move the saddle height around a little and set me with a medieval torture device

I have a few things to work on now. Looking forward to seeing the progress over the next 2 months.

Overall I was super happy with the bike fit and his advice. I can't wait to get in the gym and start the exercises! Today is my "off" day though, so I'm holding back on doing them today. Gonna do full recovery after the big volume (for me) weekend and hope my legs are ready to go.

After we left the bike fit Justin and I were starving. I felt shaky. We happened to notice a Chipotle lurking off the highway and ran in. I think the last time I had Chipotle was in November! The horror! I got a chicken fajita bowl with black beans (no cheese). It was gooood.

I've got a killer set of drills for tomorrow (my legs are quivering just thinking about them). If I'm not too sore at lunch I might try the drills, otherwise Wednesday as part of regen sounds like a good idea.

At any rate, if you're looking for a bike fit and want the whole deal, check out Mike's site and fit info. He spent a good part of the afternoon with us, and I didn't feel rushed or anything. He took his time and explained what he was doing, and gave me some exercises to do to help out with my issues. He even tape the end of the torture device, so yay for not being scratched up ;) We'll see how that goes tomorrow!!

Overall, great weekend. Weather was killer.

Just as we were heading out the door to drive home I saw this view

Just doesn't get any better than that!

Also, for anyone looking for light-weight brake rotors - check out Scrub Components. Will have some photos and beta on those in a week or two.


beth said...

that picture of you eating on the bike by the mountains is awesome...
sounds like a perfect weekend (and freaking hard, but you do it like a champ!)

Pedal Circles said...

I'd be down to ride out there again! The roads are kinda crap and sometimes the traffic isn't so good, but once we got out near Joshua Tree it was way more calm.

JOY said...

Watch out for that zip-tie on your top tube! Mike told me to put one on too, and some of my friends. One friend as permenant "cat-scratches" from it when he gets out of the saddle for an effort!!

Otherwise, Mike is amazing! ;)

Jman said...

Did you follow the 111? I used to work out there regularly and I always thought it would be cool to hook all of that up into a big road ride. Right now 20 miles is killing me...I am so out of shape! Way to get over 100 miles in on one weekend. I think you should change your name to Superwoman!

Pedal Circles said...

Jack - we've ridden 111 before out to the IMAX theater and past a bit, but are trying to find other routes lately. I don't think we were on 111 going to Joshua Tree, but I could be wrong! I was just following wheels ;) 111 isn't the most cycling-friendly highway! Er, not that any are...