Monday, March 26, 2007

Break on through

This weekend I had one of those great moments when it all clicks. I'm a pretty average cyclist, considering my past race results, but I've put in a lot of consistent base this winter on the trainer. This weekend the weather and my training schedule gave me the opportunity to ride twice in fine weather, and all of a sudden I was faster. And not just faster, faster with less effort.

On my Saturday 90 minute ride I averaged 17 mph riding easy on a course that used to take an "all-out" effort to average 16 mph. Climbs that used to red-line my HR at 175 now only got me up to 160.

I followed up on Sunday with a 51 mile ride in 3:05, with plenty left in tank. As a matter of fact, my return time on the second half of the out-and-back course was significantly faster than the first half. And again, I was motoring along without pushing the limits. Average HR for the 51 miles was 120 -- much lower than what I usually register. By the way, not group rides either -- solo on Saturday and pulling a buddy along on Sunday.

48 years old and the best shape of my life -- pretty darn cool.


P.S. -- Read the exciting details in my training log.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Racing results

Well, despite my cold I went ahead with the race I had scheduled for last Saturday -- the MJH 8K. I'd been feeling a bit better, and had done an easy spin and run on Friday as a test. I didn't feel too bad, so I went ahead with it.

The race was a blast, and I'm pretty jazzed with the results. A solid 36:20 for the 8K course (barely shy of 5 miles). The weather was a bit cool, but sunny, and it felt great for racing. I got a nice warmup in and took off bit too fast at 3:25 for the first 1/2 mile. I held it back a bit from there and turned in some nice consistent splits, all around 7:20-7:25, until the last 1/2 mile or so when I turned it up a bit. I got 6th out of 32 in my age group. Not bad.

The race was fun aside from the time. An interesting (but hilly) course in downtown Charlottesville, a nice-sized field and a good chance to kibbitz with some friends. The big road race for the season comes up soon -- the Charlottesville 10 Miler on March 31st. Who knows, maybe I can break 1:15?


P.S. -- Cold coming along OK -- just some coughing as my lungs clear the crap out.

P.P.S. -- Race results and training log

Friday, March 09, 2007

Cold -- and not the weather...

Just as I started strong into March, I ran my head smack-dab into a cold. It came on quickly -- I had a good run on Wednesday morning, but felt a bit wiped out at the end. By mid-morning, my head was congested, I was achy, had a headache -- the usual drill. The only good news is that it's kept itself pretty much in my head and my chest is staying pretty clear.

I took off on Thursday, and cut my morning ride in half this morning. I'm starting to feel a bit more on the up and up today, so I'll just take it easy with my race tomorrow morning. Sunday is supposed to be a 3-hour ride, but that'll probably get cut down as well, while I get totally back. Better safe than sorry at this point.


My training log.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Taking the test

March is here, and the hope of a quick spring and warmer temperatures. For me, it's going to be an interesting month. I've got two road races on the schedule: the MJH 8K on the 10th, and the Charlottesville 10-Miler on the 31st.

Coach Debi has filled the time in between with a couple of sturdy weeks, each with around 11+ hours of training. My favorite training day looks like Saturday, the 24th -- 2000 yards in the pool, a 3 hour bike and a 60 minute run. Fortunately I don't have to do them back to back.

The races should be an interesting test of my fitness. My training runs have been fairly low intensity, just increasing in distance as time has gone on. Realistically I hope to do the 8K in under 40 minutes, and the 10 miler in around 1:20.

Who knows, I may surprise myself. I haven't raced since December, and I ran 4 miles in 30 minutes then -- a total shock at the time, since I hadn't expected to go nearly so fast. Of course there's only one way to find out...