Wednesday, August 30, 2006

test run

The past week+ has been a build, meaning the workouts are harder and focused on making specific strength and speed gains--i.e. tempo running, spinning with badass hill intervals, and swimming for distance.

Today is a double-header--bike and then swim with Christine--I just finished a quick spin down Foothill to Mountain View and back, working on cadence and testing out a few modifications to the trusty little steed.

1. New saddle. I replaced the stock Bianchi saddle with a Terry Butterfly--bonus that the titanium model was on sale! The reason for this? The stock saddle was a men's saddle that left my nether region quite torn up after any sizeable ride. The Butterfly has been recommended to me by pretty much every serious female cyclist I've asked about saddles. It has a lovely, strategically place hole in it to relieve pressure. The verdict--not too shabby!

2. Raised the seat by about 0.5 inch. Knees have been bugging me uphill for awhile, now--thought when I bought the bike, the professional fitting by Los Altos Bicycle Outfitters was perfect. This is exciting because it means my pedal stroke has evolved and I'm getting more efficient. Woohoo!

3. Removed the visor from my helmet. I did this because my trapezius has been bothering a me a LOT after rides lately. Removing the visor will hopefully increase my field of vision enough so that I don't have to keep my neck too extended while I'm down over the handlebar.

4. Replaced stock inserts in bike shoes with gel inserts. Hopefully this will absorb impact on the downstroke and help keep me toes from getting numb--though the occasional deep tissue sesh on my calves with Kristi does the trick quite well, also!

5. Increased pedal tension. Tension on the pedals is what makes it harder (or easier) to clip in and out. This is especially important at red lights (see my last entry). Contrary to what my recent spill might indicate, I actually needed to increase mine--My tension was previously so low that I would clip out and my cleat would immediately "slip" back into the pedal!

So that's a LOT of modifications to test out on one little ride--but they were all very minor.

Now, off to Burgess for a swim!

Friday, August 25, 2006

cycling follies

70 minutes on a spin bike feels like a very, very long time--especially in your nether regions. I'd much rather ride my bike. The scenery is just so much better.

I fell off my bike on Monday, in fact.

It was my first good-sized solo ride, though I'll admit I picked a kinda wimpy route--hey, I'm chicken about cars, okay? I did the Portola Loop from work and then swung down Junipero Serra to Foothill Expressway. Turned around in Los Altos and came back. About 30 miles or so, I think.

Anyway, as I was headed back on Foothill (roughly 2/3 of the way through my ride) I rolled up on a red light and forgot that my hand was on the horn instead of down on the drop where it usually is when I stop. So, the bike was a bit unbalanced. Normally not a big deal.

Except this time, it was...because I was a DUMBASS and didn't clip out of my pedal to put my foot down in time.

CRASH. Onto my right side.

Now, let me add that it was about 515pm, so there were plenty of people sitting at the intersection in their cars who, no doubt, got a good laugh out of me eating shit into the right turn lane. Hey, I'll admit I would have chuckled. If you're a cyclist for any length of time, you'll fall over at a red light or two.

I was so mad. Since I was on my right side, my right foot was pinned under the bike and got stuck in the drivetrain. I had to kick like a motherfucker to get my right foot clipped out so I could get my damn bike off me and get up.

With bloody knee and shin and bruised palm, I saddled up again and sped back to work. On the way back, I got stuck in the wake of a street sweeper for about 1/2 mile. Fucking-A. I had to brush like crazy to get all the grit out of my teeth. Some of it even got under my contacts!

The worst part of it all: I got blood all over one of my hula girl socks! *sniffle*

Also, of note: Foothill Expressway is covered with roadkill. I could not go a mile without having to swerve to avoid some sort of bloated, rotting corpse of a squirrel, skunk, or possum. Nasty stinky eeeeeewwwww!!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

swamp thing!!!


yesterday evening was the first time i've gone for a swim since wildflower on may 7th!

i only went for the 1200 meter option--i wanted to see how my should would feel, and it seems okay today.

i forgot how much it wipes you out, though--i went to pick up my cousins adam and katie from SFO last night, and i DID NOT think i would make it.

anyway, during the swim i did not hit my lactate threshold, but my stroke went straight to hell from muscle fatigue! it felt like i was swimming through a dumpster full of old spaghetti.'s always been the other way around--usually i'm out of breath before my stroke integrity breaks down. either it was a freak thing or my cardio base has exceeded my strength base!

today i did a spin workout--55 minutes at L2 with 5x4' intervals at L3 thrown in. Then, a bit of core work--about 120 reps or so--just to stay on top of it.

i think my attentiveness to nutrient timing is paying off. i've been recovering from hard workouts much faster than usual.

it really pays to take advantage of that 3o minutes post exercise to suck down some high quality protein--your muscles are like sponges!

tomorrow--pretty easy. run with rolling hills for about 30-40'. not too shabby, easy to fit in on a friday.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

back from MN/first track practice


we got back from our three week vacation yesterday morning at about 3am--so after a day of recuperating and restocking food supplies, i went off to MY first (not the team's first) track practice at Foothill College.

it was great fun--chris, ken, liz, and meggen did a good job mixing things up--we started with the requisite stretching session, a presentation from a physical therapist, and then we hit 3 separate stations for circuit style training: calisthenics with ken, stadiums intermixed with body weight strength exercises with meggen, and speed and power drills with liz.

then we did a brief ladder workout, 3 laps, 2 laps, 1 lap, trying to make each set up laps have splits 5 seconds faster than the one before it.

should not have had dinner before the workout, though--thought i was gonna puke at the end!

anyway, it was a bit humbling--it seems i've let myself go a bit this summer. i would have thought that 8 days in the wilderness with a 40# pack would have helped prepare me a bit, but evidently i had a bit too much of mom's good cookin' in the interim since. yeesh.

i shudder to think of this evening's impending pool workout--especially since my right shoulder keeps subluxing. of these days i'll go to an orthopedist.