Archives for January 2014

A Long Day in the Saddle

84.6 Miles

That’s a new distance PR for me. Not since my Durango to Moab day 2 50 miler ride ( have I put in this many miles. And even then, it was only 50 miles.

Very rarely to I get time to put in basically a whole day on the bike. As it turns out the wife and kids were out of town this weekend, which afforded me the luxury of such a ride.

gran-fondo-1-v1That and the Strava Gran Fondo Challenge kept staring me in the face every day that I uploaded my ride data to Strava.

With the wife and kids away, I began thinking I could go for a nice long ride, shooting for a possible century ride. I briefly tried to see if there was anyone else doing a big ride that day, but as I didn’t set up anything before hand, I didn’t get any bites. So I sat down, planned out a route using Strava’s Route Builder and set out to complete the challenge and possibly more.

The weather was to be pretty much perfect with temps in the 60’s and low to no winds. What little wind there WAS supposed to be, was to be out of the south east, so I planned my route such that I would be heading home with a slight tailwind. As I don’t ride this kind of mileage regularly, I also looked for less elevation in climbing.

With those two thoughts in mind, I came up with a route that would take me through Austin and south east towards Lockhart. I wouldn’t quite make it all the way to Lockhart before turning around and heading back home by way of Buda. My plan was to stop in Buda for lunch before returning home.

I woke up, had a good breakfast, saddled up and headed out around 10AM. The ride across Austin was uneventful but interesting as I had never ridden my bike across Austin before.

2014-01-19 10.32.03

After getting through Austin, I turned south near the airport and continued along low trafficked back roads. It was a beautiful day and this portion of the ride was easily my favorite. There were very few cars and it was nice to see the farms and pasture lands scattered around the area.

2014-01-19 11.50.01

The first pit stop came around mile 33 at a convenience store. It was perfect place to stop and refill my water bottles. I also had a Coke and a 5 Hour Energy.

I then continued my south easterly course towards Lockhart.

2014-01-19 12.40.46

I did hit a couple of stretches of dirt/gravel roads which I wasn’t expecting. It wasn’t a big deal really and I was able to navigate the roadways without issue.

I eventually made the turn and started heading towards Buda.

Up to this point I had been making sure to ‘eat’ a gel, power bar or other quick energy food at least once per hour. Even still, I could feel my resources draining and I was looking forward to stopping in Buda for lunch at Subway.

At mile 55, I started sensing that I was running really low on reserves. I wasn’t sure how much farther I had to go, but assumed it was only 15 minutes or so. It turned out to be closer to 30, but that last 30 minutes as I made my way to Subway was tough. I was struggling, mostly mentally, and even while riding through the Cabela’s parking lot, my mind was wandering and I was solely focused on getting to Subway for some real food and a break.

I even pulled out in front of a car in the parking lot. Fortunately it was a non issue, the guy honked at me. I can understand his irritation, but at the time I was too out of it to care. In all honesty, I was riding in a very unsafe manner at this point and I will need to make sure I don’t get to this point in the future.

At long last I made it to Subway and settled in for a large lunch.

2014-01-19 14.23.43

After Subway, I had about 25 miles back home. I was running short on time so I knew that it wasn’t likely I would be able to tack on any extra mileage to try to reach 100 miles for the day.

I tried to follow my planned route back home, but I didn’t like some of the roads that were being suggested. I ended up nav’ing another route home via Google Maps and followed that home. I have since reviewed my route made some adjustments for the ‘next time’.

The ride home was uneventful but again interesting to ride through some of the south Austin neighborhoods. When I finally made it over to familiar territory in Rollingwood, I got to do the triple hill climb on Rollingwood drive. This final climb was a bit of a kick in the nuts after having put in nearly 80 miles for the day.

At any rate, I rolled on home to complete the ride with 84.6 miles. Completing the Gran Fondo challenge and adding a new distance PR for myself. It was a great day in the saddle and a fun little solo adventure.

My ‘tweaked’ route –

My actual Strava ride:

2014 Week 1 Training – Sweat and Gears

Well, my official week 1 training is complete. I say official because unofficially, I started a week prior to that! But the first week consisted of mainly fitness and power tests, as well as some ‘warm up’ riding to get back into the groove.

I haven’t spent much time on the bike in a couple of months so I hit the ground running to get things kicked off.

I added a Stages Power Meter to my road bike and have been exploring training with power. It has also given me new drive to get my rides in, both for the ‘new toy’ feeling, and also for improvements.

Stages Power Meter

Stages Power Meter

It is interesting to see how my power numbers stack up and what it has shed light on thus far. Unsurprisingly, I knew my actual power was unimpressive, and it further confirmed some of my perceived weaknesses. Hopefully these confirmed insights will give me new guidance on how to address and improve my riding weaknesses.

I am again doing another round of the Time Crunched Training Plan. I am familiar with the plan and I feel I have gotten good improvements with it in the 2 rounds I’ve done so far. Now with the added power data, I hope to be able to add in some additional targeted workouts, as well as better quality in my existing work outs.

So far I have felt really good. After the first week of ‘warming up’, my legs feel like they have some good snap and pop to them, which deviates from some of the sluggishness I have felt on other recent rides. It feels good to feel some strength in my legs again!

In addition to the TCTP workouts, at this time I also have 2 added workouts. On Mondays I am going to Yoga and on Wednesdays I am doing an abbreviated leg and back workout from P90X, including the core/Ab workout in an effort to add some power to the legs as well as keep my core strength maintained. Already I feel like it has made a difference as the slight back pain I had been experiencing on mid-duration rides has already subsided, but that could also be due to just more time in the saddle.

So far schedule has been very cooperative. I hope that this trend continues, but I do know that the familial schedule will start ramping up as Spring comes along. My goal is to never go more than 2 days without a bike workout. It is going to be challenging sometimes, but nobody ever said training was easy.

Here’s to a strong 2014 racing season!

2013 Reveille Peak 100k Mountain Bike Race

Ride Report Here:

Reveille Peak Ranch is a fantastic ride location here in the Texas Hill Country. [Read more…]

CTS Field Test – January 2014

CTS Field Test

Haven’t done a field test since October and needed to get a baseline test in before training really ramps up. So here goes!

The temps were a refreshing 60ish degrees. Fairly windy with gusts upwards of 15mph out of the west, giving me a fair tailwind for both interval efforts. First field test with Stages Power Meter.

Down to it:
Weigh In: 166 lbs
Test Time: 3PM
Nutrition: Standard eating, bfast and lunch
Temp: 70 degrees
Humidity: 20%
Wind: Gusty tailwind
Dress: Bibs and short sleeve jersey
Last ride: Trainer rides in days preceding
CTL: 23.0
TSB: -12.4 (falling)

Time Dist Avg Spd Avg Power Avg HR Max HR Cadence
8:01 2.8 21.1 220 172 178 95
8:03 2.8 20.9 226 171 178 96
Oct ’13 Results
8:06 2.88 21.3 164 170 100
7:52 2.88 22.0 163 169 98
Aug ’13 Results
8:00 2.78 20.8 173 181 97
7:58 2.78 20.9 173 181 94
June ’13 Results
8:00 2.74 20.5 171 176 98
7:45 2.74 21.2 170 174 98

Observations : Have lost some fitness since October, which is not surprising giving the lack of riding through November and December.

2014 Race Schedule

State Championship

02/09 Rocky Hill Roundup – 15th
03/02 Mellow Johnny’s Classic – 12th
03/16 Pace Bend Race – 9th
03/30 STORM Hill Country Challenge – 6th
04/13 Bent Wheel Bash – 4th
04/26 Prayer Mountain Pedal – 10th
05/04 Big Ring Challenge –
05/18 The Warda Race – 10th

Series Rank: 5th

Texas Cup

09/01 Camp Eagle Classic
09/14 Tyler Speedwaves
09/28 Piney Hills Classic
10/12 Huntsville Classic


October Enchilada Buffet
11/23 Reveille Peak 100

2013 Recap