Friday, July 3, 2009

The Grand Fondo and Week 1

On Sunday I drove 15 hours pulling a Uhaul from Tiburon to Seattle.  It wasn't too bad and I sort of know how to back up with a trailer now. We're currently staying with my wife's family in Ballard - with a nice view of the ocean and surrounded by picturesque/magazine quality gardens.  Everyone has settled in as if they owned the place!  I also started working in the office now - which I found is about as far away from where I live now as I could possibly get.  I thought the office was just a 20 mile bike ride - but after 1 hour of riding on Tuesday (starting at 6am) I found it wasn't and that I had another 10 miles to go!  The ride in is pretty easy - it's all flat which means pedaling the WHOLE time as opposed to getting in a little climb,stretch the legs and enjoy a little twisty downhill.

It sort of feels like riding on a computrainer - but not nearly as boring and when carrying about 20lbs of stuff on my back - my bum hurts a lot more after an hour.  There are also about 2 cars I encounter which is nice.

The ride home is about the same - except I generally take a hillier route home across Mercer Island and the I90 bridge.  But there are a lot of cars who seem to be more aggressive than I think is necessary (only once this week did I have to skid through my rear tire in order to avoid flipping over a hood). 


So now that I know my regular commute is 60 miles I'm prepared for it. I also found that not scheduling meetings at 8am and eating before I ride are good ideas.

I've also already seen people I know here out on rides - which is nice, Seattlites are truly creatures of habit - there are people I'd see doing the same work out nearly every day (of course I was doing the same workout - or at least on the same route).

I do the bike commute on Tues and Thurs and then swim/run on Weds and Friday.  I also hooked up with my old coach at the pool and am doing a triathlon specific swim class.  My only complaint is the huge amount of rest they take between sets. They basically did 15 seconds after the last person came in.  I didn't realize that the last person who was swimming without goggles was completely blind.  Maybe I'll just start taking off with about the level of rest we'd get at Master's swim - it's not like she'd know we left.  Well, maybe she'd figure it out quickly.  But still, less rest. I also pushed harder because of the naps we got in between.

My Garmin isn't tracking my pace well - so trying to get that sorted.  I was doing an interval the other day and was supposed to run about a 6:45 pace - but it was killing me - to the point where my HR was so high that I started choking/coughing and ready to chunder.  I'm back to running by HR and will see if the Garmin fixes itself. 

Yesterday I had the great idea of commuting by bike and then racing the crit at Seward park in the Cat 2/3/4 race (I'm a Cat 3 or whatever they call it now) and then riding home.  I got Chris Tremonte to ride with me - so it was fun to have some company and a little triathlete amongst cyclist competition.  By the time I got to the race I had ridden 45 miles already and the race would get us another 20 miles I think.  I haven't raced a crit in years - like 5 or more and also haven't ridden with more than a handful of people in at least that long - so some nerves were there!  Not to mention, going from long steady efforts to the violent high-wattage efforts of a crit - I had no idea how long I'd survive. 

The crit started out fine - it was a 25 lap race (I think) that goes around a closed course and up a long hill each lap.  It's pretty casual and if you get dropped you can rest and get back in easily.  I just planned to sit in and finish the race - getting in some efforts and maybe a few digs.  The race was pretty uneventful at the back 1/3 which Chris sat in the front 1/3.  At one point the pack slowed and I went from about 1/2 way up to the top 5 and then I just hit it.  I saw over 1,100 watts and then 4 other guys jumped with me as we went up the hill.  I didn't see the pack again for another lap - even though I had coasted over the top of the hill and back down again! I recovered and did it again 1 lap later - this time Tremonte came around me but I had no expectation of hammering up the hill to get the break going. It's a tough course for a small handful to get away on - the pack goes downhill so much faster than a few people, so you end up getting caught 99% of the time I think.  The crit was over - I had even found a few old teammates and had a few snippets of conversation during the race. 

Here's a snap of my HR - you can see where the race starts - around mile 48 in the day.  The highlight is where I attacked. 


We rode home and by then time I got home I felt pretty good - though dehydrated (it has been about 80 all week) and could have even run a little if I needed to! 

Vineman is in 2 weeks from Sunday - so one more week of good training this week and then a recovery/taper week.  IN the past week I've set new power records on my harder rides and my runs have gone really well.  An hour of swimming seems short on some days and although I'd like a few more weeks before Vineman, I think it's all going in the right direction.

After the race I met a blog reader - which is always a hoot! 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

glad your move went well! funny about the bike commuting routes. If only there was a bridge or a least it's a good workout. I'm also adjusting to flatter terrain, pedaling pretty much constantly which i like better anyway.