Winter training

From BikeSnobNYC‘s column (this month’s Bicycling, I assume, though I don’t see a date anywhere on the page):

It’s hard to keep track of what constitutes acceptable cross-training for cycling because fitness trends are as fickle as Cadel Evans’s mood ring. Cross-country skiing is widely recognized as an effective technique, but this requires skis, poles and, ideally, Subaru ownership. It also requires snow, which is a rare commodity in certain parts of the country. There are always roller skis, but after flailing around on these, you might be tempted by inline skating. However, because inline skating involves drafting, there’s the danger that you’ll be tempted to join the local shop ride on skates, and possibly crash everyone out. One way to avoid this is to remove the wheels from your shoes and go running. The advantage of this is that there are rides that include running. The disadvantage is that they’re triathlons, and once you catch a glimpse of yourself in a tri singlet you’ll go back to pricing skis and Outbacks.

I’m not sure where I fall in this cycle: I’ve tried skiing, but there are only a handful of winter days that I can x-c from my driveway.  I don’t have snow tires for my inline skates.  And I look *great* in a singlet.

Nonetheless, somewhere in the present-day transition to cooler weather, I’m doing more jogging-stroller pushing and less bike-trailer pulling.  And either way, it fits in the back of the Subaru.

Summer (almost gone)

For the second time, it’s the first fall in many years that I haven’t trod off to class. And, for the umteenth time, campus’ scurrying inhabitants are younger than young, just as such.

Yet, many weeks of good outdoor workout weather should remain. Saturday’s ride was simple: 100 miles in just over 6 hours (5:12 riding time), certainly the fastest century I’ve done. Ignoring slow parking-lot loops whilst we took turns refilling water, the GPS reports says one loop of 30 miles at 20.3 mph, a second at 20.0, followed by a 40-mile at 18.3. Nearly flat: perhaps +/-300′ on each loop. Helped along by three compatriots, whose assistance came perhaps half through drafting and the balance via sarcastic encouragement.

PB toast and a bottle beforehand. Banana at 30 mi, shot at 45 (mocha! tasty!), mojo bar at 60, 4 cubes at 75 and another mojo at 90. 4 bottles of Nuun and 4 plain water. I won’t try to list what I ate afterwards, but let’s assume that hungry is good.

Recovery run Sunday, 5 miles, moderate midday heat, pushing the Burley. It’s hard to beat a Shaker Lakes popsicle route (wherever you are, run to lakes, run around N lakes, run back), and it’s even better when a gaggle of friends show up. Let’s illustrate with an embedded gmap/gearth.


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Recovery swim after recovery run at Cumberland Pool‘s final hurrah for the season, which mostly consisted of demonstrating proper bubble-blowing technique and closely monitoring brief back-floating endeavors.

Lorain sprint 2010

Sunday in Lorain, OH.  My first (only) tri this year, and it felt great to pin a race number on again.

Swim course changed to inside the breakwall.  (A typical risk for a late-August event; the Coast Guard didn’t want to scrape too many bodies off the rocks.)  Too-shallow punctuated by sections of big rollers between the wall segments.  But, a sprint swim is just a formality.

T1 1:31.  No socks or shirt today.  Felt slow coming up from the beach, probably not helped by the long running-swim exit (think: Hasselhoff).

Bike 39:26.  Shoes on before mount, but buckled at speed.  Feet out of shoes on bike.  14.3 mi @ 21.8 mph.  I used my imaginary aerobars for a good bit of the downhill; next season might be time to relieve my sore elbows with a set of clip-ons.  T2 1:05.

Run 25:19, 5k @ 8:09/mi.  Out-and-back from the park through mostly industrial lakefront to more industrual area along the Black River.  An almost-nice finish with a downhill, run along the boardwalk (pictured below), and steep uphill path to the finish line.  Wait, is that the finish line?  No, those are the swim mats: please make a 90-degree turn around this cone and *then* run ten more paces to the finish.  Honestly, who throws their shoe?

Lorain’s Lakeview Park has pretty nice facilities; a long boardwalk above the beach, some sort of restaurant, and a big rose garden to boot.  The transition are was small and manageable, with plenty of room for the 150-or-so racers.

errand brick

Saturday morning.  In the mood for a tasty breakfast bread.  So, I rode my bike (fig. 1 blue path; 37 mi @ 17.1 mph).

A rooster lives on the way; I don’t know if he crows continuously or only at cyclists, but he’s never failed to crow at me.  Also, some nice Cervelos headed downhill as I was headed up.  Four riders; maybe they only ride with like-minded; maybe they’re a local team.  I think it’s one rich guy with a stable of them, entertaining guests from out of town.

Having retrieved bread, we lamented over the lack of good local peaches at the grocery store.  So, we ran out for peaches (fig. 1 red path; 3.8 mi @ 10:15/mi).  (And that’s a moderate effort: two kids in the jogger is heavy, though I think the bulk of the extra effort is in avoiding chuckholes.)

Sweet corn ride 2010

For this year’s sweet corn ride, I took a different approach than in previous years.  Namely, we registered for the 10-mile, ostensibly police-escorted “family ride”.  The roads weren’t closed to traffic, but there was enough of a critical mass effect that I didn’t mind trailering the kids through the streets of greater Richfield.

J particularly enjoys seeing bicycles when we’re out and about.  This was a reasonable opportunity to do so.  (I didn’t have a good vantage to photograph the field astrewn with bikes, but this one gives a taste.)

Note the sunny, blue skies: not so when we started the ride, nor during.  Fortunately, the boys were well shielded, and I’ll take any hilly workout I can get, rain, shine or otherwise.  The event’s gimmick involves a parting gift of (let’s guess) corn.  Thanks to a relatively early and warmer-than-standard summer so far, the quality of the sweet corn more than outweighs the morning’s weather.  More pics: before the ride (where I am, apparently, lecturing to an unsuspecting passerby), and kiddos packed in a ready to go.

velocirapture

I have a photo of vegetables to post, alerting me that I’ve written nothing since last Tuesday. Two personal bests last week.

The first, a high speed record, breaking the 75 km/h barrier. Actually, my gps screen read 48.2 when I looked down, but SI sounds more impressive. Yes, I was on two wheels and only powered by my legs and gravity. Mostly gravity.

And, an average speed over 20 mph for my 20-mile early-weekend-morning time trial. That’s not particularly quick for solo cycling, but my trifecta of excuses are (1) road bars, (2) route not flat (~350′ climb) and (3) stop signs and lights – a dozen or so – that require pause even early in the ayem.

weekend ride redux

On Saturday, we repeated our home-made century route from last summer.  This time, 4 of us started together, incrementing to 6 for much of the ride – a very nicely sized group, and almost competent enough for bursts of pelotonized practice.  No complaints about the weather: t-storms cleared before our 6:05 start and the heat kicked in just in time to guarantee a modest beating for the final 30 miles or so.

I captured the entire gps track this time and imported it into the new version of Google Earth for route visualization.  Here’s the approximate route in google maps.

Circa 6:20 of moving time for 106 miles with 3400′ of climbing.  Here are elevation and speed profiles from gps.

Here are some screenshots from the track display in Google Earth.  Not bad for free software.  One shows a climb out of the valley in Bedford Reservation.  The other shows our sightseeing route through downtown.  (At the top is MLK to University Circle, then down the ritzy new Euclid Avenue bike lanes; the loop image left is around Browns Stadium before dropping to the flats and across the Cuyahoga.)

CAA Ride 2010

On Saturday I joined the Case Alumni Association’s annual 100-km ride.  (An aside: the CAA represents the engineering school and physical sciences, but there’s another group covering the balance of the arts and sciences.  But, they don’t have a bike ride.)

The official route started on campus, beelined east toward more interesting terrain, looped through the boonies (featuring, as a nominal destination, Holden Arboretum and Penitentiary Glen) then meandered down the gravity well back to the university.  The official map gives some indication, although our group failed to follow it precisely.

More descriptive is my side view of the route.  For the locals, I’m surprised that the initial, gradual climb to Richmond Rd is as significant an elevation gain as some of the later quad-busters.  Here, I used SportTracks to plot gpx data, and Powerpoint to annotate with rotated text boxes.

Cleveland ten miler 2010

For my first race number since Thanksgiving, I ran the Hermes Cleveland 10-miler on Saturday.  The route changed last year from downtown streets to an Edgewater Park start (just west of downtown) with a westward out-and-back.  The route was pleasant enough for a 1D course (and with a nice loop down at the end to finish on the lower level of Edgewater), but I maintain that a race called the “Cleveland” something should use urban streets.  Strike one.  Strike two: instead of the Brooks tech tee giveaway in previous years, someone sold out to Adidas.  I mourn the loss of the best souvenir race shirt around.  There was no third, however: the weather was cool and only slightly rainy, the race was well-organized with good route support, and the sold-out field of 1700 just about the right size.

[Route map: gps track imported from Garmin to SportTracks, displayed using Google Earth.]

I’ve been riding some but running almost none; I ran this one with Andrew C. (with whom I also ran much of the 2008 race) at a conversational pace and managed pretty steady splits (aside from a slow first mile stuck in the crowd and faster final mile with a moderate downhill): first five miles in 43:46 and second five in 43:36.