Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fitness update

Since Twinkie asked, I will give a little fitness update. I am currently in week 2 of my quest to be less squishy in the upper body....meaning that I should be able to lift something weighing more than a Danish. However, this is possibly at odds with the general cyclist aim of having arms and shoulders that look like those of an emaciated prisoner of war while having legs that look like the dead lifters in the Olympics. If you want to read up more on the fitness plan, you can visit

Well, I'm happy to report things are going well. When I started, I could only do 3 consecutive pushups (man style). That means I am following the "wimp" plan in the far left column. Yesterday, I completed 24 pushups in my workout. I almost lost it on the last one, but teetered and wobbled my way back up from the brink. In between the push up sets, I did my normal stretching/foam roller/situps. I also did 30 situps with nothing/no one holding my feet down. We'll see if I can get back in the hundreds with that again soon, too. In the next 4 weeks I should be able to do 100 pushups in 5 sets. We shall see....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I am sooooo aero!

For the first time ever, I got a TT-specific bike fit. I am focusing my season around TT and pursuit, so it seemed I should have something better than "road bike fit with aero bars slapped on" for my TT setup - especially since I have a bike dedicated to the purpose. I think this will make a massive difference. If nothing else, I should finish races without tweakage in my back, which will be a good thing!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Commute Reconnaissance and Training Notes

Well, I finally have a rest week this week. Hooray for that! The great part about that is I don't have much structure and shorter morning rides, so I can go out and explore new ways of connecting Sunnyvale with Menlo Park (really Atherton).

Today, I decided to explore the new Mountain View Bike Boulevard. I've been pretty happy with the northern part of the route (Bryant through Palo Alto, over the bridge, left on Willow, right on Laurel, left on Encinal to campus). But, there have been many variants on the south end of the route (cross 101 immediately and use Middlefield or Evelyn) or take Moffett Park/Manilla up to Middlefield or continue on Fairchild to Moffett Blvd. to Central? All of these leading eventually back to Bryant street.

Today, I headed across Moffett Park/Manilla to Ellis to Fairchild to a left on Moffett Blvd. and then right on Montecito (the new Mountain View Bike Boulevard), which dropped me off nicely behind the old Mayfield Mall. That made for easy connection with the Bryant bicycle route to the north. Overall, it was a good, quiet route. It has some nice signage (5 minutes to Rengstorff, 10 minutes to San Antonio - assuming a 10mph average, I think). It is not as well calmed as the Bryant section south of downtown Palo Alto, but about as well calmed as the northern section of the Bryant route. There were a few more stop signs than I would have liked. The only bad part of the route was a veer left on Jane St., which had no controls, so it was unclear who had the right of way (needless to say, I did not assume right of way with speeding vehicles heading to nearby Monta Loma school). Once past the school, all was well with the world again. The route was a bit longer than the straight Middlefield shot, meaning a slightly longer riding time. However, the riding time vs. running time was much better, with only about 5 minutes lost to stopping, as opposed to the usual 10 minutes lost on the Middlefield/Bryant route.

Training Notes

Well, I've just come through my second build of the season. I'm getting pretty close to being ready to race. Unfortunately, this build started off about 2 days early after only 5 days of recovery. And, it started with 3 days of training camp, which put me into pain city right off the bat. I was happy that my body lasted as long as it did. I finally hit the wall on Sunday after 3 weeks of really high quality, progressive training. I had planned to ride 3.5 hours on Sunday, and after 1 hour, it was clear that was not going to happen. I limped back home and spent the last two hours of my workout sleeping. I followed that up with 9 hours of sleep on Sunday night and 10 hours of sleep on Monday night. Today, I finally feel human again. My legs are coming back. I am going to be really strong going into my last build before racing commences. Yay!

On another note, I've taken up Sabine's "100 Pushup" challenge. Oh my! I did the "test" and could only do 3 pushups. I felt a little better last night when one of my non-cycling/pilates-doing girlfriends could only complete 2. So, yesterday, I did the first "workout", which was 5 sets (2-3-2-2-3). Yikes. That was hard. Today, my chest and back are super-yeeeouch. This is either going to help my with my TT and sprinting, or it's going to broaden my already broad shoulders and increase my frontal mass. Time will tell. If nothing else, it should increase my core strength and pain tolerance, which are never bad.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Hallelujah! We have a tour!

Well, after reading journal after journal, perusing maps and photos and Google Earth, and many phone discussions, we've finally selected a route for Mom's 60th Birthday Tour Extraordinaire. We will be doing the Adventure Cycling "Washington Parks" loop. It is actually a double loop, and we will be doing the smaller one at about 300 miles.

The loop encircles the Olympic Peninsula in Washington and has very little terrain, but lots of views and fun. We're even hoping to throw in a day trip by ferry to Victoria, since Rick and I missed that when we were in Canada in 2007.

Thanks to all who gave suggestions and advice.