Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Medieval Torture Device

Hotel exercise bike seats are the modern version of the rack. At least for cyclists. Why?

1. The damn things are rock hard.

2. The damn things are so wide that they will bruise at least one thigh if you ride for a decent period of time.

3. The longer you sit on the damn things, the more pain you suffer.

And I don't get why they suck so much. Can't they put spring seats on them? Or seats that remotely resemble real saddles? Sigh.

Bottom line: Suffered for an hour, focused on cadence more than anything else Very helpful, and better than sitting on a soft couch not getting stronger. I guess . . .

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Morning Weigh-In


As you can tell, I've switched to Sudany morning weigh-ins. I kept forgetting to weigh myself on Saturday nights.

Anyway, my weight is a yo-yo. Today it went to sleep instead of bouncing back up. That makes today a good day.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Hit the usual 21 mile loop today. Haven't ridden in a week. :( PR for the course, though. But still a pathetic average by most standards.

Lots of fun -- got out there late afternoon, felt strong the whole way. Finished with the one mile hill instead of the longer but much less steep course. Rode it better than usual by a lot, despite the quickly becoming common numbness issues after about an hour of riding. So maybe I am getting stronger. Here's hoping . . .

And here's ouching . . . by about 30 minutes after the ride my quads and rear were in utter agony; I may even have a little saddle sore. I really need to get that bike fitting that I've been trying to arrange for months. Stomach in knots too -- I think I may've eaten dinner too soon post ride. Oh well. Back on the saddle tomorrow no matter what. I have a lot of work to do if I am going to survive my ride in October.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Managed to ride with my century partner today. As we hit the road, a downpour hit the area. I've never ridden a road bike in that kind of weather before (at least not since I was a kid). I am sure it isn't fun when it's cold out, but when's it's at least 80° out, like today, it sure keeps you cool!

Anyway, it was tough hitting the road again just a few hours after yesterday's return to the bike. But it was a lot of fun, even though we covered relatively little ground -- about 15 hilly miles. I don't usually ride a lot of rollers, much less big hills, so it was darned good practice. And at the end, I looked like a drowned rat, so it as obvious that a good time as had by all!


Weight's moving in the wrong direction -- 207.2. I am blaming business travel and vacation, but the fact is that I need to be more careful about what I eat. Period.

That diet is key here is well illustrated by an uplifting (albeit heartbreaking) blog post from a woman who just missed finishing her first shot at an Ironman -- and along the way "learned that you can train for IM and not lose an ounce. It really is 80% diet." I need to apply her lesson. (BTW, her blog is great. Check it out at www.chasingiron.com.)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Back In The Saddle . . . Again

Two more weeks off the bike. First work in Chicago, then vacation. Vacation rocked, but even hiking in the Smokies doesn't count as training when you move at the pace of your 7 and almost-5 year old daughters.

Got home this afternoon at 4:30, and was out on the road at about 5:30. And it was a decent ride -- a bit more than 21 miles, at a good pace. (Well, a good pace except for traffic issues on the way to and from the 15 or so mile trail -- including a guy riding 6.5 mph on a sidewalk I was stuck on. And then the guy tried to kill me by stopping short. But when I was going, I was going hard.)

Nevertheless, I am going to have to do a hell of a lot more, without any more two week breaks, if I am going to survive my century. Back on the road tomorrow morning at 9:00 with my century partner, so we'll see if I can keep it up.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Road

Sad to say, I don't mean the road I can ride with my bike. I mean the road I sometimes have to travel for work.

Just when I got myself geared up to ride a lot and to really get ready for my century, I ended up having to travel for work. It's been a while since I've really used a hotel gym. This week, I used two. Lessons learned:

1. An hour on a Precor "recumbent" is not too much fun. Particularly if the TV picture looks like something from the pre-cable era. But at least I "rode", although my knees didn't enjoy it very much.

2. The leg burn from riding a "recumbent" is very different from riding a real bike. Either that or I am not working hard enough on my real bike. Hmmmmmm . . .

3. The calories burned and mileage info on stationary bikes are suspect at best. But it's nice to have a cadence sensor. Might have to get me one for my real bike . . .

4. Although the seat on the recumbent isn't great, the seat on the regular Precor bike is at least a million times less comfortable. My butt hurts. My crotch hurts. And my inner thigh hurts. Other than that I loved it. And my right foot hurts. At least my knees enjoyed it much more than the "recumbent".

5. A 13 yard pool isn't conducive to working out.

Back to the real world tomorrow. But more hotel gyms, as I'm headed out on a vacation last week, without my bike. Sad.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Suffer Silently

Rode basically the same route today as I did yesterday. This time I did it alone. And it hurt a lot more. No one to chat with, and no one to suffer with. And I suffered a lot. I suffered because I am out of shape. I suffered because this is the first time I've ridden back-to-back days since I got my bike. I suffered because I was trying to go faster than yesterday. And I did. By a pretty good amount. So it hurts, good.

'til next time, keep turning the damn cranks!


P.S. If you are into music, note that this post title is a nod to a great, great song -- Nils Lofgren's version of "Shine Silently". If you haven't heard it, you owe it to yourself. The best versions are live, like this free video from Nils' website. But you can of course find it on CD, or, heaven help us, wherever your favorite MP3s are sold.

Slow Progress

Crazy week in a lot of ways = no riding. We began with a massive power outage throughout DC that had us moving like nomads for a few days, and ended with some busy work and trying to help my family get ready for a sans-daddy beach trip. I've got to learn to get myself up in the morning, plain and simple. And I have to learn to hit the gym when I can't get out on the road. A business trip this week will be a good time to start.

Anyway, got back on the bike yesterday and banged out almost 25 miles with a friend. Not a great pace, but good to just get my butt used to the saddle again. Hoping to get out there again today for a similar ride now that my family has left for the beach.

Despite it all, and despite eating way too much, I seem to have lost a bit of weight -- down to 202.6. Likely means I didn't rehydrate enough after yesterday's ride, but as I only do one weigh in a week, I'll take it!