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Tahoe Prep: Weeks 19 - 22

It's crazy to think that I've been training for 5 months now. I know I've made progress, but honestly... I'm definitely feeling the effects of weeks of bad weather, successive colds, and a rough week of taking care of a sick wife & daughter. The last month has not been super-productive on the bike.

But I've hit a couple of important milestones, so I can't say I didn't accomplish anything.

Weight Loss

  • Previous weight: 181.6#
  • Current weight: 178.6#

I'm now back under 180# for the first time in years. That's definitely good for my health, and good for my cycling.

Updated Hardware

I've replaced the chainrings & chain on my bike, and it's running much more smoothly now. I can feel that there's a much more solid transfer of power from the pedals through the rear wheel.

I also took my road bike to the local bike shop for a tune-up, and they did a fantastic job. It's noticeably smoother. Unfortunately, I think the shifters are finally starting to give out after 13 years, so it may be time for a new groupset soon. I only ever use my road bike for training rides, so I'm going to just make do for the time being and keep my eyes peeled for a bargain.

Poised for New PRs

I rode up Coachwhip for the first time in ages this week, and posted a time just 6 seconds shy of my PR, and faster by far than I've been in more than 2 years. It's chafes a bit that I've had to work this hard to get back to where I was a few years back, but so be it. I'm hear, and there's nothing but open road ahead.

What Now?

Unfortunately, I have some kind of chest cold that's making it tough to really go full throttle. I have to respect the need to rest and get healthy. But I'm also in sort of a golden moment at work where my schedule allows me to ride more than usual, and I don't want to miss that opportunity. So I'm holding myself back just a little, and we'll see how I feel next week.

Bike Path Loop

Tahoe Prep: Week 18

Hard Climb 3 Days: Check!

Three days of steepness, and I've kicked the gearing up a notch to 24x26. (I think?) I can feel my legs getting stronger. I can keep my cadence up much more consistently.

Ride 3+ Hours: Check!

Final tally: 5:25 . I got to ride every day last week, so the time & miles stacked up easily.

Drop a pound: Check!

  • Last week's weight: 184.8#
  • This week's weight: 181.6#

I honestly have no clue why my weight loss has resumed. I think I just backed off on the cookies a bit, and got more protein at breakfast.

So generally, things are going well. The new chain & chainrings have arrived, so I'll mount those this week. I've been hesitant about standing on the big ring-- if I push hard enough, it skips. If it skips while I'm standing, I'll probably get dumped over the bars. Uff.

Next week's checklist is the same as this week:

  • Hard climb 3 days
  • Ride 3+ hours
  • Drop a pound

Long Lunch

Tahoe Prep: Weeks 16 & 17

Tahoe Prep: Weeks 16 & 17

Last week got super-busy, and also rainy and it was less "structured training" and more "doing what I can with whatever's rideable around here." Lots of loops through neighborhood horse trails. Not great for the mental state, but good enough to keep my fitness improving.

This week, it's clear that my chain & chainrings are toast. Shark teeth on the rings and the chain is stretched all to hell. Replacements are en route. (I got lucky - the cassette seems to be in fine shape.)

So, how's the training going?

Meh. I rode enough, but didn't climb enough, and gained weight. (Work stress, lingering cold, etc., my resolve was weak.)

So, what now? Get back after it.

This week's checklist:

  • Hard climb 3 days
  • Ride 3+ hours
  • Drop a pound (Current weight: 184.8#)

Tahoe Prep: Week 15

Tahoe Prep: Week 15

This week got off to a rocky start: my rear tire picked up a nasty wood screw, which left me quickly going flat. I pulled over, pulled the screw out of my tire, and shoved in a plug. It was still hissing, so I put in a second plug which seemed to stop it.

A quick shot of CO2 got me rolling again, and I was off.

Unfortunately, just a few minutes later, I could feel that the rear tire was slowly going flat again.

I held out until the top of the switchbacks (the traction of super-low pressure is awesome), then used the rest of my first CO2 cartridge and hoped it would hold long enough to get me back to the office.

It did not. Two more top-ups killed my second CO2 cartridge, and then it was clear that I was out of options. I pulled out my phone and got a Lyft back to the office.

The rest of the week went pretty well, though. I didn't get in all the rides I wanted, but the final tally was solid nontheless.

This week's checklist:

  • Hard climb three days: check!
  • Ride 3+ hrs: check! (3:56)
  • Drop a pound: Nope.

My weight held steady at 182.6#. Stress at work saw me stuffing down a few extra cookies this week, and my usual routine of skipping breakfast & eating after my ride hasn't been consistent. So I'm honestly not surprised that I haven't dropped any more weight.

This week, I'll get everything dialed back in, and hopefully get my weight under 180# in the next couple of weeks.

Tahoe Prep: Week 14

Tahoe Prep: Week 14

Just as I started feeling like myself again, the rain rolled in.

Honestly, taking another week to rest & recoup is probably a good thing. But it left me hungry for some time on the bike.

I've found that the neighborhood horse trails stand up just fine in the rain, so I did a little exploring this week, with the aim of adding more dirt to my loop through Wallnut.

I discovered that the bike path along the creek is open all the way east from the office past Fairway, and that there's a tunnel under Valley Blvd that connects to the Lemon Creek Trail, and finally out to S Lemon Ave.

That opens up a whole new route for days I don't want to do a lot of climbing, which is awesome. And I just love "ally cat" rides that link a series of little-used, non-obvious routes. To me, they're just as interesting as any trail ride.

So, the rain seems to be passing, and I'm feeling great. Where am I at now?

  • Weight: I've maintained my weight at 182.2#, so my weight loss efforts will pick up next week right where I left off.
  • Training: I've logged about 3:00 of saddle time in the last two weeks, which puts me at roughly 40% of my normal volume. For being sick and getting shut indoors by rain, that's not as terrible as it could be. And I feel reasonably strong. (I always feel terrible after a rest-- I do better after a sharp ride loosens up the legs again.)

So all that puts me in position to get right back on the train again. Here's next week's checklist:

  • Hard climb 3 days
  • Ride 3+ hrs
  • Drop a pound

The forecast calls for cool, dry weather all next week, so I'm looking forward to hero dirt and sore legs.

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