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Training: Week 28

Well, the training seems to be doing its job. I set a new PR on Coachwhip on Thursday: 9:12, down about 12 seconds from a two-year-old PR. That feels good.

So, I'll be continuing on the current training plan for another month, then going again. My long-time goal for Coachwhip has been to get under 9:00, and it feels like that's realistic to try for in a few weeks.

After a back-off week last week (week 28), I've resumed training this week with a modified schedule to prep for Limestone Canyon on Saturday morning. Yesterday's hill repeats felt strong, and the endurance-pace return leg home from the hill felt especially solid. I can feel that my endurance has kicked up pretty substantially.

Training: Weeks 23-27

I've officially crossed the Tahoe Trail 100 off my list. It was always, shall we say... aspirational, but with July just around the corner, it's time to either start logistical prep or acknowledge that a 14+ hours on the road and a hard day on the bike isn't a great fit for my life at the best of times. The fact that it's my wife's birthday weekend means it's time to get my priorities straight and call it.

I've been doing a version of Charmichael Training's Time-Crunched Training Protocol over the last four weeks. At the end of week 3, my legs were toast, and were sluggish and heavy for Monday and Tuesday of week 4, but they feel solid today. So tomorrow or Friday I'll take a shot at setting a new PR on Coachwhip. It's eluded me for a couple years, so we'll see how that goes.

And I'm set to start the Limestone Canyon Race in 10 days. Unfamiliar trails, plenty of climbing etc. I'm tempted to geek out about strategy, but I'm trying to internalize that in a one-hour race, the only real strategy is to stay with the leaders as long as I can. All I'm putting in my brain is to try not to blow up on the way to the high point at mile 7.7, and after that it's full gas to the finish.

So we'l see how this goes...

2019 Limestone Canyon Loop

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#)
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