Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It was that time again…

Decided since the morning was water logged to do Friel's 30 minute threshold test after work instead of a lunch ride. I needed to get my numbers anyway, and it was just as good a day as any. I was somewhat concerned how good of a test it'd be since I'd just done a hard race two days before, but Monday was spent with some super easy pedaling on a stationary bike at work for 30 minutes, and R&R (or, work and life) the rest of the day.

I made sure to eat my typical afternoon snack about 2 hours before I'd be on the trainer (wound up a little shy on time, but no biggie), and had plenty of water. Got home, set up the trainer, put in the Collective, got all my gear and began the warm-up. I hemmed and hawed between a ten minute or fifteen minute warm-up, and split the difference at 12. Around 9 minutes in I started to ramp up for the first ten minute warm-up for the test. HR jumped up around the 160s before I hit the lap button the first time.

Kept the first ten minutes at a high pace, but lower than threshold, and ramped up to what was my mid-Z4 at the time (based on Garmin's setting for max HR). Hit lap button at ten minutes and began the all-out 20 minute test. HR jumped around a little, and for the first ten minutes I was just trying to find a groove and sustainable pace. I might've been able to go out harder, but it wouldn't have been sustainable.

Hit lap again ten minutes in and went for the final 10. Mostly I could've done a quick sprint, but could not have held a higher HR for long. I was begging for mercy. Completely ignored the TV and kept searching the iShuffle (anyone notice that sometimes it only shuffles the same 4-5 songs?) for something motivating. Lots of staring at the clock and hoping it would actually move. I kept telling myself how much longer to go and just tried to hold on.

The last 2 or so minutes I started to get a side cramp. Wound up with a really bad side stitch/cramp, big headache, and tired legs. Avg for the last two ten minute sets was about what I expected.

"Coach" set up my zones using the numbers and I'll be following those until a re-test, and changing only if the numbers come back differently.

I managed to cool down (or warm down, however you like to think of it) for ten minutes while grasping my side, sipping on water, and trying to find a gear on the bike and a setting on the trainer where my drivetrain wasn't driving me nuts (there's something amiss with it, but only in the bottom/smaller half of the cassette, in both "big" and "small" ring). Did a lot of spinning, and was only able to get the HR down to old Z2. I was done sitting on the trainer at that point and ready to get dinner started.

Had the headache for a bit (until I ate), but the stitch went away. I didn't stretch. Probably should have, but I just wanted to sit and relax.

I managed to do a set of core exercises before bed, but otherwise we just watched stuff on DVR all evening (CSI:NY from last week, and the Schladming round of the XC World Cup). It's so cool watching those races. It looks from far away angles like when they are climbing they are barely moving, but when WC pro's are in the small ring you know it's steep and tough as hell.

Well, it's mid-week, so despite the hard effort last night, it was still time to ride. I didn't want to hold the J-man up, but he said he was pretty sore from two days back to back on stationary bikes, the treadmill, and doing pull-ups and dips at the gym. Good thing, cause my legs were dead out of the gate.

So, I took it pretty easy. HR jumped up on the first little rise leading toward the hills, but otherwise stayed pretty steady. The boys took it nice and easy on me on the big climb. HR did jump up to like Z2.7 or so, but they slowed it up without any words from me, and it went back down to high Z1 for the remainder of the climb.

Once we turned around and were climbing into a headwind the HR jumped up a bit again, but I was mostly just trying to hang on in the wind. Legs felt okay in the lower zones, but I could feel it when it started to creep up.

Unfortunately I kept missing the lights coming back into town also. Stopping mid-climb to wait for a green light again is not the most fun thing ever. Neither is stopping mid-descent to wait! Hard to time those buggers just right when you only have so much acceleration.

Legs are somewhat sore, but mentally I feel good. I was going to do some PT exercises for the lower back and hamstrings, but something in the back of my right leg got re-irritated on the trainer last night, and wasn't feeling so hot today during the ride. It's minor pain right now, but I can feel it just sitting still. So, I might skip out on the hamstring work. Maybe just do some stretching instead. Not sure if it's the hamstring muscle or the sciatic nerve. I'll try the traveling stick, but it usually doesn't help long term. Last few weeks just taking it easy and getting back on the mountain bike has helped. Not sure why the road bike irritates it so much. Sitting on the trainer itself kind of makes sense cause there's not as much movement while pedaling (no stopping, not as much out of the saddle, no readjusts for bumps, etc).

Anyway, it's Wednesday and it feels like it should be at least Thursday. I'm looking forward to this weekend.

Also, to some red wine tonight.

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