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Daily Archives: June 20, 2012

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No WAY!!!

Mrs. Bgddy Jim has a meeting several miles from our house… She just left with her ROAD BIKE so “she can work on her speed”!!!

Holy smokes folks, I almost got a little misty! Truthfully I’m so fired up I’m going to have to be careful that I don’t spoil it.

This is a happy day.

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Overheated

Well, call me stupid, I decided to see what the dealio was with my earlier post where I described a recent undeniable slow down by heading out in the oppressive heat and driving wind again this evening. The question was overheated or overtrained.

It was about 94 and I headed out right in the stink of it. It was so hot that I couldn’t get all the way down in the drops… To do so meant that the heat rising off the asphalt added another 5-10 degrees. I’m not even kidding, I overheated twice trying to beat the wind.

So today I did my old 16 mile route and my speed was right back up where it belonged…and then I blew up on the last mile. Part of it was “want to”, I didn’t have much left, but it was mostly just too damn hot.

Either way, tomorrow is a rain day and therefore a day off.

I did bump up my mileage considerably over the last few weeks so taking a day or two will probably be a really good idea and I’m actually looking forward to it so I can get my “want to” back where it belongs.

Summertime Cycling – A Photographical “How To”

Cycling in the summertime has many intricacies that must be understood and followed in order to stay in the game.  I figured I’d present a photographical “How To” for noobs. (more…)

Nashbar Eco Comp and Errol Jerseys

I was looking for a lightweight and inexpensive jersey for summertime a couple of weeks ago and decided to try Nashbar.

Nashbar Errol Jersey

Nashbar Eco Comp Jersey

Generally I’m not a big fan of going cheap because we tend to get what we pay for, but with the exception of a few minor issues, both are really nice for what they cost.  Before I get into what I like about the jerseys – there are several things, I’ll deal with the minor flaws.

First of all the zippers work well enough but you can tell they’re cheap and the seams on the sleeve ends are cheaply done.  Finally, they run big, I normally wear a medium so that’s what I ordered.  What I didn’t know is that while I do wear a medium, mediums in jerseys are usually 38-40, these are 40-42 and it turns out I’m closer to the 38 (I didn’t figure this out until after they’d arrived).  The sizing turned out to be the least of the small issues – a hot wash and dry and they shrank enough to be passable – and the Eco Comp jersey fits better than the Errol.  Thankfully, I learned my lesson.

That said, both are very comfortable in hot weather (90+).  While a normal jersey is a little on the thick side when the heat really gets cranked up, these are barely there and they wear extremely well.  In addition, the Eco Comp jersey has me green, even though it’s blue – the jersey is made from recycled product material.  Both jerseys are easy maintenance as well, wash and dry.

In the end, I can’t say enough good things about the jerseys – and I absolutely dig the fact that I only paid $55 (delivery included) for both…  They’re worth every penny, especially when considering a normal jersey runs about $50-$75.

Overtrained or Overheated – Or Worse, Both…

I went out for what was supposed to be a 29 mile ride yesterday in some interesting conditions – it was windy and HOT, we hit 94 yesterday and we don’t usually see temps like that up here in Michigan, especially in the middle of June.  It was so hot that the water in my water bottles was warm to the taste, though I drank it anyway.  There is no doubt, this was the hottest weather I’ve ever ridden in by about 8-10 degrees, and it hurt.  If the air temp wasn’t bad enough, I got double baked by the heat rising off the asphalt – it was that hot.  Considering, that had to have an effect on my power – I did well going into the wind and with a cross-tailwind (18.9 mph average) but on the way back, with seven miles of tailwind and five miles of cross-headwind my overall pace slowed down for an overall average of 18.4 mph (I was up to 19.5 after 5 miles of tailwind but started to bonk when I hit the cross-headwind) – that makes two slow days in a row which is quite odd for me and that’s got me thinking a bit…  Maybe it was just the heat and I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill, but maybe it wasn’t, maybe I’m finally getting to a point where I need to take a break for a couple of days.  I’ve ridden 18 of the last 19 days.

I changed my route the last week for traffic purposes – the new one has wide shoulders and minimal traffic but is terribly exposed to the wind and I’m either heading dead into the wind or with it, so that’s going to have an affect for sure, but I just felt a little “blah” yesterday about the whole ordeal and I ended up cutting four miles off of my trip just to get home.  I started running out of gas at about the 21 mile mark.

In addition I had a little leg/glute (muscle only) pain after Monday’s ride – it was a pretty hard effort into some unbelievable wind and that pain really got me nervous about the whole “overtraining” thing – the pain was deep and stretching only alleviated the discomfort momentarily.  I’ve never really experienced it so I don’t know what I’m looking for, so I’m going to keep my eyes open for the time being.

After analyzing my speed data on Endomondo, I ran into trouble riding into the wind – and things are starting to make a little sense.  On my old route I had a lot of turns (16 in 16 miles or 11 on the 25 mile route) – only on a rare occasion (when the wind was dead west) did I ever experience a headwind for more than a couple of miles at a time and even then, most of the ride was fairly protected by trees lining the roads.  With the new route I’m plugging into the wind for five straight miles with hardly a tree to break the wind whipping across 2 miles of open fields or straight up the road.  Looking at yesterday’s ride I had five miles of cross-tailwind and seven miles of headwind in the first half – five of those seven in a row.  On the way back I had 3 miles of tailwind but then it shifted to mainly from the south so I ended up with another 2 miles of cross-tailwind followed by 5 more dead into he wind again.

To sum this up, I think I’ve had a few things working against me.  The wind and heat, the new route, and only a stray day off in almost three weeks.  Add to that three hard efforts in four days (Saturday, Monday and Tuesday) and I’m just a little pooped out.  It’s always something.

I told my wife last night that I was planning on taking three days off starting today, but I think I just might go out and start tomorrow with the time off – we’ve got thunderstorms in the forecast.  Maybe I’ll just take it easy and enjoy the ride today and see how that goes…  It’s supposed to be another scorcher.