Slowly but Surely, She Makes Progress

Alternate Title: Coach Don or Pod Person?

I was super excited for hill repeats last night, if only for a chance to actually test out the Garmin. I’m kind of a gadget freak, and the thought of having all that data about my rides is rather intoxicating. Since it took me a full two days to find time to install the beast and actually get it working, I was really looking forward to playing with the new toy.

The ride out to our starting spot was much the same as ever. I actually got there fast enough that there was still lean-space on the wooden fence, so I got to do some stretching without bike in hand (always a good thing). I remembered to hit the “LAP” button on the toy before rolling out for each repeat, and can theoretically compare my performance for each trip up and back.

And now…the rundown…

  1. Normal-style: Pretty much the same as last week. I started in one gear up from the bottom, and ended up dropping to granny-mode just past “that spot”. Made it all the way to the last curve in the road (wooden fence in sight!) before turning back. Topped out around 32 on the descent…that one sharpish curve really kills my speed!
  2. Spiiining up the hiiiill: Patty actually wasn’t there to sing to us on the climb last night, so I mentally went for a twist on “Singing in the Rain” for this repeat. Ended up at almost the exact same spot on the ascent, and the same speed on the descent. Really the only difference on this trip up was that I made an effort to keep my cadence a bit higher; should look through my nifty new graphs to see if it worked!
  3. Circle Pedal: Coach Don was apparently swapped with his pod person double before tonight. Not only did he tell us exactly how many repeats we were doing (this count is usually more tightly guarded than most government secrets), he didn’t torture us with a full 2-3 cycles all the way to the summit. Bizarre!

    This was a push-pull round, on which I did surprisingly well. I climbed ever so slightly farther than last time, a full TWO gears up from the lowest. When I hit the turn around and realized I hadn’t downshifted, I knew that repeats must be paying off. Woohoo!

  4. Get on up…out of the saddle: (Yes, I’m mentally channeling – and destroying – James Brown there if you missed the reference) Stand, to the top. If you take the time to look over the Garmin data for this round, you’ll notice my heart rate spike. Quickly. Standing is still a challenge for me. Not that I can’t do it…I just burn way more energy and can’t sustain it the whole way. I got to the first big right hand turn before I had to sit and gear down before my little heart exploded. At least I made it the whole way (and did manage to get that HR under control!). In better news…36mph on the descent baby!

The ride back was quick, especially with Scott pulling a good part of the way. Endorphins were kickin’ in full force by the time I hit Chipotle. Not only did I torture Colin with my own personal rendition of “Black Water” while in line for food, I veritably skipped back out to my car after eating. Possibly annoying, but if that’s not a show of improvement over my first week of full-on limping home, I don’t know what is!

And now…what you’ve all been waiting for…

MotionBased Data – Hill Repeats 8/1/07
Distance: 12.84 mi

Time: 1:01:50

Avg MPH: 12.5

Max MPH: 36.0


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What do we have here?

An often sarcastic, occasionally humorous journal of my training adventures in preparation for the Livestrong century ride. I took up cycling back in '07 in hopes of meeting new people, and, with the help of Team in Training, making my small positive difference in the world -- and haven't stopped spinning since. Follow along as my Trek road bike and I try and hash out our differences, hopefully with me upright and in the saddle.

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