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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Operation Overkill: Mission Successful!

So this week was 'Operation Overkill'. The goal: go hard, hurt the legs, unleash fury. (The following week will be a recovery week. ;)

Plan: Tue, 2.5hrs w/4x O/U; Thu, 3hrs w/4xO/U; Fri, Street Sprints; Sat, OBB Ride

All were a success! And despite the fact that i came into this pre-stressed, with lots of hard riding the week before... Monday my TSB was -16, which usually isn't a sign of a 'great' workout to come..

Let's begin. You will know it is time to turn the page when you hear Chewbacca howl like this: RRRRrrAAWWWaaaAAAHHH

Tuesday - 4x O/U

Gorgeous day, i finally stripped off the two pairs of booties from my shoes, and put on the toe warmer! Also, rode with knee warmers for the first time on the road this year. Sunny and bright.

Not too much to report, pretty happy with all four efforts. #2 was interrupted by some traffic, but nothing too crazy. Fast day, nice speeds. Still not averaging 300w (which i was doing on the Observatory), but 296w is the 'magic number', if i do it perfectly. These aren't too far off...it's hard to stay perfectly focused, dealing with traffic, debris, other cyclists, and what-not. (Thank you Colwood Mayor Dave Saunders for making sure we can't use the velodrome. You're a real champ. And by 'champ' i mean 'enema sack'.)

Here's the intervals:

Ave Wts: 288
Ave HR: 177
Max HR: 189
Ave Cad: 105
Ave Spd: 37.1
Ave Wts: 288
Ave HR: 178
Max HR: 189
Ave Cad: 106
Ave Spd: 36.8
Ave Wts: 294
Ave HR: 176
Max HR:188
Ave Cad: 106
Ave Spd: 35.9
Ave Wts: 291
Ave HR: 175
Max HR:187
Ave Cad: 107
Ave Spd: 38.8

Fast day...nice to be moving. I really tried hard on #3, and kept my cadence up for all.

Here's the Garmin file: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/27876625

And the full data: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dgdbj3nx_338ggjgxhb

Thursday - 4x O/U

Another nice day, Gillian joined me out to Mattick's and then turned back, she had some paper to work on, or so she said. ;)

Today i knew i would be escalating the riding, going at least 3hrs as well. (It's also worth noting that i got in over an hour of 'commuting' riding...it was a pretty easy pace, but something to consider..)

Started the intervals, felt pretty good, here's the numbers:

Ave Wts: 285
Ave HR: 173
Max HR: 187
Ave Cad: 102
Ave Spd: 38
Ave Wts: 290
Ave HR: 177
Max HR: 190
Ave Cad: 105
Ave Spd: 38.5
Ave Wts: 284
Ave HR: 175
Max HR: 188
Ave Cad: 106
Ave Spd: 39.7
Ave Wts: 286
Ave HR: 172
Max HR: 184
Ave Cad: 101
Ave Spd: 33.9

Even faster day! The 350w 'Over' portions felt not too bad, but when dropping down to 265w for the 'Under', i felt like they were harder to maintain.. #3 was tough, and i took an extra minute to recover (usually 4mins rest between efforts.) I didn't feel super-motivated and attack the final one, i think i really just wanted to get it over..haha..

Finished the intervals, and rode back down Lockside Dr to Sidney, stopped in the Lifestyle Markets there for a water refill, and continued through and across the highway, and rode the East side of the airport to Panorama, and back into town. Remember, i wanted to add more miles today.

I decided early on that if i had a lot of time when i reached the Observatory, i'd do it as well...and i was only about 2hrs in when i reached it, so i also did a 'firm' effort up the Observatory:

Observatory: 7'39
Ave Wts: 299
Ave HR: 179
Max HR: 186
Ave Cad: 79
Ave Spd: 17.4

That's to the fire hydrant at the top. Certainly not my hardest effort or fastest time, but it was another tough effort to throw in. I burned back down the hill, and actually sprinted near the bottom to get myself up to 68kph. =)

Continued back into town, and for some reason i felt really motivated, and just kept powering along and a fairly high pace. My 3hr NP (Normalized Power, sort of like 'average' without zeros) was 235w - that's pretty freaking high for me, esp. for that length of time...!! I was powering along at the 3hr mark, and felt pretty good...that's *really* odd for me. I seem to have suddenly developed this long-distance endurance and depth.. Well, at least for me. It sure ain't going to win the Tour de France, let alone a Cat3 race....but it's pretty cool to somehow develop this...

Anyways, here's the Garmin file: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/28045840

And what WKO spits out: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dgdbj3nx_34gpw7pvhc

Wasn't too terribly fatigued after that either, surprisingly...and i think this was one of the harder individual training sessions i've ever done - it was about as hard as an OBB ride for me. =)

Fri - Capital City Cycle Sprints

Part III of Operation Overkill. I jumped into one last year, it's a pretty fun event, and track sprinters should be all over this.

It's over on Harbour Rd (left over the Blue Bridge, Goose runs along there), which is actually a perfect location for this. They start at 7:30pm, and are pretty informal. Most of the participants are fixie and courier peeps, but the spandex is beginning to invade. ;)

The format is pretty simple, it's a 2-up drag race over 300m. You start with a trackstand, and one of you counts down, and then it's go time! It's from the far side towards downtown, so a slight downhill.

I don't know if it'll work the same each time, but last night it was elimination style, so if you lost your sprint, you were out. There were about 18 people to start.

I knew about a quarter of the peeps. Trackies Jimmy Holtz (Holtz! HOLTZ!) came out, as well as Chris Anstey. (Dr. Wayne Walker came out to watch.)

From the MTB scene were Halldor and Mitch. A number of people were excited that Mitch and i would finally square off... Traditionally he's been the guy to win all the sprints...what would happen when he faced his first vegan?

Jeff, owner of Capital City Cycles (who host the event) was out of course to race, and the rest i don't know as well. Fixie Dave made it out, but has been ill, so didn't race.

So things got started, and there were some pretty tight races!!

Quarter-final: Me vs Jim Holtz. Eeep! I know he's got a pretty solid 500m time, so i didn't give him a chance. I decided to ride my 50Tx17T (on my Ridley of course), which is about 80". Pretty light from a track perspective...but it was chill out (maybe 9C), and i wanted to make a quicker start..which i did.

I blasted off the start, and just hammered. My main goal is to get a few good sprint efforts in, so i didn't look back, but just put my head down and drove for the line. (Normally i'd try to keep an eye out, and if i'm ahead, keep it 'close'..i think it's more sporting. But again, my main focus that night was a good workout.)

In Jim's defense, he used a really light gear..i felt bad eliminating him. : \

2nd Quarter-final: the only 3-up of the night, with Mitch and another rider i didn't catch the name of... But this was the show-down... I had a good 20min rest, so was feeling good. (Well, as good as i could after all the riding i've done!)

I'm not a 3-up fan for sprints...but hey.. I was eager to race Mitch tho. We lined up, and i believe Mitch counted down, and we were off!

Well, he was! I felt the last gear was a bit spinny, so dropped down to 50x16, which is about 84". With the bigger gear, and a bit more fatigue, there was a noticeable delay in my start...and i haven't done standing starts in..oh...about a year. My form was shit. But, i got the gear turning over, and started my chase!

I got up to speed, and started to worry... Mitch was still ahead!!! The line isn't terribly clear during most of the approach...! I continued to pump and spin, and began to creep up on him....i edged past and continued to pound the pedals, motivated!! I jammed and jammed and wham - there was the line! I'd made a few bike lengths, but it was closer than i'd prefer...he really spun it out! But that was two more riders down... Vegan power!

Semi-Final: Oh my, now it was Halldor. And looking at my file, there was about 8 minutes that passed since the last sprint, and when i started this one. I was feeling tired now..

We lined up, and Halldor counted down. Wham - we're off. Once again, Halldor was off, but i got my legs spinning seemingly faster, and powered through, leaving him behind at the line. I was pretty fried after that. No mercy from Halldor.

The Finale: There can only be one, and it was between a rider i don't really know, i believe his name is Andrew. (Sorry if i got it wrong!!)

Again, looking at my file, i had a whopping 7mins of rest between the last sprint and this start. Gah. No freaking bike race in the world has you doing three standing starts in the span of 15mins. Owwie!! And Andrew got to recover while Halldor tore my legs off.

Okay, enough whining..haha.. We lined up, he counted down, and ZOOM - he was freaking GONE. I was really feeling it at this point, but i put my head down and jammed the pedals hard as i could. He was still well ahead by the time i got up to speed (if you can call it that at this point) and sat down.... I did all i could: spin my legs. I crept up. It was soooo slow. I clawed my way up to him, and again made it past, and jammed for the line. I knew it was mine before i hit it...VICTORY!!! It was over!!!

There was the awards ceremony, and prizes were handed out. Very cool. If you're interested in coming out, details are here in this awesome poster. If you're on the Facebook, join the event page, and post fun stuff on the wall. =)

Next sprint is April 23rd, mark your calendars!

Here's a summary of my four efforts:

#1 - Jimmy
Duration: 25.2
Ave Spd: 43.1
Max Spd: 51.6
Ave Cad: 117
Max Cad: 128
Ave Wts: 802
Max Wts: 1168

#2 - 3-up Mitch & ?
Duration: 26.46
Ave Spd: 43.7
Max Spd: 51.6
Ave Cad: 111
Max Cad: 122
Ave Wts: 828
Max Wts: 1177

#3 - Halldor
Duration: 27.72
Ave Spd: 41.6
Max Spd: 50.6
Ave Cad: 107
Max Cad: 118
Ave Wts: 765
Max Wts: 1096

#4 - Andrew (?)
Duration: 26.46
Ave Spd: 40.1
Max Spd: 49.1
Ave Cad: 104
Max Cad: 116
Ave Wts: 676
Max Wts: 1054

You can see i was getting TIRED. Reminder the 1st was in the 50x17, and rest were 50x16 (if memory serves..makes sense based on the cadence and speed.)

The times don't line up really, as the PowerTap recorder ever 1.3 seconds or so...not the *best* for sprint efforts.. I eased off before the line on #4, so it was actually a bit longer (obviously, since it was slower. ;)

Halldor posted a bunch of pics here. Here's a few highlights:

Jimmy and me!

Gunning for the line! This is the first side photo of me on the Ridley - i'd say my position is pretty good!! Nice flat back in the drops.

The racers and cheerers!

It's not a smile. It's a grimace.

My opponent for the finale, give him a bigger gear and we all better look out!!

Here's the Garmin data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/28207128

Note i rode a bit before, and if you click the Splits page, Lap #2 is the full drag. ~300m, and a bit of a drop in elevation. (It's not a full meter i don't think.)

And, as always, here's my full WKO+ Power Data: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dgdbj3nx_35fxc6vzff

Fun fact: each sprint burned about 20 calories. Also, my TSS for ~20mins of EM, 4 30sec sprints, and a bunch of light riding was 96 for one hour. NP 247w. Insane. Sprinting counts for a lot in the TSS world!

No PBs, as expected..too tired. My 30sec peak was 727w, not *too* far off my PB. The course was too short, i would have topped that if i could go a full 30sec.

Finally, here's two graphs from WKO that are kinda neat - the first is my first sprint - notice the steady speed and cadence.. The second is my last (4th) sprint...starting to fade!

Sat - OBB Ride

Part IV: Operation Overkill. Overkill Overdrive.

heh - maybe that's a bit dramatic. =)

Keeping this short, but a pretty firm ride. Lotsa headwind on the way back. Smaller group of us took off from Sidney, missing many of the big hitters..and Craig was going for a longer ride, so wasn't really putting too much effort into the pace.

The pace was firm the whole time. We got onto Interurban and there was a small break off the front with (San Fran)Kevin, Lawrence and Jeff (a newer person on the ride). I knew they didn't have the gas to stay away, but Ryan decided to bridge it up.. We went down the hill just before Camosun and Barbara sprinted away..again, not a threat... Funnily, her husband Dave bridged us back up..haha..

Kevin took off after that, i got on his wheel, but it was short lived. We approached the hill, Barb had gone off again. Over the hill, Kevin went again, i was hoping he was planning some kind of lead-out, so i got on...but he eased up well before the bottom of the hill.....this put me in a shitty place at the front of the pack in the wind going uphill....with Ryan and Mike Elkink right on my wheel.

I didn't have much choice, and hoped for a wee bit of surprise so i got out of the saddle and started jamming it a bit early... No luck, Ryan shot by, and Mike was right beside me. I kicked like Carman having a tantrum over getting a new Ultra-Mega-Mega-Man, but Mike kept me at bay and beat me by a couple centimeters....arrrgh!! Ryan, of course, had it by a landslide.

I don't know if Mike was giving it 100%, but i would like to think that. =)

The group was virtually nil by then...no one challenged me for the Overpass (yay me!), and by the Trestle i was riding solo. I planned to do my 'full loop' (105km, around the water to Haultain), and so carried on. Legs still felt good!

Ran into Charles Durrant as i got onto Dallas. We chatted until St. Charles where he turned off. Hope i talked him into coming out to the next sprint!

I carried on, the winner of the OBB ride. Even as i hit Haultain, i felt really good, and dare i say it: i wanted to keep on riding. I think that's the first time in my life where i've ridden more than 3hrs and actually WANTED to keep it going.

But alas, i had a schedule to stick to, and had fried myself sufficiently. I turned off, and dropped down to a recovery pace for the final 10min home. Finally, a tailwind. =P

Here's the Garmin data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/28207104

And, WKO: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dgdbj3nx_36pdx4gsdt

Nothing spectacular, peak hour was just under Threshold power, normalized. Sprint wasn't terribly impressive of course, but solid.

And that concludes Operation Overkill! I really pushed it, and totally flayed myself. I'm pretty happy. Here's the week's summary so far:

Ending           Duration    Distance    Weight       HR           TSS           kJ
28/03/2010    10:05:40      301.44        72.0          154           804           6818

I generally try to keep my TSS under 800 for a full week...and it'll cap 900 as i've still got a couple hours to ride tomorrow, although admittedly it'll be a pretty tame pace. I'm thinking i'll head out to Newton to watch and cheer. I'm also eager to do a lap and collect the elevation data. ;)

That's it for now, bye everybody bye!!


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    Monday, March 22, 2010

    Ahh! 200 Postings!

    According to my Blogger Dashboard, this is my 200th post in this blog...wild!

    Got out for two rides on the weekend, first up:

    OBB Redux

    Nothing crazy, rode out to Sidney, and back the quicker way, didn't want more than a couple hours in the legs before a race day.

    Garmin file here: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/27672219

    WKO Data: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dgdbj3nx_31c64nj8fm

    Oh yeah, totally wild ride. ;)

    A Caleb Pike Ride

    Sorry sports fans...no race, although it would have been a pretty good field for me and i would have done no worse than 7th...haha..

    As i was gearing up around 9am, the rains started.. Roads were very lightly dampened from earlier sprinkles, but this was wet.

    Headed out along Richardson, and it was a pretty solid precipitation.

    As i rounded the hospital, my MP3 player ran outta juice, but so did the clouds...caught Casey Rider on that back hill to the highway, and we rode out together, i gave him a nice draft on the way out. =)

    Got out there, but the roads were pretty wet... My personal rule is no wet races unless i'm on knobs (ie, CX or MTB.) It's really just not worth it to me.

    I did a lap to collect the profile data (see Lap #2 here).

    At Caleb Pike, each lap is about 2.5km, and features around 48m of elevation..yum. This day, the B's had 20 laps, and were i to race: 25 laps for the A's. Blarg! It worked out to nearly 1hr40min for the B's, and closer to 2hrs for the A's.

    I figured i'd watch for a bit, and then go and ride Finlayson Arm or the Malahat since i was out this way.

    There was a small pack of A's (7 started) and quite a few B's (~25). Unfortunately only 3 women started.

    The A's started, the B's followed a minute later. A bunch of us waited at the bottom of 'the corner', it's where crashes will occur (and surprisingly for the first race of the year, and wet roads, there were no crashes!)

    The A's, predictably come rolling through.

    Then, barely a minute behind, comes Peter and Bill (henceforth known as P&B. ;)

    Okay, they have a little break. They round the corner. We keep looking back up the hill...waiting......waiting......wtf??

    Another minute later the B group passes through! HA! Reading some comments after, the TS folks all filled up the front of the pack, causing a distraction, and NO ONE saw P&B make away from the pack....hilarious!!

    So they peeled off the front, and it took a couple laps before anyone really clued in and realized what happened...and then they were in trouble. While the pack was close to 20 strong, about five of the stronger riders were Tripleshot...so they weren't going to do any work! I believe the work was left up to about six other guys..

    While the success of the team tactic deserves applause, it all ends there when reality kicks in: P&B ended up working in front of the pack 1.5hrs. Bill would cover the 'flats', and Peter would set the pace up and over the hill. (It's funny because if you were watching at the top of the hill, it looked like Peter was doing all the work since he was ALWAYS in the front. ;)

    About halfway through the race i was getting a bit cold, but the roads were dry, so i got permission to tag along the race for a bit, and jumped on the P&B train. A lap later they had caught two of the A's who were dropped..they ended up sitting in until they were caught/lapped by the other A's (sandbaggers!).

    P&B were holding a solid pace tho, check my WKO file below, i marked out the time i was riding for an idea of the effort. Pretty solid!

    Not the sort of thing i'd want to do for 1.5hrs tho. Bleh.

    They held off the pack, who had a few surges, but couldn't really pull it together. With two laps to go, TS Josh attacked on the hill, and made away. I presume other TS riders also started to attack on the final lap, as it was totally strung out.

    Peter took the win, with Bill cruising up the hill behind. I suspect Bill could have made away with the win if he wanted.

    Surprisingly, Josh came in about 20 seconds off Peter - he really closed the gap in a couple laps! (Perhaps he should have made that move halfway through the race!)

    The rest of the B's came through, one at a time, as they must have all busted up in a big way on the final lap. Successful application of the tactic, but i don't really know what the point was...haha..

    As reward for their efforts, Peter, Bill and Josh will be joining me in the A races. =)

    The A race was a bit more animated. They stuck together for a few laps, then there must have been an attack as Marcel Arden(Total Restoration), Matt Dilay(IRC) and Steve Bachop(IRC) were suddenly on their own.. Raphael(Russ Hays) surprisingly faded...i expected him to be up at the front!

    The results don't reflect this, but i believe Marcel lapped all the A's. When he caught Matt and Steve, they stuck together again, and Matt put in a big effort to win the sprint...but again, i believe Marcel was a lap up (he didn't look like he even tried.)

    For the women, Rita Wania, who rode for OA Vic last year (and TS this year) won her first race, and raced her first race! Nicely done, not so scary, eh? =)

    Results posted here, and also a bunch of pics from Duane. ISN story here, any guesses who wrote it? ;)

    Motored home, checked out the new West Shore Oak Bay Bikes shop on the way - looking great guys!

    Here's the Garmin data, some neat stuff in there: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/27672169 - check out the 'splits' page, lap #2 was a loop of the course.

    And here's the WKO+ data: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dgdbj3nx_32fw47t7fq

    Broke down some of the data, including ride out, and the portion i jumped in, and the ride home. Pretty solid 1hr effort there too. ;)

    Total rest day today, no climbing. Gonna focus on the bike this week, with Operation Overkill. Planning to thrash myself with more O/U's Tue & Thu, and then go hard on Sat. Sunday - will see how i feel, maybe launch into another longer ride...been itching to do Shawnigan. There's a Newton Heights race, but i don't really ever want to bother doing that course again..haha..

    Just for fun posting my Performance Management Chart from WKO:

    This is one of the best and most useful features in WKO. It gives you an indication of how much training you've done, and can handle in the immediate future and/or how 'fresh' you are (besides perceived fatigue of course).

    It's balanced out now, but a few weeks ago i was over-cooking it, and the pink and yellow were getting REALLY far apart. A good performance (either for training or racing purposes) depends on freshness, and that happens when the yellow gets up around zero (you can tell the week i backed-off, and the MTB ride on Tuesday wasn't too stressful), and the pink is very close...so according to this, i'm more fried than i've been in the last month (yellow WAY down.) It's only gonna get lower, as i go into a rest week. =)

    At least, that's the theory!

    And now, a poll:

    Thanks for playing!


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      Friday, March 19, 2010

      This Week is Like a Pixies Song


      Tuesday went offroad with friend Lysanne, taking her on the trails for her first MTB experience, and Thursday was out to Sidney with Gillian (who has totally neglected her blog!) for some more Over/Under efforts. Saturday will be an easy-ish spin on a OBB Ride (redux), and Sunday will be a race. Not sure which yet, if it's sunny, out to Caleb Pike on the road. If it's rainy, i'm hoping to get out to Port Alberni for the Island Cup XC #2 race.

      The PA terrain is....interesting. I heard two years ago the mud was INSANE. Last year i raced, first race of the year, and it was a hilarious exercise..unfortunately i didn't blog about it, but it was pretty muddy too. We went for a pre-lap ride. Had well over an hour, someone told us laps would be ~40mins.. 55ins into the pre-ride and i was getting very nervous...no idea how close to the end we were, and the race would start soon! We made it back to the startline just in time to start!! I pulled into my section, the race started, and i pulled off to the right where the cars were parked - put on my racing gear, grabbed some food, and bolted!! Somewhat luckily, the race bottlenecked right away, so 2mins in i was already passing the people at the tail-end... Unfortunately that meant waiting a lot to get around others.. Finally got into an open spot and powered away...somehow finished 3rd in Intermediate, i think the lap times were nearly 50min and did 2x...owwie.

      So we'll see what happens this year.. Apparently on the course, you have to literally cross a section of the trail, and downhillers are expected to give way to climbers...that'll be interesting..haha..

      Tuesday - MTB

      It was a pretty relaxed ride, i decided that i could go easy today with the race on Sunday. Don't want to elevate my TSS too much and burn out again.l

      Lysanne took to the trails well, was quite intuitive, and able to both climb and descend technical terrain very quickly! If someone were to take her out 2-3 more times, she'd be pretty much ready to race! *hint hint* *nudge nudge*

      We first spent some time in the TTA at Hartland, then did the XC race course, then went up Switchbacks (she broke a chain!), and back down WYDaddy, Nightshift and Skull. Pretty impressive for a first time effort.

      Garmin map data here: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/27214582

      And WKO+ 3.0 data here: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dgdbj3nx_29gmcw3q9s

      I imported my Garmin Edge500 power data into WKO for the first time, and for some reason each lap was 'cut off' at the end, excluding a lot of data per lap - anyone have any idea why it would do this? Not a big deal as i can create my own ranges if it really mattered...but it kind of eliminates some of the usefulness of the lap feature!

      Thursday - 4x O/U in Sidney

      Headed out to Sidney with Gillan and Emile. Emile ended up taking off to maintain his own pace, and we headed out to Sidney. As always, nice to have company, and also to catch up, chat about music, etc..

      Intervals weren't quite up to spec, especially the latter two...but in my defense it's always harder to do these efforts on 'flats', not to mention the terrain is constantly shifting..and there were several distractions such as corners, etc.. I'm happy with them overall, but need to try and keep more pressure on the pedals.

      Legs felt pretty good tho, and i did manage to keep the cadence up, here's a brief summary, each is 8mins (2min Under (265w), 1min Over(350w), 2min U, 1min O, 1min U, 1min 0):

      Ave Wts: 292
      Ave HR: 176
      Max HR: 187
      Ave Cad: 100
      Ave Spd: 34.6

      Ave Wts: 290
      Ave HR: 177
      Max HR: 188
      Ave Cad: 100
      Ave Spd: 36.2

      Ave Wts: 276 (YUCK!)
      Ave HR: 175
      Max HR: 185
      Ave Cad: 100
      Ave Spd: 36.7

      Ave Wts: 284
      Ave HR: 175
      Max HR: 187
      Ave Cad: 100
      Ave Spd: 37.4

      I'm wondering if the speed is throwing me off a bit.. I've done these almost exclusively uphill, so used to much slower speeds..i wonder if i'm easing off mentally because i'm sustaining a good speed..hmm..

      Another difference is that i'm maintaining 75-100w during my 'rest' periods (4mins), where-as on the Observatory it was virtually zero, since i was coasting downhill..my HR is getting down to the 120's, so decent recovery. Ahh well, prolly just gotta HTFU. =)

      Here's the Garmin map details: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/27372409

      And here's what WKO spit out: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dgdbj3nx_30c87r65cv


      Haven't really mentioned my climbing, took off Mon & Wed this week, hand has been sore, did something to it on the MTB ride, planning to go tonight tho.

      I accomplished a couple major goals tho! Last week i finally cleaned the 'big rock' 11a overhang that i've been working on - very happy with that. Also, there's a 10c/d that i cleaned that night as well that had been giving me some grief (tricky section in the middle).

      There's a new route that was built, a very long, windy one (actually *loses* altitude in one spot!), very slight handholds..i can climb it, but not in one go..that'll be a fun project. It's currently unranked, but i'd say at least 11a, while others were saying 10d. We'll see tonight. ;)

      Should be a fun weekend - i'm hoping to do the road race, i feel like i'm stronger on hills now, so this will be a good test. In the past, i've been able to hang in with the A pack for about half the race, and then end up getting dropped..we'll see how it goes today. It's actually been nearly two years since i've raced this course (i didn't make it out last year.) Fingers crossed to finish with the bunch!

      Oh, if you're reading this, lemme know if you're checking out the mapping and power data, etc.. Is it at all interesting??


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        Tuesday, March 16, 2010

        Ride, Ride, Ride, RACE!

        Spent four days on the bike, good times!

        Thursday - EM w/3x O/U

        Yucky, chilly and blustery day... Headed out to Sidney with the goal of doing 4x O/U intervals, but only pulled off three..blaming the cold!

        Did alright on them, efforts were in the 295w range, so a success overall.

        Data from WKO+ 3.0: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dgdbj3nx_25g462fhfv

        And the Garmin data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/26749125

        First time doing these on flat ground (usually climbing up the Observatory), felt about the same..maybe the Under sections felt a bit easier as i could maintain a higher cadence...still need to work on getting it even higher tho. Doing the loops out around Sidney should be fine tho.

        Friday - MTB w/Jenny Skinner

        Jenny recently picked up an MTB, and i offered to take her out to the Dump and help her get going... We practiced some skills in the TTA, and then did a recon loop of the race course, it was pretty fun! It was actually snowy when we got there, and the first part of our ride was in slush...the sun was out en force tho, and it was quite nice overall.

        Jenny rode really well, trying out stuff and taking a few tumbles, but no major injuries! Really great considering the adverse conditions - she'll be tearing up the trails in no time. =)

        Wahoo! ;)

        Here's the Garmin file, fun to watch the 'play' option, and all the little loops in the TTA..haha: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/26807510

        And here's the WKO+ 3.0 data:


        As mentioned, an easy ride..not bad for a day off.

        Saturday - OBB Ride Redux

        Nothing fancy here, just rode out to Matticks, put in a few hard efforts, and then back into town with Scotty, kept it short as racing the next day.

        Garmin data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/26891587

        And whatever WKO+ 3.0 spits out, broke down the Out and Back for shits'n'giggles:


        Sunday - Island Cup XC #1

        Alright, first 'big' race of the year!! Got there early, thanks for the ride from Halldor! Met Alyssa, and we went and pre-rode the course (again for me) with Raphael. Conditions were MUCH improved from Sunday! Rocks mostly dry, everything totally ridable.

        I felt pretty good...haven't ridden four days in a row for a while, so was a bit nervous, but legs felt about as good as usual! Which is a good thing. =)

        The loop went well, and i felt confident with the course. I must have made a wrong turn on Friday tho, the rocky double-up climb that i was concerned about wasn't on the course...good news, one less thing to worry about! It took 36mins, and that was a pretty casual pace. I was thinking i'd have to re-evaluate my guess of 30min lap-times. Definitely sub-30mins.

        Pro City did an AWESOME job organizing this, the trails were exceptionally well marked - not for a moment did i wonder if i was off-course. And great selection of trails too, with a great compliment of technical terrain.

        On final reflection, i think it was a pretty tough and demanding course. Typical 'Dump' riding. Lots of short, steep climbing efforts. While the overall altitude change was less than 100m, each lap ended up around 160m of climbing with all the ups and downs...and several sections were quite technical, with steep rock or protruding roots in the way much of the time. As i said, typical Hartland! I didn't really feel like there was anywhere i could really recover. My HR was pretty much around 180bpm the entire time, peaking at 192bpm a few times. It got as low as 172 for a few seconds on Shock Treatment i believe. There were no extended descents.

        Anyway, so we lined up for the race:

        Halldor and i bumped elbows a bit. ;)

        I was in the 2nd row. Roland had gotten a prime spot at the front.. Raphael and Regan were the main people i wanted to keep an eye on. Oh, and Geoff Pendrel of course! There were nearly 40 of us lined up in Intermediate - big field! I think i was the only one in a skinsuit tho. ;)

        So we were give then start, and i jumped ahead of most of the people in my line, rolled up the first rocky climb no prob, got around the first corner on the way to Pooh Corner and i was up with five riders motoring along. Felt great, we were clear of the pack.

        Hit Pooh Hill, and worked our way up. I saw Raph tear away off the front, and that was the last any of us would see of him!! He ended up winning the race by a huge margin, and would have finished around 6th (behind Drew Mac) in the Expert race based on his insane lap times!

        Our group chased, up and up. I had a dab on that section up to Crazy Horse, stupid root! I never ride this section either.. Finished riding up, and a sharp left turn into a tricky rocky section...had to dab again, and Geoff came TEARING by! Hello good-bye! I carried on and tried to edge back up...that was the top however, and i was about 7th overall at that point - sweet! How did i ever manage to climb so fast?!!

        So the chase began, and worked my way down the trails..started to close the gap, a bit, but then got caught by Regan and another..damn.. They got away and Guy Gensey and another caught me. Funny, as we would often end up duking it out in the Cross on the Rocks races!

        We stuck together up cross-over, down N-Trail, and then at the tricky rocky section at the bottom Guy biffed in the spot where all the water collects.. I tried to navigate around, and i guess i caught my rear wheel on a rock because FFFFFFFFFF! I lost a bunch of air! GAH!

        I tried to roll through, but the rear end was REALLY squishy. Frack!

        I stopped and worked my pump free. I had taped it to my fender..haha.. (Didn't want sticky gunk on my new frame!) Took me a minute just to get it off!! It's my mini Lezyne pump, which has the hose...i didn't really expect to have a flat! I've never burped a tire before either! (With tubeless tires, sometimes you 'burp' a tire, causing the rim and tire to separate for a second, letting out air..)

        I assembled the pump, and pumped away... Disassembled the pump, and jumped back on the bike. Started to pedal...and the rear was too squishy. DAMN. Got off. Rebuilt the pump, started pumping.. By then over a dozen riders had passed, including Halldor and Roland.

        I jumped back on, and got moving again. Tire was good. I had a lot of time to make-up for tho...i was off the bike for 5mins.

        Caught a couple riders fairly early, rode Shock Treatment, passed another rider or two...got to the lap-point, hit the button on the Garmin - under 27mins first lap - nice! Too bad there was the 5mins stop...

        I powered along, caught a couple more riders before Pooh Hill. Passed Adam Lawrence on the way up! Rode hard up to the top, nearly exploded myself! Of course, no real recovery, and carried on along Crazy Horse and Rollie Ridge..didn't see too many more people for a while.. Passed a rider just before i crossed the bridge on the beginning of Crossover, saw Alyssa there:

        Checking the time stamps, i was 3mins behind Roland.. I rode and rode some more, and eventually crossed the line. Finished 16th out of 34 starters:


        Checking the times, if i hadn't been delayed, my time would have been in the 55min range, and so i would have finished near Guy in 7th...oh well! I did manage to shave another minute off my time from Roland at the bridge. ;)

        Raph for sure will have to move up to Expert.. I think Scott and Regan (and a few others) ought to move up as well, they would easily be in the Top 20 in Expert, possibly Top 10.

        So, first big race out of the way! I'm really happy with my effort...not really sure what i could have done differently. Will bring a different pump..haha..

        I rode about as strong as i could, Normalized Power was at my threshold - 264w. AP was 230w. There were LOTS of peaks, and i hit near my max wattage a few times, surprisingly (peak of 1156w). As mentioned, my HR was pinned. Second lap was a bit weaker than the first..but i held it surprisingly high! So a big improvement there (where i'd normally fade.) Lap times were about 26:30 and 29.

        Here's the WKO+ 3.0 data, broke down each lap, and also the full race:


        Here's the Garmin file, note that laps #3 & 4 were the actual race: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/27029692

        Also, here's the pics Alyssa took, and me, mostly of the Expert event:


        Okay, enough race talk! Got some other news!

        First, i upgraded WKO+ - so now have the current version of 3.0. The Quadrant Analysis is kind of neat. Will be interesting to import directly from the Garmin as well...maybe drop down to one computer on the MTB..heh..

        Also, i'd been looking into new pedals for the MTB and CX. I've been riding Crank Bros Egg Beaters on the MTB, and Candy SL's on the 'cross bike. I was burned by my Candy's at the Blubberburn event, when my pedal died (and so apparently did the photos i took!) It literally blew off the end, and the pedal body came off the shaft/spindle.. (It actually happened prior to the race as i was riding around.)

        I decided that was the last straw. I've had some complaints about Crank Bros pedal designs for some time.. Mainly:

        * difficult step-through for CX - pedal/cleat doesn't allow for a smooth step-through, unless you're really careful..so i'd just do the 'step-back', but that's slower, and i think it's what fucked-up my ankle and foot early on in the 'cross season...landing on a stopping/sliding foot at 40kph+ can't be good for it.

        * difficult to unclip at some angles: such as the very top of the pedal stroke while on a steep ride-up. There've been several times where i've stalled out, and tried to unclip, and it wouldn't, and i'd take a tumble. Not fun. Happened on the day of Blubberburn actually.

        * crappy bearing/friction: the pedals never seemed to 'spin' on the axle, and there's always some friction there. Oddly, they seemed to spin more with less lube. It's a poor design, imo. Easy to rebuild, but they make them so it's rather necessary.

        They're great in mud and snow - doubtless there..but these factors just don't make it worthwhile, not to mention the pedal itself doesn't have a very solid engagement, and feels like you're standing on ice.

        I was hoping to adopt something else, but ended up getting some Shimano XT pedals today for the MTB. I know they work well. Solid engagement. You know you're clipped in. You can feel where you clip out.

        They spin SO NICELY off the top, and stay that way. Pedals are an AWFUL place to have friction, as there's so much movement/rotation there...not a place you want resistance.

        It'll be nice to do step-throughs in CX as well. Not as great in the mud...but that's a fair trade-off and minimal experience compared to everything else.

        Alright, those are the main details! I updated my RideCam album as well, here's the latest:


        Will post more on that later. =)


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          Tuesday, March 09, 2010

          The 30 Minute Climb Back To Victoria

          That's what it felt like today!

          On the way out it was rather gusty, but as i came off Interurban it had really picked up...and as i hit the water, look out! As i was cruising along Dallas just before Moss, i was pushing 250w, and going all of about 17kph. Normally along there i'm 40+! I could actually feel the wind blowing off my frame onto my legs...weird feeling.

          For training today, i opted out of more O/U efforts today, as WKO was telling me my TSS has been too high, and my TSB hadn't rebounded enough after the weekend...plus legs were feeling chunky.

          So decided to mix is up, and go out for 2hrs, and toss in some HSS (High Speed Sprint) efforts. Basically, you want to get up to speed (at least 45kph) and then get out of the saddle and sprint, and when spinning out sit and keep pushing. It's only a 10-12sec effort. I make it easy and do them at the bottom of a hill, so i can focus on the sprint portion of it. =)

          I did my 'flat' loop, there's not a lot of elevation, but a few appropriate descents that allow for a sprint at the bottom (ie, not into a corner). First was just pass the uphill around Mt Doug...there's a spot where you pick up some speed. Next was the bottom of the hill past Mattick's. Then the decent on Island View (normally start my Tempo efforts there.) Bit of a gap after that, but turned onto Durrance Rd, went 3/4 up the first incline, turned and descended and sprinted there. Then the descent just past the Ob (road was clear). And final effort was the flat portion of the OBB sprint. Last one wasn't quite 100%, there was a lot of traffic and couldn't really ignore it... I intended to do one more on the waterfront, but the wind made that pointless, and i cut off Dallas Rd early on Moss St. It was just dumb slogging it out on there with no cover!

          Pretty happy with my efforts. Haven't done these for a long while! All but the last had peaks in the 1150w range, pretty consistent hitting that. First effort was a peak of 1241w, 5sec was 1166w and 10sec was 1019w. Looks like my sustain was pretty good there, which surprises me!

          I haven't been tracking my 10sec peaks (and this is a critical flaw of Training Peaks, imo..it doesn't track overall peaks, only for a short date range and i had to program in a couple charts to track that), but in the last month, the next highest was 966w in an OBB sprint. Happy to see i can hold over 1000w that long! Most of the rest of the efforts were mid-900's over 10sec. Last one, again, was lower, only 814w.

          On each effort i typically gained ~10kph, usually starting around 45kph. On Durrance, went from 48 to 59. =)

          This is fairly close to what i do on the track for a 200m effort...i'll do my jump in the 45kph range, but i'll usually get up over 60kph. All my efforts today were in the 200m range too. I wish we had access to the track...i'm guessing my 200m effort would be greatly improved, i don't recall holding quite that much wattage in the past..

          Posted all my WKO data here: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dgdbj3nx_23d8fsk6hc

          Broke down all six sprints as well. I selected them all rather hastily, so the 'average' wattage may not be terribly useful, but the peaks and speeds are neat to compare.

          Garmin file here: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/26602365

          Nothing too exciting there..i like the funny peak in elevation for Durrance..hehe

          Climbing tomorrow, and more O/U efforts on Thursday.

          Do it to it!


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            Monday, March 08, 2010

            I Made It Snow

            Yes...that's right, it was me Victoria!!

            I commuted downtown just before noon on Monday, and it snowed briefly!

            Then, as i biked to the climbing gym, it snowed again! It must have been me. What other explanation can there be?? It snows twice, both times i'm commuting.

            Sat - OBB Ride

            Owwie.. I didn't really intend to ride this hard. And the problem with riding hard is that you log less time. So my 3.5hr ride turns into a 2.75hr ride...but all the same work compressed into it..

            It was a nice day, sunny but chilly early on. Good little group out to Mattick's. I led the first group out from there, and it was a small pack of 8 of us...which i actually prefer.. We kept the pace up, good effort to Sidney. (Check the WKO file linked below, i broke down the three sections.)

            Had a fairly long rest at Sidney since we had kept the pace up...but headed out as a fairly big group. Pace picked up before long, but nothing crazy.. Got a bit peppy around the airport...then we hit Panorama and all hell broke loose.

            Going up the hill, Mike Elkink (aka Naked Mike ;) and Marsh Cooper (of Symmetrics fame) tore off the front. I kept tempo after them, but didn't feel like bridging. Scotty also broke away and bridged up. Perhaps there was one other rider...

            OA Kevin tried to jump in, but he only made it a few meters ahead of me, and i soon caught him and we topped the hill. Looked back and a few people had stuck to my wheel, and a few more including Chad and the two Juniors were just catching up. Sweet, we'll have a decent chase group.

            I led the descent, we kept up a firm pace along Daffodil Rd, and caught Marsh along there i believe. By the stop sign, we caught Scotty, and just after Brentwood we caught Mike. All back together!

            The group kept the pace fairly high though all the way in...didn't have any problems by the Dump, the pace was pretty sustained...same with up by the Ob. We descended, and got onto Interurban..i helped pick up the pace..good effort along the road, but nothing exciting to report.

            I was at the back of the pack as we rounded the final corner and gradient before the sprint. Kevin was at the front, driving the speed.

            As we were coming down the gradient to the final stretch, i went to drop a few gears on the back, and realized i was all out! It flashed in my head that i was beginning to spin out my 50x12. Okay, we're moving!

            I saw Scotty moving up, so got on his wheel...he sprang, i kept seated as there was actually a pretty decent headwind..best to stay low and get out of the saddle only when necessary....

            We FLEW by the rest of the pack.... There was no chance of me catching Scotty, and i looked back as i approached the line, and no one was close... 2nd, i'll take it!

            Fastest sprint along there in quite some time, i hit 70.4kph. Looking at my data, i was spinning 131rpm.. Compact chainrings are BRILLIANT. That's a great cadence for me, and i can spin over 160rpm and be reasonably comfortable...which would be pretty freaking fast...i don't think i'd ever be sprinting at over 90kph.

            Took the King of the Overpass, Kevin challenged, but i just nailed it. ;)

            Just Kev, Marsh and myself completed the ride. Haven't ridden with Marsh for a long time, prolly some track race in Burnaby a few yrs ago.

            Here's the Garmin file: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/26252967 (nearly complete loop, had to skip the James Bay portion due to road closures)

            Here's the WKO data: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dgdbj3nx_21fh9swzwq

            Some neat stuff:

            * my max and 5sec peak power were just a bit below my max. No idea how i'm maintaining this, since the only time i come close to doing these efforts is 1/wk on this sprint.. I think my 30sec is suffering a bit tho.

            * ave speed of 34.5kph from Matticks to Victora, ~2hr 7mins ride time.

            * my Normalized Power for my peak hour was 273w...8w over my threshold...ouch. Actual power was 225w. (Normalized is calculated to basically factor out the coasting.) For that hour we averaged just under 38kph.

            Sunday - Sprinkles

            Plan was to head over to Mt Doug and do another standing effort up it.. Took out the Ridley, looked dry although overcast...started to sprinkle as i passed the university, so opted for my 'Power Hour' route. Blew through it, and rode a bit more to ensure i got the 100 TSS pts i needed for the day.

            Garmin: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/26432091

            WKO: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dgdbj3nx_22gbhgg789

            Not much to report..good Power Hour results, HR a LOT lower than previous efforts:

            #4 SB Power Hour: 825kj burned, TSS 82.2, NP 240w, AP 229w, HR 160, Spd/Dis 32.2km, ~8C
            #3 SB Power Hour: 842kJ burned, TSS 87.2, NP 243w, AP 234w, HR 172, Spd/Dis 31.3km, ~4C, breezy
            #2 WB Power Hour: 822kJ burned, TSS 84.4, NP 239w, AP 228w, HR 170, Spd/Dis 31.1km, ~2C
            #1 WB Power Hour: 805kJ burned, TSS 80.7, NP 234w, AP 224w, Spd/Dis 31.3km, ~12C

            Terrain was a bit different tho, since i went 'longer', the peak hour was shifted over a bit, so thus the greater distance, i think.. I didn't feel like i was going particularly hard tho..rather tired feeling-legs i'll admit. Started to kick in near the end tho.


            Been climbing still, three days last week, and today (Monday). Still trying to clean the 11a overhang (by the lounge)...i'm SO CLOSE. I've gotten as high as the 2nd-last hold, but my forearms keep failing...

            Today there was a new route. Unrated, but i'd say 11a/b. It's very long, switchbacks back and forth, and even goes DOWN a little bit..haha.. It's really fun, very tough but not at all impossible or anything.

            Don't think i'll be climbing for too much longer...at least going several times a week. I'd like to keep it up 1/wk, it's great for my core...

            Tomorrow (Tuesday) planning to continue my Over/Under intervals, it's calling for rain, so will likely head out to Sidney and do them along Lochside..wondering how it'll feel to do these on flat terrain instead of uphill...

            Next Sunday is the first Island Cup MTB race of the year, at the Dump - kind of looking forward to it...! I just don't excel in MTB events..too much climbing. =P


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              Thursday, March 04, 2010

              Let's Go To The Ob (Oh Baby..)

              haha - hope you get that awful song stuck in your head!!

              It was a pretty nice, sunny day. Temp ~11C, although a bit of a cold breeze. Kev came out to join me in the suffering! It's been really awesome having people out to train with this spring. =)

              So, same general idea as Tuesday:
              2min U, 1min O, 2 - U, 1 - O, 1 - U, 1 - O (8min total)

              U/Under = 260w (will bump that up to 265w next time.)

              O/Over = 350w - well above my anaerobic capacity. FYI, i can hold 350w for ~5mins, and i am DONE at that point..totally esploded.

              So this is a pretty challenging workout. I'm either at my 1hr threshold (265w) or well above. The point is to develop recovery, despite intensity. Clear the legs out of the nasty stuff, etc.. In the 8min effort, i'm holding 350w for 3mins, so i think this is maxing me out pretty well.

              Did 4x, here's the quick #'s:

              Ave Wts: 298
              Ave HR: 174
              Ave Cad: 92
              Ave Spd: 17.5

              Ave Wts: 296
              Ave HR: 175
              Ave Cad: 91
              Ave Spd: 17.2

              Ave Wts: 301
              Ave HR: 176
              Ave Cad: 90
              Ave Spd: 17.3

              Ave Wts: 294
              Ave HR: 176
              Ave Cad: 91
              Ave Spd: 17.1

              Was fading a bit on the final one... I'm holding my 260w portions very well, many were in the 270w range. Some of the 350w portions were down around 345w. The entire effort average, according to my math (5x265 + 3x350 /8) should be in the 297w range, so i'm getting what i need out of it. (32mins averaging ~300w is great!)

              Note there's a 4mins rest between each effort, just enough time to get to the bottom. Max HR was 189 for the final two, and 186 for #1. Also, kept my cadence as high as possible, it was in the 80-90's for the Under portion, but i was often around 110rpm for the Over, for some addition aerobic stimulation... I must say, feels REALLY weird going uphill at 110rpm!! Much more used to grinding a bit more..heh..

              All the power data here, including detailed cuts of each interval:


              Note i also broke down the ride out and ride back. Total ride is a bit longer, includes the four descents from the top of the Ob, plus my short warm-up and warm-down (which i excluded from the ride out and back portions.)

              Also got a Garmin file:


              Again, the peaks in the Elevation view make me laugh!!! ~830m of total elevation today...starting to sound like a climber. ;)

              Climbed Wed night, had another good session, made it up the overhang 11a with only one stop...figured out some smoother manoeuvres, hopefully will clean it soon! Maybe tomorrow night.. Sat is OBB, and prolly another short MTB ride on Sunday.

              Rock and roll!

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                Tuesday, March 02, 2010

                Splish Splash

                It's been mainly dry...but just enough moisture to muck things up!

                Sunday - MTB

                Went out for a short MTB ride with Laura W and Alex, fun times! Just what i needed. Neat to see the Garmin data:


                Basically rode in, went up the Regional Trail to the 'entrance' to Shock Treatment on the far end, back in along that, up Skull, Inventive, down Little Face, up Emergency 2 to Rolly Ridge, then Crazy Horse to See-Section/Centerfold/Switchbacks, then across to T.Run, curious to see what it's about. Cruised down slowly and carefully, looks like it'll be pretty fun! Back up See-Section and across to Nightshift, Skull and out.

                Here's the power data, nothing too exciting:


                Monday - Climb

                Still climbing 2-3 times a week, had a good session with Kelly. The new 10c/d is all figured out, i might clean it in the next few tries.. Been working on the 11a overhang with big, round holds...might be able to clean that one soon as well. Getting a little stronger overall...

                Tuesday - EM w/3x Over/Under Intervals

                Headed up to the Observatory with Chad to do some 'easy' ones, only going up to 330w on the Over efforts (260w on the Under). Power was solid, i marked the wattage for each interval:


                Still got cold #2, didn't feel nearly as good as i should have, but rode them out. Thursday will head back out, and do 4x, and bump it back up to 350w.

                Garmin file looks kinda funny:


                On the Elevation view, the peaks crack me up..haha.. Nearly got 700m of elevation in 2hrs tho.

                As for the splish splash, it was actually rather sunny when we left, and on the 2nd effort the rain came down!! It lasted just as we finished the 3rd effort, then stopped...but soaked the roads. I'd taken the Ridley out since it was supposed to stay dry...grr.. Stopped in at Oak Bay Bikes to give it a bath on the way home...nice and clean now. Don't like getting it wet tho!!

                So i will do these for a few more weeks, making them tougher as i progress (ie, replacing an Under minute with another Over minute), and then in April start throwing down efforts well above VO2, like the 4min on, 4min off nasties...

                Until then, will be getting more comfy with life at 350 watts. =)


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                  About Me

                  Dave Shishkoff
                  aka Dave Noisy
                  Victoria, BC

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