Posts are getting few and far between, and it looks as though my cycling will be, too. This past Thursday night I was cornering hard and didn’t pay attention to some sand/gravel. Result: some broken ribs and a bruised ego. On a good note, while I haven’t been riding, I also haven’t been eating much as it is difficult to get food down other than in very small quanities. Here’s hoping to a quick recovery, although most of what I’ve read suggests 1+ months :(.
It’s been a while since my last post, and it seems like my cycling has also suffered. Last week a friend of mine had an appendectomy and required a lot of help, with me driving her around town in the cager. As a result, I only got in about 50 miles cycling (short of my weekly 70 mile goal). Long story short, I’ve been making excuses, and not getting on the local Rails-To-Trails for my High Intensity Interval Training. My friend is since better, and is able to drive herself around now, but I still find that the only riding I’m doing is my normal commuting and errands. I need to find my motivation again. I still really enjoy cycling and have not once taken the car out unless it was to ferry my friend around, but I just don’t feel the motivation to get out on the Rails-To-Trails and put in 2-3 hours like I was. On a more upbeat note, just the commuting and everyday cycling that I do in lieu of driving a car gets me more than an hours worth of activity per day.
Yesterday I fit in an easy ride, going 13 miles to one of my favorite meditation spots (has a bench, waterfall, lots of birds, trees, etc.) and back. Afterwards, I returned to the office and uploaded the trip to Garmin Connect. Unfortunately, when I left the office to go to mass (an 8 mile round trip), the dang Garmin wouldn’t even turn on. This is the first trouble that I’ve had with it (with over 400 miles already logged), but I hate that it happened when I was about to log 8 more miles, bringing my weekly total up to 79 miles. I’m hoping it was just the battery, as I charged it this morning and it seems to be working fine now (knock on wood). Alas, though, the miles from my commute to mass and morning commute to the office are lost forever :(.
When yesterday’s HIIT session started, I thought it was going to be a great one… I hit my first high intensity interval with good speed and invigorated after 3 days of not being able to work out. Unfortunately, things went downhill from there. It just seemed like, no matter how hard I pushed myself, I wasn’t able to get as strong of an interval.
I guess that’s what happens when I slack off for 3 days, with barely 12 miles during that time. It also might have something to do with my mood/energy level lately. I’ve noticed that I’m more fatigued during the day, and often want to sleep in (which is normally extremely rare for me). With some recent weight loss, I think it might be my body’s way of trying to get me to conserve energy.
On a positive note, I finished the workout and logged about 25 miles yesterday, leaving me with ~10 miles left to get today for my weekly goal of 70 miles.
As predicted in my last post, the weather around here has taken a turn for the crazy. Today is the first day I’ve seen a 5-minute interval without rain. Consequently, I haven’t fit in any workouts since my last HIIT on Tuesday. Tomorrow, I’m hoping, will have nicer weather. Between Saturday and Sunday, I’m hoping I can sneak in some miles and another HIIT session to come out at my minimum goal of 70 miles a week.
Commuting in this weather … has been interesting.
Yesterday I had my second HIIT workout, and it was just as tough as the first one. At the end of each high intensity interval, I feel like my lunch is about to make a reappearance. It is kind of fun, though, to be going so fast (well, fast for me). This time, because I wanted to get some miles under my belt, I decided to do HIIT towards one of my favorite meditation spots, spend 30 minutes resting, and then have an easy Zone 1 trip back. The total workout came out to 20 miles, which is what I was aiming for.
Commuting wise, I’ve figured that my commute makes up only 10% of the total miles I ride each week… I’m really starting to wish I lived farther away from work, because I don’t have the dedication to force myself into a longer, roundabout trip as it is, haha. Oh, and this afternoon should be an interesting commute… Looks like I’ll be riding through this:
I didn’t work out on the Trace yesterday, but I did get some miles in just by commuting and running errands. Today, however, I planned to fit in my first High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) as described in the article I linked in my last blog post. Here are the results, a la Garmin:
I think it’s a neat graph to look at, conidering how prominent each of the 7 “high-intensity intervals” are. It’s funny, too, how during these high-intensity intervals, where my heart rate is approaching it’s “Maximum Heart Rate,” my speed is barely approaching Lance Armstrong’s AVERAGE during some legs of the Tour de France, haha!
You can see that I had a 15 minute warm-up at the beginning, along with a 15 minute cool-down at the end. In between the high-intensity intervals, I kept my heart rate in “Zone 1” (around 120 for me), aka the “fat-burning zone.” Each interval lasted 30 seconds (which seemed like forever!), and the rest periods in between were 5 minutes.
So I did some online research yesterday regarding the use of a Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) for cycling. I found this interesting article, which I think will be really helpful in my own training (and weight loss).
Using the formulae in it, I decided to have an easy workout today (following yesterday’s, where my heart rate was 140+ for almost 2 hours). Specifically, I kept my heart rate in Zone 1 (105-117) and Zone 2 (117-135) for the duration of the workout. An hour later and I had worked up a good sweat, but didn’t feel exhausted like when I go out and try to keep my HR above 140 the whole time. The idea, at least according to the article, is that I kept my heart rate in the “optimal” fat-burning zone… Hopefully this will help me reach my weight loss and cycling goals.
Not much on the 14th aside from the normal commute and errands, but man did my workout kick my butt today. I did the normal 20-mile ride, but I think several factors made it more difficult than usual. First, today was probably the hottest I’ve ridden in (86*F). Second, I did the ride after having commuted and run errands around town, which probably depleted some of my energy (which, like a fool, I didn’t replace, instead sticking with my normal oatmeal breakfast and sandwich for lunch). Additionally, I think I’m really slacking on hydration… Something I’ll have to step up in the future (actually, I’m stepping it up now by downing some water while I blog).
Despite all that, my average mph still came out to 13.6 (hey, at least it didn’t go down!). This was also the first time I remembered to bring my Heart Rate Monitor along for a 20-mile ride. It pretty much just reaffirmed what I already knew, that I stay around 140-150 bpm for most of the ride. I’m interested in seeing where other cyclists over at the Bike Forums keep their Heart Rate during 1 to 2 hour rides.
Had a great 20-mile ride today on the local Rails-To-Trails, and increased my average mph to 13.6 … I can almost taste 14 mph! It was pretty warm, and I can smell Summer coming in the air (along with lavender and all other kinds of sweet smells). Luckily, I create my own 13.6 mph breeze which keeps me nice and cool. I’m now entertaining the notion of a 30 mile ride, but we’ll see…