24 Hours of Pain

This past weekend, I participated in a 24-hour Indoor Team Time Trial at SBR Coaching.  It's a team event done on Computrainers.  Each member of the team rides one hour, and the team with the most miles at the end wins. The race started Friday at 5pm and ended Saturday at 5pm.  Most members of the team ride twice, some only once.  I rode twice - 11pm and 4pm.  SBR did one of these last spring - March, I think - and it was such a success, and a lot of fun, that they brought it back this winter with one in November and another one in February.  My team won the event last year so we came back to defend our title.  

Our team was the same as last time with the exception of our name.  We were now StravaJava.  Huh?  It turns out there's a really cool site that's like Facebook for cyclists: Strava.  Check it out:  www.strava.com.

My first TT.  11pm-midnight.

My first ride was at 11pm, and my team had a 4-5 mile lead.  Competition was tight.  Last year I went in with the plan of riding sub-threshold for both rides.  I rode at 11pm and again at 7am, and that seemed like a good plan - try to average the same wattage for both rides.  It worked out well, but this year I opted for the other option - do threshold in the first TT and see if you can back it up again in the second.

There is a third way to ride this TT, but first I want to go over my power file a bit.  I'm improving at time trialing, but it's still a skill I have yet to master.  It's more mental than anything, I think.

1 Hour.  295 watts. 83 rpm.
 At first glance, this looks like really solid pacing.  The short drop off at the end is because they switch riders every hour so we actually only TT for about 57 minutes.  I wanted a full hour so I kept going after my ride ended and the resistance on the computrainer dropped off so my power dropped while I manually increased the resistance so I could continue.  

But upon further inspection, my pacing needs work.  I averaged 294 watts for the first 20 minutes.  289 for the second 20, and 297 for the final 20.  That's not terrible, but I have a bad habit of dropping my power in the middle of a TT, and I need to be building my power.  I'm happy with my overall average.  It's a good place to be right now, but I didn't go there to average 295.  I went there aiming for 300, and I believe I had it in my legs.  It was my brain that failed me.  

Nothing new.

I was the strongest rider in that heat by quite a bit so I extended the team lead by about 5 miles.  Throughout the night, our lead continued to grow from the 9 miles when I left to "does it matter?"

By the time I returned for my final ride - the final hour of the race - we had more than a 40 mile lead which meant I didn't even need to ride.  No pressure.

Ride 2.  57 minutes 280 watts.  85 rpm.

Not quite so steady this time.  But I did have some distractions (other than my tired legs):

Slacking a little during the final TT.

We successfully defended out title.  The team gave me the "trophy" to hold onto until Feb when we will attempt to make it 3 for 3.

We dominated the dojo.

I mentioned there is a third way to ride this event. You've got sub-threshold, threshold and...

A rider on another team during the 3-4am shift went out really hard for the first ten minutes.  Then he faded a bit, and faded a little more, but kept pushing.  Eventually, my team caught him so he dug deep and tried to pick up the pace and hang on to the lead.  With three minutes to go, he stopped, got off his bike, vomited and went into a full-body cramp.  I heard all this second hand, so I don't know how bad it really was but it sounds like he was in rough shape.  He was okay, eventually, but I bet he's in no hurry to do an hour on the computrainer again.  Ouch. 

SBR also has a series of indoor time trials throughout the winter that I've done for years.  The next one is January 7.  One hour.  I've got 8 weeks to get my time trialing together and break through this barrier (more on that in an up-coming post).

BTW - Never google "vomit" under google images.  


Search Terms

There's a feature Blogger has that allows you to analyze the stats for your blog such as where your readers are, your popular posts, how people find your blog, things like that.  It's pretty rare that I use it, but I check it out from time to time.  Today I was playing around with it and decided to see what search terms people are using to find my blog.  I expected searches like Ironman Wisconsin blog or triathlon blog or something along those lines.


Not one of them has triathlon, ironman, swim, bike, run....nothing.  And when I blogged about the old men wandering around the locker room naked, it never occurred to me that people would actually be searching for....well... you know.  

I used a picture of the muppets chef in this post about going to the farmers market for the first time so that explains those searches.   I didn't know that many people searched for the muppets chef, but at least it's not disturbing.

And my vacation to Florida after IMWI 2010 included a trip to Harry Potter Land.

Now that I know my audience better, I've decided to take the blog in a new direction.  Au naturel elderly culinary fantasy.  Lots of naked old men hanging out with the muppet chef at Harry Potter Land. Gotta give the people what they want.  My blog is going to be so popular.

Be careful what you search for.



A while ago I was searching for some clean eating food blogs hoping for some ideas and inspiration to help clean up my diet.  In my search, I stumbled upon a blog called Clean Eating Chelsey.  If you like food blogs that are updated a lot, and I mean a lot, this is the blog for you. I can't keep up with her, and even super-reader Courtney has a tough time.  

Every Wednesday she does "What I Ate Wednesday" and posts everything she ate that day.  The best I can tell, this idea came from a blog called Peas and Crayons. It seems it has become a regular thing among the food blog community.  

Even though this isn't a food blog, I thought I'd give What I Ate Wednesday a try.  Here's what I ate today on my new gluten-free, healthy-eating diet.


Trader Joe's Gluten-Free Oats with chia seeds (for omega-3s), cinnamon and shredded coconut, two scrambled eggs, a low-sodium V8 and coffee (yeah, still decaf).


Morning Snack:

Mid-morning, I had a salad that was primarily spinach with some butter lettuce mixed in.  I added celery, raisins, garbanzo beans and goat cheese.  I'm loving the goat cheese on salads.


Lunch was mostly left-overs from dinner last night.  A pork chop, boiled red potatoes, a banana, yogurt, cucumber and a couple of squares of dark chocolate (probably the first time in my life a chocolate bar is going to last an entire week).


Afternoon snack:

Cashew Cookie Larabar.  I also had an apple and some raisins when I got home from work before heading to the pool to swim.    


Grilled mahi mahi, cauliflower puree, roasted asparagus and a couple of squares of dark chocolate.  

That's my day in food.  I'm not sure if I'm going to make What I Ate Wednesday a regular thing, but I thought it would be fun to try.  I will say, though, that having to post everything you ate in a day for everyone to see really makes you think about your food choices that day.  Maybe I should post my meals everyday.  That should ensure I eat healthy.  


Gluten Free?

For a while now, I've been wondering if I'm sensitive to gluten.  I know I'm not allergic to it or have Celiacs, but I think I may be sensitive.  So I decided to cut out gluten for the month of November to see how I feel.  

I have a few reasons for doing this, one of them being my belief I may be sensitive to gluten.  One other reason is that I eat a lot of gluten....and I mean a lot.  I typically start the day with cereal.  I eat sandwiches for lunch, and dinner if I'm rushed for time.  I eat bagels, pasta, crackers, etc.  I don't remember the last time I went an entire day without a piece of bread. 

My second reason to cut out gluten is to force me to find other foods to eat.  I'm not buying gluten free bread, cereal or bagels, at least for the month of November.  I'm trying to stick with foods that are naturally gluten free.  This will keep me from taking short cuts and living off cereal and sandwiches.  If I continue with gluten free living, I'll buy some of those products from time to time.

Another reason is that the more I read about grains, the more convinced I'm becoming that they're not good for you....especially wheat.  I'm still eating grains like quinoa right now because I'm not yet fully convinced grains are bad for you.  More research is needed.

One problem with my experiment is that I'm not only cutting out gluten, so if I feel great at the end of the month it will be hard to tell for sure if it's the lack of gluten or the improved diet.  Ideally, I would eat the same foods while only cutting out gluten.  But I've decided to use this as an opportunity to make changes to my diet and eat healthier overall.  I'll eat some gluten at the end of the month to see how I react.

My rules for my gluten free month:

 - No gluten/wheat (obviously)
 - No candy with the exception of dark chocolate
 - Fish at least twice a week
 - A salad every day

So it's more of a change in diet than just a gluten free test.