Tuesday, 30 September 2014

30/09/2014

6am NRR:
I accidentally attacked at the start of this ride. I was on my way up, when Ryan Cottrell went off the front to get an effort done. I knew from experience that we didn't need to chase him, but figured I'd go set a tempo on the front of the bunch to keep everyone calm. I approached the front rider a bit fast, and given it was Nathan Wood, I decided to coast the last meter or two so he could hook on. To my right Youngie flicked past to chase Ryan, then when I looked left, I realised I'd missed Nathan completely. In other words, I was in a horrible no mans land, faster than the bunch, but slower than the two in front. So I did the sensible thing and buried myself to chase Ryan and Mick.

After a while, and a whole heap of hurt, I finally failed to catch the two riders, who'd now started working together.

I worked a few more turns before Mordi, but none as spectacular, and certainly no others that required a hand of god to get back up to speed. After Mordi I moved up the bunch, said g'day to a few dudes, but mostly tried to sit in. Then, I took a deep breath and put in my first effort on the Black rock / Sandi hill. There was no bunch destruction, but I gave myself a good whiff of pain, and found myself still a bit shy of digging into the hurt.

At the end of the ride I had a bit of a giggle. I'd found Nicky Whitburn, and was taking her up the bunch for the sprint. Partially because I think the chance of chicking a whole bunch is hilarious, and thus worth the effort. Mostly because I enjoy the act of trying to guide another rider, smoothly, and with as little effort as possible, into the perfect sprint position. It's complex, it's uncontrollable, it's simple, and it's easy. It's like a mathematician looking at a whiteboard sized equation and finding beauty. Then, to my right, Jono Cantwell rolled up and told me to get on, and did the same for me, and I got a glimpse into a whole other dimension of mathematics.

Strava link.

D: 47.3km
A: 184m

Commute:

D: 5.8km
A: 37m

PMPW: 88kg

Monday, 29 September 2014

29/09/2014

Commute:
I think a new term and acronym needs to be coined. Delayed Departure Muscle Soreness (DDMS aka double d em es). It's related to DOMS, but rather than being an issue of when you start to feel sore, it's about how long you feel sore for. Today is the 4th day, and I thought for sure I'd be clear of any issues, but no, no I'm not.

Damn you DDMS!

D: 14.7km
A: 68m

PMPW: 89kg

Sunday, 28 September 2014

28/09/2014

St Kilda East - Mordialloc - St Kilda East:
There was a ripping nor', nor' westerly wind, enough to make me reconsider riding, so I knew I had to take action to commit myself to a ride, cue sending a message to Youngie last night to organise one. I knew this had risks, Youngie is pretty much guaranteed to want to box himself on a ride, which in turn boxes me, and that's not always what I want. Anyway, I thought that after a few weeks of illness, the risk would be reduced as, maybe he'd want to take it easy.

I still held that belief, the one that the ride might not be full noise, until we were halfway down bay st, getting ready to hit the beach and the tailwind. It was then that Mick started talking about how much fun it was going to be. This isn't code, he really believes hurting himself is fun. I took solace that with Scott and Adam helping out, I could probably find a sit, and would likely set some Strava PBs. In the end Adam sat on, and I chopped out track turns with Mick and Scotty through to Mordi.

I'd had little time to think in the 38ish minutes the trip took, but somewhere a spare neuron was firing away, calculating how much trouble I was in if the boys wanted to do this back into the wind to get home. Thankfully we took a break to refill bottles, which got my heart rate back to and below threshold, before setting off back to St Kilda in a far more polite two up configuration.

With a couple of coffees consumed, I headed north past home, partly for the extra time to chat with Mick, mostly because I wanted to finished my ride with the taily.

Strava link.

D: 68.3km
A: 287m

PMPW: 87kg

Saturday, 27 September 2014

27/09/2014

Rest:
I knew I wouldn't get a chance to ride today, it's part of what got out the kettlebell on Thursday, and me on the bike yesterday.


In other news, I heard that in London, a man gets stabbed every 52 seconds. Poor bloke.

PMPW: 88kg

Friday, 26 September 2014

26/09/2014

NRR:
When my alarm when off I thought about not riding, but after a minute or two convinced myself to get up and just do the recovery bunch. Then, after a minute or two on the bike I convinced myself to do the fast bunch.

The DOMS have arrived, making me wish for a handicap rail in the toilet, but once rolling, I didn't actually feel that sore. Maybe it was the distraction of leaving home early, but ending up very late after stopping to chat to a mate with a flat tyre, and chasing the bunch for a km or two down the highway.

Once again, the TT turn out wasn't huge or scary (Tom Leaper was there, but only for recovery), so I kept out of the extension equipped crew's way and was thankful to get a bit of extra speed on another lovely spring morning.

Strava link.

D: 46.9km
A: 177m

PMPW: 97kg

Thursday, 25 September 2014

25/09/2014

Weights:
2 x 10 Deck squats
1 x 20 Two handed swings @ 20kg KB
1 x 10ES Swings @ 20kg
1 x 15ES Jerks @ 20kg
1 x 25 Goblet squats @ 20kg
1 x 10ES Clean and Jerk @ 20kg
1 x 10ES Clean and Jerk @ 20kg

For a couple of years my 20kg KB has been a door stop, and part from the occasional stubbed toe, far from it's true calling as an instrument of pain and torture. This morning, it got used properly again.

It was mostly that the weather was shit and I needed my endorphin fix, but beyond that, there were a few newish/unique reasons that bear highlighting. Firstly, all this weight loss that's been going on is likely all muscle. Honestly though, the biggest factor (after the rain), is that I'm just feeling fat. There's a bit of jiggle, and that's not kosher.

I made up the session, and adjusted the reps as I went, adding extras to get to leg or arm shake. I'm not even going to go look at old Jeff sessions, because I'm sure they would have been double the work done this morning.

T minus 1 day until DOMS.

Commute:

D: 6.1km
A: 108m

PMPW: 87kg

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

24/09/2014

Commute:
I call this haiku missed opportunity.

I woke and checked it
It lied and predicted rain
I should have ridden

D: 5.1km
A: 46m

PMPW: 88kg

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

23/09/2014

6am NRR:
That was a great ride. In fact, it wasn't just a great ride, it was a great morning. It started when my breakfast was the business. A brand new jar of vegemite and a perfect avocado got things going on the right foot. Then the weather, I rode sans knee/leg warmers, and there was barely a breath of wind. Finally the ride itself had some solid pace, with a few attacks springing off the front hard to ensure that perceptions of effort levels were often tested.

Strava link.

D: 47.0km
A: 187m

Commute:
After 3 delicious coffees I hooked a lap of the lake on my way to work, then at lunch a further two with the tiny Canadian. The weather was just too bloody good not to be outside, and what better way to do that than roll the legs over?

D: 21.6km
A: 105m

PMPW: 88kg

Monday, 22 September 2014

22/09/2014

Commute:
It's already been mentioned that the weekend was a test, that's means there needs to be a review, a result, and possibly a path planned for further (in)action.

I feel reasonable today, I'm tired, but the test was about my knee, not my fitness. So yeah, the knee feels reasonable. It makes me want to ride more, to plan a longer loop, with harder climbs, but I feel that would be pushing my luck. I want to take advantage of the forecast good weather, and go do NRR long... but I should probably ease back this week, and let things normalise... but the weather is going to turn to poo so my chances to ride will be limited on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.


D: 16.8km
A: 41m

PMPW: 89kg

Sunday, 21 September 2014

21/09/2014

St Kilda East - Frankston - Rosanna - St Kilda East:
I had a ride with Rush this morning, a dry run of one in a few weeks time. After a couple of piccolo lattes at the shop cafe, I rolled out with 100ish boys and girls to Frankston. The massive bunch inevitably, naturally, and thankfully split up, leaving me to sit on the front of a manageable group of peddlers through to Frankston.

For the trip back to St Kilda, we split the bunch like the shop ride, a fast bunch out front, and slower riders to follow. I went with the quicker one, and from Mordi onwards sat on the front again, but this time without a tailwind to take the sting out of the legs.

Ride done, and a 3rd coffee consumed, I went the opposite direction of home. I had medical orders to work on my tan lines, and DK was heading off for extras, so I rolled north with him to extend my time in the sun.

Strava link.

D: 140.4km
A: 701m

PMPW: 88kg

Saturday, 20 September 2014

20/09/2014

St Kilda East - Mine - Church - Flatrock - Nicholas - St Kilda East:
During the week, Jimmy and I went back and forth before finally agreeing on a route, only to go and change it as we rode today. It seems that Helmuth von Moltke's thoughts apply to even a friendly roll in the hills. No ride plan survives first contact with the bitumen.



We worked our way out past Diamo, before doing a bit of a lumpy loop around Hurstbridge. Mostly the pace was held at a level that left us able to chat, but I used Church rd, and the Pony Club climb to stretch out the legs and see how my body would respond. It hurt, but mostly it just reminded me of all the different times, with all the different people, that I've spent on these roads. Jim and I had many moments laughing at the pain and suffering we'd inflicted and had inflicted on us, on the places we passed.

Strava link.

D: 109.1km
A: 1,777m

PMPW: 88kg

Friday, 19 September 2014

19/09/2014

NRR:
I didn't want to do a Friday Northy for a couple of reasons. It'd but up against the weekend, making it 3 days in a row and I don't like messing with the TT riders gig. I obviously got past those reasons, and went anyway, because the weather had stopped me the past few days, and damn it, I needed to ride!

Strava link.

D: 45.6km
A: 175m

Commute:

D: 9.4km
A: 47m

PMPW: 88kg

Thursday, 18 September 2014

18/09/2014

Commute:
I had an odd day, and I was getting ready to go home, half wishing that I didn't live so close.

I realised that I don't have to go straight home, and that Albert Park Lake is right there, ready to offer 15 minutes of continuous pedalling, and thus mental space for thoughts to melt away into nothingness. So, that's what happened, I rolled over the road, and started out slowly. Then a roadie went past, and I chased them, and somewhere between trying to spin my 74" gear, and dodging swan poo, the issues I'd had dissolved, leaving a much clearer mental space in their wake.

D: 10.5km
A: 149m

PMPW: 88kg

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

17/09/2014

Commute:
So after many mornings of sitting on the bog reading it, I've finally finished the RACGP paper on vitamin D testing and levels.

In short, most tests read low, and as such 50 is probably an ok reading to have.

That's not great news, because if vitamin D deficiency wasn't an issue, then I'm back to having no course of action to correct an annoying issue that's now into it's 4th month.

Next up this National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) paper. In the meantime, oral vitamin D supplementation, and operation 'sky's out, thighs out' continue.

D: 5.5km
A: 42m

PMPW: 88kg

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

16/09/2014

6am NRR:I'm glad I got out this morning, but the truth of the matter is, the only reason I got up, was because there are no coffee beans at home. Once on the bike, that was all irrelevant, I was ready to pull some turns and feel some pain.

There was still some leginess from the weekend's hikes, but what I felt the most was the soreness in my feet. I'd put that down to the pedal action using different muscles, or the same muscles in different ways, but feet being a standard contact point.

I pulled a couple of turns on the way down, and a couple on the way back. Nothing to set the world alight, but a slight increase in the work I've done in the previous few editions. Then, as we came through Brighton, I tried to organise to chick the bunch with a BikeBug-NextGen rider who'd been chopping off all morning. It was not to be, but I enjoyed the process of finding a specific rider, and trying to deliver them smoothly to the finish.

Strava link.

D: 45.7km
A: 177m

Commute:

D: 9.6km
A: 33m

PMPW: 89kg

Monday, 15 September 2014

15/09/2014

Commute:
I'm pretty darn happy that my knee gave me zero grief during, or since the 7ish hours of hiking over the weekend. I know I can't get ahead of myself and throw in a 15 hour week and/or 6-7hour Christmas Hills/Arthurs Creek ride, but I do feel that I should increase my efforts a little this week, then maybe ease back a touch next week, and see how things go.

Even just the thought that I might be able to train more has done silly things to my mood. Let's call this Episode IV, A New Hope.

D: 6.6km
A: 21m

PMPW: 89kg

Sunday, 14 September 2014

14/09/2014

Mt Oberon:
The legs didn't feel so peppy today, any time I stopped moving, getting going again made me feel like an old man, but these are excuses and there was a hike up Mt Oberon waiting to be done.

It's a pity there's a no bike (and dogs) sign at the start of the fire road this hike goes up. The gradients and gravel surface would make for a wicked mtb training climb. Without wheels, and gears, it still makes for a challenging ascent, but the descent was not terribly kind to my sore legs. After getting back to the comfort of heated seats, the inactivity stiffening was even worse.


The view was worth it though.

Strava link.

D: 6.8km
A: 363m

Saturday, 13 September 2014

13/09/2014

Telegraph Saddle - Sealers Cove - Telegraph Saddle:
I (and the tiny canadian) struggle when looking at hike options, to know what's achievable or not. Difficult... to who? 9km... out and back, or just out? Overnight... really?

Standing in front of a trail map, trying to work out what was a good use of our day, and suitable for the picnic style lunch we'd packed, the questions above were asked at least once each. We finally decided to make a day hike out of an overnight one to Sealers Cove and back.

It ended up being a sensational choice, though the looks of doubt some of the people with hiking boots, full packs and walking sticks gave us did give us reason to question ourselves a few times.



Strava link.

D: 21.5km
A: 620m

Friday, 12 September 2014

12/09/2014

NRR:
I'm heading out of town this weekend, sans bike, so this morning seemed like a good chance to roll out a few kms. I headed to northy, happy with the idea that I'd get 45 odd km in, and though they wouldn't be fast, they'd be better than doing nothing.

It wasn't until we were rolling that I remembered about TT Friday, and even then, it wasn't until I saw Davo Williams roll through at Southland that I decided to tag along for the extra workout.

Getting in a semi workout that you didnt even plan has got to be winning... right? No one is doing the winning thing any more are they? Which means I'm now losing right? Right. :(

Strava link.

D: 44.4km
A: 170m

PMPW: 88kg

Thursday, 11 September 2014

11/9/2014

Commute:
I'm at that stage in my life where I feel I have some skills to aid many of the communities I'm involved with. So with that in mind, I've decided to run for president of the Ennui Club. If successful I'll be chairman of the bored.

D: 5.2km
A: 34m

PMPW: 88kg

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

10/09/2014

NRR:
I rolled out of the house this morning just getting some endorphins, in a week where the weather looks downright poo.

I chatted with Lach on the way to Mordi, enjoying what felt like a delightfully easy pace. When we reached the roundabout I soon discovered the sensation of ease was due to the ripping northerly we'd had at our backs. I promptly hid myself on the biggest wheels I could find, and didn't come out until I could just about smell the post ride coffee beckoning.

I'm not proud of myself for hanging others in the wind, but I am caffeinated, so I'll call that a push.

Strava link.

D: 43.8km
A: 167m

Commute:

D: 7.5km
A: 38m

PMPW: 89kg

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

9/09/2014

Commute:
Given the forecast of more wind than DK and I in a confined space, I decided to sleep in. So instead of comments about riding, I shall tell you about a further flat tyre related product that I find to be worth your nickels.

Lezyne Pressure Drive (Medium)

The pump is robust, mine has had a few trips down the asphalt and is still going strong. It even comes in a variety of anodised colours to suit your (lack of) taste. Mostly, I love it for the little hose that stores inside it. I shove it in my back pocket on every ride, and know that along with a set of glueless patches, I'm prepared for even the shittest of flat tyre days. To me that's the crux of a pumps purpose. To get you going again at times when things turn pear shaped, and be contained in a form factor that allows you to have it on hand when such a time arises.

Before using this pump, I often broke off valve cores due to vigorous pumping (teehee). The little hose doover that the Pressure Drive has, absorbs all of that 'pump english', leaving the valve core straight and true. That's a win, because snapping a valve core off is a complete fail.

If you don't have the massive bulging biceps of a body builder like me, or you're of the weight weenie inclination, then the Road Drive or Carbon Road Drive may be more to your tastes. They've got a smaller diameter barrel, so can get you to a higher tube/tyre pressure with less muscle effort, and use less or more exotic material to achieve a lower weight. There is a trade off, they sacrifice a bit of speed, because the smaller diameter also decreases the overall air volume per stroke, the number of strokes required for full inflation is increased.

Going the other direction, primarily for those riding fat tyres, you can get a larger bored Alloy Drive to get more air in per stroke, and thus reduce the time to get big bag tyres to their (lower) operating pressure.

The pumps aren't perfect, odds on you'll lose some of the rubber bits designed to keep grit out, and at some stage you'll lose an o-ring seal. Losing seals is bad mojo, because you can't generate any pressure, but Lezyne sells spares, or you could just get a pack of o-rings from your local hardware store like I do. The other thing to look out for, is because as the hose screws onto the valve core, if you pull down as you unscrew it... you can unscrew the core too and immediately deflate both your tyre, and your will to live. This is just a matter of technique, that I'm sure you can work out, and once mastered firms this pump up as a favourite of mine.

D: 5.6km
A: 34m

PMPW: 89kg

Monday, 8 September 2014

8/09/2014

Commute:
I had a follow up with the sports doctor dude about my blood tests. There was only one test that had results outside the norm. Vitamin D levels.

My results were 53 nmol/L, where the expected range is 80-110 nmol/L.

This is an issue because vitamin D is key to the calcium uptake process. The increased bone signal in my MRI could very well be caused by an insufficient amount of calcium uptake, and explain the pain I've been experiencing. Working the other way, that means to fix that, we need to fix my Vitamin D levels. So, some oral vitamin D suplementation, and more time working on my tan lines.

Yep. I confirmed with a licensed medical practitioner, that his advice was for me to get better tan lines. Sorry Dawns, it's for my health.

Anyway, I'll proceed with the advice given, but I believe I should understand the advice as well. Queue some internet based research, and this article published by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).

Here's the little synopsis from the start.

"Vitamin D assays are inconsistent and inaccurate and there is weak evidence around the level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) that is optimal. Evidence of links between vitamin D deficiency and disease come from observational studies and there is little support from randomised controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation. Where there is evidence of a link, increased risk is largely confined to very low 25(OH)D levels, with minimal health gains for 25(OH)D levels greater than 50 nmol/L. New evidence indicates that both high and low 25(OH)D levels may be associated with increased health risks. Taken together these considerations present a considerable challenge to clinical decision-making around treatment on the basis of 25(OH)D levels."

It suggests that my levels might not be an issue, so perhaps there is something else that's causing my issue. Or, it's possible that being an athlete makes me a special snowflake that puts more stress on their system (duh) and that needs more D to support it (maybe).

I'm also reminded of the low impact nature of my sport, and how that has been shown to adversely affect bone density. Is it time for me to go do a weights block again?

There's only one thing obvious to me here. More study is required to understand the situation better.

D: 21.2km
A: 172m

PMPW: 88kg

Sunday, 7 September 2014

7/09/2014

Tuerong - Sorrento - Tuerong:
Sorrento return sounds like a a monster day, unless you started just outside of Dromana. Then it's a lovely roll along the beach in the sunshine, hunting for a decent coffee (yeah call that mission a fail).



Strava link.

D: 64.5km
A: 256m

Saturday, 6 September 2014

6/09/2014

Hell Ride:
As I was standing around, waiting for 7am, I noted I'd seen 1 police car, and 2 police motos. I haven't done the helly in a while, but that number of police suggested that either the bunch is a bit messy, or that the police were looking to enforce some strict rules. Either way, I wanted to stay out of legal and physical trouble.

I rolled out a minute or two early, aiming to get the legs moving and miss the initial reshuffling that occurs, then spent the day trying to stay in the top 20 to 30 riders, but outside of the top 2 or 3.

All that silly administrative stuff aside, we all know the crux of this ride is Olivers, and the couple of rollers that follow. I got over Olivers with a fair heart rate, but it gave me confidence. The next hill came and went, and then it was the rise up to Canadians. The bunch felt too slow, but the riders in front looked like they were working. The confidence from Olivers suddenly found itself in full bloom and I pulled off the wheel and rode to the front. I was holding solid power, I was in great form, I was the king of the world, I was getting passed by riders, I was losing power, I wasn't as confident any more. Nah, seriously, I had a dig, a few guys got on my wheel and kicked past, but I'm pretty happy that I was even able to have a dig.

I might do a few more Helly's in the coming weeks. If I continue to poke, prod, stretch, and roll the muscles around my knee, I'm starting to feel confident that I'll be ok.

Strava link.

D: 97.5km
A: 415m

PMPW: 88kg

Friday, 5 September 2014

5/09/2014

Commute:
87kg... wait 87kg?!!!

I've strived to get/keep my weight down for longer than I've been keeping track on this blog, but right now, I don't see anything in my diet/exercise that would explain why I'm 8kg lighter than I was this time last year.

Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but it could point to issues currently unknown. In the mean time, if I can scrounge any semblance of power, then my power to weight should be rockin (so don't bother knockin).

D: 8.2km
A: 48m

PMPW: 87kg

Thursday, 4 September 2014

4/09/2014

6am NRR:
I can take no credit for the ride today, as the closest I got to the front was around 5th wheel. It'd be easy to say I decided to leave the work to the ex pro, the pro, and the 5 time world rowing champ, but to be honest, I could barely see who was drilling it from where, and was mostly in my own head space, letting the legs go over.

Strava link.

D: 43.9km
A: 167m

Commute:

D: 5.9km
A: 33m

PMPW: 88kg

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

3/09/2014

Commute:
There's not much to talk about training wise so how about I start on a new project. Documenting cycling products that are well worth your dime. Here's a quick and easy one.

Lezyne Smart (puncture repair) Kit.

It's spring. Odds on it's going to rain, cars will crash into each other, and a tiny shard of glass for said crash will make its' way through your tyre and puncture the inner tube. It's even probable that it'll happen a bunch this season.

If time is not your most consideration, then this $4-$8 kit can save you up to 6 separate times, where as the $6 tube in your saddle bag is only good for one.

I've found it more reliable, and easier to carry than some of it's tiny glueless patch kit rivals such as those from Park and Serfas. I had some issues with patches being so thick they ended up cutting into the tube nearby, causing another puncture. I think we'd all agree that's not ideal.

For your 6ish bucks you get 6 patches, a scuffy uppy bit of metal, and a bit of card to use as a tyre boot (I tend to use another patch on the tyre rather than the boot). Anyway, hold the little blighters in place for about 30 seconds, pump up your tyre, pack the tiny package back in a saddle bag or pocket purse, and you're away for a 6th of the price of a new tube, and only a minute extra standing on the side of the road.

D: 5.2km
A: 128m

PMPW: 89kg

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

2/09/2014

Commute:
With my flat tyred bike still at work, I decided, after ensuring I had a pump, to walk in. The conundrum was weather i should wear a heart rate strap and track it via GPS.

On one hand, that's rediculous, as only cycling counts!

On the other hand, I pretended to rail some of the berms, and hit a couple of hips at the Windor Siding jumps.

D: 3.8km
A: 25m

PMPW: 89kg

Monday, 1 September 2014

1/09/2014

Commute:
I shouldn't have sulked about not remember to start my Garmin on Friday, because today I went to leave work, only to find my rear tyre flat, and that I'd left my pump at home.

A bike ride not recorded, is way better than one not taken at all.

D: 4.0km
A: 24m

PMPW: 88kg