Saturday, December 13, 2014

Training - Relative Power On My Trainer

Today I had a decent food day. I guess that's the "dieting bike racer" in me. It's strangely empowering to do this, although I have to admit that I haven't had motivation since 2009 to diet. And that time was the first time I ever really, truly dieted.


I got to 8 PM with something like 250 cal left of my 1510 cal budget, so that was good. Yesterday I ended the day at something like 100 cal over (so about 1610) then proceeded to eat 580 cal at night. That put me at a whopping 2300 cal for the day, literally the most I've eaten in a single day in, what, 26 or something days? November 17th, for what it's worth.

Today I knew I wanted to eat just a bit more and I had the chance to hop on the bike. Therefore I got to ride and eat a bit more.

On the ride I remembered a bike forums question where someone asked how much power it would take to go 88 rpm in a 53x17. He added that he rode that fast for 30 minutes and it made him work up "a good sweat". I'd guessed in the mid-300 watt range, definitely a really high wattage for anyone that doesn't race. Talk about sweating, right?

He later corrected it to a 53x19, which is still impressive. I took some pictures of the SRM in the 53x17 (just for kicks) and then a slew while in the 53x19. The trainer is pleasantly consistent, although I could feel if I was in the lower end of the rpm range (meaning I could be going 88 rpm and nudge the power a bit without making the computer say 89 rpm). Still, though, the pictures are worth something.

53x17@88rpm, 378w. Yikes.

53x19@88rpm, 288w. Still yikes for me.

53x19,@89rpm, 295w.

53x19@88rpm, 294w.

53x19@88rpm, 297w.

What's funny (or not depending on your point of view) is that these efforts to take the pictures really killed me. I spent a few minutes trying to take these pictures. Many of the deleted pictures were illegible for one reason or another, like the flash obscured the whole screen, no flash meant it was a blurry mess, or I was at the wrong rpm, whatever. My efforts in producing even the 280w power stuff was probably the reason why I climbed off short of my planned 2 hour ride. My legs just went empty after about 1:30 and I really couldn't justify twiddling along past 1:45.

The heart rates in the pictures are pretty low but it's because the efforts were anaerobic and my heart rate wasn't climbing relative to my effort - the heart rate lagged pretty hard. I looked down once, after uploading one or two of the pictures, and my heart rate was 112 bpm. During the pictures I felt asphyxiated, like I was suffocating.

Now I've rewarded myself with some food, 420 cal worth.

A side thought. I can handle less or no sugar in food. But to skip salt? No way. I've gotten my oatmeal down to no brown sugar, 1/4 cup raisins, and it's otherwise plain oatmeal. Coffee? Black now. But my snack right now was 150g of chicken (skinless, roasted), weighed on a scale, with 140 cal of green beans. If you check around you'll notice that's two cans of green beans. I sprinkle a nice bit of salt, some spices, and that's good enough for me.

And my blood pressure is fine at the moment. I just had a physical and they tagged me at 112/60 or something like that (and I was looking after a very active Junior during the physical so I wasn't just relaxing in peace and quiet). I still need to get my bloodwork done. It'll be interesting to see the numbers (hematocrit, hemoglobin, and cholesterol) as I haven't had a physical in something like three? years. On the positive side I think I was 14 pounds heavier when I went there last.

Of course I was 10 pounds heavier less than four weeks ago, so it's the last four weeks that have made a difference in my weight.

But whatever, it's all good.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Training - Unexpected Bonus

As I've mentioned in the past few posts, I've been dieting steadily for three weeks now. I've noticed that I usually have a couple-few "easy" days, where it's easy to stay at or under my goal, and then a day or two where it's really hard. This cycle repeats itself pretty consistently.

Today's been one of those hard days. I struggled all day after consuming a massive-to-me 1030 calories before noon. I'm ending the day a little above my recently-revised 1510 cal goal. I've been cold and getting massive head rushes when I stand up, so I'm definitely in an aggressive energy-depleted state.

This isn't the unexpected bonus that I allude to in the title though, and I want to mention a couple more things before I get to the unexpected bonus.

Two days ago I breezed through the day falling asleep perfectly satisfied with my 1365 calorie day. Yesterday, although I ate 1700 calories worth, I rode for almost two hours, burning off a good chunk of that. My powermeter told me I burned about 900 calories, so that's a huge net loss day since I definitely burned more than the 190 calories I went over my 1510 calorie goal.

My weight's been steadily declining. I started my diet in mid November weighing in at a hair under 179 lbs. This morning, for the second time in the last three weeks, I saw a low 169 lbs reading. I want to be at least another 10 pounds lower at 159 lbs. Based on my current progress it would take at least three weeks, although I expect my weight loss to taper so it may take four or five weeks.

If I could get another 5 or 10 pounds lower, hitting 155 lbs or lower, I'd be super psyched. That would be another three weeks minimum, and realistically it may not happen. I need four to six weeks of training to get to some kind of fitness and I know I'm going to lose much of my training time before the first races of the year.

In 2010, my (recent) banner year, I saw a couple readings at 149 lbs (meaning that was at the low range of my weight cycle if you will), I steadied at a weak but light 152 lbs before I started training, and I hit the season at 155 lbs or so and feeling as strong (or weak?) as normal. I stopped weighing myself regularly after I saw 155-158 lbs every time I stopped on the scale.

If I can get close to that I'll be totally psyched.

So what's the unexpected bonus?

My cycling legs are starting to come back.

See, to make my admittedly aggressive calorie goals, I've resorted to eating a bit more if I'm hungry, then getting on the bike to burn at least as many calories. If I go 200 calories over then I want to burn, as indicated on the powermeter, at least 400 calories.

(How do I get calories from my powermeter? By using kilojoules, which happen to be about the number of calories burned on a bike. Although a kJ is not a calorie, the human body's inefficiencies end up making it so. On a bike ride a kJ of work is equal to anywhere from .95 to about 1.2 calories. Reference stuff here. I figure that trying to use the actual conversion wouldn't be easy, and I'm probably in the "more efficient" side of things, meaning I'm probably using .95 calories per kJ of work. Therefore to make things totally clear I'd like to do twice as many kJ of work as my caloric overages. If I eat 200 cal more food, I want to burn 400kJ on the bike.)

At first, with a 1790 calorie daily goal, staying under my number wasn't very hard. I recalculated after I lost about 6 pounds, using a more aggressive set of variables. I ended up with a much too aggressive 1260 calorie daily goal. After two days of that ridiculousness I redid the numbers using a slightly less aggressive set of variables. This gave me 1510 calories per day. It's aggressive but manageable on the good days.

(The most important variable is goal loss per week. Right now I'm letting MyFitnessPal decide my caloric needs and I'm using a 1.5 lbs/week weight loss goal. The reality is that I'm losing almost twice that number. I'd be happy with 2 lbs/week, but when I used that goal MyFitnessPal told me 1260 cal/day. I revised my goal to 1.5 lbs/week and got 1510 cal. On the intake side I'm very strict about recording everything I eat. It seems to be working.)

On the less than good days I still want to hit about 1700 calories. This 200 calorie overage means I need to do about 400 kJ of work on the bike, and that's about an hour of riding.

What's happened is that with my aggressive caloric goals, I tend to go over regularly. I plan my food, entering the food (and related calories) before I eat them. Therefore when I'm still hungry at 6 PM I know what I am about to eat and I typically choose to eat food after checking with the Missus if it's okay for me to do a trainer ride.

Then I eat my calories and get on the bike.

At first my rides were as pathetic as pathetic can be. I struggled to turn over the pedals, and on one particularly bad ride I actually struggled to stay in the 90-100 watt range. It takes me almost an hour to do 400 kJ of work right now. In contrast I might do 600-700 kJ of work in an hour long criterium or 500 kJ in an hour of training.

Significantly, because of my aggressive calorie goals, I've resorted to riding the bike more than I expected.

Yesterday I had yet another caloric overage day. By early evening I was sitting at about 1400 calories, good if I stayed there, but I had some really strong hunger pangs. I decided to go for it, eat a bit (300 calories), and then get on the bike.

Incredibly I didn't feel horrible on the bike. I found myself holding 160-170 watts for long stretches of time (for me that's 5-10 minutes). I did ease to super low watts, like 90-100 watts, but the harder bits surprised me. With no recent training, with the low daily caloric intake, this really shocked me.

So that's the unexpected bonus - feeling okay on the bike.

I'm not strong for sure, definitely not strong, but better than "weak". Last night I kept going until I realized it was after my self-decided "get off the bike" time. I got in 1:55 on the bike and climbed off feeling fresh and (relatively) energetic.

Bonus? I at 200 calories over but did almost 900 kJ of work. Even using my 2x ratio I did well, and the reality is that I ended somewhere like 600 calories under my goal number for the day. That's a good sixth of a pound of fat worth of calories, give or take.

Back to today. I'm 100 cal over but I think that's all I can expect. I don't want to ride so I'll leave it as it is. Net net, for the last week I've made strong progress so it's all good.

Goal visualization. Me at 155-158 lbs at the end of 2010. In the picture I'm wearing 29" waist jeans. Right now I'm in 31" waist jeans, and I was wearing 33" last winter.

Interviewing Phil Keoghan at Interbike 2010.
Picture by Julie Kelly

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Training - Weight Loss Stuff

Back in 2009-2010 I embarked on a weight loss program that resulted in a March 2009 -> March 2010 weight loss of about 40 pounds. I dropped from about 190-200 lbs (between 2004 and 2009 if I hit 200 lbs I'd start thinking I "really need to ride a bit") to 155-158 lbs.

Forty pounds.

That's more than a completely full 20 pound LP tank for a grill.

It's the weight of two reasonably light road bikes.

It's 40 one pound packages of ground beef.

It's 20 packages of the two pound family pack of chicken parts.

It's a whole lotta weight.

The weight loss absolutely changed my racing.

At Bethel, at my new weight, on the non-aggressive laps, I often dragged the brakes to keep my speed in check. Instead of doing 400-800w to get up the hill, I was doing 300-500w, even with the brake dragging.

On the fast laps I could ride through the field and off the front.

My sustained power was still suspect, as that seems to be an overall genetic limitation of mine, but I had so much reserves, due to the low weight, that I seemed to have much more power.

(The reality is that with my weight loss my FTP dropped a solid 10%, my max sprint power dropped 200-300w, but the lighter weight more than made up for it. The only place I lost out was on descents - missing 40 pounds of mass really slowed me down on fast descents. I found myself frantically sprinting down hills trying to stay with riders I normally rocketed past on the same hill.)

After a solid season of racing I upgraded to Cat 2. I'd never been a 2 and it'd been a goal of mine for 25 years, so I took the opportunity and upgraded. One thing I didn't reveal at the time was that we'd decided to start a family. My thought was that I may never get the chance to upgrade again.

Then, in order to eliminate any temptation (I didn't want to distract myself from the family thing), I purposely gave myself zero goals for 2011. Without goals I had no motivation, and without motivation I didn't even do a lot of my JRA ("just riding along") rides.

2011 was less than successful in two ways. First, as a result of having zero goals I really had no fitness and therefore I had no real results. Second, the family never started per se, and my zero goal season ended up a "season pas", a season without. I downgraded back to Cat 3 sometime in 2011.

Of course Junior arrived in 2012 and then my priorities changed. I was glad that I took that Cat 2 upgrade because for a while, even now, training and racing enough to earn the upgrade again seemed highly unlikely, at least if I wanted to be a good dad and husband.

Fast forward to 2014 and I had gained back a good half of that 40 pound loss. I didn't train much for a couple years, doing in a month what most races do in a week. I prefer to spend time with Junior than on the bike so a nice Saturday afternoon means, to me, an hour or two at the playground, not an hour or two on the bike.

My results suffered accordingly. I could win field sprints, which is sort of normal, but in straight out Cat 3 races I really struggled just to finish races. When the field collectively dropped the hammer I was usually one of the first ones spit out the back.

Racing is fun, but getting shelled 4 or 5 minutes into a race isn't fun.

I don't foresee suddenly having a ton of time to train, but I can see myself losing weight. As a teammate so astutely pointed out, I don't need time to diet. I need time to train.

So, three weeks ago, I started on a diet sort of like the one I went on in Oct of 2009. It's calorie centric, focused on sacrificing everything to lose weight. My thought is that I can adjust my diet after, but I know I won't spend a ton of time researching and preparing foods. I am also trying to avoid diet foods, except one or two here and there (non-fat Greek yogurt for example). No artificial sweeteners, just judiciously picked foods.

And the weight started to come off.

My diet isn't complicated, and it's probably not ideal, but it works for me. I need the following from a diet:
1. Not much food prep. I prefer not to spend a lot of time preparing food. To me 5 minutes is a lot of time.
2. Easy to log foods, meaning I'm not eating 10 or 15 little things at a time. I prefer a meal to have three or four "things" that I log. I use MyFitnessPal to track food. I have a smartphone so I can log food even when we're out.
3. I need stuff that makes me feel relatively full.
4. Beyond a basic set of tastes I don't care what I eat.
5. I learned that I don't really need (or want) sugar.

When I first started the diet I remembered a few things.
1. The first few days really, really suck. I was literally shaking with hunger sometimes (bonking? maybe coming off of a sugar thing?)
2. Once I got past the first few days I could go a while while hungry and not mind.
3. I tend to be aggressive with calories for a few days (1000-1400 cal) then have a bad day (1800-1900 cal). This is okay since overall my caloric intake is much lower.
4. Not having sugar sugar, like in my coffee etc, really levels out my energy levels.

The first week of the diet sort of taught me what I forgot about dieting, it sort of set a new baseline for my body, and it readjusted my internal energy level.

I definitely noticed a solid drop in energy, which is only natural when my calorie intake got cut by a good 30-50%. My hands and feet were pretty consistently cold, but I didn't mind. I still warm up as soon as I get moving, so doing the slow trot-jog next to Junior for an hour is doable.

I'm best when I make a set of meals. I have two current "routines" - oatmeal or a chicken/rice thing. The oatmeal is really filling - a cup of oatmeal (uncooked), a quarter cup raisins, a tablespoon of almond slices, and a tablespoon of brown sugar. Add a bunch of water, microwave, done. It takes me 10 minutes from start to finish, meaning until the bowl is clean in the sink. I usually have this once a day, sometimes twice. Sometimes I do 3/4 cup instead of a full cup, but I learned the hard way that I get hungry much earlier with the slightly smaller meal.

(And as an aside that exact one cup oatmeal thing fueled me today from 6:30 AM, which is when I finished the oatmeal, to 3:30 PM, when I got home from working an event. I had two little paper cups of black coffee during that time.)

The chicken is sort of similar. I cook the chicken in batches (last batch was 1.75 lbs of boneless and skinless chicken breast), I know about the serving size, and I add rice that I've cooked and divided into separate containers. It takes about 4 minutes to get something to eat and 2:30 of those 4 minutes is the microwave heating up the food. It's easy to log since I eat the same chicken/rice meal typically twice a day.

I'm like my dad in that I can eat the same food over and over again. At home I've had either the oatmeal or the chicken for most of my meals over the 2+ weeks we've been home. I totally don't mind. When we're out then I try to figure out good things, typically things that I understand/know, like 100g of chicken, etc. For Thanksgiving we went to my dad's and I carefully doled out, on a scale, 100g of turkey here and there.

I also have turned to black coffee. Those that know me know that I like my sugar with a little coffee and cream so it's a huge change. However, with my weight loss goal in mind, black coffee is perfectly acceptable. I drink less of it, fine, but it's no longer the calorie bomb I usually have. I also don't have the rapid up/down thing that comes with a couple teaspoons of sugar (used to be a couple tablespoons per mug).

How is the diet so far?

I started at 179 lbs, in mid-November (Nov 17 to be precise). I've been at 170 for two days so that's pretty consistent for my current weight. I typically drop, plateau, drop, plateau. My goal is to get under 160, and into the low/mid-150s if possible.

In terms of health at 179 I'm probably, realistically, at about 28-30% fat, meaning I'm in the obese range. My lean body weight is probably in the 127-130 pound range.

This means that at 170 I'm more like 25%. At 160 I should be about 20%. At 150 15%. 140 lbs would be 10%, which is about when I'd be pretty skinny. In 2010 I saw a few 149 lbs reading but I was too weak and ended up gaining a bit of weight.

There's an image here that has some good pictures illustrating the different levels of body fat in men. The images seem pretty close to what my weight/fat% I outlined above. I am between the 30% and 25% right now.

I think 150 lbs would be very hard to hit, 140 lbs pretty impossible in my current life, but 155 lbs should be okay. It's still a bit away but I'd like to get there.

Today? 1365 calories, realistically pretty accurate. 170.7 lbs this morning, up just a touch, but I had an off day yesterday calorie-wise, and I was "off cycle" if you will.

With the pressure of the event off I hope to have some more time to ride a bit to reduce the net calories for each day.

Some more inspirational pictures:

Not a winning sprint but still a good one, Bethel in 2010.
My sprint came around in the last few weeks of that Series.
Photo by Corey Lynn Tucker.

155 lbs and pulling the A race at the Rent, 2010.
Photo by RTC I think.

155 lbs and off the front at the Keith Berger Crit in East Hartford, 2010.
I don't remember who took this.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Training - "Not Enough"

Realistically I'm not going to get posts up at the end of the month so before it gets too late I wanted to go over what I did for the year in terms of cycling.

Basically the theme of the 2014 racing season was, for me, "Not Enough". I didn't train enough, even for me, and it showed when the races started getting harder.

Not quite the end of the year but close…
Full Strava here, with all my rides from May 2012 on Strava

My numbers started well in January. I was doing a lot of trainer work, all JRA type rides with no structure, but things started to come along. I was watching what I ate without "dieting", and I hit my lowest weight for the season at that time.

Then I got sick.

There's a gap in January where I couldn't get on the bike. There was also a bunch of things I had to work out with the Bethel Spring Series so I lost a bunch of time.

By February the Bethel Spring Series stuff was in full swing. Typically I ride just a few times in February, relying on a massive January base. This year I made a bit more time and rode a bit more.

March and April were Bethel. The weather was atrocious, the race really stressful, and I wasn't motivated at all. Normally I don't train much during Bethel due to the extreme fatigue of holding the race. This year I managed some hours, but they tapered off dramatically by the end of the Series. With most of the races I did ending in breaks, I managed to win a few field sprints, but not for any real places.

April meant catching up with stuff that I'd neglected for the past three months and May was a bit more of the same. I didn't do any yard work at all (we live in an association place so the basics get handled but any deluxe stuff we do). In the past years I've gone out and done some minor work and got really bad poison ivy. This year I didn't - the poison ivy was so bad I had goosebumps just walking into our back yard.

By June I was more on track and the CCAP Tuesday Night Races really motivated me. I was doing the B races, mainly with 4s and 5s, and took on a mentoring role. June and July were, for me, really good months. I wasn't strong but I could help others with their racing. My favorites were when Heavy D and Aaron won the B races. I also had a good finish at Nutmeg in the M45+ race, winning the field sprint.

In August the lack of hours caught up with me. After suffering mightily and winning a B race with Heavy D's help, I had a trio of DNFs in quick succession. With no races on the agenda I decided it wasn't worth it to try to train too much.

In prior years I brought my bike when we visited family but this year the bike stayed at home. This meant gaps in the next few months. Also, with Junior being 2 1/2 years old, he really likes playing outside. Therefore my "good weather time" turned into playground time, not riding time.

Finally, in November, with my weight approaching my 2009 crash weight (when I was definitely fat), something clicked. I started dieting the week before Thanksgiving. It's been going well for a little over two weeks. My goal is to continue on for at least the month of December, and if the weight is still coming off, to continue in January.

I did do a ride yesterday, sort of on a lark, and ended up pedaling for two hours. I didn't have much more in me, with my wattage dropping into the 80-90w range at the end of the ride, so that's about my limit right now.

And that's my year.

Goal for 2015 (picture courtesy RTC):

158 lbs, give or take.
I'm even wearing a vest.

From this year 2014, in a sprint where I'm sitting up:

175 lbs, give or take.


Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Life - Stuff or "Not Dead Yet"

So it's been forever since I've written a post, and honestly it's been hard to motivate to even finish one of the 190 or so draft posts I have.

Some of the last few have been clip type posts, where I post clips from the prior season. I have two more in the works, almost ready. One is on its 4th revision, the other is on its 5th. When they are 99% done I'll put them up. I say 99% because they're never 100% - after they go live I inevitably think, "Oh, I should have done xyz".

For now life is intruding a bit on stuff, and the blog is pretty low on the priority list. It illustrates pretty vividly how much time I had before, or, conversely, how much more important other stuff is compared to the blog.

Some of that "stuff" includes:

 - First, and most importantly, Junior is much more interactive and involved, with me, with his environment, other people, everything. Before he could play with cars for a while, or the train, or whatever. Now he enjoys interaction, typically with me (since I'm around). It might be anything from telling me about what happened at school or maybe something he heard or even just narrating what he's doing while he's doing it.

Taking a breather before getting in the car.
Picking Junior up from daycare can take 60-90 minutes as he plays all over before we leave.

He also seems to need about 45-60+ minutes of running (or other exercise) a day. When it's cold it means shopping trips take an extra hour or so as we run around either in bigger stores or out on sidewalks and such. When it's warm it means heading over to the playground, where he can easily burn through an hour of time, and more recently, until it got cold, he could do two hours before asking to go home.

One incident in particular helped me realize just how my priorities have changed. A couple weeks ago the Missus heard the forecast on a Saturday or Sunday that it would get warm out. She typically announces unusual weather like this and typically I'll ask back, "Do you mind if I go for a ride?"

Of course you know what happened instead.

Missus: "It's going to be 50 today!"
Me: "Junior, let's go to the playground!"
Junior, gleefully: "Playground!"

And we went to the playground.

 - Been looking for a job. Junior is getting older, I'm running out of savings, and it's about time to start working again. I'm looking to leverage my skills and passion in cycling but there's a cusp I need to reach to be able to put Junior in daycare full time as well as do things like cover health insurance.

 - Been working on a couple event services jobs. One is short term, ending Dec 7th, the other is longer term, scheduled for June 6th. I work for other people in both of these.

During the process I confirmed event work next year on June 7th (White Plains) as well as August something (Tokeneke).

Fortunately the company Carpe Diem Racing made money this year, barely, after taking a bath at Bethel once again. The extra event service gigs I did after Bethel ended up making up the difference because they're basically all profit. Those gigs have no real expenses so I'm paid for my time and knowledge. Bethel costs a lot of money to run (well over $40k for 2014 - I figure at some point I'll do a post on some of the broad numbers) and doesn't take as much money in as it spends.

With Bethel going by the wayside, due to the venue loss (traffic and such, not anything to do with racer misbehaviors), I hope to reduce overall gross numbers but increase profit. I hope that'll be straightforward - with a huge negative out of the way it makes sense that profit will go up.

 - My free times during the week are Tuesday and Thursday mornings while Junior is at daycare, meaning times where I don't have to keep an eye out on Junior. It's times like these that I can put the snow tires on the cars, do a real trainer ride, or work on projects and such. Unfortunately recently they've been taken with various time-sensitive things, leaving me with little/no time to do longer term stuff.

Daycare, I should mention, has been really good for Junior. He learns stuff there, he interacts with other kids, and we can reinforce that stuff when he's back at home. The opposite works too, where we'll teach him stuff and he gets reinforcement at school. For example we let him learn how to do puzzles, then at school the staff reported that he happily plays with puzzles which frustrate most of the other kids. So it's good overall and we're really happy with the balance of playing and learning at the daycare.

 - Been working on the Spring Series, a Bethel race, and one, two, or three other venues.

 - Trying to winterize the house. Things keep popping up, we get a reprieve with another warm day or two, but each time something seems to pop up. This last warm spell I couldn't use, and there's still some stuff to do. I did get some trailer stuff done, and used it to move some big equipment stuff to/from our storage unit.

Trailer at the bottom of the driveway.
I need a weight distribution / sway control unit for the hitch.

So that's the external stuff.

As far as stuff for me goes, as far as cycling goes, my big thing this year is to lose weight and get back to 2010 weight. I've never returned to that weight, gaining steadily each year, and I really notice the additional mass. It's interesting to relive and remember how riding felt when I was 25 pounds lighter (than I was 3 weeks ago).

At Bethel, on the non-aggressive laps, I was climbing the hill while lightly dragging my brakes. I didn't want people to think I was doping, if you can believe that, and I needed so much less power to climb the hill (300-400w versus 600-800w) that I had the luxury to do that.

Even in the flat races I could accelerate much easier out of the corners. Yes, my legs got heavy when the lactic acid built up, but until then I felt like my whole body was made out of super light styrofoam or something.

Therefore I want to lose weight, get back to a lean me, and then do whatever training I can do with whatever my schedule might be at the time. I started about 2 weeks ago, maintaining sub-1800 cal daily intake even over Thanksgiving. I found that I could get by with about 1450 cal a day, with three seemingly big meals a day. I was pretty proud of myself and I'd carefully eat a bit extra in the evening to make up the deficit.

Recently, when I recalculated my diet numbers using my new, lower weight, I got a much lower 1260 cal/day recommendation. That was a shock but I'll see if I can do it. I'm looking at 8 more weeks of loss, give or take, if I can manage things.

So that's my violin story. You can get your world's smallest violin and play it a bit for me. I'll wait.


Okay, that's it.

In the meantime I still have those two clips to upload. I'll have event announcements. And I might even have some thoughts on the racing and tactics I observed over the last summer, with some tips and hints and such.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Fun - Trivia Monday

CyclingRevealed's Trivia Monday returns for this winter. It's the second week now but if you didn't take the first quiz you can still take it (I just did). Just don't peek. No Googling either.

(Picture is from the site and links to it)

It's all here.

As I've done the quizzes for a few years now I categorize the questions into four parts.
1. Stuff I don't know at all, generally before I started racing, i.e. 1983 or so.
2. Stuff I know reasonably well, typically from the era where there was actually cycling news available in magazines and papers (like Velonews). When I could get my hands on cycling news I devoured it. Typically 1983 (the start of Winning Magazine) until about 1998, when the racing got a bit much for me, meaning the doping was out of control.
3. Stuff that I really don't know since I purposely didn't follow racing. It was to the point where I didn't recognize the USPS team when I finally saw a picture of the Tour because they were in gray kits. 1999 - 2005 or so.
4. The current era, meaning the last ten years or so. 2005 until now. I sort of know some stuff, don't know a lot of stuff. The first Tour I really followed in this era was 2006.

Most of the questions seem to draw from numbers 2 and 3. Sometimes there are a bunch of questions from 1 and I basically get them all wrong.

There are some filled in spots of knowledge because I bought DVDs on particular races. Typically they're the classics like Ghent or Flanders.

Anyway it's a neat distraction from not reading about the races and such, and it's free.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Helmet Cam - Aug 12, 2014 CCAP Tuesday Night Race, Bs

Action moment from the race

This is the last in the trio of the CCAP Tuesday Night Race clips I've worked on. I don't think there are any compelling stories in the other weeks of racing but if someone thinks there might be then let me know.

The full race report is here but the basic bit is that the team, and by "the team" I mean Heavy D, decided that it would be my night on August 12th. He set things up for me and handed me a field sprint on a platter.

However, due to the miserable forecast, I thought that the race would be canceled. Therefore when I dropped off a car for service I made a number of really hard efforts, thinking that this ride back home might be my ride for the day.

Of course the race didn't get canceled, even if we got rained on just a touch.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Helmet Cam - July 29, 2014, CCAP Tuesday Night Race Bs

This is the second in a series of three helmet cam clips I've made from the 2014 CCAP Tuesday Night Races. The original race took place July 29, 2014 with my report here.

Another example of tactics and teamwork. I try to offer some advice to others as well.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Helmet Cam - June 24th CCAP Tuesday Night Race, Bs, Heavy D Wins

So as promised here's one of the clips I finished in the last month or so. I uploaded this last night without issues so phew, my post yesterday was a lie.

This is the first in a series of three clips. They sort of fit together although it's not necessarily totally interlocked like, say, the Lord of The Rings trilogy.

But it's sort of close, you know. In terms of production quality, length, special effects, and storyline.

Or not.

Anywho… For the first of the trilogy it's a B race at one of the CCAP Tuesday Night Races. I posted a "pictures + words" race report here.

The attack that won the race.

For the action in motion, check out the video below. Remember you can click on the YouTube logo to watch the clip in YouTube. Usually it's the better way to do it because you can resize it, unlike the tiny thing embedded in the blog.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Life - YouTube Errors So No Clip Tomorrow

Last night I thought I'd be a nice guy and upload 4 of the 5 clips that are ready for release. I planned on releasing them one every few days, between posts that I've half written.

Today, while I was away from the house, the Missus texted me.

"The video has failed to process. x3"


3 of 4 videos failed to upload to Youtube last night, and since they need to be in order, I don't want to release the one that actually made it up there.

I'm going to upload one at a time, one per night. I didn't even review the 5th clip so I'll review that before I put it up.

Basically three go together and the other two belong together.

The set of three work well together, at least in my eyes. They definitely need to be in order and unfortunately the last one of the three is the only one that made it. I'll upload the first and second clip in that set.

Then I'll work on the two clip set. One clip is basically ready, although now that it didn't upload I've thought of changes I want to make to it. The other is only on its first version and hasn't been reviewed. Most of the clips are on their 3rd or 4th revision at this point.

Of course if anyone local has a nice wide connection to the internet (upload speeds, not download) the clips are 1 GB apiece, give or take, and you could, you know, watch them before they go live to everyone.

At home it's about 1000 minutes upload time for each clip, so about 15-16 hours, give or take.

Ugh. Not what I want to see.