Monday, May 12, 2014

Training - Clearing the Lungs Out

So for the past week and a half I've had a pretty bad cold. Junior had it too, before me, and I think the combination of staying up much of the night while holding him closely has made it only natural that I get the cold also.

I've been pretty fatigued as well, with four or five wake up calls sort of common. Usually I get a couple hours of straight sleep but often I've been up a number of times during the night.

To top it off my back has been pretty tweaked. I think it started when I sat through much of the night holding Junior in my arms. I did this before, when he was an infant, and my back really went out, to the point that the Missus shoveled the walk a number of times. Fatigue makes my back worse so all the interrupted nights haven't helped much.

At any rate I really haven't been able to do much of anything. With such a runny nose I did manage to go through a couple boxes of tissues and even a few rolls of TP (which is much less expensive than tissues). Sunday, when the temps were supposed to hit about 80, the Missus asked if I wanted to go ride. Initially I thought no, but later, as the sun really came out, I changed my mind.

This would be the first training ride outside in forever so I had to gather my "training kit". I decided to use the Jet 6/9 set of wheels simply because they have fresher tires on them. Just as a note I ran 100 psi front and rear, in 23c tires.

I also thought that I'd put a 60 mm valve tube and an 80 mm valve tube in my spare kit, from the rides down in Florida. When I finally found them (basically where I put them after returning from Florida) I took a picture for posterity sake. I also checked to make sure everything was still in there, since the bag has been in "Junior" territory for half a year (i.e. Junior can reach it, even if I think he hasn't).

What I carry, from the left, going clockwise.

Saddle bag
SRM computer
Planet Bike Super Flash (2)
Tube (80 mm valve)
Spare rear dropout (on top of tube)
Multi tool including 8mm Allen (for pedals)
Spoke wrench, black (for most higher end exposed spoke nipples)
Two tire levers
Tube (under the tire levers, 60mm valve)
Multi tool including chain tool

I realize now that the KMC Missing Link is, well, missing. That's the easiest way to connect a broken chain. You still need the chain tool, to remove any damaged links (like if you twisted your chain); the Missing Link then lets you connect the chain without having to carry an assortment of master pins.

All packed away, except the tail lights, SRM computer, and that tube box on the right.

I actually carried an extra tube, an extra metal-core tire lever, money, driver's license, some money, and cardboard (tube box, for booting a slashed tire). You can see it to the right in the picture above. I did this "just because".

I although brought some food, my phone (for Strava), and one bottle on the bike.

I carry all this not necessarily for me but because a lot of other riders don't carry stuff. I've used my own stuff, of course, but often I end up using my emergency supplies on other riders' bikes.

Jet 9 with 80mm valve tube.

Jet 6 with 60 mm valve tube.

Just as a note I prefer to have my valves extend just past the rim. This way I can close the valve nib but it doesn't stick out further than necessary. I use a valve extender (strapped to the frame) to pump up the tires and put it back on the frame when I'm done.

After gathering everything I finally got out the door. I decided to bring the mini Blackburn pump instead of the full size Park frame pump simply because I didn't want to spend any time looking for the straps to hold the pump on the frame.

The ride itself wasn't very notable. After the initial half mile descent I spent much of the first 45 minutes in the 44x23 or the 44x21.

I've been trying to see what sort of rpm I do when I'm just tooling around. In a headwind low effort spin state it seems that I'm in the 96-98 rpm range much of the time. In a tailwind low effort spin it's a bit higher, like 104-108 rpm. When I go "slow" after a mile or two of the faster rpm I'm at 90-100 rpm, so about 4-8 rpm lower than when I'm pedaling sort of fast.

At 115 rpm I felt like it was inefficiently fast.

I could barely breathe at first - it felt like I was trying to breathe while someone poured water over my head.

I spent a lot of time blowing stuff out of my nose.

I coughed a lot.

After about an hour I ran out of stuff in my nose and my lungs, and for the first time in eons I felt like I could breathe sort of normally. I could feel air stream into my nose.

This brought me to the end of a lap of my Quarry Road loop. I wanted to keep going so I decided to do a half loop extra.

My head started getting clogged again.

I ran into a local rider that I've run into a few times this year. My main memories of him are when he slaughtered me at Bethel one year, when he killed it at the Nutmeg State Games another year, and then when he crashed with me in the Big One. He and his son were sitting by the side of the MUP (Rails to Trails, or Multi Use Path, or MUP). I stopped, noticed the prevalence of poison ivy right there, pointed it out to them, and after a brief chat we went our separate ways.

Father and son rest stop.

The yellow spots are poison ivy that I highlighted.
Most of the shoulder, that I could see, was about as densely afflicted with the evil weed.
I put some test spots on the road, but there's no poison ivy there.

I headed back home, a pleasant easy ride done. I wasn't spinning quite as freely, now using the 44x19 or 17, but still, no real pressure on the pedals. Ultimately I'd average 143 watts (one moderate effort netted me a bit over 800 watts so it was pretty minor), 155 bpm (which is actually close to race pace for me - 160-165 bpm is about my limit - so I think my lungs were more clogged than I thought), and 83 rpm (indicating my pedaling really slowed down at the end).

Bike Friendly Community sign.

I didn't know it but after I got home my head and lungs would get congested again, my back would become almost useless (the Missus had to pick up Junior for much of the rest of the day).

I'll see how things go with my back and my breathing passages in the upcoming days. If I'm feeling slightly better I'll give the CCAP Tuesday Night Race a shot.

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