Rush Limbaugh has his . . . well, here is mine. This is my record of news stories and issues that interest me. You can also find more headlines at the site where I serve as editor: The Common Voice.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

There is less of me now

I went out today and bought a scale to weigh myself. The last time I was weighed was several months ago when I had a medical procedure done. I was 175 (on a 6' 2" frame) at that point. However, the training stuff I read says you should keep a journal of your weight and resting heart rates so you can get a handle on whether you are training properly or not.

For fun, I weighed myself before heading out on my ride tonight: 172.8 pounds. Okay, that seems about right. Now, off on the ride.

I decided to leave from my house and head up over Paris Mountain and then back home. That would give me about 20 miles. I took one Polar bottle of water and my GelBot bottle with some Hammer Gel in it. I figured that would be plenty.

The temperature was around 86 degrees when I left and by the time I reached the upper elevations of Paris, I'm sure the temp dropped into the lower 80s. It felt pretty good.

I focused on keeping a high cadence and my pedal form. The idea is to keep the legs going up and down and not have your knees go out away from the frame on the up stroke. I find myself doing that especially when I am tired. I did increase my average cadence to nearly 10 rpm over my normal average.

Frankly, as I started up Paris and came to "The Wall" - a section that has about a 12% grade soon after you start the climb on the State Park Road side - I didn't think it was going to be a very good night. I had pushed so much the night before that my legs didn't appear to be that happy.

However, by the time I got up to some of the "flat" sections, I was feeling pretty good and cruising along at about 22 mph. Then as I made the last climb to the KOM, I was feeling really good. My legs were happy and my heart rate was just over 180.

Coming down the Furman side was kind of scary. Normally I let it go and enjoy carving up the road. Tonight there was sand everywhere. I guess they have been cleaning the shoulders in anticipation of the race this weekend. Unfortunately, it has spread sand on the descent. It won't bother the race because they will be going the other way. However, remembering my wreck a couple of weeks ago, I didn't want to take my chances on sand!

As I descended, I passed some riders going the opposite direction. At about that time, my GelBot fell out of my cage. I decided to just pick it up on the way back. I wanted to get down and start back up in hopes I would catch at least one of those riders.

I reset my lap point and headed up the Furman side. My legs really did not feel like I had just ridden 11 miles over a mountain. Things were looking good. Before long I came across the bottle and I stopped to pick it up. Then back on it. I kept looking ahead hoping to see the riders. Nothing.

My speed stayed between 7.5 mph and 12.8 mph. Mostly I was staying in the 8 to 9 mph range. It wasn't easy but I knew I wasn't going to bonk. Finally, I turned around the last right hand curve onto the straightaway before the final left hand turn of the climb. There was the last rider of the group. I came up behind him, moved into a smaller rear ring, stood up and moved around him. I stayed up and kept pushing until I reached the top.

I looked down and saw I had climbed the mountain in 14 minutes and 46 seconds. It made me wonder what time I could have gotten had I not stopped to pick up my water bottle. After that, I didn't much care to push any further. I just enjoyed a spinning ride home.

When I got back, I got on the scales again: 166.4 pounds. I had dropped over 6 pounds on the ride. Obviously, it was fluids. It is amazing to think you can sweat that much out of your body! One thing I have learned from that is the importance of being hydrated! I typically drink 64 to 80 oz. of fluids each day - and then carry up to 40 more with me on the bike for an hour or so ride.

My plan is to keep a journal (here, of course) of my resting heart rate and weight in the morning and evening. Just some more data to play with! 14:46... my goal now will be to bring it down to 14:30 and then...



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