Monday, February 18, 2008

Starting to put more miles and time on the bike

Things are starting to come together pretty well on the cycling front. I'm finally getting to the point where my whole body is sore after rides. i.e. my left leg is getting strong enough so that it isn't so much of a limiting factor any more.

I've started riding on my rollers, rather than the stationary bike on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Last week I took my rollers and bike in to work with me and rode in the exercise room in the building I work in. Riding on the rollers has been helping a lot. It makes my left leg have to work a lot more consistently. I still have a small dead spot in the upstroke of my left leg (due to my limited ability to lift my left foot), but things are getting better and better.

I also got back into lifting some weights one day a week. Doing so has helped relieve some of the muscle fatigue in my left lower back.

This past week I found that 45 to 50 minutes of time on the rollers was resulting in no pain in my hip joint, so I started increasing the intensity and duration of my weekend road rides.

Saturday 2/16 I went out for 75 or so minutes of rolling hills. It felt great to be putting some more power down on the pedals, although, it's also a little frustrating to see how far I still have to go to get back to where I was.

Today, 2/18 I rode for 100 minutes on the 101. It's a pretty flat ride, but still provides the challenge of trying to keep my heart rate down around 155. Today I found I was riding at about 140 watts while my HR was around 157. Prior to injuring myself I would have been closer to 190 or 200 watts at 155 beats per minute, so there's still a long way to go here. Today's ride had the added feature of blowing out my front tube while descending a hill at around 35 miles per hour. Luckily I was able to get the bike stopped pretty quick and avoid going for a spill.

Based upon how well I felt this weekend, I'm starting to believe that I'll be able to work up to a high enough weekly mileage to be able to ride a century sometime this fall. Maybe in a month or two I'll be able to get closer to riding 3 hour endurance rides. Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Highly Recommended Movie - Touching the Void

I watched Touching the Void last weekend. This is one of the best movies I've ever seen. This movie is the true story of two climbers' experiences while climbing the south face of Siula Grande (a mountain in the Andes). One of the climbers breaks his leg near the top of the mountain. The two are then left to try to get themselves to the bottom alive.

The movie is presented in a documentary/dramatization format. Highly recommended: