Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thursday swim-bike

The subtitle for this post is I am the village idiot of all cyclists!

My assessment this afternoon was that I did not have the wherewithal to have an outdoor ride after all (it's freezing, my willpower is in the usual state of erosion that all academics experience at this time of year and most of all I'm just timid--I should take a leaf out of these guys' book!). So I thought I would just do a short trainer ride post-swim, and in the end it was just as well because I had a blinding revelation...

But first, the swim.

Very pleasant!

(Not quite long enough, I was a few minutes late getting started--had to get the laundry into the dryer first...)

Warmup: 600 choice

(I did 200 free--with flip turns, not so dire as the other day either!--and 4 x 100 as 25 kick 50 drill 25 swim for each stroke.)

12 x 50 on 1:15

1-3 free drill as 25 6-3-6/25 distance per stroke
4-6 choice no free (I did one of each stroke)
7-9 free solid effort
10-12 IM switching no free (i.e. fly-back, back-breast, breast-fly)

I didn't at all have time for the whole of the main set, which was a nice descending ladder, but I did a good middle chunk of it:

4 x 100 IM (fly drill on evens)
5 x 50 25 kick/25 swim
3 x 100 solid free on 2:00

2150, quite respectable.

Came home, retrieved laundry from dryer, drank some juice, got on the bike to do Coach Troy's technique/recovery workout.

Hmmmm, it is dispiriting to contemplate the fact that my cadence is so low, I always thought I fell pretty naturally into the 90rpm thing....


All those people on the TV are, like, whisking their pedals round at 100 or 110rpm without, really, breaking a sweat...

Why am I working incredibly hard to try and push it up to 80?

And then it dawned on me...

(I should have known it the other day, frankly. I was startled the cadence was so low, only it is very easy for me to have a low opinion of myself on cycling-related matters, so I was discouraged but not really surprised!)

The cycle computer has no way of measuring what resistance I've got on the trainer, and in fact--people who know me in real life will be laughing at this point, this is so characteristic!--it is on incredibly high resistance so that it is very, very hard indeed to pedal at all...

I got off and fiddled with the knob on the trainer. Then I got back on and started pedaling.

OK, really the speeds the computer gives me on the trainer are pretty much worthless. I am under no illusions that I would be able to bike this fast in the real world--aside from fitness-related issues, I would be in sheer terror!

But I was so discouraged the other day with the low speeds I was getting--and I can now report that once I made the adjustment, I found it strikingly easy to get speeds c. 30mph and when doing high-cadence pedaling it was not at all trying to get it up to 40!


I did one other very idiotic thing today also, which I will note before signing off for the weekend. The ground-floor women's bathroom in the building where I have my office was notoriously grungy for many a year--when I visited for my job interview 8+ years ago, there was a pool of water on the floor and one stall was blocked off with the sanitational equivalent of crime-scene tape, and really it was almost always in that sort of state. No toilet paper, puddles of water, freezingly cold, occasional male prowlers peering over stall dividers, that sort of thing! They renovated it a year or two ago, and in some respects it is quite spiffy now, except there is always a problem with something or other and the stalls are also extremely cramped.

So I was rushing in and out today with a bunch of stuff and a string of student appointments for which I hadn't yet read the drafts, I was in a real hurry--and as I tried to leave the stall I somehow bashed my forehead right into the coathook on the back of the door! It was so painful and disconcerting that I was slightly afraid I was going to start crying--not the emotional kind of crying, just the strictly physiological!

I now have a sort of nub on my forehead (it became increasingly sore over the course of swimming this evening, one does not realize how much pressure the bathing cap exerts on the head!), fortunately covered in real life by my bangs...

(In an urban fantasy novel, it would be the first sign that I was about to sprout some sort of horns that would signal my impending transformation into a goat-woman. No sign yet of cloven hoofs, though...)

Things will be quiet round here over the weekend, because barring a medium-length run on Saturday I am taking the whole weekend off from work and training, triaspirationality notwithstanding! Brent is coming to town (but currently he is stuck in the Miami airport, most trying for him!), and we are going to see plays (I must confess it was the words Mylar and "clear swimming pool" that lured me to that one...) and have lovely meals and do triathlon-related shopping. Most delightful!


Brent Buckner said...

CycleOps instructions say 2 to 2.5 turns of the tension knob after tire touches flywheel. I use 2 - because it feels fast!
[Yes, I just admitted to reading the instructions]

Lynn said...

What is going on with those monkeys?!?! I will investigate and report back with genus and species identification at least, if not with a reasonable explanation as to their behavior!

If you get a CT scan of your head (not that I think you need one, I'm just saying), could I have a copy? I collect them, see, and yours would be such a nice addition to my sample!

Have a perfectly lovely weekend!

Wendy said...

The head banging thing is clearly going around. And in the loo, too! (I banged mine not a half hour before reading this. Really.)

And you are most certainly not the village idiot. Why, I'm sure everyone has a story to tell about a rookie mistake or two!

Nice italics. ;-)

Leah said...

I laughed out loud at the "goat-woman" remark. As for being the village idiot, let's see. What foolish bike things have I done... I've ridden 16 miles wondering what that "odd" feeling was on my chamois, only to discover it was the plastic sanitary sticker still attached to my new trisuit. I have confidently turned left on a group ride only to realize the rest of the group was riding off in the opposite direction. And I have reattached my front wheel and pedaled off without a second thought... until trying to stop, at which point I became acutely aware that I had forgotten to re-tighten the brake release.

Danielle in Iowa said...

I never know how tight to put the trainer! And it can make such a difference! So I am as befuddled as you are on that count.

ryc: I don't plan to go low carb (since I think any diet that prescribes no fruit must be insane!) - I am just trying to eliminate added sugars from my diet (especially corn syrup)

Fenrisar said...