Monthly Archives: March 2012

Revving the engine

This past week has been a little rough on riding. Not the actual riding being rough, but my job has been demanding more time since my boss quit and I haven’t been able to ride as much. Last week I rode 6 out of 7 days and this week I’ve only ridden 3 days so far. Not terribly far, either, and not terribly hard. I’m trying like hell to keep my speed and hard efforts until later, I want to build my base miles smartly and keep my hip flexor from flipping out and putting a stop to my riding. I really don’t want that. I am working the heck out of my core, too, so I can alleviate the strain on the hip flexor and get my normal life back.

So far, so good. I’ve done mostly little ring rides that last about 45 minutes to an hour and am getting into a good groove in what I believe to be my Zone 2 (threshold test pending, of course). Last Saturday I took my SSCX bike out on the tow path and rode for almost 2 hours. It felt great! I plan on keeping the intensity and duration at this level for the next few weeks, with some exceptions. Because, like Jack says, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Today, for example, I was able to wrap up work and then head down to Hains Point for a couple laps. The first lap I took fairly easy, with a short spin in the big ring on the back side of the road. When I made my way to the front side by the golf course parking lot for my second lap I just grooved a good pace, about 21 mph or so, with my heart rate at about 165. I planned to do this the whole lap. I got to the back stretch of the second lap and was about halfway down the back side when I started to pass a slightly older gentlemen on a road bike. Well, this Fred apparently didn’t want to be passed and sped up. I felt good, REALLY good, so I put the bike in the big ring and stomped it. My jump wasn’t great, but I motored past the guy. I hit 30 mph, and probably could have hit 32 had I done a clean jump. Yes, my motor can rev!!

After my ride, I stretched, worked my core and iced my hip flexor. Later I took a hot bath and soaked for quite a bit. I haven’t taken an anti-inflammatory, but may need to tomorrow. Right now it feels great I couldn’t be happier with what I accomplished today. I’m a long way from racing a road race, but I will get there. I know I have it in me.

I joined Strava and have quickly become addicted. Here’s a screen grab of my last ride, in graph form:

And you can track my activity here at this link:


Rolling Along Again, With Purpose

Damn. It’s March. March!!! What the deuce? What happened? Where did winter go? Where did I go? Why haven’t I posted anything for two months!?!?!?

I’ve been busy with work. I’ve had setbacks with my hip. I’ve been really busy with work. I’m riding again now.

January was pretty good. The pain in my hip flexor subsided and I began riding more and more. I even picked up a set of Powertap wheels and a Garmin 500. I was getting prepared to stop meandering and start riding. Then, Feb. 2, something happened and my hip flexor tweaked. I moved some way and I felt a decent amount of pain. So I took easy. I stopped riding. I continued PT once a week but limited what I did at home. Frustrated that I couldn’t ride, I sold the Powertap wheelset. I sold my super sweet November RFSC 58s. I stared at my bike and got pretty pissed off. Do you know what it’s like to have something you absolutely love doing pulled away from you?

A couple weeks ago I went back to my doctor. We scheduled an MRI to find out what exactly is going on in my hip. Of course this means another contrast MRI, which means another giant needle jammed in my hip socket. I can assure you it’s not fun. My MRI was last week and then a couple days ago I finally got the results. My hip has healed just fine. The surgery was great, the labrum is fine, there are no issues in my hip socket. Everything has healed just fine there. The issue is my hip flexor and it’s “angry.” It’s swollen and inflamed. I need to keep up with PT and keep up with my exercises and core work at home. The important thing is my hip is structurally fine. The labrum is fine, the work done last July is fine. By working my core and building that, it will take the stress off the hip flexor. So I’m riding my bike again. The funny thing is, my hip flexor actually feels BETTER when I’m finishing my ride than before I get on the bike. I rode for an hour and a half two days ago, and for 45 minutes yesterday. I’m going to build some base for a while and as my hip flexor gets better I’ll begin to ramp up the intensity of my training. I ordered a Power2Max power meter and will be able to monitor and track the intensity of my workouts again. Training with power is the only way to go, I believe, and if you are serious about training and racing bicycles this is what you do. And I’m serious, folks, and I’m riding with purpose now. My schedule is skewed, compared to my roadie friends, but my hope is to be ready for a few cross races in the fall.

Check out what I’ve been doing on Garmin Connect here: