Thursday, November 30, 2006

Torture and Passion

Winter in the Cascade Mountains brings deep snow and lots of time to ponder the memory of last summer's rides and brevets. Cindy has a Netflix account so we have been watching past seasons of television shows like Lost, Desperate House Wives, Grey's Anatomy and one of the worst shows of all time, 24...Pftht!

It is nice not having the awful commercials or having to wait a week for the next episode. But what's with the all the torture? This must be a meme or something: "Let's beat the crap out of this sucker and pull his fingernails out because he won't tell us what we want to know."

A movie that has been on my wish list long before Netflix is The Passion of Joan of Arc. I plugged it into my bike computer, shown below, and went for a ride on my trainer in the basement this morning. I loved the music, Voices of Light, and really enjoyed watching the movie while running my heart rate up to 160 for an hour and a half. Maybe there is a potential for learning some French using DVD’s while riding the trainer. I know nothing about France or the French but am hoping Paris Brest Paris will be a good adventure.

That is my torture machine in the picture below. You can see the keyboard on the handle bars, the mouse on the hobby cart, the wind machine in front of the bike and my work computers in the back ground. Indoor cycling can be real boring but reading blogs keeps it interesting at least for the first hour until it gets hard to concentrate.

My training goals for this winter are different than in past years when I have tried to keep a higher level of fitness through the winter. This year I am taking more days off and my fitness records show it too. This is my lowest level of fitness since an injury on Superbowl Sunday in 2002 when I hit a dog at 25 miles an hour and catapulted over my handle bars, turning a 270 degree cartwheel, landing flat on my back in the middle of the roadway. The power trainer has an added benefit of saving performance data like heart rate and power output and I have data going back to 2001.

This year I am going to give my self a longer low intensity period before I start riding every day and working on power output. I did well this past year. I think I rode too much this last year. I track miles in an excel spreadsheet and my yearly total has been between 10,000 and 11,000 miles since the turn of the century. I road two spring super series as well as a fleche and felt like I needed to take it easy and recover on almost every ride for the rest of the season.

In August I started wearing a heart rate monitor again and was surprised to find my heart rate was almost never exceeding 125. A quad injury seamed more likely than a heart rate above 145. I strained my Achilles tendon in June so that caused me to take several months of low intensity cycling and rehabilitation.

Cindy tells me that I need to create more lists and write things down so I don't keep forgetting things and getting into trouble. So here is the first:

Things I Forgot Last Year (or was it the year before).

  • Grease or rebuild the egg beater pedals per instructions.
  • 800 mg ibuprofen for the injury that occurs after the pedal breaks.
  • Grease the pedal threads before turning into the crank arms.
  • A broken pedal frozen in the crank requires a new crank.
  • New Dura-ace cranks are expensive.
  • Bike tune-up, new chain, cassette and shifter cables.
  • Spare shifter cable to replace broken cable.
  • Duct tape to secure broken cable.
  • Do.not.jump.up.and.down on the pedals and wreck the Achilles tendon.
  • Rain gear in my drop bag.
  • Drop bag with rain gear and everything else on the VanIsle 1200.
  • All of the other things I have now mercifully forgotten.