Time Vulture

Today was a good day for commuting. Not too windy, sort of sunny, warm. The only thing I could have used more of was time. I would have loved to have ridden for another hour or more. Alas, I had dinner to get home to, and my route home took a lot less time than I thought it would.

My ride to work was straight there, with no detours. Right out the Goose to Wale Rd, then over to work. Coming home I thought I would do Munns Rd backward from the way I normally do it. The climb to the highest point was pretty hard, and I ended up taking a quick breather at one point. I should have kept pushing, but I wimped out. I didn’t exactly have a good nutrition day at work, and I was huffing pretty hard coming up the hill.

The descent was a lot of fun though. Wow. Makes the hard work worth it for sure.

At one point I was approaching a guy who was standing beside a truck. At first I thought he was breaking into it, then I realized he was watching something. When I looked over to the other side of the road, there was a turkey vulture standing there watching me zip by. Boy, those are big birds!

After Munns I got onto the Goose and zipped home at a pretty good clip.

View Commuting June 13, 2012 in a larger map

Commute to work:
Total distance: 13.20 km (8.2 mi)
Total time: 38:12
Moving time: 33:17
Average speed: 20.73 km/h (12.9 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 23.80 km/h (14.8 mi/h)
Max speed: 51.79 km/h (32.2 mi/h)
Average pace: 2.89 min/km (4.7 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 2.52 min/km (4.1 min/mi)
Min pace: 1.16 min/km (1.9 min/mi)
Max elevation: 83 m (272 ft)
Min elevation: -8 m (-26 ft)
Elevation gain: 206 m (677 ft)
Max grade: 13 %
Min grade: -14 %
Recorded: 13/06/2012 8:07 AM

Commute home from work:
Total distance: 32.70 km (20.3 mi)
Total time: 1:23:41
Moving time: 1:16:01
Average speed: 23.44 km/h (14.6 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 25.81 km/h (16.0 mi/h)
Max speed: 55.39 km/h (34.4 mi/h)
Average pace: 2.56 min/km (4.1 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 2.32 min/km (3.7 min/mi)
Min pace: 1.08 min/km (1.7 min/mi)
Max elevation: 253 m (829 ft)
Min elevation: -17 m (-56 ft)
Elevation gain: 724 m (2375 ft)
Max grade: 46 %
Min grade: -34 %

Peninsula Surprises

Today’s ride was all kinds of awesome. The weather was pretty warm, but not sunny, and there was no wind. I think I ate well before my ride, and drank enough water to hydrate well.

For the ride itself I followed the Tour de Victoria course starting from pretty close to the start, out to Metchosin, back over to Munn’s, then out the peninsula. I turned onto Mount Newton Cross Rd, then made my way over to the other side for the return trip. I did all this solo too.

I paid attention to my nutrition while riding, and was careful with that. I also paid attention to how my legs were feeling, and back off part way through the ride to try and save something for the end. The other thing I did was try to drink more water. This resulted in me having to stop for a pee break, which is a rare occurrence for me.

I think it paid off though. My goal was 4.5 hours, and I was out there for 5 hours and ten minutes in total. I rode a distance of 125 km, and took in around 1000 calories.

Wow, that felt good to get that distance in. I am now confident that I can do 140km on ride day (which is 2 weeks away). During the ride there will be times I can draft off others to rest and recoup. I have ridden all sections of the course now, and there aren’t any surprises hill-wise for me. I was pretty tired at the end of the ride, but not sore, not cramping, and still walking 😉

The only surprises I had were a scrawny fawn that almost bolted in front of me (if it had I would have collided with it), and a dog in the bed of a truck that barked rather loudly when it was right beside my head.

View Tour de Victoria June 10, 2012 in a larger map

View Tour de Victoria June 10, 2012 in a larger map
Total distance: 125.56 km (78.0 mi)
Total time: 5:10:47
Moving time: 5:00:31
Average speed: 24.24 km/h (15.1 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 25.07 km/h (15.6 mi/h)
Max speed: 82.42 km/h (51.2 mi/h)
Average pace: 2.48 min/km (4.0 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 2.39 min/km (3.9 min/mi)
Min pace: 0.73 min/km (1.2 min/mi)
Max elevation: 376 m (1233 ft)
Min elevation: -24 m (-79 ft)
Elevation gain: 3250 m (10664 ft)
Max grade: 118 %
Min grade: -64 %

Commutes Future

I had two great commutes this week. Both of them started with me taking the long way to work. Instead of just heading out the goose to Colwood, I went along the water by Esquimalt Lagoon. Lagoon Rd is such a nice hill to tackle, I had to throw it in my commute. Tuesday after Lagoon Rd hill, I turned right and headed in to work. Wednesday though, I had more time and turned left. This way took me to My Chosin Cafe, where I turned onto Happy Valley Rd and took that to work.

Tuesday’s route home took me home along the Old Island Highway, then I turned onto Admirals and went straight home. Wednesday I thought I would try taking the Goose all the way to the trestle, and go home that way. Neither way is all that enjoyable really. Not sure which one I will take in the future.

View Commute 05/06/2012 7:47 AM in a larger map

Tuesday Commute to work Stats:
Total distance: 22.68 km (14.1 mi)
Total time: 1:04:06
Moving time: 57:39
Average speed: 21.23 km/h (13.2 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 23.61 km/h (14.7 mi/h)
Max speed: 54.04 km/h (33.6 mi/h)
Average pace: 2.83 min/km (4.5 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 2.54 min/km (4.1 min/mi)
Min pace: 1.11 min/km (1.8 min/mi)
Max elevation: 122 m (399 ft)
Min elevation: -38 m (-126 ft)
Elevation gain: 565 m (1854 ft)
Max grade: 43 %
Min grade: -25 %
Recorded: 05/06/2012 7:47 AM

Tuesday Commute home stats:
Total distance: 12.63 km (7.9 mi)
Total time: 32:06
Moving time: 27:13
Average speed: 23.61 km/h (14.7 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 27.85 km/h (17.3 mi/h)
Max speed: 58.32 km/h (36.2 mi/h)
Average pace: 2.54 min/km (4.1 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 2.15 min/km (3.5 min/mi)
Min pace: 1.03 min/km (1.7 min/mi)
Max elevation: 72 m (237 ft)
Min elevation: -7 m (-24 ft)
Elevation gain: 193 m (632 ft)
Max grade: 12 %
Min grade: -11 %

View Longer Commute 06/06/2012 in a larger map

Wednesday Commute to work stats:
Total distance: 31.28 km (19.4 mi)
Total time: 1:15:39
Moving time: 1:12:23
Average speed: 24.80 km/h (15.4 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 25.93 km/h (16.1 mi/h)
Max speed: 54.04 km/h (33.6 mi/h)
Average pace: 2.42 min/km (3.9 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 2.31 min/km (3.7 min/mi)
Min pace: 1.11 min/km (1.8 min/mi)
Max elevation: 103 m (339 ft)
Min elevation: -28 m (-91 ft)
Elevation gain: 593 m (1944 ft)
Max grade: 22 %
Min grade: -21 %

Wednesday Commute home stats:
Total distance: 19.30 km (12.0 mi)
Total time: 48:57
Moving time: 42:44
Average speed: 23.66 km/h (14.7 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 27.10 km/h (16.8 mi/h)
Max speed: 51.57 km/h (32.0 mi/h)
Average pace: 2.54 min/km (4.1 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 2.21 min/km (3.6 min/mi)
Min pace: 1.16 min/km (1.9 min/mi)
Max elevation: 121 m (398 ft)
Min elevation: -14 m (-46 ft)
Elevation gain: 231 m (757 ft)
Max grade: 11 %
Min grade: -10 %

Lofty Beast

I had lofty goals today. I wanted to get out for at least 4 hours, and I wanted to get close to 120km. Did I do this? I don’t know. I was disappointed by my ride until I saw my ride stats on my phone, which didn’t match my bike computer.

Of course I was sick that last month, and haven’t even ridden since May 19th.

Anyway, no more excuses. I ran out of steam before my goal, and it got me to thinking. Can I really do the distance the day of the ride? I’ve got 18 more days until the ride, can I get in more miles so that I can finish without bonking, or hurting myself? Should I drop down to the 100KM distance? The mind is a terrible beast at times.

My route was a good one though. From my place out to Munn’s Rd, then Wallace, to West Saanich. I wanted to follow the Tour de Victoria route as much as possible from here, but I missed a turn off West Saanich, and ended up on Lands End Rd. Not my intention. I flubbed my way through Sidney, then got on the water and headed back. Yikes, was it windy today!

Before I got to Mt Doug though, I had decided to call it quits on my ride. I took Blenkinsop back until I could get onto the Lochside Trail. While spinning along here I was mad at myself for giving up. I decided to try and extend my route a bit and headed through downtown, watched about 30 seconds of the Bastin Square Grand Prix, then headed for home.

My bike computer registered 4 hours, and just under 100KM. My phone though told a different story. Which do I believe more? At this point I don’t know.

View Tour de Victoria June 03, 2012 in a larger map

View Tour de Victoria June 03, 2012 in a larger map

Total distance: 109.86 km (68.3 mi)
Total time: 4:15:26
Moving time: 4:08:59
Average speed: 25.80 km/h (16.0 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 26.47 km/h (16.4 mi/h)
Max speed: 76.11 km/h (47.3 mi/h)
Average pace: 2.33 min/km (3.7 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 2.27 min/km (3.6 min/mi)
Min pace: 0.79 min/km (1.3 min/mi)
Max elevation: 367 m (1202 ft)
Min elevation: -103 m (-337 ft)
Elevation gain: 6926 m (22724 ft)
Max grade: 213 %
Min grade: -114 %

Training Climb

With Sue away, training for the Tour is more difficult. I ended up going to Nanaimo for the long weekend, which allowed me to head out for a ride.

This was not a stellar ride for me though. I hadn’t slept well the previous couple nights so I was not feeling fresh. I hadn’t eaten very well before the ride, I started my ride later in the day than normal, and it was warmer than I was used to, so I wasn’t sure what to wear. I also don’t know the roads in Nanaimo very well, so choosing a route was more difficult. I used a web page to help me measure out a route on Google Maps, and the route I chose was around 65 km according to the page.

I started off on the ride, and immediately I could feel my heart rate rise and my legs felt dead. Interesting. I kept going though and followed my route up Doumont Rd and climbed my first big hill. Uggh. Horrible. Once at the top there was a wonderful downhill stretch. I rode past the detention centre which was interesting though. I could see the “inmates” lounging in the sun on deck chairs.

I then hit Jingle Pot Rd, before making my way over to Nanaimo Lakes Rd. This road had a great, long climb that wasn’t too steep. Slow going, but hard work. The reward? A long, long downhill stretch. Lovely.

Once I got back onto the Parkway Trail though I was feeling pretty bad. No energy left, legs dead, nothing in the tank. I couldn’t understand what was going on. I had a ways to go to get home, and I briefly contemplated calling for help. Instead I took an extra long gulp of my Infinit nutrition drink and proceeded to spin for a while.

This worked out the issues I was having. I started feeling better and my legs recovered enough to get me home.

In all, close to three hours, and around 70KM. Not too bad I suppose.

View Tour de Victoria May 19, 2012 in a larger map
Total distance: 69.47 km (43.2 mi)
Total time: 2:55:28
Moving time: 2:49:08
Average speed: 23.75 km/h (14.8 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 24.64 km/h (15.3 mi/h)
Max speed: 63.73 km/h (39.6 mi/h)
Average pace: 2.53 min/km (4.1 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 2.43 min/km (3.9 min/mi)
Min pace: 0.94 min/km (1.5 min/mi)
Max elevation: 397 m (1301 ft)
Min elevation: -13 m (-41 ft)
Elevation gain: 1767 m (5798 ft)
Max grade: 209 %
Min grade: -242 %
Recorded: 19/05/2012 11:49 AM

Shoes Session

I’ve gotten a bit behind on my training log. No swimming lately, which is a little unfortunate, but I still have this odd cough/cold thing. I feel fine, except I have a cough, and a bit of phlegm.

Anyway, last Wednesday I did a 45 minute trainer ride with my new pedals and shoes. I had wanted to get outside and hit the roads, but it was extremely windy that day, and I didn’t want to risk my life battling the winds, just to break in some shoes.

The trainer ride was fine, and the shoes didn’t bother my feet at all. I did a short warmup, then did repeats of 5 minute hard gear, slow RPM followed by lower gear high RPM, follow by medium gear, normal RPM. The last cool down session felt good too.

On Saturday I ended up riding alone. I had wanted to get a 4 hour ride in and I wanted to get on Munns. Munns hurt more than normal due to my cold, but I still managed a good time from the Burnside Rd turn onto Prospect Lake Rd, all the way to the Ross Durance Lk Rd turn onto Willis Pt Rd (44 minutes).

From there I headed out around the airport, then back along the water (with a slightly modified route to avoid a few hills).

I was ecstatic with the ride. This was the first time I had done a solo 100 KM ride. I felt pretty strong the entire way, and I managed to maintain a pretty decent average speed. Also, my feet felt great the entire time. The shoes didn’t cause any discomfort, in fact, I could feel a difference in power going up some of the steeper hills. Good decision to get the new shoes when I did.

The one odd thing that happened on the ride was along Central Saanich Rd I was passing a field when something caught my eye. I glanced at it, but it took a couple seconds to register. I hit the brakes and turned around to go back and see two hawks on the grass in a field. I wanted to get a picture, but as soon as I stopped they took off.

This weekend I will have a bit shorter of a ride, then the weekend after will be a recovery weekend. I will get in a couple more long rides in June before the big day. It feels so close now. I can’t wait for the ride now.

View Tour de Victoria May 12, 2012 in a larger map

Total distance: 101.10 km (62.8 mi)
Total time: 4:14:22
Moving time: 4:06:44
Average speed: 23.85 km/h (14.8 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 24.59 km/h (15.3 mi/h)
Max speed: 68.68 km/h (42.7 mi/h)
Average pace: 2.52 min/km (4.0 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 2.44 min/km (3.9 min/mi)
Min pace: 0.87 min/km (1.4 min/mi)
Max elevation: 250 m (820 ft)
Min elevation: -19 m (-62 ft)
Elevation gain: 1748 m (5734 ft)
Max grade: 39 %
Min grade: -23 %

Windy Work

This past week has been a little off for me. I’ve developed a strange cold that has only been in my lungs. If I breathe deeply, then I cough, but otherwise I feel fine. I decided to take it easy on the training this week to try and recoup.

There was no trainer ride this week, but I did do a 800M swim while the kids were in their final swim lesson.

Saturday morning was time for my long ride. I decided to do 4 hours again, and this time I had two riding buddies with me. As I left the house, it was a little chilly, and rather windy. My buddies and I went out and did the Metchosin route.

Gotta say I wasn’t feeling awful, but I wasn’t feeling great. I was gasping for air on some of the hills, and I think that was likely due to my cold. Also my legs never felt limber; they felt strong, but my quads felt very tight. In the end we decided not to tackle Munns. Instead we went around Munns, headed over to Royal Oak, then back through Mt Doug, then along the water home. For pretty much the whole route it seemed like we had a head wind.

Sure enough I got in my four hours which was great. Hard to imagine that I am going to have to step up my training to get closer to 5 hours of saddle time. Yipes.

I can remember coming along one hill way out near Kangaroo road thinking that the time had flown by already. I still find it amazing that I can ride 100KM in a few hours.

After getting home I had a good lunch, then it was back outside for some yardwork.

View Tour de Victoria May 5, 2012 in a larger map
Total distance: 102.32 km (63.6 mi)
Total time: 4:28:59
Moving time: 4:19:26
Average speed: 22.82 km/h (14.2 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 23.66 km/h (14.7 mi/h)
Max speed: 60.80 km/h (37.8 mi/h)
Average pace: 2.63 min/km (4.2 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 2.54 min/km (4.1 min/mi)
Min pace: 0.99 min/km (1.6 min/mi)
Max elevation: 160 m (526 ft)
Min elevation: -22 m (-71 ft)
Elevation gain: 2167 m (7109 ft)
Max grade: 42 %
Min grade: -32 %

Strong Bottle

My Saturday rides are starting to get longer now. I had planned to try and hit 4 hours this past Saturday, and I did it. I avoided my traditional ride nutrition for something new. My riding buddy suggested I try Infinit. This is a drink that has all the calories, electrolytes, and other good stuff that can keep you going in an endurance event.

My first day with it was pretty good. I felt strong throughout the ride. It was a little odd to get a grumbly tummy, take a swig of the drink, then feel fine for a while. Plus, the taste is a little weird at first. I had the lemon lime flavour, but it had a salty underflavour as well. Like I said, it was weird. I’m not drinking it for taste though.

The route I chose was to go out and do the Metchosin section of the Tour course, then hit Munns. Most of the time when we get to Munns, we are pretty fresh, but this time we were already a couple hours into the ride.

Amazingly, Munns felt alright. We made it up and over without too much complaining, then on to Ross Durance Lake Rd. Again, this was fine, but as I rounded one corner, my riding partner was stopped at the side of the road. I thought he had flatted, but turned out he had crashed. No major damage done except for a sore hand and a scraped up knee, but it certainly put a damper on the ride for a bit.

After going down Willis Pt Road, we started heading back along West Saanich Rd. I was getting a drink at one point and was having trouble putting the bottle away, I looked down to see what was wrong, and when I looked up, I was heading off the road. I dropped the bottle grabbed the bars, and hit the brakes. I had to spin around to retrieve my bottle, but thankfully, nothing bad happened there.

We crossed on Royal Oak, then headed through Mount Doug Park. We followed the course along the water (mostly), until we turned off to my buddies house. I then came straight through downtown.

What a ride! I was tired at the end, but I feel great today.

View Tour de Victoria, April 28 2012 in a larger map

Total distance: 108.87 km (67.6 mi)
Total time: 4:34:28
Moving time: 4:20:55
Average speed: 23.80 km/h (14.8 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 25.03 km/h (15.6 mi/h)
Max speed: 64.63 km/h (40.2 mi/h)
Average pace: 2.52 min/km (4.1 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 2.40 min/km (3.9 min/mi)
Min pace: 0.93 min/km (1.5 min/mi)
Max elevation: 246 m (808 ft)
Min elevation: -16 m (-53 ft)
Elevation gain: 2340 m (7676 ft)
Max grade: 47 %
Min grade: -41 %
Recorded: 4/28/2012 7:48 AM

Combo Misty

Wednesday I got out for a training ride. This time I went out mountain biking. Hearty needed a run, I needed a ride, and this seemed like a good combo. At the dump I tried to plan a route that would involve a lot of climbing. I think I managed that pretty well.

It had been raining a bit the previous few days, and this made the trails pretty wet, and more than a little muddy. Traction was limited on some of the rocks, but I just had to let go of the brakes a little more and things smoothed out for me.

It was also pretty misty in the trees. I love how the fog dampens the surrounding noise. Very eery, but very peaceful too.

I felt pretty good on the bike, and enjoyed the climbing that I did. Mountain biking is a lot more of a full body workout than a road ride, and I like that a lot. Pushing the bike around, using body english to get up and over obstacles, and leaning the bike into corners sure tires you out quickly. I also find it amazing how slow mountain biking is compared to road riding. This mountain bike ride was an hour and forty five minutes, and I covered 11 KM. Pretty minimal on a road bike, but good workout on the dirt.

1.5 hours into the ride Heart started to slow down. I was still feeling great like I could do the whole look again, but I opted to get Heart back to the car, rather than risk her hurting herself trying to keep up to me.

View Dump Ride in a larger map
Total distance: 11.60 km (7.2 mi)
Total time: 1:49:53
Moving time: 1:27:21
Average speed: 6.33 km/h (3.9 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 7.97 km/h (5.0 mi/h)
Max speed: 27.47 km/h (17.1 mi/h)
Average pace: 9.47 min/km (15.2 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 7.53 min/km (12.1 min/mi)
Min pace: 2.18 min/km (3.5 min/mi)
Max elevation: 302 m (991 ft)
Min elevation: 97 m (320 ft)
Elevation gain: 383 m (1258 ft)
Max grade: 3 %
Min grade: -13 %
Recorded: 4/25/2012 10:36 AM

Epic Familiar

The long ride. Saturday morning. Epic. We had planned 3.5-4 hours, and it had to include Munns Rd. I was aiming for the 4 hour end of things to try and get in over 100 KM.

We started out on the goose for an easy warm up, then headed to Munns right away. As we approached the first big hill, I noticed I was already out of breath. Odd. We kept pushing, and made if from the turnoff from Burnside, to the turn off onto Millstream Lake road in 29 minutes. Pretty good. After turning onto Willis Point rd, I see we had did Millstream Lake road in 15 minutes. Not bad.

We got onto Wallace and started hammering along the flat section. I grabbed a bite of my bar and noticed that I was late in starting to eat. I didn’t think anything of it though. This was a mistake.

As we continued on West Saanich road, I was increasingly aware of heading away from town, and not feeling as strong as I would have liked. I had gotten behind the curve on my nutrition and was playing catch up. I was hungry, my tummy felt empty, and no matter what I ate, the feeling wasn’t going away. I didn’t think I was going to make the distance.

By the time we stopped at Panorama Rec centre for a water break I had eaten half the food I had brought, and was feeling OK. From there we followed a familiar route, that took us to Michell Farms. From there the route home is very familiar.

But in the back of my mind I could tell I couldn’t do the entire water route home. I didn’t have the reserves in me. At Blenkinsop I peeled off from my friend and zipped home along the goose.

By the time I got home I was feeling pretty crappy about my decision. I really wanted to get in 4 hours and to break 100K. Yes, I managed to get home without bonking, but I felt like I let myself down.

View Tour de Victoria, April 21 2012 in a larger map

Total distance: 87.45 km (54.3 mi)
Total time: 3:31:40
Moving time: 3:26:08
Average speed: 24.79 km/h (15.4 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 25.46 km/h (15.8 mi/h)
Max speed: 65.30 km/h (40.6 mi/h)
Average pace: 2.42 min/km (3.9 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 2.36 min/km (3.8 min/mi)
Min pace: 0.92 min/km (1.5 min/mi)
Max elevation: 286 m (939 ft)
Min elevation: -22 m (-74 ft)
Elevation gain: 2220 m (7284 ft)
Max grade: 40 %
Min grade: -39 %
Recorded: 4/21/2012 8:05 AM
Activity type: cycling

For my long rides I need to be more away of my nutrition. Keeping the machine fueled is vital to being able to go the distance. I need to watch the clock more and consume calories are more regular intervals.

Besides the nutrition problems, the ride was good. I did well on the hills of Munns Rd, and wasn’t sore the next day from it. The sun was out, and by the end of the ride it was warm. I can’t wait until next weekend to try to break 100K again. I will force myself to do it not matter how tired I feel.