Matt’s Jogging Log

After a dismal showing at the first time trial of the year I decided to mix things up a bit and start jogging again.  Haven’t jogged in a couple years.  Here’s my log so far.

Friday 4/21
1.2 miles 19 minutes.  15.8
It’s late, long day at work, it’s dark.  It’s kind of cool and windy.  Put on my hiking shoes and leave my front door.  Jog for a few minutes.  Feet feel like they are being pounded by sledgehammers.  Heart rate at 150.  Must stop.  Walk for a while.  Jog some more.  This sucks, why the hell am I doing this.

Saturday  4/22
2.5 miles in 41 minutes. 16.4
It’s raining.  I put on my jacket and drive to rail trail.  God this sucks.  I try to do a few minutes of jogging with a few minutes of walking.  Mostly just walking at the end.

The next morning I wake up with extremely sore ankles and certain muscles in my leg that are stretched way out of shape.  Ride a 60 mile killer gravel route and have the time of my life.  Riding is 1000x times better than jogging. 

Tuesday 4/25
1.9 miles in 30 minutes 15.8
Shauna and I go for a walk on rail trail.  I jog, run into Elam on his bike.  Am very jealous.  He follows and talks to me while I try to talk back while sucking in liters of air.  Running sucks.  Feet still hurt, but new running shoes feel much better than hiking boots.

Thus 4/27
2.6 miles in 41 minutes 15.8
Well its 60 degrees, guess I’ll run again.  Leave from house.  Concrete sidewalks are hard.  Jog the first mile straight thanks to a powerwalking girl up ahead that I wanted to try and catch.  Mission accomplished.  Time to walk.

 

 

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Repairing Aluminum Frame With Carbon

Back in early 2014 I fixed a crack in my Ksyrium Elite rear wheel by wrapping it in carbon.  3 years later I still ride those wheels and probably have put at least a couple thousand on them though they are currently on my spare bike.  The repair shows no signs of failure yet.

Repairing Aluminum with Carbon Fiber

Aluminum Wheel Repair with Carbon

A while back I was riding my JAKE THE SNAKE, and I could hear some strange klunky noises on big bumps.  After the ride I saw that the seat tube had cracked.  Actually the seat tube has had a tiny crack in it since I bought the frame on ebay.  The frame has a small dent and in the middle of the dent was a tiny little crack.  I rode it for 3 years like that.

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Since I was riding gravel Sunday morning I decided to attempt a carbon wrap around the tube.  I didn’t waste time trying to carefully remove the paint.  I just ground it off haphazardly.  Next I drilled holes in the ends of the crack which now wrapped around the tube.

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I treated the frame with aluminum treatment so epoxy would stick and I haphazardly begin wrapping epoxy smeared carbon around the frame.  Once I’d wrapped it twice I wrapped the whole section tightly in electrical tape to flatten and squish out the epoxy.  The next morning I rode the bike on 60 miles of intense gravel hills.  It seems fine.

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The center of a seat tube on a bike is very low stress.  right…

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Not Performing Well

I rode the first Time Trail of the Little Egypt Time Trial Series the other night.  It did not go well for me.  I was unable to get my heart rate up and attempting to force it made me feel like my left arm was going to squeeze off.  Riding this Spring has not exactly been going well and I’m sort of at a loss for what is wrong.

More and more often I feel incredibly weak at the beginning of exercise, almost as if my body is trying to convince me to quit.  My heart rate is not really that high, and when I try to raise it I get this tight feeling in my left arm like there is a tourniquet around it.  If I work into exercise slowly and warm up well then it’s less likely.

Thursday night I went into the time trial with no warm up.  In less than a minute seconds Moe, who had started probably 20 seconds behind me, blew by like I was standing still.  After a few miles when I hit honker hill I quickly found myself in the lowest gear just struggling to keep the bike moving.  On the return leg my body was screaming at me to stop and get off the bike, and I was unable to really do more then just ride at tempo.

The data from the ride is telling.

spillway comparison

My maximum heart rate for this attempt is lower than last year’s average heart rate.  It looks like I wasn’t even trying and to be honest when I finished I really didn’t feel like I had, even though I was trying to get my heart rate up and was unable to.

If this was an isolated incident than I wouldn’t be all that worried, but it seems like far to many of my rides have been like this.  I just have felt like crap.

Thanks to Strava some obvious answers present themselves.   Just looking through my rides in the last year I have ridden one 76 miler almost a year ago, and one 60 mile ride 8 months ago.  In the last 8 months I’ve ridden only a handful of rides that go over 40.  Besides the lack of miles I have far less hours of activity, very few walks, no runs, just really a whole bunch of 30 minute rides on the trainer where I may have worked hard for 5 minutes here or there.

In short I suck.  I’m out of shape.  I’m chronically dehydrated and not getting enough sleep.  Or I have congestive heart failure, which I kind of doubt.

I’m planning on riding this course again next week and see what happens.

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Brown County and Nashville Indiana

Shauna and I weren’t able to do our normal routine of a trip to the Smokey Mountains for Spring Break this year, but we were able to get away for a few days to Brown County Indiana.  The ideal trip for us is a place where I can get in a nice bike ride and Shauna can shop and look at  stuff, and we can get a scenic hike in. Eli told me that Nashville Indiana was the shopping capital of the region and that he guaranteed she would like it.  Of course for me Brown County State Park has the best network of mountain bike trails in the lower Midwest.  When  I told Shauna my idea she was a bit skeptical at first, but when I started reading off the names of the some of the stores, like Sweatea’s Tea Shop, and The Crystal Sources Rock Shop she was all in.

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Matt contemplates fire.

 

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Boiling eggs for breakfast

Getting to the Bloomington area from the South used to be a bit of a hassle and required driving two lanes through towns.  Now interstate 69 from Evansville makes the trip way faster.  We were there in just a bit over 3 hours.  To save some money we stayed at Yellowood State Forest.  Indiana State Parks are nice, but have expensive entry fees for out of state visitors, Yellowood State Forest was free to enter and 13 dollars to camp.  We had a great night camping and a great hike on the well maintained trails.  I got to play with my MSR stove which is always fun.

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The next day Shauna dropped me off at Hestitation Point Cycles which is less than a mile from the Brown County Trailhead, this saved me from paying to drive into the park.  The guys at the shop have no problems with people parking there to ride and they have all kinds of stuff that you might need.

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Recent rain meant this was the wettest I’d ever ridden Brown County, which doesn’t mean much since I’ve only ridden it three times.  99.9% of the trails were dry with just some wet spots here and there.  The Trails at Brown County are like a dream, they flow, and flow and flow.  I was just riding at a casual pace and taking everything in and covered nine miles in an hour.  I had told Shauna I would be back in 3 hours but it was nearly 5 hours, I was in trance.

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A standout trail that I have to mention is Bobcat, which I hadn’t ridden before.  It is handbuilt and has some super narrow benchcut.  It drops way down into a steep hollow and just clings to the edge in places.  It requires you to stay 100% focused or bad things will happen.

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Back in Nashville Shauna was having a great time checking out all the stores, despite going to the State Park which is only 2 miles away I’d never actually been to Nashville.  There were tons of shops and things to look at. It wasn’t that busy, but it wasn’t dead either.  We stayed right downtown at a little cabin which was super nice and cheaper than most hotel rooms I’ve stayed.  The owner said the president of Trek Bikes had stayed there once.  Another highlight was Big Woods Pizza and Brewing Company.  It is right across the street from where we stayed and offers some of the most delicious pizza I’ve ever had.

So in conclusion we highly recommend Nashville Indiana, Yellowood State Forest, and Brown County State Park for a fun getaway!  There’s something for everyone.

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New Bike Day

Yeah, I should say, New to Me Bike Day, see awhile back Luke gave me his Scott Scale frame because he didn’t have room for it and last time he tried to sell one of his bikes the prospective buyer gave him a hard time about it’s condition, “Did you tie this bike to your bumper and drag it to the trailhead.”

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See in the Shawnee bikes are for riding, not polishing and looking at, and when you ride a bike in the Shawnee everyone knows it.  This Scott frame is in excellent shape for a Shawnee bike, Luke really took care of it.  It had only minor paint damage and the fork is very smooth, yeah that’s right, I got a fork too!  Even cooler this is the bike he did the Tour Divide on, it’s a collector’s item!

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I built the frame up as a 1×9 this morning, with a selection of parts that were also given to me by Luke, Eli or Snake.  I did buy the crank from ebay, but that’s it.  I don’t know what it weighs but it was definitely easier to hang on my rack.  There are very few things as exciting as taking a new bike you just built up on it’s maiden voyage.  It’s important to have a multi tool and be prepared for bolts you forgot to finish tightening.

I took it out to Gossage this evening and rode some trails.  The smaller bike felt much more nimble than the larger heavier SCUD, and the suspension fork was a welcome relief to my hands, besides that it made going downhill much more fun.  After about 8 miles of trails I took the bike on some gravels and eventually blasted back on the highway so I could make a bigger loop and avoid doubling back.

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I should also mention that my assumption last week about Strava’s fittness numbers proved true.  By riding mild 30 minute trainer rides I was able to keep my fitness level up while at the same recovering fatigue.  My current fitness is 51, just a 1 point gain from last week, but my current form is up 30 points to 26.

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My Form is -56

Things worked out this weekend for me to do a few decent road bike rides and I was very interested in the data gathered from these rides.  I was interested in the hard data for Strava because I recently signed up for a premium account which gives me all kinds of new graphs and charts to look at.  I was also interested in more subjective data, like I would feel on a 40-50 mile ride.fitness score April 2017

It occurred to me recently that it was April and the only tough road bike ride I’d done so far this year was Moe’s Buffalo Gap route.  It was a 30 mile gravel ride that hurt.  Normally by this time I’ve got in several tough gravel rides including 2 Dirty South’s that would hammer my body into shape.  This is the first year I haven’t done a killer hard gravel ride.

So I’ve become fascinated with Strava’s Fitness and Freshness Chart.  It tracks the accumulation of your training and the fatigue you get from the that training.  It is based on power and heart rate and rides what don’t include at least one of those measures are not counted in the graph.  This makes my historical data pretty useless because I usually forget to wear my heart rate strap on most out door rides and never wear it mountain biking.

My current level of fitness after the strongest training week I’ve had in a while is 50.  According to the chart my all time high is 57, which I scored in March 2016 after several months of non stop Zwift rides and a killer hard Dirty South ride.  From there it started going down dramatically because I stopped using Zwift, and didn’t use my heart rate monitor for that many rides.

So as I titled my post, my current form is -56, that doesn’t sound good.  Form is derived from subtracting your fatigue score from your fitness score.  So while the fitness score is relatively easy to raise, the form score is not.  It requires you to raise fitness in a slow and steady way and allow ample rest.  Really it makes sense, it’s not the training that makes you stronger, its the bodies response to training which is going to happen a few days after training.  It appears that with low intensity recovery rides you can keep fitness from dropping while at the same time allowing fatigue to recover.  We shall see.

So what do you guys think, is this important information and will it be beneficial to see how high I can get my fitness and form numbers to go, or is it just a numbers game?

Either way  If you’ve been wondering what the Premium features of Strava do, now’s the time to check them out.  They have a free trial going so it won’t cost you a penny to see this life altering information.

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Thoughts on Triathlon

(Editors Note:  I don’t think the author knows much about triathlon)  I know a few Triathletes, they are amazing people and among the most fit that I know.  I don’t like them.  I mean, I like them fine as people, I just don’t like them as cyclists which of course they aren’t, they are triathletes.  My point is they don’t cycle right, you know the way I do.

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When I have had the opportunity to ride with triathletes I’ve noticed they have one speed, fast, or what I might call riding tempo.  Riding at a level that is well below their threshold.  Even more annoying they hold this level of effort with complete disregard to the world around them.  A hill approaches, same effort, someone attacks, same effort.  It’s like riding a trainer.  Sure, after the hill, the attack, or whatever, they end up catching back up, seemingly unfazed by the obstacle and passing, but so what, their heart rate probably never went over 130 bpm.

Another thing about triathletes, they’re so busy, with all that training, they don’t have time to take 5 hour mountain bike rides that covers 9 miles.  So what’s up with triathlon anyway, why are those specific sports all combined together?  What if someone invented trigeeklon where competitors engaged in a chess match, followed by a round of some first person shooter video game, and ending with a judged debate to determine the most powerful comic superhero. Hey that’s not a bad idea, I should copyright that.

Here’s another thing I don’t like about triathletes, besides being so damn fit, they are so freaking organized.  I mean downright obsessive about details.  It’s like someone invented a sport that caters to obsessive engineer types.  It’s all about pace, power, marginal gains, balancing complex training schedules, and having a pristine bike that DOESN’T FOLLOW UCI RULES!  It’s not right. People shouldn’t be that organized, and they shouldn’t be allowed to have tubing with a height greater then three times it’s width, it’s not right and they know it!

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