Sunday, April 27, 2008

Training Sunday, 4/27

Went out for my second group ride today, this time just two of us as my friend Target joined me for a 33 mile trip out to Pultneyville and back. We started off slow and easy into the wind, at about 15.5 mph, hanging out a couple miles off the lake. Sun was out, but wind was just a bit coolish off the lake, still quite beautiful however.

We avoided traffic by taking back roads, and caught up on recent news on the way out. Started having a bit of knee pain at the front of my left kneecap about five miles in, but nothing too terrible, so we kept up our pace, and I focused on keeping my cadence up in the 95-105 rpm region to avoid stressing my knee too much further. Took a five minute break at Forman Park out in Pultneyville before turning around for the trip home. With the wind at our backs, we were a bit faster on the return trip, including pushing a bit on the last mile or two (I didn't tell Target, just wanted to see if he could keep up). All in all, a very nice training ride.

Ride Stats:

  • Distance: 33.4 miles
  • Avg. Speed: 16.2
  • Avg. HR: 139 bpm
  • Max HR: 166 bpm
  • Calories Burned: 2072

Post-ride notes: Gave my left knee the RICE treatment (rest, ice, compression, elevation) in the evening, but it's still a bit painful on stairs. May need to take it easy for a day or two (which coincides with some ugly weather).

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Training Saturday, 4/26/08

Joined up with some members of the Rochester Bicycling Club for a nice jaunt from Webster Park over to Pultneyville on back roads, then back again. My first time riding any distance in a group, so it was a completely new experience. Living within a couple miles of the park, I rode down to the lake and met up with the group. I found everyone there friendly, if a bit shy, and promptly joined a group talking, kept my mouth shut, and listened for a bit to see what I could learn. Introduced myself around, and met some other newcomers who I tried to buddy up with.

Shortly thereafter, we took off, and quickly subdivided into three groups. Officially the ride is a "Sweep" ride, which means that the ride leader rides at the back of the group and makes sure nobody gets left behind. I figured it was a nice intermediate ride to start out with, meet some people, and see what sort of level I could join in with while avoiding "holding back" any riders.

The group started out strong, and quickly segregated into three groups, a faster, medium, and more relaxed group, with the faster group going a bit farther before turning back, medium group going not quite as far, and the relaxed group cutting back at 15 miles (for a grand total of 30 round trip).

I initially started out tailing one of the more experienced riders, and before I knew it, found myself up in the faster group, bring up the rear along with another of the new riders, a nice young lady on a one-week-old Surly Long-Haul Trucker! We stuck together as rookies for most of the ride, managing to hang with the fast group all the way to Pultneyville (although I did see my heart rate a bit higher than I normally would have expected, in the 171 bpm range). Once we got to Pultneyville we pulled over in the park to enjoy the Lake Ontario scenery for a bit before turning around for the trek back to Webster.

Trip back to Webster went fairly well, and either the group slowed down, or I was less anxious about riding in a pack, as my heart rate subsided considerably. Hit more back roads on the way home, but finished up with a pretty high-speed descent down the last 1 - 1.5 miles on Holt Road, doing everything I could to keep up with the pack leader. Our average speed was around 22 mph down the road, but I was glad we hit the lake (and the end of our route) when we did, as I couldn't have kept up that pace for much longer.

Overall, a very nice ride with some welcoming folks, and I learned that riding in a group can be quite a bit of fun (and sure helps the miles fly by).

Ride Statistics:

  • Distance: 44.77 miles
  • Avg. Speed: 16.6 mph
  • Avg. HR: 161 bpm
  • Max HR: 186 bpm
  • Calories Burned: 2820

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Training Thursday, 4/24

Took some time off for a relaxation ride with Mrs. Beagle this evening. We went out for a nice easy hour ride, enjoying the first hints of spring, eating a few bugs, and in general just enjoying the warmer temperatures. Ride stats: 9 miles, 385 calories burned, average speed 9.6 mph.

  • Breakfast -- FiberOne oats/chocolate bar and large decaf coffee
  • Lunch -- bowl of pasta/sausage/tomato soup
  • Dinner -- pizza!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Training Tuesday, 4/22/08

Went in to work wicked early, but also got out early, so came home and hit the road on the bike. Figured I'd head out to Pultneyville and back, a trek of around 30 miles, then perhaps, depending on how I felt and the weather, consider another 12-mile loop around Webster.

On the way out I ran into a strong headwind heading north to the lake, with the wind coming at about 15 mph from the northeast. This changed the temperature from the weather-guesser's predicted 74 degrees to what I imagine couldn't have been much more than 60. I was glad I only have a long-sleeve jersey, as I was pretty cold. Fighting the wind all the way east with the chill wasn't especially fun, and I struggled a bit with some pain in my rump. Originally I thought it was the seat, but when I took a break in Pultneyville to stretch, I realized it was tight upper leg muscles.

I'd planned on grabbing something quick to eat at the ever-famous Pultneyville Pickle Company, but a sign on the door stated the company had gone out of business in February. Bugger. So I took five minutes to stretch before hopping back on the bike for the trip back west to Webster. Needless to say, the trip to Webster was MUCH more enjoyable with the wind at my back. Didn't seem as cold, either, at least once I reached the halfway point, although I was getting much slower.

Apparently the wind gods decided I'd been bad this week, because the wind shifted and started blowing from the southwest (like the weather guesser had originally predicted). Now I was warmer, but the wind was BACK in my face. Grrrrr. Made it back to Webster for a total distance of 30 miles and an average speed of 16.7 mph, but decided to skip the add-on Webster loop as I was out of water, and also worried I'd bonk if I didn't eat something (had been a bit light on meals all day, intending to grab a slice of pizza in Pultneyville).

Overall, however, another good training ride. 30 miles, 1:46:44, 16.7 mph average, top speed of 31 mph, and an average heart rate of 149 bpm. I was pleased to see I kept my max HR down this time, at about the 168 bpm level. Calories burned: 1,865.

Now, off to find something to eat!


  • Breakfast -- FiberOne oats/chocolate bar and large decaf coffee
  • Lunch -- bowl of pasta/vegetable soup
  • Dinner -- pizza

Friday, April 18, 2008

Training Friday, 4/18/08

A beautiful day here in Rochester, with temperatures touching the 70s and a ton of sunshine. Snuck out of work a tad early in order to get a short ride in before guests arrive for the weekend. Took it slow and easy on a 15-mile ride along the lakeshore, 15.2 miles, 15.8 mph average, and an estimated calorie burn of 934. Average HR: 143 bpm. Even managed to spot a few turkeys in one of the front yards along the lake!


  • Breakfast -- FiberOne oats/chocolate bar and large decaf coffee
  • Lunch -- Turkey sandwich on wheat w/lettuce, onions, pickles, Italian dressing; chips
  • Dinner -- burger and fries

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Training Thursday, 4/17/08

With sand volleyball on the evening docket, made today a rest day from the bike. Temperatures got up into the mid-60s, the sun was out, and it felt great to be playing in temperatures that didn't have your toes wishing for socks by the end of the match. As soon as we finished our first match (3 games), I was asked to hit outside as a sub on another team, so I got in six fairly good workout games in a row for today's exercise.

  • Breakfast -- FiberOne oats/chocolate bar and large decaf coffee
  • Lunch -- Turkey sandwich on wheat w/lettuce, onions, pickles, Italian dressing; chips
  • Snack -- Coors Lite
  • Dinner -- chicken breast, rice, broccoli

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Training Wednesday, 4/16/08

After 26 miles yesterday, I thought I'd take today to do a shorter distance, but go a bit harder and throw in some interval training, using tomorrow (volleyball day) as a recovery day. With the sun out, 60 degree temperatures, and a moderate wind of ~ 15 mph out of the SSW, it seemed an opportune day to run the standard 12-mile loop in Webster, pushing at a moderate pace for the first half, and using the second half hills along the lake for some tougher hills. It was also a good chance to hook up the refurbished cycle computer, which arrived today as a warranty replacement.

Winds weren't in the direction I was used to, so the first half of the ride, into the wind, wasn't quite as fast as I'd hoped, but I got my average speed back up to 18 mph by the time I hit the 10-mile mark. Unfortunately, there I hit a wall. Heading up an average 1.5% grade into the wind the last two miles, I just couldn't maintain the 18 mph, and saw my average speed drop to about 17.5 mph by the time I reached the turnoff for home. Still not bad, considering my all-time best average speed for this loop is 17.9 mph, set last September after four days of rest. Average heart rate for the ride, 160 bpm. Max HR, 184 bpm. Calories burned: 743.

  • Breakfast -- FiberOne oats/chocolate bar, large decaf coffee
  • Lunch -- hot dogs on wheat rolls, salad
  • Snack -- chips and peach salsa

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Training Tuesday, 4/15/08

Got home and the sun was out, hip flexor was feeling better, so loaded up the bike with water and went out for a nice training ride. Unfortunately, it was colder than I anticipated, and I wasn't but a mile or two into the ride before I realized 49°F with a strong wind wasn't as comfortable as I'd hoped in my current garb. I kept going anyhow, though, hoping as I warmed up my muscles, I'd get used to the temperature.

It turned into one of my best rides so far. Although I was cold the entire time, I made great time down to Fairport, averaging close to 18 mph without too much effort, and handling a couple mile stretch at well over 20 mph at one point. The stiff backwind certainly helped. As I made the loop in Fairport, though, my left hip flexor started to ache a bit, and I was worried I was going to cramp up. I quickly got some more water in me and made a conscious effort to spin and not hammer on the pedals for a bit, then took a two-minute off-bike breather in Penfield to stretch on the grass before continuing home. No more issues.

The trip back home was relatively uneventful, still a bit chilly, but again I was able to maintain 16-20 mph most of the way, although I did seem to hit every single red light. All in all, a good training day. Ate a couple raspberry Fig Newtons along the ride to see how they sat in my stomach (no issues -- not sure why, but bikers recommend Fig Newtons, so gave it a try). Also found I could deal with an almost-cramped situation and continue on. Dealt with numb toes partway through the ride, but was able to get some feeling back. And I managed the whole 26 miles without any finger numbness. Definitely an improvement and I can see the training paying off. Estimated calories burned -- 1500.

  • Breakfast -- FiberOne oats/chocolate bar and a large decaf coffee
  • Lunch -- turkey sandwich on wheat w/lettuce, onions, Italian dressing; chips
  • Dinner -- hot dogs on wheat buns, big salad with lots of veggies, lite Italian dressing

Monday, April 14, 2008

Training Monday, 4/14/08

Woke up and was limping around a bit today, think I strained my right hip flexor sometime over the weekend. It was pinging pretty good Sunday night, and again this morning. It got better by the end of the day, but with cold temperatures once I got home, decided it was wiser to take an evening to stretch and hop on the bike tomorrow when it's warmer... Probably a good decision, as it started hurting some more later this evening (hmmm, perhaps when the ibuprofen I took at lunch to help a minor headache started wearing off?).

  • Breakfast -- FiberOne oats/chocolate bar and a large decaf coffee
  • Lunch -- turkey sandwich on wheat with lettuce, pickles, Italian dressing
  • Dinner -- beef and chicken stir fry over rice

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bird Gets Jiggy

This is just cool -- Snowball the dancing cockatoo...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Training Saturday, 4/12/08

Hopped back on the bike this morning in the couple hours the weather guesser predicted wouldn't be quite as rainy and cold as the rest of the hours in the day (around 40°F). Started out heading south toward Penfield, then continued past yesterday's turn-around point and into Fairport, making a bit longer loop before turning back north toward home. Was running low on fluids, so stopped at McD's at the turn for a lemonade (diluted in half in the two water bottles) and a sausage biscuit with egg for a bit more energy. The ride from Penfield back to Webster was straight, fun, and fast again with the wind somewhat at my back (SW wind at 10-15 mph). Probably averaged 18-19 mph, and was even overtaking a couple of other rode bikers I saw in the distance until they turned off in Webster Village.

This was the first time I'd attached a rack to the road bike, as I wanted to carry some heavier gloves, face mask, and rain poncho just in case it got even uglier. Ended up switching to the heavy gloves and face mask, but never had to pull out the poncho. The rack certainly adds considerable weight to the bike (noticed when picking it up to get started), but I didn't feel much heavier on the road. Will plan on continuing to train with it on the bike, with the hopes of not needing it come century time on June 8.

Overall, felt pretty good. My lower back was sore after volleyball on Thursday, and Friday night and Saturday morning even more sore, so I was a bit worried about how far I should go today. Initially I wanted to go ~30 miles along the lakeshore, but switched to an unknown route down to Fairport and back. Was even considering heading out for a longer period, but with the weather guesser predicing thunderstorms around noon-time, I'm pleased to say it was the threat of weather and not soreness, exhaustion, or lack of motivation that sent me home at the end of the ride. Total distance -- 22.5 miles. Calories burned -- ~ 1250.

  • Breakfast -- small decaf coffee and bran/raisin muffin.
  • Lunch -- sausage biscuit with egg and a lemonade
  • Dinner -- hot dogs on wheat rolls with fixins

Friday, April 11, 2008

Training Friday, 4/11/08

Got home from work and it stopped raining, so jumped on the bike for a pre-dinner loop down to Penfield and back. Started out with a bit of a tough time into the wind as I headed south, but sure made up for it on the way back (was a piece of cake -- added at least 2 mph to my average pace!!!). In the middle was a bit of a nasty hill -- 6 degrees of grade elevation, minimal berm to ride on, and lots of traffic both directions. But, got through that area and everything was downhill and downwind from there! Last two miles the temperature dropped like a rock and the wind picked up -- not sure if a front rolled in, I got closer to the lake, or a combination, but it was definitely time to get home. Total distance, 19.5 miles; estimated calories burned: 1157.

  • Breakfast -- large decaf coffee
  • Lunch -- hotdog, potatoes, beans (work special)
  • Dinner -- spaghetti and meatsauce

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Training Wednesday, 4/9/08

Took the bike in to a local bike shop, Full Moon Vista, this afternoon to get the back tire replaced (replaced the tubes while I was at it), refill on CO2 cartridges, and pick up two spare tubes for future flat troubles. Folks there were quite friendly and it was a slow day, so they even offered to assist a bit with bike fit given my problem with numb fingers after ~30 or so miles. As they did the fitting, it didn't take long for 'em to realize that all my weight was on my hands and shoulders, which they adjusted by pulling my seat back considerably and tilting the nose up a touch. Still not a perfect fit, but they said 90% of the way there, could make it a touch better by replacing the handlebars, but I'd already spent enough money for one day on the tire, cartridges, and tubes, and thought I'd see how the new fit worked out.

Interestingly, they said the bike as purchased was probably not an optimal fit, something I was worried about when I purchased the bike last year and specifically asked several times to make sure the fit was optimal, including test rides. Grrrrr. Anyhow, got home and the sun was shining, so snuck in a late afternoon ride to test out the new bike fit. Picked the standard 12-mile loop I prefer for shorter rides, and started off pretty well. Definitely have more control over the bike with my weight back, and the hand numbness improved, but still wasn't perfect. Last couple miles fought quite a headwind, but instead of pushing hard, I used the opportunity to play around a bit more with hand positions. Eventually I'm thinking I may want to pull the handlebars back, as fingers are still tingly, but overall, a big improvement.

Cycling computer was sent back a few days ago for warranty repair, so no official numbers on speeds/heartrates/etc., but I estimated the trip at ~ 12 miles, completed in 45 minutes, for an average speed of 16 mph.

  • Breakfast -- large decaf coffee
  • Lunch -- barley/vegetable soup
  • Dinner -- pasta with meat sauce

Training Thursday -- volleyball night, start of a new session!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Training Monday, 4/7/08

Beautiful afternoon today, with temperatures in the low 60s. Haven't had a chance to replace the back tire on my bike yet (hoping to get that taken care of Wednesday afternoon), so I took Cricket the WonderDog on a jog around the neighborhood after work. She did pretty well for our first time out, although was a bit disconcerted by the garbage cans at the end of driveways in preparation for garbage pickup day. As always, she stuck beside me most of the time, and took off and tried to pull me when she was cheered on. The last couple months of workouts on the bike must have me in better shape than usual for this time of year, because Cricket ran out of gas before I did, and we took a few breathers to walk toward the end of our adventure (it's also her first time out running this year, and she is 20% heavier than she was last summer!).

  • Breakfast -- Large decaf coffee
  • Lunch -- Chicken sandwich w/lettuce, onion rings
  • Dinner -- Hot dogs, baked beans, broccoli, leftover pizza (hodge podge of items and leftovers while meat in freezer defrosts)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Training Saturday, 4/5/08

While out of town for a fun baseball-filled weekend in Toronto, Mrs. Beagle and I worked out in the hotel gym for a bit Saturday morning. Nothing too exciting, a 10-minute warmup on the exercise bike, followed by some chest exercises with dumbbells as well as leg extensions and curls on a universal gym-type machine.

We did get to see two great baseball games at the Skydome (errrr, Rogers Centre) with the Blue Jays hosting the Red Sox for the season opener. Saw Wakefield pitch on Friday night, and Sunday we were right down at the field level behind 3rd base just a few rows back -- all I can say is, Frank Thomas is a big big man, and gets even bigger the closer he gets (go figure!)

Saturday night we took in a show at the Canon Theatre -- We Will Rock You, based on the music of Queen. I wasn't quite sure what to expect going in, but we had a great time. The story was based around a variety of Queen songs, which made for a bit of a corny theme throughout the show, but the writers used the corny story to poke fun at the show itself, much as Queen has done in a number of their hits (i.e. the final words of One Vision are "fried chicken.")

Sets were OK, but the music was truly outstanding. The male lead, Galileo (3rd from left), was absolutely tremendous, as was the other primary male vocalist, Hillary Duff (left-most actor in picture at right). Scaramouche, the female lead (second from left), was also a terrific singer, although her on-stage presence wasn't quite as strong. The numbers Under Pressure, Who Wants to Live Forever, and I Want It All were all amazing. The only numbers that were iffy were those sung by the "bad guys," Killer Queen and her lackey, and thankfully, they were typically fairly quick. Choreography wasn't overwhelming (I'm not a dance fan, but I recall the dancers at Billy Joel's Movin' Out stealing the show). Overall, tremendous show, and the band playing for the performance was outstanding. Hate to admit a theater show was even better than the baseball game, but the music sure made it close!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Training Friday, 4/4/08

Got up this morning and thought it's been warmer the past few days, why don't I get on the bike and get a good ride in... I know the weekend's going to be very busy, let's get a jump on the workout. Then I looked outside and saw it raining. OK, I can deal with rain as long as it's not too cold. Then I got outside -- probably mid-30s with a 10 mph wind out of the southeast. Well, I'm out here anyhow, might as well keep going.

Got about four miles into my ride when I realized I should have worn full-fingered gloves, it was just a bit too cold for the light gloves I was wearing. Another couple hundred yards and I remembered I hadn't brought my cell phone just in case I ran into 'complications.' Then, of course, Murphy's Law hit -- my back tire blew out.

Pulled over and took a look in the rain and muck, and found that not just the tube, but the tire itself had a 1-cm gouge. Yikes. New tire time. Couldn't find the offending object, so I went right to practicing my flat tire repair skills, and didn't even bother trying to patch the tube. Installed my spare tube by myself (first time ever) on the side of the road in the cold rain, got it pumped up to a decent (albeit slightly low) pressure with my CO2 cartridge, and re-installed the back wheel.

By this time I was pretty cold, wet, extremely muddy, and had lost most of the feeling in my fingers. Also wasn't sure how long the tire repair job would hold, given the gouge in the tire. Decided to head home (a bit easier with the nice backwind) and call it a day. Total distance traveled -- 10.35 miles in 45:07, average speed 13.8 mph, calories burned 598, average heartrate 143 bpm. Flat fix-it time -- about 5 minutes.

  • Breakfast -- FiberOne oats/caramel bar, 4 ibuprofen (wicked headache this AM), water
  • Lunch, Dinner -- TBD.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Training Wednesday, 4/2/08

Had an extra-special early morning at work, followed by lunch out with the guys before heading home early for some paperwork, an attempt at a nap (pager and phone made sure that didn't happen), then some dinner before hitting the bike trainer in the basement while watching the Blue Jays / Yankees game. A.J. Burnett was making a strong showing to open the season -- I gave up when the Yankees changed pitchers in the top of the 6th after 58 minutes on the bike trainer, 15.5 mph average, distance just over 15 miles, average heart rate 142 bpm.

  • Breakfast -- Fiber One oats/chocolate bar with medium decaf coffee
  • Lunch -- Cheeburger hamburger with a ton of unhealthy fixins (and water)
  • Dinner -- Two chicken breast sandwiches on wheat, broccoli, cauliflower, and pickle slices (and water)