Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fun With Map And Calendar

Morning weigh-in (Thursday): 183.5#
Morning weigh-in (Friday): 184#

Happy St. Patrick's Day! -- or, as the bartenders call it, "Amateur Night."

Monday night was a "recovery ride," about an hour of easy spinning on the towpath, then Tuesday I did my 75-minute "muscular endurance ride," 24 miles in just under 1:40 total time (probably close to a personal best for the last year or so), and last night was an hour of E2 ("aerobic endurance") towpath spinning on the singlespeed, which almost drove me nuts with all that hamster-leg spinning, but it was also the first after-work ride of the year where I didn't even bring lights. Unfortunately, Sunday night was a chicken cheese steak at Brew works, Monday night was a regular (ie beef) cheese steak, same place, and Tuesday night was two-brew Tuesday, though I did eat at home. Baby steps, but one of my problems is obvious...

Bottom line though, I was lighter Thursday morning than I've been at any time since last July, and I feel a lot stronger on the bike than I did even a month or so ago.

Thursday night I was exhausted, and the ride was an easy on the towpath, mainly Zone 1 on the Turner, and again without even bringing lights, and I cooked myself tuna and wilted spinach over rice for dinner -- Anne was out with Donna -- before passing out. Yesterday had rain in the forecast, so I made it a rest day: got a haircut and did dry cleaning, the usual usual Saturday-type chores so I can ride today. (Of course the evening turned out fine, but my decision was the right one.)  It's beautiful out now, and sometime today I'll be getting in my last tempo workout (90 minutes in Zone 3) for the second Base period; tomorrow I'll probably so some real off road riding, like maybe American Standard, and then comes my second rest week.

The rest of today is being taken up with brewing; we're actually making two 5-gallon batches, one an Orval clone and the other an Irish red ale.

My quest for good training/analysis tools continues, or rather I should say it got complicated by new information. In a reply to my post about that TCX to HR zone data converter I wrote, someone mentioned a program called Golden Cheetah, so I downloaded it. It's very power-meter centric, but seems to have a lot of really nice analysis tools built in, especially when it comes to graphing ride data, though it doesn't quite do what I want it to do. I did notice though, that my favorite web tools, and my favorite programs in general, seem to involve maps, or calendars, or both. (The training programs all have both, for what should be obvious reasons.) I wonder if there's a market for something like that, a diary/blog program, with geographic data capabilities and a user interface that includes both map and calendar. I'm not sure what a program like that would even be expected to do (other than maybe be used to record rides and analyze training), but I know that I'd love to play with it.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Back From Knoxville

Not giving my morning weigh-in...
Four day weekend, and we had an awesome time visiting Emmi in Knoxville: Ben came down from Massachusetts on Tuesday, then I took Thursday off, and we piled in the car and left for Tennessee in the morning. One loooong drive later -- even though we made good time this time, that trip always feels like forever -- and we were there in time to meet Em for dinner. It was a bit awkward, since her dad and his girlfriend were also in town (and at dinner), but it was nice to see her.
Friday was the day we came down for: Emmi gave a public presentation of her research on the Tree of Heaven. (Actually, I should say that this was the public presentation of her research; it wasn't quite her doctoral defense, which is coming in April, but something similar and a major milestone on her way to her PhD.) Her housemate and another student also gave presentations that morning, shorter and less formal ones involving temperature response (her housemate) and hearing response to predatory bird calls (the other student) in invasive lizards, and we checked them out too, then after lunch came Emmi's presentation, which was about an hour long plus some time for questions afterward, and was totally amazing.
Her fellow grad students took her out for a beer afterward, and we tagged along for what was some very esoteric bar conversation, at least by our standards, then Emmi's advisers took us all out for a celebratory dinner that night: Anne and I, and Ben, Emmi and Matt, and Em's roommate Laura, and her colleague Mark, and her dad and his girlfriend, and of course her advisers Jen and Joe, who were just as proud of her as the rest of us. Strangely enough, dinner conversation was mostly about music.
Saturday was a ride day, Anne and I on our mountain bikes with Ben on my 29er. We did some road and some paved bike path then found ourselves at the "Forks of the River WMA," where we played on real singletrack for a bit. Lunch with Emmi and Matt, then I went back to the hotel and took a nap while Anne did some shopping with Ben and Emmi -- I caught up with them later for dinner in Old Town.
Sunday we said our goodbyes, drove all day, and were home by about 7:00 -- in other words, before dark. Daylight Savings!