Saturday, November 16, 2013


Biking has been sucking.  The past couple weekends that I have gone riding it has been in the low 40s or colder, and windy.  It's fine, except for my feet.  I can't seem to keep them from going numb.  The first thing I tried was just my storm socks over regular socks in my biking shoes.  That didn't work.

The following week I tried the same thing, but added plastic bags over the storm socks.  I had read somewhere that this could be as effective as expensive bike shoe covers.

The shoe on your left has the bag tucked into my pants and ready to go.  The one on the right is still a work in progress. :) 

No dice.  It was fine for awhile, but after some time I ended up with sweat or condensation or both between the bags and my storm socks and I think that ended up making it colder.  

Then last week, I used duct tape (leopard print works best!) to cover the air vents in my shoes (still using the socks + storm socks, but no plastic bag).  There is also some internal tape that you can't see in the photo to cover the narrow vents between the velcro straps: 

Still ended up with numb feet.  Ack.  I guess maybe it's time to drop the dough for real shoe covers.  Performance Bike seems to have some reasonable prices.  

Numb feet aside, my ride last Sunday was pretty terrible anyway.  I should have known better than to attend a ride called "Hills of Ann Arbor" the day after my Iron Turkey race.  My quads were already shredded before I even started the ride.  I wasn't that worried though, because there are usually some pretty slow riders at this group, so I figured I could hang back with them.  Plus, I thought I'd run most of the hills in Ann Arbor, and none of them are *that* bad.  Yeah, famous last words.  

The first problem was that only 4 other people showed up.  One of them was doing his own thing and not riding with the group, and the other 3 were young, healthy, strong and fast.  Crap.  Where are all the old ladies when you need them?!?  I hoped for the best and headed out.  Some of those hills were brutal.  I ended up struggling to keep up at about 10 miles in and decided to abort the ride and head home, since I hate it when people have to wait for me.  I only got a 19 mile ride in when I would normally do 25-45 on a Sunday.  Oh well.  Here's the elevation chart from that ride: 

Mile 13 is about the mark where I cried "Uncle" and parted from the group to ride home.  Figures, of course, that this weekend the weather is gorgeous and I'm not riding at all.  Because I have the Kona Chocolate 10K on Sunday, I decided to rest on Saturday, and ride on Friday.  (My normal weekend schedule is Friday-rest, Saturday-long run, Sunday-ride).   

I decided to ride on the trainer Friday (my first time!) but if I had checked the weather before I loaded my bike up Friday morning I probably would have opted to ride outside.  It was gorgeous!  50+ degrees and sunny.  Crap.  But by the time I got home from work and realized how nice it was, I decided it would be too much work to bring the bike back outside and ride.  Okay, that's probably not really true.  The real reason was that I wanted to watch TV while I rode.  Friday nights are usually my rest and TV night.  I sit on my ass, eat chocolate, and watch all the shows on my DVR from the week.  This Friday was different because I had bowling plans, AND I was biking instead of resting, so my TV time was shot!  So I set up my laptop in front of my bike in the basement and set to riding and watching TV.  ("Parenthood", to be precise. )

I love how my trainer matches my bar tape!! 
It pretty much sucked.  I wasn't very motivated so that was probably part of the problem.  I was thinking I'd go for 90 minutes, but I aborted at 50 minutes, just after my TV show ended.  I wasn't even going that hard.  I just rode comfortably during the show, and then upped the resistance and pushed a little harder during the commercials, which were less than 2 minutes at a time.  My heart rate chart is below:

My maximum  heart rate is around 195, so clearly this was a pretty abysmal effort.  
 A big part of the problem is that I still feel like my bike fit is all wrong.  I want to go back to a shorter stem, and maybe some other adjustments.  I already moved my seat forward since a few weeks ago, which has helped, but it's still not very comfortable.  I finally made a refit appointment for the Monday before Thanksgiving.  I hate going to my bike shop though.  I feel like they're all making fun of me.  It doesn't help that I'm super particular and anal about everything.  But I did spend about $2000 dollars there since July, so you'd think they'd be more accommodating.  Ugh.  It doesn't matter.  I paid the money and unlimited bike fit adjustments were included so they can deal with me being annoying.  

I wish I had an iPhone.  There's an app for the iPhone that uses video analyze the angles in your bike position so you can make the appropriate adjustments yourself.  Of course it doesn't exist for Android.  It's called "Bike Fast Fit" if you have an iPhone and want to check it out (only $2.99).  DCRainmaker did a great review of it. (As he always does.  Love him!!)  I am going to troll Craigslist for used iPhones after the holidays when everybody upgrades.  :)  

My bike technology is severely lacking.  I have an underwater MP3 player and a Garmin 910XT for indoor swim workouts, and of course all the run gear a girl could ever want, but I don't have any of the fancy Computrainer and power meter things you can get for the bike.  Not sure if I'll end up going that route or not.  I AM excited to start using my PowerCycling Groupon (Ten 30-Minute Indoor Cycling Rides with Coaching Analysis, Plus One Power Evaluation)  that I bought recently.  I figured I'd wait until the weather cooled down and I no longer want to ride outside, and that time is apparently approaching rapidly!  

(PS: I'm running the Kona Chocolate 10K in the morning!!  Yay!!!) 

1 comment:

  1. Power cycling sounds awesome! You are a much more hardcore than I am. I think the last time I rode was mid October! I just don't have the proper cold weather gear. It looks like we have the same trainer, I'm just a little behind the curve I guess! PS that leopard print duct tape looks pretty awesome!


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