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Old 06-19-08, 03:22 PM   #1
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*This* is what I'm excited about

Yeah, another "look how much better I am, now, than I used to be" story. Well, why not?

OK, I have 2 climbs I do at least once a week.
I've been tracking them on my Garmin and finally went back to compare now to then, with "then" being a month ago.
I guess I could also track them as "30T" and "Post 30T", except I didn't have my Garmin when I was running my 30T. That will just have to be anecdotal.

I have Roberts Road.
That's a 1/2 mile. Front 1/4 is 11%-12%; back 1/4 is 5%-6%
It used to take me over 5 minutes to climb this. Using my 30/30 the whole way up.
Then I started using a 30/27. Then I slogged up the front with a 30/24 before dropping back to the 30/27 because I was gassed.
Now, I use the 30/24 all the way up and maintaining the same HR, I just did my personal best of 4:15.
This has me pretty stoked.

But what has me even more stoked is...

...Sharp Park Road.
8/10 mile at an average of 9% but there's actually damn little of it below 10%-11%.
There's just enough of the single digits to let get a good rhythm going before you hit a double-digit section.
This is followed by a 1/4 mile starting with a 12% hump leading to a 6%-7% grind.
I used to make it 3/4 of mile with my 30/30 all the way up.
Then I did that same 3/4s with my 30/27.
Then I started making it to the 8/10s mark with my 30/27.
Then I was able to start up in my 30/24 up to about a 1/4 mile when I fell back to my 30/27
The other day I made 1/4 mile in my 30/22, did another 1/4 in my 30/24 and the last bit to 8/10s in my 30/27.

I'm learning to keep my HR under "control" It's still high but not totally off the chart.
And the exciting part is that a month ago this took me 10:43... 2 days ago I did it in 9:13. Wow.
I'm actually thinking of trying to go past the 8/10s mark without a stop and see if I can keep my HR happy. I have seen in other contexts, that it can really climb but if you don't stop after the really steep part, your HR will actually drop as you continue on the flatter -but still uphill- parts. Why not here, too?
And, to think, not that long ago, climbing Sharp Park Road was literally unthinkable.
Well, not entirely... I'd think about it enough to say "I can't do it"

And even better, my scale shows that I gained pound but my body fat has dropped by 2% and my muscle mass has increased by 2-4lbs. I know these numbers are not the most accurate but I do see a trend

I still have a lot of body fat to lose but, man, I like what I'm seeing.
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Old 06-19-08, 03:52 PM   #2
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Posted late in the evening and I am off to bed- but got to comment that at long last you can not only see an improvement- I bet the wife is too.

Now about that 30lbs?????????
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.

Spike Milligan
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Old 06-19-08, 07:42 PM   #3
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You are excited, and deservedly so, about your improved uphlling.

Tonight, I had a thrill riding "downhill." I had my bent in my car and decided to take a post-work ride on the Madison MUP. From my parking lot to the SW side of Madison is mostly a slight uphill slope, around 1%-2%. I rode out about 5.5 miles. The MUP was busy, mostly with cyclists. Lots of people riding home.

On my slow'ish upright-seat bent with off-road tires, I was able to hold a speed of around 11.5 to 12.5 going "up" the slight slope. Was passed by around 20 people. Then I turned and started "down."

Whee! What fun. I almost never get to ride downhill on pavement. With my new shorter cranks, I'm able to maintain a much more consistent and faster cadence. I came off of the bike overpass and down the slope at around 21-22. Then maintained between 18-19 over the next 5 miles. Didn't make any stops. That was by far the quickest I've ever covered 5 miles on a bike. Didn't get passed once.

Would like to try that again with smoother rolling tires. When you hear a lot of noise from your tires, you know they are slowing you down.

Will have to try this on my Fuji.
"Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

Last edited by Tom Bombadil; 06-20-08 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 06-20-08, 06:21 AM   #4
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You guys are just great. And I mean that. Congratulations to both of you.
It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.
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Old 06-20-08, 08:24 AM   #5
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We did a little(200 yard) hill last night on the group ride. Said it was 22% average. Almost stalled and the HR monitor was smoking. Hills will improve your fitness.
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