16:06 - New Personal Best Up Old La Honda Road

Old La Honda Road [1] is a local benchmark climb. The local roadies use it to challenge themselves and heckle each other. Well, today, recovering from a back injury, I made it up in 16 minutes and 6 seconds. This beats my previous PR of 16:14, and brings me ever closer to sub-16 minute territory.

The dieting and training are starting to pay off. This morning, I was 174.4 lbs (79.1 kg). Bike weight was 14 lbs, 1 oz (6.37 kg). My average wattage was 419 W, yielding 5.3 W/kg. Impressive, but not enough to beat one Eric Lau, a Stanford senior who made it up in 15:27. An honorable mention goes to Elliot Hawkes (16:03) and Keith Wong (16:08).

Of course, I have a ways to go before I can beat Eric Heiden's 14:10 record:

One step at a time. I'm just glad that I don't weigh over 200 lbs anymore.


The Long, Mostly Flat Road to Recovery

My lower back injury was a frustrating setback that meant several weeks away from normal training, and thus, a major setback in the start of my racing season. The good news is that it is healing, slowly but surely.

Until very recently, most of my "training" was really just trying to fight off a massive loss in fitness, with sessions on the rollers and short, flat, easy rides. I went for my first 3 hour ride in a while yesterday, which involved a climb up Highway 9 (all 1790 feet [1] of it) and didn't notice any real soreness.

I've taken the downtime as an opportunity to lose some weight. The goal is increased power to weight, and if I can't improve power, may as well drop weight. I've dropped 6 lbs thusfar and hope to continue the trend. More on that later.


Thoughts on Social Media Integration Tools

I've recently started integrating my blog with popular social media tools. Now, when I update my blog, posts make their way to Facebook[1] via RSS Graffiti[2], and Twitter[3] via twitterfeed[4]. All of this happens through the magic of the RSS Feed[5], which you, too, can use to see blog updates in your e-mail client. (I was even able to configure Google Reader using my RSS feed, so that my mother gets an e-mail every time I update my blog. She appreciated that.)

Now, social networks have been the focus of much attention, good and bad. One of main tenets is privacy. As I see it, this blog is a public site, and these are new distribution channels.

In the near future, I have some neat articles up my sleeve. I recently bought an Edge 800 to compare with my old Edge 705, and have started counting calories using Tap&Track, an iOS "app". The race season is nigh and - once the back heals - it will be a good season. Plus, there are some good articles I wrote a while ago on books, routing, course reviews, and my race bikes, that may resurface when the time comes.


Heckling the NorCal Peloton

It looks like the 2011 round trash talk has already begun in the NorCal peloton, just in time for the first race of the season. I suppose that, in this case, "trash talk" consists of diligent fact finding and presentation of results in an entertaining manner.

NorCalCyclingNews.com does a good job analyzing the peloton in this article [1]. There is even a line or two about me in there, buried deep within the text. It is a fun read as an insider, and hopefully, sheds some light on the not-so-hidden structure in the pack.


PT! PT! Good for you! Good for me!

On December 16, during a weight lifting workout, I lost control of the bar and experienced a flexion/rotation injury between my L4 and L5 vertebrae, on the left side. The ensuing pain has left me unable to complete my normal training regimen. I am forced to take some time off, when I should be peaking for early season races.

I saw Renee Songer of Agile PT in Palo Alto on December 28. With her help, I am recovering faster than I would have otherwise.

Hopefully this is just a minor setback, and I will be in top shape for early season stage races. At this point, strength training has done more harm than good.