Friday, March 5, 2010

Beginners Page # 14 CompuTrainer Chapter 5

Wednesday, when we went into Randy's CompuTrainer room, Jack Lomax was still working out. Jack was on that 62 mile course with a constant 3% grade, and he was about to finish a grueling 1 1/2 hour ride. I know how tough it is as Randy had Christine and me do that one once. I think I went about 9 miles in an hour session. Jack, on the other hand, was over 18 miles into the ride as we started watching. The silver guy was back at mile 17. He has perfect pedal strokes and constant watts. But talk about perfect: Jack was trucking along at a nearly perfect circle. 
We were in awe. An almost perfect circle. And note that he had been spinning for 1 hour, 21 minutes while putting forth this effort.

Jack has an ulterior motive for his perseverance. He is being coached and trained by Randy Rangel of Randy's Bike and Run Shop to race in the April 10-11 Fort Davis Hammerfest. The Hammerfest is a Texas Cup State Division Race, and this year's Flyer states the following:
"The West was never Wilder - welcome to Hammerfest! Race the “Texas Alps,” one of the most challenging courses in the Southwest. Stage one will start the climbing with a short, intense road stage. There are 10 miles to warm up, THEN 6 miles of real climbing (up to 17% grades) – enjoy!!! We will start in Fort Davis, Texas, on Hwy 118 and climb our way to the top of Mt. Locke--location of McDonald Observatory. Stage two will also begin in Ft. Davis on Saturday afternoon--a 16 mile out and back time trial on fast, 'flat,' straight roads. Stage three on Sunday morning, April 11th, will start at the Prude Ranch and wind through the mountains of the Scenic Loop. The altitude goes from 5000' to over 6500' and climbs are steep and numerous. The 74 mile route will have a neutral start through Ft. Davis then race around the loop to “Heartbreak Hill”. The 34 mile route will be an out and back from the Prude Ranch to Madera Canyon and back to “Heartbreak Hill” (a lot of climbing). The 16 mile race will start in Madera Canyon and race to “Heartbreak Hill”. And the 56 mile route will race from the “Point of Rocks” around the remainder of the loop and finish at “Heartbreak Hill."

If anyone has ridden the Fort Davis Cyclefest, he should be duly impressed with what the Hammerfest competitors are asked to do. But Jack is making leaps and bounds progress. Way back in his training, we observed him and took the below pictures as we were so impressed.
Compare the 83 torque with the 93 above! The new motto is "You've come a long way, Jack."

As we use the bar graph since we understand bars better than circles, we asked Jack to switch the controls so we could see what a bar graph should really look like.
That is pretty.

After Jack's ride, I was priveledged to listen to race strategy. Randy and Jack were discussing how to ride the race, what to do when, how to do it, what to watch for, etc. I was impressed as I have only read racers' reviews of a race after they had ridden it, and the strategy they used during the race. Alas, all the expertise was lost on my untrained ears, as all I heard was Randy's telling Jack to ride hard, ride fast, and win.

April 10 is not that far away, so it will be exciting to watch Jack in his final preparations. Randy is planning on going and being with Jack in the two day extreme endurance tests. Chris got so excited she wanted to go and watch the races. However, we are already registered for Pedal Power Wildflower at Stonewall that weekend.

Back to reality. After Jack, it was my turn. What a difference--my best effort:
Whereas I usually humbly put myself down (with reason), allow me one time to strut. Some time back we
 took the below picture of my best effort:
On our latest training day Randy put Christine and me on a course that had a 15% incline. I have complained about the 14% on Allen Lane before, but the program that Randy had us on was essentially a hill repeat as it was designed to be a five lap course.

I completed three laps in my "allotted hour". Quotation marks on alloted hour because Randy frequently wants me to continue past an hour: a. to complete a course; b. he keeps mumbling something about building up my endurance, c. he is a sadistic task master--ask Jack, me, Christine, or his wife Liz.

I am not sure I pleased Randy, but as I completed the hour, I put the trainer on pause (Jack showed me how to pause as Randy would never let me slack off) and went to tell Randy that I was finished. He was with customers so I went back and started up the ride again. I think I went a total of about 1 hour, 15 minutes; I did indeed work on endurance.

Next, it was Christine's turn and on the same 15% grade hill. During most of her session I was out of the room, so I did not get to see her perform, complain, whine, or smile. I went back into the room right after Chris finished, and she was lying on the floor gasping. I asked if she was alright. 
      "No, Randy had me go up the hill and kept pushing me to have smooth round strokes--and made me complete the third lap."

We will see if the efforts pay off in the tough hills of the State Parks at Bastrop's Pedal Thru the Pines.

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