Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Road to Nepal vs my heart rate monitor

Today is another perfect day for being outside. I got a bit of a later start than initially planned, but there are some phone calls it's a good idea to take.

My plan said hilly route, keeping HR in the sweet spot. The hilliest route I know around here is my old fave, Road to Nepal. I was a bit worried about how slow I'd be going up, hoping the ants wouldn't see me as prey moving slowly enough to make it worth trying to drag me off to the anthill so they eat like kings all winter.

Every time I looked at my watch my heart rate was 5-10 bpm lower than I thought it would be, based on perceived effort, breathing, ect. Even going up hill. Normally I'm pretty tuned in and am usually +- 3 or 4 bpm. Nice, but I was being calm, trying to spin easy. As the saying goes, grind till the grinding gets good. At one spot I'm half way up the hill and realized my heart rate was below target. BELOW TARGET!!! Now it didn't take much additional effort to get it back up again. I got down to the end in 1:19. On the way back I had a bit of a tail wind, but still ended up having to pick up the pace to keep the heart rate up. This was a novel experience. I was back to the house in 2:28.

20.6 Kph average speed, and 120 bpm average heart rate. I'm not quite sure I believe that last number since I was getting some wonky numbers at the start of the ride. But my HR was always lower than expected. My cadence was low too, 67 rpm average. Later this week is a flat ride, and I'll try to bring that number up a bit then. Anybody want to play hooky and join me for a couple hours on Thursday?

To put that in perspective, I've done that ride in a hair under two hours, while turning my legs into noodles good for nothing for a couple of days. Today I missed both lights, and had to wait for traffic both times crossing 22X, AND took it so much easier that I could have loaded up on water and nutrition and done the ride again. It was only a year ago that I couldn't have done that ride in 2:28 at all. Even now, pushing hard, I'd still be pleased with being just sub 2 hrs. That's a fairly small difference in speed for a major major difference in effort. So I'm happy.

I finally ate the last Gu that I've been carrying around on rides for a while now. Expresso Love flavour, but it wasn't in my mouth long enough to taste. Didn't take anything else, just 2 waters.

Once home again I had a snack then started my first core workout per my schedule. I didn't throw up, but my face was as red as my fit ball, and I was breathing harder than I ever did during the ride. I was beginning to regret the snack, but I had to eat something. There was stuff. Planks. Pushups. Wall sits. Rowing. Chinup hip flexors. Crunches. Times 3. My mantra through it all was, it's good for me. 1:10 core work, some of which includes me lying in a heap breathing hard.

While butter tarts can be frozen, they are best fresh, preferably still warm from the oven, or just barely cool. I'm sorry guys, I don't think you'd get the same experience even if I packed them carefully. I'm sure somebody in the postal or security services would figure out what they were, and eat them. Tell you what. Come visit. For a race, or vacation. Lots of stuff to do here. I'll make sure you get to a place with good butter tarts, and you get crash space here. Can't say fairer than that.


  1. "1:10 core work, some of which includes me lying in a heap breathing hard"

    hilarious, that's part of my core routine too. Nice job w/ thr low heart rate, yay!

    IM CA is already sold out for 2010, or else I'd come up for a visit. Heck, those things sound so darn good maybe I'll just come up anyway!

  2. Ooh yeah, Keith, baby. Write "flavour" again. And again. And again. "ou's" turn me ON! ;)


  3. I love the name "Road to Nepal" as a bike route.

  4. I cannot believe that KK has never had a butter tart!! Good God!!!!!! This HAS to change!!

  5. Must run in the Kohl family cause I've never had a butter tart (or heard about them prior to Keith's posts) either. But I'd come up for a visit just to try. Road trip Katie?

    Great workouts! I'm so impressed with how you stay on top of your core work. Seriously, great work.

  6. Great work Keith, nice to see your cycling progress. Keep up with the reports you lay it out perfectly to see the improvement. Last week I rode my mountain bike from my place through fish creek and nearly ended up at your house. Had it not been so late(Damn days are getting shorter) I would have stopped by for some desert. I was especially thinking of the cobbler desert you describe, although I'm sure that's all gone by now.

  7. I think KK and I will have to get some community fun spots or something just to get a daYum butter tart. If I ever make those...

    I should really do core work, is this what you're telling me? My soft gooey center tried to peak out today.


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