schmalz’s log 2013 part 16


The past week has seen me preoccupied with an exploration of the meaning of "tired". As I wrote last week, my pretend bike racer, video game-style athletic life has provided me with a new obsession through the wonder of the ithlete app. I’m still trying to find out which efforts have which effect on my gaming system. And it seems that trainer efforts are slightly more draining (perhaps because of the soulless nature of these workouts?) than outdoor efforts, and that shorter and more intense efforts don’t have as much effect as longer sustained efforts. Or not, who knows? I’m still just at the beginning of my sojourn into my panting life.

The side effect of this exploration is that I wake every day hoping that I will be given the opportunity to immolate myself on the byways of Northern New Jersey. I’m not sure if this is good or bad, but it has increased the percentage of intense efforts within my riding. If I still had a power measuring device, I would be more able to compare my mightiness, but, alas, I am lazy (I don’t, as a rule, enjoy writing technical reviews like Andy "I have nine power meters" Shen does) and impoverished, so I have no power devices to speak of. So it seems I will start the spring racing season either very mighty or a gnome-shaped husk of my pretend racer self. Either way, it will be an interesting exploration, one which I will document along the way.

That is all I have to say about this week’s training, I’ve trudged my way through another seven days. I’ll include a Strava segment below because it’s what all the cool kids (or 40-ish year old bike nerds) are doing. Bask in the glory of my passively aggressive number posting! Bask, I say!

A Brief Breaking Brian

Rumor has it that Brian is thinking of racing bikes again this year, so I’m including this brief Breaking Brian passage to commemorate the occasion.

Brian is an interesting person, he has an interesting job, he travels often and he has a lovely family. All of these factors, of course, are essentially of no interest when it comes to Brian’s athletic potential. In fact, being a well-rounded and successful person is probably more detrimental to athletic achievement than it is beneficial, as you spend time engaging in life-affirming activities when you could be punishing yourself with intervals, sleeping 12 hours a night or weighing your own dung.

But having a well-rounded life has never stopped Brian from participating in startlingly difficult athletic events, and this is because he simply doesn’t prepare for these events—to paraphrase the Nike t-shit axiom—he just does them. Brian has done umpteen marathons, he’s done some sort of endless mosey through the Grand Canyon, he’s done triathlons, he’s ridden with Jed Kornbluh (which by it’s very nature qualifies as torturous), and he’s seen Cats—all with an amazingly sparse amount of preparation. So to should come as no shock that he’s decided to take on the upcoming bike season, the more shocking portion of this announcement is that he wants me to provide advice about this undertaking, I can’t imagine that going well.

Here’s is a recent coach/pupil exchange:


You should tell me where I can go to find races. 

Spring Series? 
Branch Brook?

I’m waiting…..


You do not need to find a race, as you are already involved in a race.


Thanks, Yoda….

As useful as tits on a wookie….


Wookie milk has many beneficial properties.


Going to put you into the gutter this year. Will take me about 12 parsecs…..




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