Monday, April 21, 2008

Disneyland, again!

The last time we went to Disneyland was to celebrate my wife's birthday. Then I gained 9 pounds in 4 days! This time I only gained 8 pounds, so I guess that's something. My greatest "sin:" a Monte Cristo sandwich at "Blue Bayou."

I sure had fun doing it though... maybe that speaks poorly of my mental health, but heck, eating to excess is fun, and that weight is almost all water anyway. Seriously. In fact, my calorie-counting sez only 4/10ths of a pound is something else, likely fat and a bit of muscle. The other 7.6 pounds is water that my body likes to retain when I eat and drink too much garbage and fly in pressurized airliners.

I did manage to get in two 2x10-minute workouts at "L4" on a stationary bike in their fitness center, plus some weights. And lots of walking. Lots. Fortunately the crowds were not too big and we got through the lines in less time than usual. The weather was nice the first two days, but slightly cool the last two. All the rides were open too, except "It's a Small World," so that was perfect! :-)

We were there for a wine event (Disney's California Food and Wine Festival) and had dinner at Napa Rose one night so we really went to town. We ordered cocktails, Canard-Duchêne Brut Champagne, Testarossa Diana's Reserve Chardonnay and Kosta Browne Pinot Noir, followed by Inniskillin Cabernet Franc Icewine with dessert. Oh my, what superlative feasting! Oh yeah, and solid food too:

I had an incredible scallops appetizer. Having prepared scallops myself I could appreciate how difficult it is to get the outside so crispy without the inside being raw or tough. Puzzling how they manage that, but I suspect they coat them with a touch of flour and sear them on a very hot skillet first, then move them to a cooler covered skillet for finishing (must try that sometime). And a simply incredible sauce with just the right hint of lemon (I don't care much for lemon in cooking, but man, when it's done right...) with chunks of Alaskan King Crab mixed in. Accompanied by the Chardonnay, s'il vous plâit.

My dinner was an absolutely perfect peppercorn filet mignon. Usually they get steak this perfect by searing it, then baking it in an oven. With just some asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes, more as a garnish, and the Pinot Noir for company. Very nice.

Dessert was a tiny wedge of light chocolate tart, with a very cool Bailey's "shot." The shot was in a tall cordial glass but transformed into more of a pudding or sauce. With the Inniskillin. Fun stuff, and tasty!

The next night we dined at Yamabuki's and had very good sashimi, sushi and tempura. We took a chance on a "drocken" (dry) Gewurtstraminer... but were disappointed in its lack of any fruit. That's not unusual, and while it paired well with the food it was still a letdown.

Breakfast has always been my favorite meal of the day, and one morning we ate at Storyteller's Café where my multiple visits to their awesome buffet left me nearly immobile! The next day we ate more usual portion sizes at the very nice Steakhouse 55. Delicious steak and eggs for me!

There may even have been some huge dalliances with ice cream and churros along the way. But who can say?

Now I'm back to training, and getting those 4/10ths of a pound off!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Ah yes, the value of not riding too much!

Yesterday I had a dentist appointment in the morning, so riding my bike to work was impossible. But I have an "L4" workout ride (at my 1-hour maximum power) scheduled for Thursdays, so I still wanted to get a ride in. I decided to ride after work. My teammate Steve Rosen joined me, and I got an idea for a route from my friend Rob Jensen; a rather steep series of roads up Cypress Way in East Los Gatos. Well, the climb ended up being about 14 minutes for me, with a grade of about 8-13%, so it was hard work even with my commuter-bike's low 30x23 gears.

Because I didn't put in my usual 40 miles yesterday my legs felt fresh for a change, even after my 5x6-minute intervals at "L5" on Wednesday. I charged that hill like it was nothing, and the disappointment of my last two races was forgotten in the rush. The weather was a perfect high-60s with sun, and the view over the entire valley was spectacular. What an awesome workout. I will keep this route in mind for other times when I can't ride to work but need to get some climbing in.

I know that the "junk miles" I often get from bike-commuting isn't the best way to train for racing and this was another reminder of that. But, well, I care about my impact on the environment, hate the stress of driving to work, and like to save wear and tear on my car, and money, too much to give it up. I've managed to make it work well enough for me.

I am no longer periodizing my training, so I am not "peaking" and "tapering" for specific races. But I think I could come up with a sort of "mini peak:" Train through even my high-priority races, doing my intense workout rides like usual, but cut back on my commuting miles in the week or two prior to them. That will leave me fresher for the races without sacrificing my long-term training benefits.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My latest race reports

Posted a few more on the Team Bicycle Trip blog:


Monday, April 7, 2008

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Santa Cruz Classic Criterium
22 photos
  Dennis says...

These are a few pics I took at the Santa Cruz Classic Criterium. All are PG-13! Thanks for your support!

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