Trying Out Zwift

Following the recommendation of… oh, just about everyone, I have finally checked out Zwift for cycling workouts.

What is Zwift?  I guess you could call it virtual reality cycling.  You connect to their platform and get to ride through a virtual landscape with other riders.  And of course, there are definitely game aspects to it – so you can challenge other riders,  try to set new personal bests, and of course, earn new jerseys and equipment for your avatar to wear.

Don’t worry, after this, I earned enough points for a helmet. Even virtual riders shouldn’t be without a helmet.

So the best way to use Zwift is probably through a smart trainer, which will automatically change your resistance as you ride through the hills and valleys of Zwift.

I don’t have a smart trainer.  But I do have a power meter, which works pretty well.  Zwift looks at the watts I’m putting out and the simulated course and uses that to determine how fast avatar me is going.  So I can be pedaling at the same rate and speed, and depending if I’m going uphill or downhill, I could be doing anywhere from 3mph-35mph (all speeds I have seen on Zwift).  So obviously, the goal is for me to change my gearing so that I’m picking up the pace and better simulating the road changes.

If you don’t have a smart trainer or a power meter, you can use a speed and cadence sensor, which Zwift will translate into zPower, their version of virtual power.  It’s not quite the same, but still can make for a good workout.

For me, Zwift just breaks up a bit of the monotony on long rides.  And you can input your pre-designed workouts as well.  My coach gives me workouts, which I can do while on Zwift.  When I’m just riding to ride, it’s fun to try to beat old sprint records or try to climb the hill faster.  (I think I need to ride at some crazy mid-week hour so I can have a chance at a QOM – queen of the mountain – and even then it’s unlikely.)

Plus, let’s be honest, I like stats.  I’ve been training with power, and I like being able to see the power on the screen.  I can still port the workout over to Strava and see how I’m doing on the various segments that have been created.  I’m hoping this helps me become an even stronger rider over the winter.

Anyone else use Zwift?

 

 

Turkey Trot

I have to admit, it’s been years since I’ve run a Turkey Trot.  Why? Mostly because I’m in taper for Space Coast.  Also, I have to admit, a big part of it is the unpredictable weather in November.  So I’m not surprised by the data below indicating that most Turkey Trots are happening in relatively warm states.

Do you run a Turkey Trot?  Maybe I should sign up for one next year.

 

 

 

 

Data powered by Athlinks. Visit Athlinks.com to claim your Turkey Trot results and you could win a free 2018 race entry!

The best laid plans…

So if you couldn’t tell, I’m not doing so great on my NaBloPoMo goals.  Whoops.  But hey, something is better than nothing, right?

I blame this stupid cold.  I’m not sick, really, but I’m not exactly well either, so I’m working to kick it. As of today, it’s mostly just a cough and a bit of congestion, plus that general feeling of malaise, but I’m definitely better.  It’s meant more missed workouts though.  Can I have a two+ week taper?  Is that an option?

I certainly didn’t go to the pool this morning.  I figured coughing and trying to swim would be problematic and lead to possible drowning.  Seemed messy either way.  But I am hoping to hit the bike trainer tonight and then go to bed early (Yeah Friday Night!) so I can have some fun this weekend.

(Including braving the grocery store and hopefully running 6 miles if my cough clears up a bit.  I don’t want to run on the treadmill if I don’t have to, but at this point, whatever it takes.)

I finally decided to check out Zwift after seeing so many of my friends raving about how fun it is, and after one ride, I think I agree.  I will be doing a more robust review of it sometime in the next few weeks, but I think it might be a way to make my indoor rides even more fun.

Weekend Update

Myriams-Fotos / Pixabay

This weekend was definitely a productive one for me.  I took an unplanned 4 day weekend – Friday was a federal holiday (Veterans Day Observed) and because I work a flex schedule, I discovered on Wednesday that I had enough hours in for the pay period if I took sick leave for my two PT appointments.  I have sick leave coming out my ears, so I went for it and took a four day weekend.

Of course, my whole plan for Thursday was to go to the DMV to get my license renewed.  It doesn’t expire til January, but with the Real ID Act, getting a new license is a process, so I wanted to get it out of the way.  Thankfully, Maryland lets you make appointments, which actually helped a lot.  I was in and out in about 40 minutes.

Unfortunately, I seem to have left there with some cold germs that started to rear their ugly heads on Saturday.  I manage to make it through the entire season without getting sick and then I manage to get two colds in the span of a month.  This is definitely unfair.  Long weekend and I spend it sick, just in time to go back to work?

Oh well, at least maybe I’m getting this cold out of the way before the holidays.  Or something.

So after getting the Christmas tree up and getting some projects done around the house, the rest of the weekend was pretty lazy. Rather than go for my planned 12 mile run, I decided to do a 2 hour trainer ride, figuring that it would be easier on my body than running.  I think it was, but it was still freaking hard.

I think over the winter, I’m going to experiment with Zwift to see if that can make trainer rides any more entertaining.  I don’t mind long trainer rides, but I need to make sure I’m actually pushing myself throughout the workout.  I know a lot of people out there use it and love it, so it might be time to give it a try.

 

The Holiday Season Is Here!

I don’t care what anyone says, it is not too early to put up my Christmas tree.  So that’s what I did this weekend.

View from my couch, because after doing all this work, I was too tired to get up.

A number of years ago, I discovered that putting my tree up around Veterans Day was the best timing.  After this weekend, life starts to get busy with racing, travel, concerts, and holiday commitments.  So now the tree goes up early-to-mid November and comes down sometime in early January.

That doesn’t mean my decorating is done.  I put up a few holiday items, mostly the angels and creepy elf that belonged to my grandparents, but there are still a few boxes of things that haven’t made it out yet.  I also need to put the wreath on the front door.  It felt just a little early for that.

I still haven’t figured out the best way to decorate the outside of my house.  I live in a two story brick box, so the only thing I could feasibly put lights on is the porch.  I’m not climbing on a two story roof to hang lights.  I guess I could put them in the bushes.  This seems like a lot of work though.  I used to have these really cute (and cheap) colorful solar lights that looked like candy canes, but they all broke or disappeared.

I will admit, it does sort of feel early for Christmas – I’m certainly not ready for the holiday.  Every year, I fall farther behind in my gift buying plans.  My niece, she’s set, but everyone else… I’ll figure something out.  This is always a really busy time of year, and I think it starts to really feel like Christmas after Thanksgiving and my trip to Disney World, but if I waited to do my decorating until then, it wouldn’t happen!

So my tree is up, the cat is sleeping under it, and all is right with the world.  Now all we need is some snow!