In my last post, I mentioned that the batteries in the Power Tap hub died despite being replaced in September 2011. I have no idea how to change the batteries nor do I have any tools so I decided to take it to a very well known local bike store (LBS) in Toronto. Fortunately its only 10 minutes away from my work so Friday afternoon I had a lunch meeting and after took my rear tire into the store. I had called on Thursday and they said it would only take 10 minutes to change and cost about $30 which I was totally fine. During lunch I had the tire in the trunk of my car and the weather was a little chilly probably around -5 degrees Celsius. I took the tire in to the LBS and watched the guy struggled to take the hub off. He tried for about 15 minutes but the tool kept slipping off the hub. He finally declared that the hub might be too cold (from sitting outside) and wait for an hour to warm up. I had to get back to work for a meeting so I agreed to come back in a couple of hours realizing it was Vanessa's birthday and I promised to take her to McDonalds for dinner earlier that morning.
My meeting ran way longer than I anticipated and worse it started to snow. By this time it was around 5:00 pm and I knew with the snow storm it would take over about 90 minutes or more to get home. I got to the LBS and they still couldn't get the hub off. They had several employees try to get it off and finally decided to use a wrench to take it off but they would have to crunch (destroy) the hub. They said it would cost about $15 to replace the hub and I said go ahead as Vanessa would be freaking out by now as it was around 5:30 pm. They said it would take about 15 minutes to change it so I whipped out to a nearby electronics store to get Vanessa's birthday present (great parenting). I came back and they somehow managed to get the hub off without damaging it and had changed the battery. Sweet! They changed the batteries and then tested the hub. They turned on the computer head as they spun the tire but there were no power readings on the head. They couldn't figure it out and I was dying to get home. They dicked around with it for another 15 minutes before giving up. The other bike mechanic was busy with a customer doing a bike fitting. They suggested I leave the tire with them and when the mechanic was free he could figure out what the problem was and later that night, I would meet up with one of the employees near my home and he could give me back my wheel. It was the best they could come up with so we exchanged cell phone numbers and I took off. I had my traffic GPS and it showed me that I had a long drive home. I was probably about 20 minutes away from the LBS when I got a call and the guy asked me if this was a wired Power Tap unit. I said yes and instantly I realized why there were no power readings from the head. I HAVE A WIRED UNIT AND THAT'S WHY THERE WERE NO READINGS!! DDDDUUUUHHHHH!!!!!!! I turned around and went back to the LBS and with my tail between my legs, picked up my wheel. It took me over 90 minutes to get home as I got stuck in traffic and my traffic GPS was useless. I promised to take Vanessa to Mcdonalds Sunday night instead.
Saturday mornings Jake has indoor soccer at 9:30 am and I had a two hour ride and a 30 minute run schedule and Vanessa had her birthday party starting at 12:30 pm so the only way I was going to get this workout in was to get up at 4:30 am. One thing coach wants me to do is to ride at a steady power output. Previously when I was riding on an unstructured workout, as my mind would wander, my output would wander. Now coach wants me to ride at a steady pace throughout the entire workout. The trouble with that is when ex-coach changed my Power Tap batteries my watts suddenly shot up by 25%. I mentioned it to him and he chalked it up to I gotten a lot stronger but this was a significant problem at Muskoka 70.3 last year. I had no idea what watts I should have been riding at. I would be coasting and my Power Tap showed I was still generating watts even though I wasn't peddling. With the change in the batteries, I think the problem has been corrected but I still don't know what watts I can generate and maintain so this morning was a bit of trial and error. The first set was a disaster as I rode way too easy and my heart rate was no where near what the target heart rate should have been. The second set was better as I rode about 25% harder. One thing about these workouts is that it sure makes time fly when doing a structured workout by watching your watts, heart rate, cadence and time as opposed to just riding for two hours. I had a portable DVD player and was watching Aliens vs Predator. It was one of those movies that I'm glad I didn't pay to see it in the movie theatre.
After the ride, I had a 30 minute run which normally wouldn't have been a problem but it was about -15 Celsius with the windchill. I had brought downstairs a complete change of clothes and dried off as much as I could. I think it took me about 15 minutes to change clothes as I was soaking wet from the ride and its hard to put dry clothes on while you're wet. As soon as I ran 100 feet I knew that I should have dressed warmer. My back was wet even though I had changed shirts and the cold wind instantly whipped down my back. It was snowing pretty good so I couldn't even run that fast. I told myself this run wasn't about speed but just to build up base. My toes and figures were freezing despite wearing my cold weather socks and gloves. I need to wear warmer clothes.
Now that said, this has been an awesome winter as its only gotten cold a couple of days. On Tuesday, it supposed to hit 7 degrees. Unheard of for mid January!! However, the downside of this great winter, is a smoking hot summer. There is no fun running when the temperature is 40 degree Celsius (+100 degrees F).
Tomorrow is my long run of 90 minutes. We'll see how the knee holds up as it was a little achy today but no issues. My gout issue was not a problem today and seems to have disappeared as fast as it appeared.