Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Memo

Apparently Lake Monroe didn't get the memo that the weather is getting (a little) better because it's still frozen in parts.
But that I was able to take this picture means it was "nice" enough to get out for a few hours (or I guess it could mean I drove down to the dam to take this picture for blogging purposes, but that's not the case). The stiff winds blowing are promising of Spring. I fully understand that (as I write this) it's February (as you read this it's likely to be March), and it is definitely NOT Spring, but moderate temps and wind plant the seed.

Plus they're racing in Belgium. I was able to find a live feed for both Saturday's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Sunday's Kuurne-Brussles-Kuurne.

Being able to watch these races live in the US is awesome. The commentary is in Flemish, so I can't understand what they announcers are saying, but it's still awesome.

And after what was basically a crap week of riding, I got in a good quality ride finally today (Sunday). I am just finished w/ a block of VO2 & threshold training, and I was feeling weak and tired by the middle of this past week. I scheduled in some days off this week because I need it.
I did start riding my Giant road bike again too. I haven't ridden it since probably November, rather riding my winter bike, and I forgot how great carbon fibre is. That bike is just about perfect; perfect fit, perfect feel, very light and 11speed drive train, ahhh yeah. It's the stuff.

That's about it. The Olympics is over and the US took home the most hardware. Canada won the most gold, which is cool since it's was their Olympics, but USA still ruled. That being said, I do think Evan Lyscek and Apollo Ono need to watch their backs. Lysacek from the Russian KGB and Ono from both the Korean Yokuza and the Canadian Mafia, the later which doesn't really sound all that threatening, but still.

So now it's some rest days off the bike. I do have a bunch of new tires to get on Lindsay and I's bikes, but that'll keep me busy for a couple days.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm just sayin...

Today for example, Feb 24, the average high is 45*. Today it climbed up to 27*. I guess the bright side is that the record low (1967) is -4*.
And to boot, there was a nice new layer of snow on the roads this morning. So it was back to the trainer for me today.
I did get out both Monday and Tuesday, but it was cold.
Monday I went to the healing hands of Dr. Murer @ Bloomington Sports and Wellness. He has me feeling more flexible and able to turn my head side-to-side w/ less pain than I "normally" feel. I don't make it to his office as much as I would like to, but he moved to different office and the insurance co-pay is different, so it costs more now than it used to. It sure is nice when I do go though.
I'm getting very tired of trying to do hard intervals outside when it's so cold. I honestly can't remember the sensation of riding hard like that in warmth w/ supple muscles, but I'm sure it's easier.
I'm also getting tired in general. I have been riding more hours and harder than I have in past winters. I am feeling fatigued. but as I mentioned in a prior post, I am taking a few days off next week to rest. It's needed.
But just you watch my luck; next week it will turn sunny and 60, since I'm sitting out a few days.

This may be one of the best scenes ever put to film.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I'm not complaining...

...but there was some serious rain forecasted for today and it never came. Don't get me wrong, it was awesome that it didn't pour all day, but we rescheduled our ride around a 100% wrong forecast.

Here's a cat in a basket for your viewing pleasure.

The IU Cycling Club "A" and "B" riders were planning a training race today that were going to check out test the legs against some "competition." Well after looking at the ominous radar we opted to leave earlier and cut our ride to ~2hrs instead. We did 1hr hard (~threshold power), then shut it down and cruised in. It was a good hard ride and I was very happy to get out, but we could have ridden more, since the rain never came today. Oh well, as I said, I'm not complaining, and getting done earlier allowed me tie to get my road bike cleaned up, which was needed and get the Grifo's peeled off of my cross wheels. I hope to have a new pair that I"ll need to get stretching in the next month or so, so I needed to get the old ones off.
I had a pretty good week training, despite riding inside everyday except today.
And one more good solid week w/ some hard intervals, then next week I'm taking a few days completely off. I'm feeling a little fatigued from hard riding/cabin fever and need some consecutive days off. So that's next week.
Then the following week is more training here, then on 3/12 it's off to TN for some riding in the Smokies. Looking forward to that; let's just hope it's not as rainy of an affair as it was last year. Then it's race time!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

No end in sight

Our PC got a virus a couple weeks ago that I thought I had gotten rid of, but it re-attacked the machine this past week and it had to be taken in for repair. In the downtime, I decided to get us a netbook to use when the PC is down and/or to travel with. It turned out to be really handy and I loaded the Powertap and Polar heart monitor software onto it so it can be taken on training trips/races too. Pretty sweet purchase really.
This seemingly eternal winter is dominating my blog posts, conversations, thoughts and life. I can't remember a winter like this since I was a kid. But I wasn't an aspiring chump of a bike racer back then, so it was cool to play in the snow, miss school, etc. Now it is just hampering my lifestyle and pissing me off. And shoveling isn't doing much positive for my trunk muscles either. I have 29 indoor riding sessions in the last 9 weeks (63 days). And they're not ending anytime too soon either, looking at the extended forecast. The average high for February here is 42 and I'm not sure it's even been 40 this whole month. C'est la vie; all I can really do is complain, which I have... a lot.
The Vancouver Olympics has started. The men's short track speed skating finals was an awesome nail biter of a race. USA barely squeaked out medals, but took silver and bronze. Korea looked to have the podium swept, but a bad pass on a Korean by a Korean for second place took them both out putting USA in second and third.
And as of now, US is leading the medal count w/ 4.
Ah well, w/ motivation nearing an all time low, I need to go ride today. It's cold, there's snow on the ground, more snow forecasted to come, but I need to get out.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Old Man Winter blows.

Clever title? Cabin fever hasn't given me writer's block (see: The Shining for a good example of cabin fever leading to writer's block). Good think Jack wasn't a cyclist, he'd have cracked waaaay sooner if he were riding a trainer instead of writing a book (though Danny was able to ride his trike all around the hotel, so maybe Jack could have set up an indoor crit-style course to train on. Or better still, w/ obstacles [stairs, apparitions, etc.] he surely could have set up good indoor cross course, but these hinder my point, so forget about all that).
What was my point?
Oh yeah, some more semi-serious winter weather blew in and dumped a good amount of snow on us and left it cold and windy.
I rode outside almost everyday this past week. Wednesday I got out for over 2hrs, but ended up w/ 2 mostly frozen water bottles and numb hands/feet. Pretty miserable ride. The week was an easier week (no intervals) and I was to "test" on Friday. Testing consists of riding 20min as-hard-as-you-can and ~trying~ to increase your power output. I had a course all planed out and went to scope part of it Thursday to get a few time markers and stuff. Well, that turned out to be for naught, as the bad weather started blowing in overnight Thurs, and I had to test inside Friday. Testing inside is different than outside because of the static nature of trainer resistance; you have to break it up into segments, then hold steady power and try to increase it each segment (I try to do 1-10min, then 2-5min segments), as opposed to the dynamic nature of outside riding w/ hills, wind, etc to change your effort (power output) all the time. Anywho, I tested almost the exact same as my last test, which was also forced indoors by weather (actually 1watt lower). But if I factor in the alleged 10% decrease you're expected to display inside as opposed to out, I'm still above where I was last Sept (which was done outside). So I can't complain about that, just the weather.
Speaking of, the 10-day forecast looks like more of the same...terrible.
On the plus side, if (we) do ride outside on Sundays right now, we're leaving late enough in the day (to let it "warm" up) that I have eaten a homemade waffle almost every Sunday for the past several. I normally don't want to deal w/ the denseness of a big Belgian waffle while riding, but w/ 3-4hours to digest it, it's been waffle game-on.
(We) may get out today (Sunday). It's sunny, but ~11* right now (10am).
We got out today. I rolled w/ a group of good guys, but it was cold (~25*) and windy, and the group was blown apart. Still, I was just happy to have gotten since, as mentioned earlier, nest week is not looking so hot...
All spin and no ride make Adam a dull boy.
All spin and no ride make Adam a dull boy.
All spin and no ride make Adam a dull boy.
All spin and no ride make Adam a dull boy.
All spin and no ride make Adam a dull boy.
All spin and no ride make Adam a dull boy.
All spin and no ride make Adam a dull boy.
All spin and no ride make Adam a dull boy.
All spin and no ride make Adam a dull boy.
All spin and no ride make Adam a dull boy.
All spin and no ride make Adam a dull boy.
All spin and no ride make Adam a dull boy.
All spin and no ride make Adam a dull boy.
All spin and no ride make Adam a dull boy.
All spin and no ride make Adam a dull boy.
All spin and no ride make Adam a dull boy.
All spin and no ride make Adam a dull boy.
All spin and no ride make Adam a dull boy.
All spin and no ride make Adam a dull boy.
All spin and no ride make Adam a dull boy.
All spin and no ride make Adam a dull boy.

Man, this is way easy w/ copy/paste. I wonder how he did that w/ a Smith & Corona.

I'm not a football fan, but watching The Colts move the ball down the field is impressive.

Monday, February 01, 2010


These pics are form the DINO 24hr race circa 2006. I did it as a 4-man team and we won. But it was 100% the most miserable conditions I have ever ridden in. We started at noon on Saturday and the day was fine, but ~11pm it started storming fierce and it stormed hard pretty much all night.

The below pic is of my drivetrain after my 2 night laps. It was so caked w/ mud an crap that the force required to simply pedal broke off my derailer hanger. I should have had to do 1more lap in the a.m., but w/ a broken bike someone else had to take my lap.

Last week was a lot of inside riding. I got in some good workouts, but was hoping for a good outside ride on the weekend which came Sunday. Temps were low (~30), but the sun was out and 30 w/ sun is just fine if you ride hard enough. We had a good ~3hr ride w/ a good group of guys. I was "supposed" to ride 4hrs, but I rode too hard in the 3 it took to do the ride we did to even think about riding another hour. 3hrs put me back into town, and do another hour I would have had to head back out of town, and I just wasn't feeling it. So I was a little short on my weekly total. Whatever. I mean, as for 4+hr rides, I rarely race over 2.5hrs anyway, so 4+hr rides are really just for fun anyway, no real training value. Don't get me wrong, I like putting in looong miles, but I really only do 4+hr rides 3-5 times per year. So I don't feel to bad for not having it to gas out a 4hr smash fest in January.
Which bring me to this week, and February. I'm on a recovery week this week, so no threshold rides and fewer overall hours. But I am scheduled to "test" Friday. My last power test was done inside a few weeks ago. I think I should be able to get out for it this week, but we'll see how the cold effects it all.
Wow, January's over, February's here; we'll be racing again soon!