Sunday, February 26, 2012

I must be having too much fun

Because time is flying. Maybe it shouldn't blow my mind that it is the end of February already, but it does. It occurred to me that if time is flying by, my life is flying by. And while I'm not a pro wrestler (like I was sure I would be when I was 10 or so yrs old) I'm doing pretty well by my (admittedly low) standards. Enough positive crap though, on the negative end, I broke one of my favorite mugs this week.
I've had this for probably 10yrs and use(d) it on the reg. I was getting a different mug out of the cabinet when I knocked this one out. It hit the counter below and was fine...but then it fell to the floor and blew up like a Shimano LX hub on the Blueridge Parkway (not many people will get that joke, but it's a Bikesmiths classic). RIP Chris King mug.
In terms of bike riding this week, the weather continues to be awesome, so I started up some light interval work. Nothing too hard, just something to remind me and my body of what it's like to hold steady power for a given amount of time. I really enjoy interval riding, so it was nice to get back at it.
Sunday was another warm (for Feb), sunny day albeit wind as a bastard. I decided to ride w/ the Sunday noon ride from The Bakehouse which is usually 20 or so guys. Since the weather was so favorable, there were plenty of people in attendance and even some guys from Indy coming down. This group is so big that you can do whatever really. If you're not strong you can sit in or if you want you can get in the mix at the front and go nose to the wind. I generally intend to get a workout so I try to take long pulls in the beginning (5min or so), then meter them down to 1-2 minutes as others get frisky.
The group split as the hills began to show themselves and it was the usual 6-8 guys in a group. We kept the pace pretty high into a strong headwind. We reached Hwy 50 ("the flashers") which is one of the two turn around spots. We stopped and because I had a bunch of cleaning to do around the house I planned to turn back. The rest of the group was going to wait for the group behind and I figured that may take 10minutes for all to re-group and get going again and I wasn't interested in waiting that long. So Fred and I took off alone and I guess the rest of "our" group ended up going on the Hwy 58 ("2nd flashers"). So Fred and I rode back alone with the tailwind, traded pulls and made short work of the way back. It was a good solid 2+hrs. And I got (most of) the cleaning I had on list done!
Also, I got my Giant out for the first time this year. I've been riding my "winter" bike (which is pretty nice in its own right), but it hasn't been overly wintery, and I wanted to get out my "A" bike. It's freshly overhauled, new chain, new cables, etc and man it's sweet. This bike fits me so well and rides so great. It's such a great bike. Carbon fiber: believe the hype.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Good times rollin

The weather was kind of all over this week, as it has been most of this winter. It started off cold at the beginning of the week, but steadily got warmer, but also rainy, then ended with perfect winter riding conditions of 40's and some sun.
I put in a decent trainer workout earlier this week and it occurred to me that normally by now I am dreading riding the trainer and would rather go outside when it's, like, 20degrees than ride trainer anymore. But I have ridden trainer so few times this year ("this year" being from November or so), that I don't really mind getting on it for a workout right now. I counted back and I've been on the trainer just 8 times since November. That's crazy. I have been doing short (sub 1hr) recovery rides on rollers regularly for awhile now, and while that's inside riding, I don't count it as a "trainer session/workout."
I kind of blew it Wednesday. I (thought I) had a "meeting" scheduled and I wanted to get one longish ride in during the week. So I planned a route for wed that (I thought) would be ~1:15-1:30 so I could get home and get to work to meet w/ the dude who was coming by. I went out and busted the ride, but in under 1hr. Oops. Sometimes I'm really bad at guessing how long a route will take. Sometimes I'm right on though. Whatever, point it I rode for ~1hr, then it turns out we were meeting on Thursday anyway. Bummer.
Well since I blew it Wed, I had to get the longer ride in Thurs because I knew I had a meeting Friday. Thursday was rather warm (for Feb), so I was able to get out earlier than normal and get in a little over 2hrs. It rained almost the entire time (never hard, but very wet nonetheless) and being wet in the 40's can be bad, but it was a pretty good ride. I wore my C-Dale Morphis rain jacket and stayed dry and warm enough (on my top half). No problem.
Sunday a group of Speedway Wheelmen (and Wheelwomyn) were meeting out in Hoosier National Forest to scout the route for the Death March race coming up in a couple weeks. I decided to tag along for some seat-time and to do something different. It'd be mostly gravel roads and many that I'd not ever ridden. It was tons of fun and really cool to ride even more of the killer gravel roads that are all within about 20miles of my front door. I was feeling really good and riding really well. It was a great day over all. I did get the one flat of the day on Combs Road (which loc's know in no way, shape or form resembles a road). Combs is basically a single track climb. I've only been on it once before and it was snowy/icy and I had to walk most of it. This time up I flatted (or I noticed I was flat) about 3/4 of the way up, but I was determined to not walk it for any reason, so I finished it off on a rear flat and fixed it at the top. Success!
This occurred roughly halfway into the ride and I always get worried if I flat and use my spare tube with hours yet to go. But I guess that's just part of the game we play. Besides, we had like 10 people there, so I'm sure I could have bummed a tube off of someone if needed.
The rest of the ride went well and it was an awesome day.
I think I'm going to start some intervals this week. I've been doing a good amount of steady riding, but it's probably about time to mix it up a bit. Weeeeeeeeeeeee!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Look who decided to show up

Now that we're halfway through Feb, Old Man Winter decided to blow through. Sure everything has been dead/dormant for months, but it hasn't really been too nasty outside. Well it got nasty-cold for this weekend. But I still got 3 decent outside rides in this week.
Today w/ a raging high temp of ~30, we decided to to ride of road bikes and hit some gravel roads. When it's really cold I like to get off the open roads where you just sit and get battered by the cold wind. Plus if I'm going to hit ice patches, I'd rather it be at a slower speed, with fewer people around and preferably not on pavement. We definitely hit some ice patches today, but thankfully we didn't go down. We put in a solid under 3/over 2.5hrs on gravel and some roads.
All this nice weather got me thinking though. I usually attribute a lot of my early season strength to my willingness to get out and do the work in the bad conditions. I've said for a while that "any pussy can get out and ride when it's 70, but to get out when it's nasty, you have to really want it." Of course it hasn't been in the 70s here, but you get the idea. I have a feeling people are going to be faster earlier than in years past. And with my CX season stretching into mid January, I'm getting a later start than in years past. But regardless of all that, I have been getting some good rides in. I also feel pretty fit in general with the off the bike things I've been doing.
I'm still not sure when/what my first race(s) will be, but it'll get figured out. I'm going to start reintroducing some intervals in the next few weeks too. Speaking of new things happening, Lindsay and I are scheduled to become aunt/uncle for the second time this week. My brother and his wife are expecting their second bundle of joy on Friday the 17th. I'm told these dates aren't always 100% firm, but it should be somewhere around there I guess. They're not into being told the sex of the child prior to birth, but I have my guess as to what this one will be. It may be worth noting that I was wrong with their daughter, but with I like my 50/50 chance with #2. So sketchy uncle Adam will have 2 opportunities to teach cuss words, etc to the young'ens. I'm told Ramona (#1) is just about talking...can't wait....

Sunday, February 05, 2012

How did this happen?

It went and became February on me! I can't keep up with time. It consistently blows my mind how quickly time seems to go by. I think I'm getting old.
But weakening bones and hair growing out of my ears didn't stop me from having a pretty good week of workouts. I got in some good rides, but the highlight was Wednesday. I decide to go out and do a power test. A power test is riding as hard as you can for 20minutes. Testing is important because the zones in which intervals are done are determined by your 20min power. But it's also a pain. Riding as hard as you can is, well, hard. I was expecting to post a low number because 1) it's Feb. and I haven't been riding a ton and 2) I have done no intensity in about a month. But it actually went really well. I finished 10watts below my best power, which I was pretty happy with.
Sunday we went out for the Sunday group ride. Ryan S and I were going to meet the group in town on their way out, but we missed them. And as it turns out we missed them by quite a bit. So we rode waaay hard to catch them on the road. Long story (kind of) short, we basically ended up doing a 30min threshold effort to catch the group. But, there were turns sitting in(power considerably below threshold), and my average power was around threshold which means when I was on the front I was turning well over threshold. So I was about half blown when we caught the group. Then after about 5min of reprieve a few accelerations occurred and it was basically full-on from there. The big group of probably 20 split into a group of far fewer which eventually ended up just 4 of us. I was keeping my fluid and food levels up, but at a little under 2hrs I came unhitched from the group of 4. I spent about 45min trudging solo and while it sucks to get shelled, it's good for me at the same time; you have to suffer to prosper as they say.
I was pretty wore out for the rest of the day and pretty much just sat around. Lindsay and I got an invite to a Super Bowl party, but I didn't really feel like putting the effort into leaving the house. And while I am not even a "fair weather fan" of football, I did watch the last 10min (which in football time is more like 1hr) of the game. Knowing virtually nothing about football, I'd say for those that are fans, it was probably a good game. It went down to the last 10 or so seconds. Plus everything I've read/heard indicates that Indy was a great Super Bowl host city. That's pretty cool. Of course if it had been a shitty Feb weather-wise, it could have been a different story.

I don't have any killer training pics this week, but I was digging for a battery charger or instruction manual or something and found my first cell phone and a Sony Discman. Sweet. Since I just took on the smartphone lifestyle it got me thinking and I realized that I've had just 5 phones (that I can remember). And that's dating back to 1997 (when I left for college). Pretty low number by today's standard. But I tend to hang onto electronics until it is totally outdated and/or just stops working.
Anywho, this week doesn't look quite as warm as last week, but still pretty good for Feb in Indiana. I'm going to try get out a few days this week for some good rides.