Saturday, March 24, 2012

This post ~should~ have been a race report

But I didn't go race.
I'm a ritual/habitual type of person. I haven't raced a bicycle since January, so my BDR (day-before-race) habits/rituals are less habit and more memory at this point. It gets this way every year when I haven't raced for awhile.
Mix into that the severe weather that rolled through B-town Friday night and it screwed up everything for me. Normally I would go out and do an hour or so of an "opener" routine. But tornado sirens were going off on my ride home from work, so I decided that may not be the wisest thing to do. Given my general disposition, I do not like severe weather. It truly is an phenomenon out of (my) control. I just have to sit and hope that me and mine will be okay. But I worry about it; that's just the way I am. Point is: severe weather stresses me out, severely. I needed to go to the grocery store anyway, so I waited out the storm and went shopping. This resulted in a ~9:30pm dinner, and no openers. No big deal really, but just "off." I went to bed thinking I was RTR (ready to race) but woke up 99% not feeling it. Add to that a chance for more severe weather and an email from the promoter saying "expect to be racing in storms" and that was all I needed to bag it. Of course the weather turned out perfect, but I got things done around here that I needed to do. And I rode for a couple hours anyway.

Here's a pic of the storm sky here from Friday evening. Funnel clouds all over, but no touchdowns, thankfully.

Last week was intended as a recovery week anyway. I had some good rides, but probably put in a little more effort/time than I should have for a 'proper' recovery week. But whatever, on we go.
I fully realize the meat of this post about me not going to a race I planned to go to. I like to race, and I don't like to back out of things. So this is me justifying it. Bottom line is: I do this for fun, so if I'm not feeling it, it doesn't make much sense to do it.
We're going to TN at the end of this week, so I'm going to put in a couple rides here, then it's off to the Smokys for some mountain riding. The weather here has been simply awesome overall, and it is forecasted to cool down a bit. That's fine; 80's in March is weird. It's supposed to be about 10* warmer in TN while we're there, so 60's here, 70's there. Should be great!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Rode some dirt (caught me ridin dirty)

Another unbelievable week of weather has passed. The word "unbelievable" gets thrown around a lot, but the weather here/now truly fits.
And as such I had a pretty solid week. I have pretty much been building to last week. That marked my 8th week straight. I put in 2 hard workouts and one good solid "endurance" ride. I went out Tuesday for some Vo2 ints and when I got to the Monroe Causeway (where I always do these) it was so foggy I could barely see at all. Which means cars couldn't see me at all. I considered turning in, but I really wanted to get these in. I was very cautious, and got the workout done. It's that much harder when you can't focus fully on the effort and have to be looking behind you every few seconds to see if a car is coming and if one is coming having to make sure you're out of its way, but it was a success nonetheless.
Then Thursday was what I'd been building towards: 2x20 threshold. The equalizer. I wasn't sure how these were going to go because I rode a steady couple hours Wed and felt weak. But the worst that would happen was I would struggle and not hit the numbers: not exactly the end of days or anything. Well it turns out I felt great and posted solid numbers with what felt like minimal effort. It's weird how the body works.
I decided that Sunday I wanted to go ride the MTB. The plan was to go to BCSP, but I assumed it would be packed end-to-end since the weather is so off-the-chain. But it wasn't. Lindsay and I seemed to have to place to ourselves. I saw 6-9 other people the entire 2.5hrs I rode.
We started off together for about 20min making it probably the longest "couples ride" we've ever had. By the time we started the climbing she felt she was holding me up too much and pulled over to unleash the beast (yes, I had drunk a Monster on the drive over). I was having a nice time just rolling behind her, but was probably riding easier than I "should have been." So once I went out on my own I rode fairly hard and felt pretty good. I had to pull the effort back a bit on the Walnut trail because it was fairly wet and I didn't want to crash in a muddy corner and end up hurt. But I put in a solid 2hr20min ride and felt good. Also of note is I rode the new (well, it's not new anymore, but I hadn't ridden it yet) Green Valley trail and it is dope. It has flow like Jay-Z. Great trail.
And that brings us to this week.
I'm going to take a couple extra days off and try absorb some this fitness. I think I'm going to race this weekend. Road in Ohio. Then at the end of next week it's to TN for some time in the mountains.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hup 2-3-4

March! (get it?) It's March. Glancing at the calendar on my wall I see that Spring begins 8days. Not that it is much of a monument this year with the winter we've had, but still. I guess March came in like a lamb...or did it? There was q good dusting of snow last weekend and some pretty heavy rain this week. Maybe it wasn't exactly a lamb, but not fully a lion either. More like an angry house cat; usually nice, but when it gets agitated it'll pee in your shoe. We'll see what that means for the end of March.
Despite a minor rearrangement due to Thursday's rain-out, I had a pretty good week of workouts. I even got out on my time trial bike on Wed.
I didn't really have any plan, just ride the TT bike for an hour so. I did a "route" I've never done before. I just rode down Fairfax road to the the lake and back. I've ridden Fairfax a million times, just never by itself (usually it's either the beginning or the end of ride). It was a pretty decent road for the TT bike, but it was a super windy day. Like 40mph windy. So dealing with that kind of sucked, but I felt good on the bike and in the TT position.
The week was closed out with what has become the standard Sunday road ride. A big group leaves from downtown and rides out Hwy 446 and back. This ride typically splits into "the usual suspects" and is about as predictable as clock. But that doesn't make it any less challenging; fast guys make for a hard ride.
I was pretty tuckered out the rest of the day and pretty much just laid around.
I had used the last of my ground coffee and have been out of espresso for a few weeks. Plus I was down to one Monster so I made a run to Kroger and this is what I came back with:
I used the self-checkout, but I bet it thinks I am crazy.
I have a pretty solid week of training planned. That is, I have two good interval sessions planned. Plus Tuesday evening Lindsay and i are going to meet my parents at Zydeco's Restaurant in Mooresville. I saw this place on a Food Network show awhile back and it has been on my list as a place to go. Then my dad emailed me and asked if we wanted to go there this week. They had seen it too and apparently put it on their list. Should be cool.
I think I'm going to start racing in about a month. Which seems like a long time. But I enjoy training, so I don't mind putting in some more work. I'll most likely start with the Cereland and Mooresville circuits in April. Then w/ the drought of road racing, it'll probably be mostly MTB after that. We'll see what pops up. Which reminds me...I should probably try to get on my MTB as soon as possible.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Long Day in the Saddle

Unfortunately the saddle I spent the day in was not a handcrafted Italian bike seat, but the driver's seat of my car. Since the temps today were cooler than they have been, Lindsay and I made the trip up to Chicago (an 8hr round trip drive. Or a "2 Monster drive" as I call it) to hang w/ my Brother and his wife and meet their new addition, Daphne. Daphne Elise was born Feb 29. She's a leap-day baby! I don't get overly excited about other people's kids but having a leap-niece is pretty cool. And today seemed like as good of a day as any to take off of riding and go visit the big windy.
I guess the focus of the visit ended up more on Ramona, our 18month old niece because Daphne, at 5days old, doesn't really do much except sleep. Ramona is all kinds of active though. After hanging out for a bit, we left the daughters w/ Evin's wife's parents (who in town as well) and went to eat. Lisa (Evin's wife) commented that this was the first time she had been w/out Daphne for almost 10months (she was born 2weeks past her due date). It was cool to be able to get her away from it all for a while. Anywho, we went to place called 3 Aces in Little Italy, but it isn't a typical Italian joint (pasta). They had a pretty eclectic menu. I got a traditional IT pizza w/ mozzarella and basil. It was good, but most noteworthy was that it was served on a tree stump.
Weird, but good.

We also went to a couple of places downtown and there's this huge Marilyn Monroe statue there right now. I was very curious to see what is under that huge dress, but we were across two streets, so I just zoomed in took this pic.

Yes, and since this a bike blog, I should tell that I had a pretty good week and I'm starting to feel pretty good. I am also feeling tired, like I could use a little rest. I'll likely plan a couple of rest days in the next week or two. I haven't been doing crazy-huge hours, but I have been putting in solid time for 6weeks straight now.
I did a couple good rides this week with a couple good sets of intervals and can feel myself coming around; good sensations.
My plan is to build for two more weeks then take a couple days off, which will put me at our TN training trip. Our trip this year is a little shorter than normal, but we'll still get at least two good days in the mountains. Usually just Josh and I go and stay with his brother Jake, but we have around 20 people from our team going this year so we're renting a few cabins in the area. Should be pretty cool; they all have hot tubs.