Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter (dirt instead of candy)

It's actually starting to feel spring-like around here. I mean, it didn't even snow this week! (after writing this I was talking to my mom on the phone and she reminded me that it DID snow Sunday night/Monday). Mind you it's still freezing or thereabouts over night, and since I ride in the mornings I still have to dress in thermal apparel, but 30deg w/ a high of 60 is a lot different than 30deg w/ a high of 30.    
Despite the snow (and my forgetting about it) I got in all of my planned trainings. I am building towards "core" workouts and I'm getting close to where I need to be. I tested the water of threshold training this week and the water was nice. I'm not ready to jump in with both feet, but it feels pretty good.
There was supposed to be a good amount of rainfall overnight Saturday and a chance of rain Sunday. It did rain some overnight, but very little and the chance of rain for Sunday had dropped to nothing. So I decided to see if Lindsay wanted to go mountain biking instead of meeting the Sunday road group. She had MTB'd Saturday and reported that the trails were in decent shape (not too wet to ride), so with the trace amount of rain that actually fell, we figured they'd be fine to ride Sunday. They were pretty fine, muddy in a few spots, but mostly good. We got a couple hours on the MTB's and felt pretty good.

We found this little guy out on the trails. He was running around but there were no people near. So he wrangled him up and he followed us all the back to our car where we got a hold of the owner (who was someone we know as it turned out) and got them reunited. I guess he goes and runs the trails with his owner (who is on a bike) a lot and just got separated. He was a really cool dog and super fast on the trails. No joke. I was trying to go slow so he could keep up, but he was almost passing me so I'd speed up and he'd be right there. Cool.
Turned out to be an awesome Easter Sunday. The sun came out, it was warm, we rode off road, walked around Nashville (which wasn't shoulder-to-shoulder people...yet) and had a nice day.
Hope you all had a nice Easter Sunday too.
This week we head to TN for a few days of riding in the mountains. The weather looks like it should be great. Let's hope so!   


Sunday, March 24, 2013


This week has been pretty much the same as every week for the past several weeks. The weekly weather pattern is mind numbingly the same. As with all the past several weeks, I managed to get done the workouts I had scheduled on the days I could actually get outside. But nothing more. It's becoming a bummer.
And there was a big nasty Spring snow storm forecasted for Sunday. I was pretty much planning on doing nothing all day due to all day snow. Well I woke up to no snow and decided to check the hourly forecast to see if I may be able to get out. It looked doable. I have wanted to ride my MTB on the gravel loop I normally do on my CX bike. I'd never done it because I don't really like riding my MTB on the road; it puts accelerated wear on the tires and it's just really slow. But not really knowing exactly what might happen with the weather, I decided to do it.       

It turned out to be pretty all right. The big crazy-hard to get up hill was about a million times easier on the MTB. It wasn't too cold, but I was dressed for it to start blizzard-ing on me at any time, so I actually got a little hot. But there was no precipitation until well after I got home and done.
And then it snowed. And it's supposed to snow all night. And not stop until there's like 5". 
So yeah, I don't really have much to report. Pretty much business as usual. As the title says: 'blah.' 


Monday, March 18, 2013

Dr. Winter

Old man winter has earned the full spectrum of degrees this year: B.S., M.S. and Ph. D. That, of course, would be "bull sh!t," "more of the same," and "piled higher and deeper."
Look at that big scary meanie!

The weather alert pic'd below came on my phone Saturday.

I about crapped myself to see this.

The week leading up to this alert wasn't much better. I got out Tuesday and got some positive intervals done. Felt pretty good and got in what I needed to. Then it snowed...again. So I stayed in and lifted weights Wednesday. By Thursday the snow had mostly melted, but it was really cold, like low 20's. That totally took the wind out my sail and I just skipped the day's workout all together. I decided to do Thursday's workout Friday. My power meter batteries died on me, but it was a non power based workout, so I was able to get it done no problem.

As it turned out the above pic'd weather BS didn't happen (or hasn't yet). I opted to skip the Sunday group ride 1) because I was anticipating snow, 2) the temp was rather low and 3) Milan-San Remo, the first "monument" Spring bike race was on and ran late. See, we're not the only ones in the firm grips of Old Man Winter. There have been a few big races cancelled in Europe due to snow, and in Milan-San Remo today the snow was so bad they raced like 100-some km's, got on there team buses and drove for like 50km's, then got back out and raced the final like 120km's. Since I don't have a team bus I wanted to avoid the open roads with it being ~39* and with snow likely.

So I went out on my CX bike and hit my standard gravel loop. I figured with a name like McGowan and a green sign it was appropriate for St. Patrick's Day.
As I mentioned, the forecast was wrong, and I had a great ride. It didn't feel as cold as it was and no snow fell.
This is a tough loop and I felt probably the best I've ever felt on it. It was just one of those "no chain" days for me where the effort feels easy.             
The weather forecast is still crap for the most part. I have no real idea what's happening. Just have to plow ahead and take it as it comes.   

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What a week

Man, mother nature is all over the place right now. Here's a quick contrast for y'alls:

Photo: At least its pretty out here. #gottastaypositive #JPTFU

The pic above was taken Thursday. It snowed a few inches Wednesday and left us with that.
The pic below was taken Sunday. It was nearly 70.

Photo: With all this skin showing you'd think I'm making a porno flick.
those are my white-ass legs. They haven't seen the elements in months

But even with the weather swings, I got in what I needed to this week. My hours weren't quite as high as I would have liked them to be, but I knocked out all my planned intervals. But with it being ~freezing and wet during the week, I didn't stack much riding with the intervals; just got to where I was doing them, did them, and headed home. But I can feel my form coming on. I can tell even on my commute to work. I'm getting in shape. Which feels good. I haven't done any real work on the bike since December.
With Sunday being as nice out as it was, the Sunday group was hugeBig groups like that usually make me nervous. They also usually split up pretty quickly, but until they do I'm not too comfortable in the group with the varying experience levels. On this particular day the ride organizer, Tom couldn't make the ride so he showed up on his motorcycle. He began motorpacing the group and it dwindled and dwindled. Eventually there were only two of us left. We made very short work of the 50mile route. We were rolling 40+mph for some sections on the way back (we had a tailwind coming back). It was a great workout and an awesome day to be out. 
The weather has gotten cold again this week; below normal from what I'm told. But I'm working through it and getting my stuff done.        

Monday, March 04, 2013

The Weather

Simple title for this post. The weather this week was shit. Plain and simple. There was a hahstag #JPTFU circulating around World Championships time. It's Jonathan Page the Fck Up. Page is an American CX racer who is based in Europe. He excels in crappy conditions and has stories of training in the kind of weather that cancels school and shuts down city govs. This week I had to tell myself to JPTFU and get out.

Photo: #JPTFU day two in a row. Sun pokes out and snow stops about 5min after I get in.
Get it? "Page up"
I can't remember but I'm pretty sure it snowed every day this week. It was rough, but I put on my waterproof/windproof tights, neoprene booties with duct tape and rode. 
It was cold. I got wet, but I got in what I wanted to get in. Sunday's forecast was looking "good" (I put good in quotes because it was supposed to be 38 and sunny, however "good" that is). I woke up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and saw the roads were covered in snow. I thought my tired eye were playing tricks on me. I was seriously bummed. I wanted to get out with the Sunday road group regardless. Once I got up the roads were clearer, but wet. And the high temp had dropped from 38 to like 34. I was afraid the roads be wet enough to make spray and the temps were low enough to make that a problem. So I busted out the waterproof tights again, even though they restrict my movement quite a bit and cost me a lot of effort over a long period of time. Turns out the roads were totally dry and I was over dressed. Oh well, at least I was outside riding. The group was smaller than normal and the pace was rather controlled for this ride.Many of the locals are gearing up to be racing in the next couple-to-few weeks. I don't have any firm race plans for nearly 9 weeks. So I'm just happy to be riding right now, and getting back into a routine of consistency and interval training. Building slowly and not being frustrated if others are faster than me right now.
So this was basically a complain post about the shitty weather. Sorry. And there's a good chance the next post will be more of the same! Sorry (in advance). This week is looking like another shitter, hopefully I can get out some.