Tuesday, February 21, 2012

thirty-three days

...until the first race of the season!

You know how some people say, "I'm ready as I'll ever be"?  Yeah, I've said it myself a time or two.  It makes me think though.  Sure, you can't really be any more ready than you currently are, but in preparing yourself for something, you can put in more effort than you normally would... then you're MORE ready than you would have ever been...

Okay, that's talking in circles, but cycling is all about circles.

I've mentioned before how I've got only a teeny tiny itty bitty amount of time in my day to train.  Somedays, an hour is really hard to justify if I am behind on schoolwork or my daughter wants my company. That being said, if an hour is really all I have, then I need to make every minute of it count.  These past few weeks I've been going all out on focus and intensity (work ethics that I learned in high school marching band), and I'm hoping like hell that it's going to pay off.  In thirty-three days, we'll find out.

Just in case anyone didn't know what I was doing for training, I'm going to break the cyclists code and tell you, flat out, exactly what I'm doing.  Go to this link and it's right there.  That's it.  I follow the plan, and when it has advanced options, I do them.  If I feel like complete crap, I might skip a workout and add a little bit onto another day.  There's no need to do any "secret training" because it isn't about whether we are doing the same thing or not, it's about what we're putting into it.  I've got my marching band skills that I put in, how bout you?  All joking aside, I just thought I'd share that info because it would be rude not to.

First race on the schedule?  The King of Burlingame Time Trial.  I haven't done this race before, but I did some pre-riding there with my teammates the past two years.  Rumor has it that the course is going to be different this year, and I'm hoping that they're adding more technical stuff.  Time trials aren't really my thing because it takes me so long to warm up, but it'll be over quick enough that if I blow myself up a little bit, I shouldn't have to suffer for too long.

The following weekend is the first official race of the Root 66 Series.  It's technically a local race because it's in CT, but it's still a hike.  The race is at Hop Brook Dam, and if you're thinking of doing it, make sure you register in advance because they aren't doing any registration at this venue on the day of the event.

Final thought on this completely random blah blah blah blog...
I caught the 29er bug.  I want one.  Don't get me wrong, I love my Dragon, but when I see how effortless those big silly wheels roll over everything that I have to muscle over, I get a bad case of wheel envy.  I'm hoping that there are still some left in my size when I can actually come up with the money, and I'm hoping that's before August and the Hampshire 100.  It sure would be nice to have some big wheels for that one...  we'll see if the money tree I planted puts out any fruit by then. ;)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Back at it...

How did the week of "rest" and "recovery" go?   

Well, knowing that I would be kid-less on the closing weekend of the rest period, I decided to start resting a day early.  The Sunday heading into rest, I did an easy hike with my daughter and followed that up with some yoga.  I spend the entire week doing lots and lots of yoga and stretching, but with balmy weather all week, I did sneak in a short easy mountain bike ride with one of my favorite groups of riders/pizza & beer consumers.  That ride was tough for me because I knew I had to hold back.  Not only was I supposed to be resting and letting my body recover, but I was also trying to let my heart rest.  I don't imagine that it's very good to drive your heart rate up to max capacity on a regular basis without giving it a vacation once in a while.  

I have to say, I did better than I thought I would this week.  I probably could have done better, but I'm a newbie at forcing myself to rest.  Usually when rest happens, it's due to some sort of life complications getting in the way... like having to work or write a paper.  These things aren't exactly restful either.  So, I started a day early, but I ended two days early.  I got back on the bike on Saturday, mostly because I didn't want to miss out on a gorgeous weekend at the beginning of February, and partly because I knew that the following weekend I'd have my daughter.  

I had all intentions of doing a shorter, tempo ride on Saturday.  It ended up being longer than I'd planned, but the tempo was killer.  I was basically playing "chase" with some of my buddies, and they were definitely not going easy on me... although, maybe they were, and I'm just not that fast.  (heehee).  The plan for Sunday was a long tough ride and concentrating on some long stretches with some high tension.  We were out for about 3.5 hours in some of the bumpiest, leg-sucking terrain.  

I figured I'd have trouble walking for a couple days, but the only symptom was some fatigue, so I think the yoga-rest combo last week paid off.  I recovered yesterday with more rest, and felt less than fresh when I got on the trainer this morning, but luckily, I was able to muster up a little bit of focus that carried me through two 30-minute HIT (high intensity training) sessions.  phew!  Those ones were tough.  It's a good thing nobody's around when I'm doing those, because I typically swear a whole lot and sweat profusely.  I get quite gross.