Monday, May 28, 2007

Hanging It On Out There

One of my top 10 training rules has to go something like "if it's working, keep doing it. If not, try something different." ... Well, it IS working. But I also needed a break from "homework". Not a break where I work 90 hours in a week and can barely sleep, much less train (see a week ago). This past week was much better. I moved some days around, but hit all my training. My long run isn't up to "plan standard" yet (see earlier knee references), but otherwise I was there.

I busted out of the mold this weekend. Having not been on my mountain bike since February (in many feet of soft cushy snow). And before that, I hadn't been trail riding for years.. One might argue that I'd never ridden trails more than a few hours, and certainly no more than say 15, maaaabye 20 miles. Well, life is different now in Ironman training land.. We don't do things in 20 minute blocks.

Thanks to the prodding from Tmontee, I entered the 6 hour solo mountain bike race at the WEMS New Fane race. Thanks to MTB Girl, and her crew, for putting on fun time for all. Where else can you pay someone to count laps while you ride your bike as long as you wish. Trust me, 6 hours was longer than I wished for. I managed to clock 4 plus hours and 6 laps (28-ish miles) of mountain biking. Absolutely everyone was beyond courteous. I knew I was the slow guy, I did what I could to stay out of the way and get my training in. The faster guys (near everyone) all thanked me as they blew by.. I forgot how much fun trail riding was. Though, a guy used to 3.5 hours on the road finds new places to be sore after 4 hours of mountain biking. My legs had a good amount of go left in them, but my shoulders and hands screamed "DONE!".

I highly recommend these type of events to folks who can mountain bike, but might not want all the hubbub of some of the shorter races. It was low key, good clean fun. Show up with your 35 bux, 30 minutes prior to the race, and you're in.. Set your cooler off to the side of the track, and make your own pit stops. Just beware, the trails might not be as "easy" as some might say..

I recognized Coop from his wedding pics on some blog, at the start of the race. Bubba came up and introduced himself. I saw Coffee King, whom I new in a past life.. I hate to list, cause I'm probably leaving out tons of folks I met.. I even met a triathlete or two out there.

Tee up for next weekend the 100 mile ride at Trek 100 Ride for Childhood Cancer. See you all out there. Time to put my head down and hammer through the week.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pulling it off so far..

After that last post, I went right out and poked my thumb in the eye of a tri deity or two. Monday night I went for an unscheduled hour run. So, I was prepared for what might ensue. In reality, what happened was I swapped a few days around and a monday night run made some sense. We'll see what happens with the rest of the week though.

Mostly, thanks for the support and I think this week is looking up.

Someone talk me into or out of "racing" this weekend at a WEMS race. My mtn bike hasn't seen a trail since I blogged the Feb winter ride.. Seems like good clean IM training type stuff though, non?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Wha' Happened?

I just woke up. It was shortly after midnight. I'm next to a big dog, still wearing just my bike shorts and a Livestrong T-shirt. My wife probably caught me mumbling something about "vgexport" in my sleep. How'd I get here? Let's back track.

I'd love to say this was the direct result of a week's worth of non-stop ironman training. No holds barred, stick to the schedule, form perfect, another notch in my belt toward September. In fact it was almost the exact opposite. It all started Monday, with a great swim and an unscheduled, somewhat heavy legged run. Without making excuses, that run bled into my next morning's zeal for an immediate very hard brick. No worries, I'll do it at night. That run, ended up taking my week apart.

Most of the week I could blame on work, and more work, and even more work. When I wasn't sleeping I was working this week (and maybe a few hours in the middle of both). This is not a rant about work, only about my ability to organize my time as such. There will be longer work weeks. It's the gig. It pays for such things as crazy endurance races like Ironman. I blame that extra Monday night run. It was just begging me to take it and throw the week off balance.

After Monday, sans an real excuses, there are a bunch of big, ugly zeros in my training calendar. This weekend I worked a good 18 hours (mostly straight, without enough time to do my 3:30 bike on my one break). Then I ended up w/ 3 hours of sleep Sat morning. Nothing that one can take and turn into a good 3-5 hour ride as makeup. No gas. No mental anything. Just TV fuzz in the head.

Three to five naps on Sunday left me more rested, but still out of it.. I gathered enough gumption to head out on the fixed gear for an easy 25 miler. An hour and a half later, I was cold and tired. We made dinner. Then I went to lie down for a second while my wife read the kids books. The next thing I knew, it was midnight.

Deep breath. A glass of milk and some water. A quick blog update then shower, and back to bed. It is Monday, and I start fresh. Let's see if I can get last week's good swim back.

Rest of the week update:

  • I got my confirmation letter for the super cool MACC fund ride pre-party.
  • Put road tires on the fixed gear bike. My son helped. Ya know, in case I get crazy and take it to the 100 miler ride last minute.
  • Healing vibes for DZ's Dad.
  • And let us not forget why the world is right.. A brand spankin' new, hand made, custom bike was born.
As I look out over the coming weeks. I see some homework. Some 3-4 hour bike rides, back to back on the weekends.. Hopefully many well rested ones. I'm sure I will look at my mountain bike longingly at least once.. Good times are a coming. In spite of this week, things are looking up training-wise. And I refuse to give up my mantra. This IS my year. See you all out there.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Random Rules of Bike Improvement

Recently I've had random thoughts of how to improve on the bike. I feel like I've been improving*** lately, and I thought I should share with those that might be less fortunate than I. Here are ideas for improvement.

  1. Sign up for Ironman. Buy a "plan". If you do nothing else, do at least all the bike workouts. Yep, this is the long way around, but it's already working on me.
  2. Ride on the trainer.
  3. Ride with a Garmin 305.
  4. Ride with a Polar HRM.
  5. Ride in the winter w/ some mtn bikers you only see twice in 2 hours.
  6. Ride in the summer.
  7. Ride rollers (I suspect this would work at least - oh the shame).
  8. Ride while watching favorite movies.
  9. Pick longer favorite movies.
  10. Switch to favorite HBO series.
  11. Switch back to movies, but only long series of movies.
  12. Ride outside.
  13. Wear weather appropriate clothing. Which will make you less likely to wimp out early.
  14. Ride long enough that eating on the ride is expected.
  15. Ride harder.
  16. Ride easier.
  17. Do you know your LTHR? Do a ride to find it.
  18. Ride to a far away bus station, then ride back.
  19. Buy yourself some toys, like power meters and power cranks.. really anything with the word "power" works as long as you also increase the amount of riding you do as a result of said purchase.
  20. Ride hills.
You might notice a common theme among many of the rules.

What am I doing? Tuesday intervals, Saturday 3:30 ride with efforts, Sunday 2:30 (with efforts) /:30 brick.

*** improving - not AS slow as before.