Monday, January 16, 2006

another cycle of base done

Another week of base done and man am I feeling it. The past three weeks have been 12, 11, 12 hours of training each with some building intensity. The intensity hasn’t been crazy, but definitely building each week. Saturday I went out for four hours and did my first significant climbing in a long time. Rode to Lookout and up. The first ride up Lookout every season is always a hard ride. I can’t ever really find my rhythm so it is a lot of stand, sit, stand, shift, sit, stand, shift type riding. The gears get a workout even if I don’t. I felt like I was riding pretty well though, given the time of the year. I started the climb with another rider and put about six minutes on him by the top. Not sure how good of a rider he was but he was hanging with me for the first part of the climb then just past the “M” really started to fall back. On Sunday I went out for about 2 ½ with a tempo effort of 50 minutes. It was hard to get flowing after the work from Saturday. The nice part was getting home and testing out the new furniture we bought. We got a new couch, love seat and recliner for the house. I must say the recliner will be getting a lot of solid work after long days on the bike. It was great to just sit back and not move. I put a blanket over myself and when Ade got home she said I looked like an old quadriplegic covered up and propped up on the recliner.

I’m looking forward to the recovery week this week before my last cycle of base. The legs will get recovered then I’ll ramp up some big miles again. If I can get the weight down over the next few weeks I’ll be feeling good for the upcoming season. Plus by the end of the last base phase I should be getting my new mountain bike. That will make the training for the season a little more fun. New bikes always help with the motivation, not sure why but they make riding fun.

Monday, January 09, 2006

What happened last week?

Another week down and the few remaining issues with the new bike have been resolved, thanks to Jason and Steve at Pedal Pushers. The week of training was somewhat light in terms of days, but I ended up with almost 11 hours for the week. The long ride on Monday followed by a 3 hour ride Saturday made up for some lost days in the middle of the week. Sunday I started out on my own for a 2 hour ride and ran into some teammates after about 45 minutes. I rode with them for another 45 minutes before heading home.

It was good to ride with people but this time of the year fitness levels seem to vary a great deal. Chong must have eaten to many fruitcakes at Christmas because he kept falling off even on the little hills we were riding. I shouldn’t talk to much though, since when the season comes around he is racing Expert and I’m riding Sport. I’m also looking forward to getting back in the gym and lift again. It’s been about three weeks but I can tell the work has been helping my fitness so I’ll head back in today.

Tomorrow I’m going to have to start riding the trainer in the morning again. I’ve been somewhat lazy with doing this the past few weeks. It is hard to get started at 4:30 in the morning, especially the first few days. After that it isn’t so bad but that first week can be hell. Hopefully I’ll make it tomorrow.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

It's been over a month

Well, it’s the 5th day of 2006 and training is well underway. December was a solid month of riding and training in a lot of ways; however, the miles were a little low between travel for work, Seamus getting sick, me getting sick, bitter (record) cold, and of course the holidays. Add in bike problems and the miles I did ride may have been as much as many other riders. The good news is the bike problems have led to a new road bike for me with a new mountain bike on the way.

The old road bike was showing its age and everything started when I decided to replace the rear derailleur since the old one was seven years old and didn’t really shift anymore. When I installed the new derailleur I couldn’t ever get it to shift correctly which led me to notice the frame was out of alignment. I did some searching and found a new frame on the internet to buy. Of course this led to the need to buy multiple new parts over the course of December including a new headset, bottom bracket and ultimately a new crank and shifters. So what had started as a cheap fix, a new derailleur, has turned into about $500 worth of frames and parts to get a bike going.

Ade would probably kill me for this, except for one unfortunate ordeal that happened on December 23, the old Fuji frame broke. I had left work early to try to sneak in a ride after a week off and something felt wrong. I looked over the bike and realized the rear chainstay had broken so the new frame that was sitting in the garage became a clear necessity.

The new rig is finally up and running and I’ve put in some solid miles on it now. Right around New Years I put in two four plus hour rides and a couple 2 ½ hour rides. I am finally starting to feel the fitness come around and am getting ready for the season. Since I started base (on some levels) in November I may now be in my last phase of base; however, since training has been somewhat sporadic at times I may add one more four week block of base, lasting through mid February. Given that the first mountain bike races of the year are in mid May the lack of intensity early shouldn’t really matter.