Monday, September 25, 2006

Not Much Going On

Well, there has been a whole lot of nothing going on around here lately. I've been feeling under the weather for the last two weeks and have ridden only 3 or 4 times since the last race. I've had an underlying cold/fever thing going on.... sore throat, aching muscles, fatigue and I can't seem to shake it. The lack of riding has made me a little crabby but I know that if I go out and ride a lot I won't allow my body to get over whatever is ailing it right now. In the meantime, I'm trying to rush and get all the last minute yardwork done before the weather turns bad, so I'm not really resting my body anyways, might as well be out riding. So anyway, I'm going to probably rest one more day and then try to hit the bike tomorrow, when hopefully I'll be feeling better.
Overall, I've been slowly charting out my training program from what is in my brain to something on paper (computer actually) that I can work off of starting on October 1st. I'm going to use October as my transition month and November, December, January and February will be my Foundation months. After that, depending how I am feeling I will plan out the remaining periods of the program. It's going to be a long fall and winter as I already wish that I could get back to racing and of course I'm dreading the indoor miles on the trainer/rollers. Well, not much to say now, this part of the year pretty much just sucks. Oh yeah, I'm building up my new CAAD8 frame with some pretty nifty parts....upgraded my alloy stem to an Easton carbon and also bought an Easton carbon seatpost, I upgraded my Chorus BB to a Record carbon BB, and will also be getting carbon handlebars. I've got my eye on a new wheelset as well but we'll see about that, can't spend all my money.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Relaxing A Bit

Well, it's been a while since my last post so I figured I better give a little update on what I've been doing. Truthfully, not that much. Since the update about the race last Sunday I've ridden only 3 times and have worked a bit on the house. I rode last Wednesday for a little bit on the trainer, rode for 40 miles on Saturday morning and rode for 30 miles with my wife on Sunday. It was a little busy around the house during the week and this weekend we had a wedding celebration to go to Saturday afternoon. This week I'm going to try to get back to my normal riding schedule and will ride today, tomorrow, Thursday, and Saturday. Now that racing is over I'm going back to 5 days a week instead of 6. I'll continue that until October and then I'll ride 3 or 4 days a week and start weight training at that time as well. I'll do lots of weight work in October and then in November I'll decrease the weights a bit and go back to 5 days a week on the bike. What I mean by decreasing the weight work is that my reps will go down but will be heavier weight, 6 reps versus 10-12. I'll do weight work probably through December and then I'll just do some maintenance lifting every now and then through the Spring as I switch my power work to on the bike exercises. I guess there isn't much going on right now, no races to report on or train for, just riding for fun for the time being. I did get my new Cannondale frame and also received my new Easton EC70 stem. I'm still waiting on my new Bontrager Race X Lite Aero rear wheel, my Record carbon bottom bracket, and my new carbon handlebars before I can build up the bike. I might just wait until November or December to build it up as I'd like to continue riding the Specialized through the Fall and beginning of winter as I'd like to keep the new frame as clean as possible. I have my Pinarello to ride through the winter outside and of course I'll ride the new bike on the rollers/trainer. Basically right now I'm on eBay all the time looking for good deals on parts for all 3 bikes. Well, that's it for now, until next time...........

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Crappy Day And Crappy Result

I just hate racing in cold, wet weather and today just happened to be one of those days. It was about 55 - 57 degrees in Madison and raining lightly for the 10:30 start of the Endeavour Criterium. We basically had 40 minutes plus 4 laps around the Research Park loop which is about .9 miles long with one small climb and a nice long flat before the turn in to the uphill finish. It was pretty much just a cold, wet windy day and the legs didn't want to respond no matter how hard I tried. I was soaked through every article of clothing, my feet were soaked and cold and I had tire spray constantly hitting me in the face. I felt good coming in to the race and I knew I had to support Tony in an effort to get the overall title for WI Cup points but I couldn't do anything today. I tried to take a little flyer to get the legs warmed up but as soon as I went I knew I had nothing, my legs were fried pretty much right away. My breathing felt good and I wasn't breathing too hard so I know that it had to be the cold that just was taking everything out of my muscles. I couldn't do anything to help Tony and he was really on today, basically staying at the front the whole race and looking super strong. Near the end there was a small split on the last lap and Tony took off but Ryan (overall Cup leader) was on his wheel and in the sprint Ryan ended up nipping Tony by maybe a tire width, it was really close. Either way Tony needed to finish two spots ahead of Ryan so the title was was Ryan's to keep and that pretty much closed out our racing season. I got 11th in the sprint, which really wasn't much of a sprint as everyone was scattered from the pressure put on during the last lap.
During the next couple of weeks I don't race mountain bike so I'll just do a couple of tour rides with my wife and keep doing some relaxed training rides through September. I'll cut back in October to about 2 to 3 days of riding per week and then I'll start to amp things up again in November. I guess now that the season is over I can look back and say I did decent for my first year back but I really wish I would've done better or got at least one win. For the year my results were as follows: 20th, 26th, 34th, 3rd, 18th, 8th, 11th, 21st, 24th, 25th, 8th and 11th. Not bad, but not exactly great either. I got 3 top-10 and 5 top-15 placings which was good enough for 11th overall in the WI Cup series, only 3 points away from 10th place. Well, that's about it for the racing year. I'll keep you all up to date on my training progress for next year as I start winding down and preparing for the 2007 season. Here are some pictures from the crappy race today:

Friday, September 08, 2006

Sore, But Ready To Go.....

I'm actually feeling pretty sore today and I can only imagine that it's from the Speed Intervals I did last night as I didn't do anything else really strenuous. I had to assist with my son's soccer team last night from 5:30 until 6:30 so by the time I got home it was too late to ride outside so I had to head down to the basement and ride the trainer. I had originally scheduled a 1.5 hour ride outside with sets of 7x30sec Speed Intervals so in trainer time that translates to 1.25 hours as you are constantly pedaling on the trainer vs. the road so you don't have to ride as long. Anyways, I turned the fan on high, put the towel around my neck and started sweating as I watched the Pittsburgh/Miami game for my warm up. Once I was warmed up I switched over to a stage of the Tour that I had DVR'd and started my Speed Intervals. I felt pretty good during the intervals but got pretty tired at the end of the last set and was struggling to maintain max speed. Melissa came downstairs at the end of my last rep and looked at all the sweat pouring off me, said "gross", and turned around and went right back upstairs. Thanks for the support honey! All in all, it was a good workout and my HR was right where I wanted it to be, and my HR recovery was very quick during my 30 second breaks so I know my body is ready to race. Tonight will just be a quick 1 hour ride at 65% max HR, in other words a Recovery Ride. Tomorrow morning, barring rain, I will only do 1.5 hours and do 3 x 2minute Power Intervals to open up the legs for Sunday. I have a wedding to go to at 1:00 followed by the reception at 5:00 so the rest of the day is pretty much shot. I'll be avoiding alcohol unfortunately and I'll be trying to find all the carbs in the buffet line to make sure I'm fully stocked.
In other news, I bought a new frame yesterday and should be getting it on Tuesday of next week. The Specialized S-Works I got last November was bought on eBay and I knew it was slightly used as it was a bike shop display/test bike but the thing is creaking and knocking like crazy right now. The noise is coming from the bottom bracket and I've completely gone through each bolt and tightened everything and also pulled out the bottom bracket, regreased it and put everything back together. I tightened all the brake bolts, derailleur bolts, seatpost, headset, handlebars, etc. and the noise still persists, especially when I stand up. When I put the bike on the trainer with the chainstays/seatstays tightened securely then it doesn't make noise. Basically I think either something happened when I had my crash in May or the frame is just completely flexed out. The fact that it doesn't make noise when the rear is stabilized in the trainer makes me think it's flexing. So anyway, I bought a new 2006 Cannondale CAAD8 frame and will just transfer all my Campy Record components over to that. I'll take the Specialized and make it a TT bike as I don't care if it creaks during time trialing. I won't ride it enough to annoy me so I'll keep it around for the time being. I know that the CannonDale is another aluminum frame and will also get flimsy in 2 or 3 years but I'll be ready for a new bike by then anyways! :) Well, back to work, until next time..........

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

4 Days And Counting

4 more days until the last race of the year for me and it can't come quick enough. My teammate Tony is 9 points out of the overall WI Cup lead and we need to get him the win and the current leader needs to finish 2 spots behind him. I'm pretty amped up to do some work for Tony and lead him out in the sprint. I think we'll have a good strategy worked out to shred most of the field and then we should have at least 4 of us right near the front to power around the last lap or two. I believe that our team is superior to Chiropractic Partners and we should be able to cover any of their attacks and get a good train going for the sprint. I have no doubt that I can cover any attacks and have the legs left for the leadout, this is going to be a great final race. I've been feeling a lot more powerful lately as I'm obviously progressing as I get miles in to my legs. In the beginning of the year the power just wasn't there, no miles means no leg strength and that equals jack squat when it comes to sustained power. Unfortunately the year is coming to an end and I'm just starting to find form now that I'm a lot stronger than I was 3 or 4 months ago. Oh well, the 5000+ miles that I did this year, so far, will be a good base for me for next year.
Well, for this week I've done a bit of riding but not too much. If you read my previous posts you'll know that I didn't ride on Saturday because I was up at Devil's Lake with the family, but we did do a lot of hiking that day. Sunday I rode for 2.5 hours with some good hills and pushed it fairly hard but I didn't do any intervals or get my HR up near max. Monday I was pretty busy with Labor Day and it was a normally scheduled rest day on the bike so I didn't ride. Last night I did a 1.5 hour ride (cut short due to sunset) with 3 sets of 8min/3min OverUnder Intervals. As I've explained in previous posts it's 8 minutes at 89% then immediately in to 3 minutes at 92% then back down to 89%, etc. for 3 sets. It's basically 32 minutes straight at 178-184 bpm and it's great for building power and increasing lactate threshold. Tonight will be another 1.5-1.75 hour ride at Endurance Pace, nothing too easy but not hard either. It's basically a day to recover between interval days as tomorrow I'll be doing Speed Intervals, basically 3 sets of 7x30sec intervals. Friday will be a rest day and Saturday will be a ride with a couple of Power Intervals thrown in to open up the legs. Sunday they are calling for a 40% chance of showers but it doesn't matter either way, the Madison course is pretty safe and if it rains, oh well, we still have to race. Until next time........

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Day of Family Fun

Today I didn't do any riding as the family and I went up to Devil's Lake for a day trip leaving at 8:00 and returning at 8:00 this evening. I would've loved to have ridden today as it was a beautiful day, but there was just no time obviously and I had to spend time with the family as that's more important than cycling right now. I've dragged my family around all year to races and sacrificed a lot of time with them this year to train so I figured it was best to spend the day with them especially since it was a holiday weekend. I did get in quite a workout though as we walked around Devil's Lake and up and over the 500ft. bluffs on the wonderful trails in the State Park. According to Melissa's pedometer we walked for a total of 8.5 miles and it definitely was hard on the quads going up those hills. My legs are more sore now than after an average bike ride, although I obviously used some muscles that aren't normally used for cycling so I expected some soreness. We ate a good lunch at the Park and then cooked out for dinner on the charcoal grill before packing up and heading out. We took our dog with as well and we completely wore him out, he's slept since we got back and was actually sleeping in the car on the way home. If you knew our dog, you would know that he's not much for sleeping, he's a 1.5 year old Shepard/Lab mix and he's a bundle of energy.
As far as training goes, I did manage to get in a good outside ride on Thursday, it was only 1.5 hours long but I did 3 sets of 8 minute Steady States which are basically 8 minutes at 89% of max HR and then equal rest. Friday I did an easy ride on the trainer for an hour since we spent most of the night packing up stuff to bring with today and doing the cleaning that we would normally do today. Tomorrow I'll be getting up early, hopefully 7:00 (early for me) and I'll head out on a route that's just a little over 50 miles. It will just be a normal endurance ride with a couple of good hills, no intervals or anything though. Monday will be just an easy hour on the trainer since it's a normal scheduled rest day, but I'll make up a little bit for missing today's ride. Tuesday will be some Descending intervals, Wednesday will be a normal endurance ride, Thursday will be some Speed Intervals, Friday a Recovery Ride, and Saturday will be an Endurance Ride with 3 reps of 2 min Power Intervals to prepare for Sundays Race. I'll update my training progress hopefully every day this week to let you know how it's going. This year's racing season is almost over and things are winding down, but I'm definitely thinking of next year already and can't wait to start prepping for that. Until next. time.............